First Again, Lester's Great Half, Schwarber's Whoops, Brewers Collision, Arrieta's Elbow, and Other Bullets

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First Again, Lester’s Great Half, Schwarber’s Whoops, Brewers Collision, Arrieta’s Elbow, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

We might try to do some family canoeing today. It could be a lot of fun. I have concerns.

  • The Cubs are alone in first place again, which I swear to heck says so much more about the state of the division (and how fortunate the Cubs are!) than about the Cubs’ performance in the first half:

  • After another very good outing, Jon Lester will finish the first half with a 3.72 ERA, which is 15% better than league average. Even better, his strikeout rate (22.9%) is more than three percentage points better than last year, while his walk rate (5.7%) is his best since 2015. His hard and soft contact rates are his worst in a long time, which ain’t great, BUT his groundball rate has bounced back this year to a solid 43.8%. In all, the 35-year-old lefty has pitched like a good middle-of-the-rotation starter, which is just about your best-case-scenario when projecting out year five of his six-year contract.
  • I am very happy about the excellent Lester performance, but I have never been so torn about a tweet in my life:

  • Kyle Schwarber with the wut double:

  • The laugh at second is good, but don’t sleep on that peek back at the Cubs dugout as he started to run. Makes you wonder what his teammates were shouting at him.
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
  • Adbert Alzolay returned to Iowa last night, flashing his great swing-and-miss stuff, but kinda losing it after the first few innings. There is still work to be done. He got a nice taste of the big leagues, though:

  • How do players learn those crazy handshakes? Training and practice:

  • Ah, this is nice:

  • Also nice is Javy besting the best in a video MLB just put out (even though it was from Spring Training):

  • This sucks for Arrieta:

  • Bone spurs can cause a lot of issues, or you could possibly pitch through it. Surgery to remove the spur(s) is usually successful and doesn’t keep guys out as long as Tommy John or anything like that, but if Arrieta had to do it now, it could still end his season.
  • A scary collision on the infield for the Brewers last night, as Keston Hiura and Orlando Arcia converged on a grounder:

  • It looked like Hiura got the worst of it, but he was actually all right, and it was Arcia who was carted off the field. Arcia is still being evaluated, but with the All-Star break coming, the Brewers are going to call up shortstop Mauricio Dubon, a good prospect in his own right.
  • Hang the banners already:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.