Big Series on Deck, Cubs Minor League Playoffs Start with Excitement, and Other Bullets

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Big Series on Deck, Cubs Minor League Playoffs Start with Excitement, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

As you may have noticed (and warned!), the site merge is underway. The front page will include all the sports we cover, but if you just want the same old Cubs-only page you’ve been used to, that’s totally fine! Just update your bookmark from bleachernation.com to bleachernation.com/cubs. Once I’m done with the cosmetic coding work, it’ll look exactly the same as it always did. But hey, now if you want peruse the headlines for all three sports, you can do it much more easily on the front page.

  • Big series starts tonight in Milwaukee, not only because every series is big at this point for the Cubs, but also because the Brewers no doubt see this as a critical chance for themselves to make a move in the division and in the Wild Card race, where they trail the Cubs by 4.0 games. Like the Cubs, the Brewers are very good at home, and, since the Cubs are very dodgy on the road, this is going to be a tough one. Splits at this point of the year – when you’re down in the division – sound bad, but, man, I’m pretty sure I’d accept that outcome in this particular series.
  • That’s especially true when you consider that Kris Bryant may not be 100% (if he plays), Javy Baez may not be 100% (if he plays), and Yu Darvish is probably still only the tentative starter for Saturday.
  • The Cubs aren’t alone in being dinged up, though, as both Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain are dealing with nagging injuries that could impact availability and performance this weekend.
  • The Cubs are in the playoffs! The Iowa and South Bend Cubs, that is, with the A-ball club picking up a win in their series opener:

  • As for the Iowa Cubs … oof. They had a two-run lead in the 11th inning, and turned the ball over to Dillon Maples to close things out. Maples went lineout, walk, fly out, single, wild pitch, walk, wild pitch, walk-off single:

  • That stings. And not that any one appearance – especially by Maples – would make you say, OK, he can’t get called up the big club now, but it is a reminder that no matter how good and hot he gets (he was nearly perfect for the past month!), he is uniquely prone to complete and total meltdowns, even above and beyond what you’re used to from hard-throwing, nasty-moving young relievers.
  • This is just impressive, even in the Juiced Ball Era, as Pete Alonso not only leads baseball in homers, he’s blowing away past rookies:

  • Speaking of impressive homer feats, good for Jorge Soler:

  • It’s not a huge bump, but when you consider the broader context, this is really great news for baseball – it has seen a slight bump in high school participation over the last ten years:

  • The latest podcast, and a note that from now on, our Monday episodes are going to be free on your favorite podcasting service:

https://twitter.com/TheAthleticCHI/status/1169571023391514625

  • You may have heard something is happening tonight:



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.