Spilled coffee on my shirt – just dead center, right on my chest – and it is large, glaring, and awful. But I’m out and about writing, then with a doctor’s appointment and then an exercise class, so I can’t really do much about it until much later today. Just have to plow through it. Now I know how Anthony Rizzo felt getting out there last night with his ankle. I wouldn’t call myself a hero, but I wouldn’t argue with anyone who sees it that way.
- Craig Kimbrel didn’t necessarily look super rusty last night in his 0.2 innings of work, and he struck out two with some nasty pitches in the mix. But one really bad pitch – without his premium velocity – to Matt Carpenter was all the difference:
Matt Carpenter ❤️s Wrigley! pic.twitter.com/33Um2z6SyG
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 20, 2019
- That pitch was designed to get a quick first strike against a guy who very often takes the first strike. At worst, if executed properly, it ties up Carpenter inside. Instead, the pitch started middle-middle, ran just enough to really get to Carpenter’s sweet spot with his arms extended, and boom. A no-doubter. One mistake, one game lost.
- What can you say after:
Kimbrel: Pretty disappointed in myself to go out there and give up a home run like that. Tonight was a big game, we really needed it. Season’s not over, we got a lot of games left. But it definitely would have helped. Wish I would have pitched a little better.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) September 20, 2019
- I tend to think we know the score on Kimbrel at this point: even if you are hopeful for the next two years of his contract (at a relative bargain rate), and I do think he is probably fine in 2020-21, you really don’t have much reason to be hopeful for this year. The velocity is not going to spike from 95-96 to 98-99 in the final week of the season after multiple injuries and no meaningful opportunity to traditionally ramp up. So Kimbrel will have to work with a whole lot less velocity than he usually has, and his margin for error on mistakes – like the one to Carpenter – is much thinner.
- He can close some games for the Cubs successfully, but even if the Cubs get into the postseason for a run, they are not going to have that ELITE reliever who can be leaned on heavily to dominate. It sucks. Hopefully next year is more normal for Kimbrel.
- Lots of great deals today at Amazon, including Instant Pot, so jump on that.
- This is also a reminder of what a huge part of development it is to truly understand how cruel the game can be … and then move on to keep doing your thing anyway:
Two nights in a row, Nico Hoerner has come up to win the game.
Two nights in a row, Nico Hoerner has gotten down to two strikes.
Two nights in a row, Nico Hoerner hit oppo line drives.
Two nights in a row those balls went for outs and the Cubs lost.
Baseball is a cruel game.
— FullCountTommy (@FullCountTommy) September 20, 2019
- Also, when you get called out on a CLEAR ball after working a great AB. Have to stay inside yourself:
— crawly's cub kingdom (@crawlyscubs) September 20, 2019
- While I’m bitching about umps, how did they screw up that replay review in the first inning? I watched it repeatedly live to get the timing of this screenshot just right (which I was able to do in the same time the review took):
This is the point at which Rizzo's glove first makes contact. Wong isn't even close to the bag yet. How do they keep screwing these things up? pic.twitter.com/Kfg23OCS56
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) September 19, 2019
- That’s the precise moment when Rizzo’s glove starts to bend back. Wong is still a good 6-8 inches from the bag, and it’s not hard to see. How do they mess these things up? I really don’t understand.
- Fanatics is up to 65% off today on various things, so your sports gear needs are here.
- Whatever. Just whatever:
— Tom (@Haudricourt) September 20, 2019
- I think these are the two Cubs I’d expect to see on this list (and also, Gerrit Cole … hnngggg):
The best MLB starters tend to share a trait: they get swing and miss on their fastballs and get that miss in-zone (and they have different velo levels) via @baseballpro leaderboards pic.twitter.com/a1RZVE8VLY
— Travis Sawchik (@Travis_Sawchik) September 20, 2019
- Interesting timing, given how much managerial movement there might be this offseason:
Don Mattingly's two-year contract extension as Miami Marlins manager may look like a shocker considering the club's record. Management believes he has extracted the best out of a bad situation and can help transition young position-playing talent to complement plenty of pitching.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 20, 2019
- Front office movement to keep an eye on, as the Red Sox, having already fired President Dave Dombrowski, are also moving out Frank Wren and Eddie Bane from baseball ops and scouting/player development, respectively. Both are big names in the sport, and are likely to land elsewhere. But the Red Sox, even after finding a new leader for baseball ops, are clearly going to be loading up on new front office talent – could wind up competing with the Cubs on that front, not only because the organizations still operate similarly, but also because the Cubs have a huge opening available to lead scouting and player development (Jason McLeod moved over to the big league side).
- Old friend, Mike Montgomery, is ready for the robo umps:
Royals pitcher Mike Montgomery, who was ejected for the first time in his career, was not happy with home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez after the game. pic.twitter.com/je3L9caG36
— Tyler Mason (@tylermason21) September 20, 2019
- Let the kids play:
— Jared Wyllys (@jwyllys) September 20, 2019
- Let the kids get paid:
Love the work by @ByRobertMurray, and a huge congrats to Taylor. What he accomplished is awesome.
But the league – and the Brewers – should absolutely be *embarrassed* by stories like this, not celebrated.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) September 20, 2019
- Make sure not to miss Bryan’s exceptional piece on Cory Abbott:
More excited to share this piece with everyone than any other I’ve written this season. Cory Abbott had the best 2019 of any Cubs minor leaguer, and @Cabbott40 was kind enough to get in the weeds with me about how he grinded through Double-A. Read!https://t.co/gKvboM9Iel
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) September 19, 2019
- The latest from Obvious Shirts celebrates something we always say, but is also literally statistically accurate:
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) September 20, 2019