Pushing the Brewers to the Brink, Hamels Plans on Track, Happ's Debut, and Other Bullets

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Pushing the Brewers to the Brink, Hamels Plans on Track, Happ’s Debut, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The weekend before the Trade Deadline is typically full of me telling The Wife, “Sorry, sorry, I have to go do something,” returning to the family only to say it again in 15 minutes. It’s a good thing everything I do winds up in a public space, or she might be suspicious.

  • Kris Bryant certainly isn’t downplaying the importance of the coming week (ESPN): “This could be a week which defines our season. Playing the Brewers, playing the Cardinals, trade deadline. Everyone is thinking we’re going to make moves. I think we might look back on this week at the end of the season and it will tell us a lot about where we (end up) at the end of the year.”
  • In a dream world, the Cubs sweep the Brewers this weekend, which pushes them five games back in the Central (and just as far back in the Wild Card race), and they decide to just stand pat (or maybe even ship out a short-term piece or two). Seem crazy? They would, at that point, be just a game over .500, be behind as many as 8 other NL teams, and they would be 16-25 since June 9. Wouldn’t that feel like a team that should consider standing pat or selling?
  • Having a Brewers club that doesn’t buy would be particularly helpful for the Cubs, who have a disproportionate number of their remaining games against the NL Central (compared, for example, to the Cardinals). So if the Central features three teams that didn’t add and/or sold? All the better for the Cubs.
  • A sweep in Milwaukee is absolutely conceivable. But the Cubs haven’t shown a great penchant for winning on the road this year, and the Brewers are always so tough in Milwaukee. Just winning the series would be a pretty awesome outcome. Whatever you do, just don’t give Christian Yelich anything to hit … or at least flash a sign for fastball when you’re throwing him a slider …
  • (Nobody mention anything about how the Cubs’ own plans could be impacted if a sweep went in the other direction.)
  • The plans are still positive for Cole Hamels:

  • Back when Hamels suffered the oblique injury about a month ago, it was our most realistic hope that he could return right around the first week of August, so this still tracks. With the All-Star break and effective fill-ins from Alec Mills, the Cubs really only “felt” the loss of Hamels for maybe one or two turns in the rotation (one of which was the game he departed), despite him missing over a month. The arm should be nice and fresh for the stretch run.
  • Also Hamels:

  • It took nearly four months, but Ian Happ will make his 2019 big league debut tonight in Milwaukee:

  • Here’s hoping, though, that Happ doesn’t feel any inordinate pressure to succeed right out of the gate. Just do your thing, and it will be an offensive upgrade for the Cubs overall, even with the strikeouts above average.
  • Meanwhile, the Brewers are also bringing back their own dude who has been raking at AAA the last few weeks:

  • Bears training camp is now open, and the league is screwed:

The rest of the league is screwed. #Bears #KhalilMack

Posted by Bleacher Nation Bears on Thursday, July 25, 2019

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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.