No Grand Pronouncements, Rizzo's Back Issue, So Many K's, Nance Steps Up, and Other Cubs Bullets

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No Grand Pronouncements, Rizzo’s Back Issue, So Many K’s, Nance Steps Up, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Thoughts go out to folks dealing with the worst of the heat wave across the country. I hope you are able to regulate your personal temperature as best as possible, at least to a safe degree. Drink more water than you think you need and all that other obvious stuff that still helps to hear multiple people say it.

•   I don’t think it makes much sense to get into grand pronouncements about the impact of the three losses in Los Angeles while the Brewers swept the Rockies in Milwaukee. Neither was an entirely unforeseen outcome, nor is it much of a sample relative to the many, many games remaining even before the Trade Deadline. I intend to take tonight’s opener against the Brewers as its own thing, and then go from there. I won’t even promise to have a “take” on what the Cubs should “do” if they get swept by the Brewers and fall 6.0 games back in the Central. The schedule ahead – much kinder to the Cubs, much less of a joke for the Brewers – still matters.

•   … but I will say that, yeah, of course, winning this series would be kind of a big deal.

•   Anthony Rizzo left last night’s game with left lower back tightness, and there was no update after the game, only confirmation from David Ross that Rizzo hadn’t been once again dealing with a back issue before last night. Not sure if that’s better or worse, given that he’s long managed back issues (i.e., this isn’t a maintenance thing, and could’ve been a sudden ‘uh oh’ thing). You can tentatively expect he won’t be in the lineup tonight when the Cubs face righty Freddy Peralta, who is great against both righties and lefties, but is still far more vulnerable against lefties.

•   The Cubs’ strikeout woes this weekend were as bad as it gets:

•   Extra note on that topic, with the help coming from Twitter:

•   That was probably about as good as Tommy Nance can look after he’s adjusted to his new spin rates (which were still down at their lower levels last night, but he was getting waaaaay more whiffs). Yeah, it was a blowout and that probably does impact the batter a little, but they’re still trying to put up numbers. Nance pitched three very good innings last night, saving the bullpen for the Brewers series, and showing that he can still be effective.

•   Now the question is whether the Cubs will option him down today to get a fresh arm up. The bullpen is not in bad shape or anything (Rex Brothers and Nance are probably the only two down today), but if Nance is gonna sit for a couple days at least, then you might consider bringing up a fresh arm. Justin Steele just made his first rehab appearance yesterday, so he’s probably not ready yet. You kinda wish Trevor Megill hadn’t pitched yesterday. Cory Abbott can’t return for another two days. Kyle Ryan can’t return for another three days. Kohl Stewart just pitched yesterday. Manny Rodriguez was only just promoted to Triple-A. And that’s your set of 40-man roster guys. So either someone new gets added, or one of the dudes who pitched yesterday comes up. Or no one does.

•   Poor Sergio. The overlay makes it look like he just decided to swing in the middle of the two pitches like kicking a field goal:

•   Clayton Kershaw has issued just 18 unintentional walks all season, and TWO OF THEM have been to Javy Báez, who has taken just 8 unintentional walks all season.

•   Well this is a fun issue to deal with, especially for organizations that dramatically cut down their in-person scouting staff (Cubs among them):

•   The United States team’s Olympics run will kick off the night of July 30, which I think means it’ll be in the morning here in the States:

•   Fanatics has collectibles 20% off today, so check out the Cubs selection (or other teams!) here.

•   This play is just awesome, and even better to see Yadi Molina’s reaction:

•   I love this:

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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.