The Little Boy has a doctor’s appointment and then the big kids have their elementary school orientation, so I’ll be running around today. Ah, back to school …
- In conjunction with the release of the schedule yesterday, the Cubs made a minor – but significant-ish! – tweak to the timing of games. Now, weeknight home games before Memorial Day and after Labor Day will start at 6:40 pm CT, instead of the typical 7:05 pm. (Those of us in the Eastern Time Zone who cover the games thank you for those bonus 25 minutes of sleep!)
- Also on the schedule: the Cubs open in Milwaukee at Wrigley North, so … we’re all going, right?
Cubs open in Milwaukee in 2020? Sweet. Another home opener!
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) August 13, 2019
- This is just fascinating on the ongoing adjustments a guy like Kyle Hendricks has to make to succeed:
Fewer ground balls and sinkers up the zone? Those aren't mistake pitches from Kyle Hendricks, it's a recent shift in strategy for him that's working out pretty well. https://t.co/rgXoW0s5o3
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) August 13, 2019
- Interesting, and perfectly sensible: if you get good movement on your sinker/two-seamer, you can work it up – so that it moves in on the hands – to righties who have modified their swing path to try to elevate low sinkers. You miss the barrel more easily that way, and also disrupt the batter’s timing. Like Sahadev Sharma in the piece, I assumed there had to be some reason Hendricks was working up so much more this year, but thought it would have been mostly with the four-seamer.
- You’d expect the groundball rate to be way down with this strategy, which it is, but you’d probably also want to see more infield pop ups (not happening), more soft contact (not happening), and less hard contact (not happening). Instead, he’s been succeeding with slightly more whiffs, and slightly fewer walks. Wonder if the contact metrics will shift as the year goes on?
- The whole read with Hendricks is a great one.
- The Mets think they discovered something:
The Mets and Brad Brach felt he was tipping his changeup with Cubs, which took away a major weapon. Now believing it’s fixed, Brach threw a really nice diving change yesterday. Keep that up and they’ve found something
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) August 12, 2019
- It seems a little premature to make any declaration, but I suppose it’s possible, if Brach was tipping one of his pitches, batters would know when he wasn’t throwing the change, and could thus sit on the fastball (which had good movement and velocity, but still got hammered). Whatever. If Brach pitches well and gets a big league contract next year, it’ll save the Cubs between $600,000 and $1.35 million (depending on how much he gets), so go ahead and fix him and make him awesome, Mets.
- Big sale today at the official Cubs shop if you want to peruse the deals.
- I’m not saying it’s not a little odd, I’m just saying it’s clever and funny:
Looks like something some of you would do pic.twitter.com/3oKxOkQd7x
— HatsToTheLeft (@HatsToTheLeft) August 12, 2019
- Gleyber Torres is doing absolutely ridiculous things against the Orioles this year (13 of his 26 homers!), and I have jokes/points:
To think, if the Cubs had just held onto him they could have lost the 2016 World Series and beat up on the 2019 Orioles. https://t.co/s6AkZe4geM
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 13, 2019
- Surprising roster move for the Bears:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) August 13, 2019
- The MLB schedule came out yesterday, as did the NBA schedule:
The #Bulls young core is going to be tested early. Over a 15-game span in November they will see:
-Lakers (Nov. 5)
-Houston (Nov. 9)
-Milwaukee twice (Nov. 14, 18)
-Brooklyn (Nov. 16)
-Portland twice (Nov. 25, 29)
-Golden State (Nov. 27)
Give me hoops!https://t.co/P3xQmKITzW
— Elias Schuster (@Schuster_Elias) August 12, 2019