The Cubs have won just one series since that opening weekend against the Pirates. That series win was a sweep over the Mets, and the Cubs have not, themselves, been swept yet. So despite how bad that sounds, they’re still only four games under .500. I’m not saying that’s good, mind you – it’s bad! – it’s just maybe less bad, by the results, than you’d expect if you were generally talking about a team that has won just two series in the first month+ of the season.
• That game yesterday, which sucked to lose as those types always do, was absurd. The 10 combined homers were a Great American Ballpark record (and that place is a homer haven), and Jesse Rogers noted that 10 combined homers happened just once last year in baseball (8 was the previous high this season). So it’s not as if it’s common. (Also uncommon? The back-up catcher trying to steal home on a throw back to the pitcher.)
• What’s also not common is the whipsaw of emotions from Ian Happ hitting a three-run homer to tie the game at 12 late, and then almost immediately getting involved in a collision in the outfield and having to be carted off. I was solo parenting and covering the game at the time, and man, my head was spinning.
• After the game, manager David Ross had some encouraging words (Cubs.com): “I checked in. I talked to Ian. He feels fine. Pretty good blow to the face. I haven’t heard the doctor’s report yet, but I did talk to Ian and he’s in good spirits.” We’ll get more information today, I expect, but that’s a good start. On further review of the play, it was actually Nico Hoerner’s hand that caught Happ in the face and bloodied his nose, even if the legs slamming into Happ’s midsection is what looked like the worst part. Whatever the further tests reveal, I wonder if we’ll see Happ sitting the next two days regardless – today for the recovery, and then tomorrow because the Cubs face a tough lefty in Clayton Kershaw. Might see Jake Marisnick getting back-to-back starts, and/or might see Happ hit the IL.
• Hopefully Hoerner is OK, too. The Cubs were out of position players after that collision, so Hoerner stayed in, but there was so much impact there in the collision that it wouldn’t be at all surprising for him to wake up today feeling not great. Fingers crossed on both these guys, and we’ll update more when there is info.
• Apropos of those possible injuries and possible roster moves, Joc Pederson (wrist) is getting close to game action. He’s been facing live pitching at the alt site (Cubs.com), and it’s possible he could be activated from the IL as soon as this week. It kinda just depends on whether the Cubs want him to play any games at Iowa first, I’d imagine (their games start tomorrow). If Happ or Hoerner or both (God forbid) have to hit the IL, I do wonder if the Cubs would consider bringing Pederson back to the big league team first rather than a rehab assignment.
• Once again, a Cubs starting pitcher failed to go even five innings, and it won’t be long before the grind on the bullpen is gonna be a problem. The bullpen has thrown 117.0 innings this year, third most in baseball, behind two teams that have played one more game than the Cubs have. Overall, the bullpen has been fine – middle-of-the-pack ERA – but even as guys are rotated in and out, the performance will wane if they’re leaned on THIS much for the entire season.
• Totally random ridiculousness: the only team in the NL East with a positive run differential right now is the last place Marlins.
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• If you didn’t catch yesterday’s game, but want a quicker version of just how nuts it was, here’s the full highlight package from MLB: