You Have to Hope Last Night Was Merely More Road Stinkage and Other Bullets

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You Have to Hope Last Night Was Merely More Road Stinkage and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Can’t say I’m looking forward to Luis Castillo again today. When he’s on, the guy is just so nasty. And when it’s *not* against the Cubs, I really enjoy seeing how hilarious he makes guys look with his changeup. You just hope the Cubs can barrel a couple with a guy or two on base. And you also hope Jon Lester has put behind him whatever was so extremely off last time out.

Speaking of hope …

  • Kyle Hendricks has consistently been at 87/88mph with his sinker this year, which is a level that plays very well for him, particularly with the spread against his changeup. Last night, he was at just 85.5 mph. Maybe it was just an off night, but when you see that kind of velocity drop for a guy who had a shoulder issue at midseason, and whose command was absolutely not on point last night, you are negligent if you don’t get a little concerned. Or maybe not concerned, but at least ask the questions to make sure a guy feels all right – sometimes it can just be that the mechanics were a little off.
  • For what it’s worth, there was no indication in the post-game commentary from Hendricks or Joe Maddon that specifically mention any kind of physical concerns. Hopefully it’s just a bad night on the road, where things spiraled, and Hendricks moves on without issue. If there isn’t a physical issue, then I have no reason to be concerned.
  • The loss last night ensures the Cubs will not win this series, continuing their incredible streak of failing to win a road series since mid-May (and failing to win a road series in the division all year!).
  • With the three best late-inning relievers of the year all on the shelf, the Cubs are trying to see the positives, including the AAA talent they believe in, and the opportunity to get rest for the arms of Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Kintzler, and Steve Cishek ( It’s not good to have them injured, but yeah, it’s also not untrue that at least they get some time off for their arms (none has an arm injury). The Cubs have also benefited from the way the last several games have played out, they haven’t really “missed” those guys yet.
  • If you didn’t already know the ball was juiced: Aristides Aquino’s first home run last night had an exit velocity of 87.6 mph and somehow left the park. It is expected to be a *hit* just 8% of the time.
  • I don’t know guys. I’m not sure Aquino can keep up his .786 ISO and 87.5% HR/FB the whole year …
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
  • So, Mike Montgomery had a ridiculously good outing with the Royals:

  • Granted, it was the Tigers, but that is still impressive, at nearly two Ks per inning with no walks and just three hits. Montgomery has added a cutter with the Royals, and it’s working extremely well. Pair that with a huge increase in his changeup, and boom, he got 20(!) whiffs last night. Good lord. It’s almost like he was always supposed to be a starting pitcher …
  • Oakley sunglasses are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon today, so check it out.
  • Ice cold:

  • I am actually super intrigued by this guy:

  • Just sayin’:

  • Peace be with you:

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.