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:
"He really wants to be great, so that may rub some people the wrong way, especially if you want him to fall in line." After a detour to Iowa, Ian Happ's edge could be exactly what the Cubs need now: https://t.co/qZphtz1urN
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) August 9, 2019
- 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?
Ian Happ and Nick Castellanos have each been worth 0.6 WAR already this year for the Cubs.
That is more than this year's season total for …
Jackie Bradley Jr.
…among many others pic.twitter.com/N22BhAaA17
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 9, 2019
- (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.
- Yu Darvish summing up his night accurately:
Yu Darvish: "No walks, 9 strikeouts, only 4 hits. And three Fu—– homers. That sucks."
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 10, 2019
- 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:
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) August 10, 2019
- Heh. This is fun:
This is incredible camera work. You can see Bryce Harper point to the fan chanting “overrated!” after he hit a missile into McCovey Cove. pic.twitter.com/13WrpAWTDz
— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) August 10, 2019
- Home storage stuff, super play stuff, and more are your Deals of the Day today at Amazon.
- Those awesome Little League Classic jerseys (and hats and shirts) are here at the MLB Shop.