It’s been a minute since I’ve done the full Wrigleyville and game experience with friends, so let’s just say, I’m a little on the slow side this morning. But to all I saw last night: thank you, that was a blast!
• In his post-game write-up, Jordan Bastian understandably focuses on the Cubs’ recent offensive issues, because there is a specific trend that’s become impossible not to notice: “Including Pederson’s two homers, the Cubs’ last 11 runs have come via the long ball, dating back to Monday’s game against the Mets in New York. The last time Chicago scored a run in another manner was in the third inning on Sunday, when Anthony Rizzo delivered an RBI single in a 2-0 win over the Cardinals.”
• Like David Ross says, any way you score runs is good. It’s not like a homer-generated run counts for half a two-out-RBI-single-generated run (the Marlins made their night on homers, too). But obviously the offense as a whole was operating a little better when there was balance, which feels more about the available personnel (for example, not having Matt Duffy and Nico Hoerner for the last month) and the stretch of good pitching the Cubs have faced, rather than about anything this group is doing differently. We do know that changing the shape of your lineup – varying your bananas – can make it harder on the opposing pitchers to execute successfully. So, yeah, please come back soon.
• Speaking of which, the latest injury updates were mixed. Hoerner is doing full field work now, which is awesome, but he isn’t running full speed yet. It’ll still be another week or two (I’m guessing) before we could start hearing about a rehab assignment. As for Duffy, you might remember it seemed like he was just a day or two away from a rehab assignment last weekend, but then it didn’t happen. His rehab has been “slowed down,” per Bastian, so that ain’t good. It might be July before there’s even a chance for either guy to be back in the lineup.
• Joc Pederson’s two dingers yesterday were the entire offense, his sixth and seventh homers in his last 12 starts. Guy on a serious power binge, which has given him a funny .271/.271/.771 slash line over those games (177 wRC+).
• Batteries, books, and underwear are among your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• But the Cubs lost by a lot, which means there were bad things yesterday, and mostly it was Zach Davies with his worst start in a long time. He got wild at just the wrong time, setting up a walked-in run and Adam Duvall’s grand slam, and then walking one ahead of Jon Berti’s three-run homer. Two swings, seven runs. Coming off his two best starts of the year in a row – but without great explanations for how he was getting the results – this one stung, but it also makes you wonder what version of Davies you’re going to get each time out.
• Tentatively, might see Adbert Alzolay return around Monday:
Sorely missed starter Adbert Alzolay (blister) said he had a good, “intense” bullpen. Next step: Give it a day to see how finger responds and, barring setback, schedule his next start.
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) June 17, 2021
• Enjoy being greeted at Wrigley Field next time you come:
Cubs greeters with Down syndrome spread joy, find purpose with Angels for Higher programhttps://t.co/DWFx5NSCpV
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) June 19, 2021