Edge from the New Additions, Waiting on Kemp, Darvish Sums It Up, and Other Bullets

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Edge from the New Additions, Waiting on Kemp, Darvish Sums It Up, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It’s not a conspiracy “theory” if it’s just a conspiracy and everyone knows it’s a conspiracy. But what do you call it if you know there’s a conspiracy, but you don’t know who is involved, because so many people would have reason and access to be involved? A Conspiracy to Be Named Later?

  • The offense hit a blip last night, but we kinda predicted that was going to be possible in this series against a quality Reds rotation (and then, last night, facing the best Reds relievers). They made some really nasty pitches in big moments. To the Cubs’ credit, they certainly put a lot of runners on base, and often that’ll be enough to get a lot of runs in. Didn’t happen last night. That’s OK. If they keep giving themselves 10+ chances with RISP, they’ll usually score more than two runs. I actually believe that now. Crazy, I know.
  • Nick Castellanos homered again last night, because of course he did, and, even if you set aside the production itself, it’s been impossible not to notice the positive, competitive energy he brings. I imagine it’s gotta feel good to be playing for something in August after five straight years of mostly terrible Tigers teams.
  • Castellanos’ competitive push and “edge,” combined with the timing of Ian Happ’s call-up and this Patrick Mooney article got me thinking:

  • Not to be TOO fluffy here, but the Cubs incorporated two guys with “edge” around the same time, both of whom have reasons to be a little more “hungry” than most, and suddenly the offense takes off. Maybe there’s a little something to it?
  • Also:

  • (Happ slipped to 0.5 after last night, and Castellanos bumped to 0.7, but the fun point still stands.)
  • On the flip side of the new-guy-acquisition discussion, utility man Tony Kemp has yet to do much of anything. Just as you won’t get too high about a small sample to the positive, you can’t get too low about 17 plate appearances to the negative, but in terms of recounting what has occurred, Kemp has three singles and no walks in those 17 PAs. He’s also struck out only twice, so he’s doing what he does – putting the ball in play – and more than half of them have registered as “hard” contact, too. So maybe just some bad luck so far? Kemp isn’t going to be a huge offensive force, but he can be an average hitter that plays solid defense all over.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
  • Yu Darvish summing up his night accurately:

  • You won’t get hammered every time you hang a pitch, and even when you do, they won’t always leave the park. Darvish made far more excellent pitches than crappy ones last night, and three of the hangers got banged. It happens, especially in Cincinnati. Shrug. I still think Darvish is on fire.
  • This is fun and cool. Obviously we focus on the big league team as fans, and the primary focus on the minors is the whole “prospect” thing. But for the I-Cubs to hit the playoffs? That would be pretty awesome:

  • Heh. This is fun:

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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.