Bullpen Stepping Up, Rizzo's Ankle, Castellanos Raking, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Bullpen Stepping Up, Rizzo’s Ankle, Castellanos Raking, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The going is very slow this morning. Great time at Social Media Night putting faces with screen names, and then screaming at the Cubs and the Reds and the umpires together like we’ve been doing for years electronically.

  • Another start for Cole Hamels post-oblique injury, and another start where he just did not have his command. Joe Maddon came with the quick hook in the 4th, and everyone understood (Cubs.com): “There was nothing to mess around with there,” Maddon said. “This isn’t April, May, June baseball. And to Cole’s credit, he got it. He’s a pro. He understood.”

  • Kudos to the bullpen for covering the rest of the game ably, as they’ve been doing a whole lot lately: this month, the Cubs’ bullpen is holding batters to an absurd .182/.295/.264 line, and they’ve posted an NL-best 2.32 ERA.
  • And they’ve been doing that, by the way, without Craig Kimbrel, largely without Brandon Kintzler (mild oblique issue, sigh), and without a peak Pedro Strop.
  • The Anthony Rizzo news obviously weighs heavy on the mind, even as the Cubs managed another win last night. I don’t think anyone is expecting Rizzo to be able to return before the postseason, but Rizzo is going to do his best to get back for the Cubs at some point (Cubs.com): “My body usually responds pretty well, so I’m certainly not ruling it out,” Rizzo said of returning before the end of the regular season. “I have every intention of trying to do everything I can with the training staff to get back on the field with the boys. I think in a few days it’ll really tell a lot just by how it reacts.”
  • It’s going to be crazy when the Cubs make the NLCS, and then boom, Rizzo and Javy Baez come out of nowhere to dominate Kyle-Schwarber-World-Series-style.

  • As for the Cubs’ *other* injured key player, Craig Kimbrel is scheduled to throw a simulated game today, and if that goes well, he could return for the Cardinals series this weekend.
  • Nick Castellanos is up to 55 doubles on the year after this one:

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
  • Meanwhile:

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.