Still Fine to Hope on the Offense, Scary 9th, Hendricks, Alzolay, Bellhorn(?), and Other Bullets

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Still Fine to Hope on the Offense, Scary 9th, Hendricks, Alzolay, Bellhorn(?), and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

We had some grilled asparagus last night, and it was awesome. I really think it’s one of my three favorite veggies. But, well, I think you know the price you pay after. And if you don’t, suffice to say it changes the smell of your urine in a truly, shockingly powerful way. Heck, if you’ve never had asparagus, you should have it once if for no other reason than to experience the change. It’s wild. And awful.

  • The offense sure looked as good as it gets for three innings last night, and Theo Epstein isn’t about to give up hope that it can show the rest of the way, even as he’s realistic ( “We have it in us to be multidimensional and locked in and really grind out at-bats and get on base. But I think using last year, too, as a guide, I think we are susceptible. There’s no way around it. We’re susceptible to these long stretches where we lose that identity, and we’re a little more one-dimensional and more vulnerable to certain kinds of pitching …. We have to find a way to be the best version of ourselves. It’s within us. It’s not as if it’s not. April and May, I don’t think it was a mirage. At the same time, we can’t just show up and assume that’s who we are, because you are what you do.”
  • Like I’ve said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with hoping that this offense shows up the rest of the way, because there’s plenty of talent. It *can* happen. But after the season, that’s when the changes are needed, regardless of the next month or two.
  • The Cubs were apparently exceedingly well-prepared to bust up Thor, who had been on a roll:

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

  • Meanwhile, while it wasn’t quite as bad for him, Kyle Hendricks also didn’t have it:

  • Not sure what the road stuff is this year with him. It’s weird.
  • Care to relive the terrifying 9th inning now knowing that it ends all right? Here you go:

  • Thankfully the Cubs wound up neutering this joke almost immediately, but the GIF is still crazy:

  • Hey, that was fun seeing Brad Brach mow the Cubs down last night, eh? I kid, but I guess good for him? And it saves the Cubs a little scratch if he pitches his way into a big league contract next year, so go off.
  • Adbert Alzolay threw a no-hitter last night! Well, four innings of one, anyway. He went 61 pitches of no-hit ball (against the Dodgers affiliate in their house – ain’t easy), walking two and striking out five. I tentatively expect that he’s going to be coming up soon to the big league team as a multi-inning, lower-leverage relief option in September. As we saw, he’s got the stuff to be a late-inning guy if the Cubs needed it, but I tend to doubt the trust will be there.
  • Speaking of Alzolay and the big Cubs, he’s one of many – like, a crazy many:

  • Dude was so good and valuable in that one full season with the Cubs. He hit .258/.374/.512 (135 wRC+) while playing serviceable defense at all four infield spots, albeit on a very forgettable 2002 Cubs team. Bellhorn lost his power the next year, and was traded at midseason for Jose Hernandez, who was later that same year involved in the trade for Aramis Ramirez. The Red Sox reclaimed Bellhorn in 2004, and he was fantastic for them in the season they finally won the World Series. From there, though, he was pretty much toast. Weird career, and never really got paaaaaaaid, despite having two huge seasons before he hit arbitration. Never really thought about that stuff back then.
  • Phun with Photoshop:

  • The 50th anniversary:

  • And a contest over at their FB page, so give them a follow and win yourself a shirt:

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.