Bryant's Baserunning is a Love Language, Strop's Situation, Gore Available, and Other Bullets

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Bryant’s Baserunning is a Love Language, Strop’s Situation, Gore Available, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Despite the previous drama in Pittsburgh and Joe Maddon’s suggestive words, there were no extracurricular issues in yesterday’s game with the Pirates. Good.

  • Although you don’t see him out there stealing a lot of bases, pretty much everyone acknowledges that Kris Bryant is one of the best baserunners on the Cubs. He goes first to third like a gazelle. He routinely scores from first on a double. And, like the game-winning run yesterday, he makes sure to score from second on a base hit:

  • What a delightful way of thinking about your baserunning and your secondary leads. It’s an individual thing you can do that demonstrates care for your team.
  • You will be unsurprised to learn that Bryant once again rates as the best baserunner on the Cubs (by BsR), and 15th in the National League overall. He’s just ahead of Javy Baez and Jason Heyward, which you also probably would have guessed.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • On the flip side, for what it’s worth:

  • Pedro Strop gave up a 454-foot homer yesterday in the 8th to yield a three-run lead, and it was ugly:

  • That’s one of the worst pitches you’ll see: a 2-0 fastball that is supposed to be low and away, bleeds way out over the plate, is belt-level, and is a modest 93 mph. A truly terrible pitch in a situation where the hitter is pretty much looking exclusively for a mistake like that. Starling Marte did not miss it.
  • I’m concerned about Strop. We’ve talked about it before, but with a literal trio of hamstring injuries over the past 9 months, he just hasn’t really gotten his velocity (or command) back to where they are usually for him. And at 34 years old, it’s reasonable to wonder whether he’s going to be able to get it all back this year. To be sure, it’s not like he’s “too old” for a stuff/velo-type reliever – we’ve seen plenty of those guys keep it rolling into their late-30s – but eventually wear-down comes for everyone, especially if you’re trying to work back from multiple leg injuries. I guess we’ll see what’s what the next time he’s out there, but that should have been as fresh as he’s been all year.
  • LOL at this pitch, man:

  • Amazon’s early Prime Day deals continue, and it includes – among other things – one of those Dyson ball animal vacuums on a huge discount. I am extremely tempted, because our cat hair situation is out of control.
  • Teams that want to pick up annual pinch-runner extraordinaire Terrance Gore are getting their shot – he’s been DFA’d by the Royals. So you could grab him now if you can carry him on the roster (I could actually think of someone he could replace on the Cubs right now and they wouldn’t miss a beat at the plate), but more likely, he’ll clear waivers, and either accept an outright by the Royals or seek a minor league deal on a team with postseason aspirations. We’ll keep our eyes on this one, because I’m sure the Cubs would love to get him back for September and beyond.
  • … just don’t let him bat with the entire postseason on the line. Or at least convince him not to swing.
  • If you missed the Angels’ special no-hitter last night, please check it out. It’s worth it.
  • This dude has always shown big league stuff, he’s just been in that familiar purgatory of not quite being able to command it well enough consistently enough to break out. He’s on a freaking run, though:

  • It looks like the Bulls have a set trajectory now, but that doesn’t mean they can’t continue to be active:

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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.