The No-Hitter Clearly Wrecked Everything, Cardinals Might Pass the Cubs, Javy Looked Fantastic, and Other Cubs Bullets

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The No-Hitter Clearly Wrecked Everything, Cardinals Might Pass the Cubs, Javy Looked Fantastic, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have lost 10 games in a row, and are now under .500 for the first time in nearly two months. The slow-moving pileup continues tonight with Jake Arrieta facing his old mates and a decent lineup, and the Cubs’ slumping bats facing Aaron Nola. Baseball is baseball, so yeah, the Cubs could win, of course. But it doesn’t look great on paper to avoid number 11.

•   Some context for the double-digit losing streak, which is the longest since 2012, and is a rarity in the history of the Cubs organization:

•   What stands out most there is the fact that just once in the history of the organization have the Cubs paired a double-digit losing streak with a winning season. To be sure, what happened in 1954 or 1970 or 2012 don’t explicitly impact what the Cubs can do in 2021, but when you lose that many games in a row, it’s just hard to also win enough of the remaining 150-ish games to be over .500. And that’s to say nothing of the bigger issues, which is the talent deficit that permits a team to lose 10 games in a row in the first place.

•   During the 10-game skid, Eric Sogard has pitched THREE TIMES. I have never seen anything like that. Craig Kimbrel has pitched once during the streak, because obviously, and I guess it was just nice for him to get that work in. Not sure when he’ll pitch again while he’s still on the Cubs …

•   It’s pretty wild that, 11 games ago, the Cubs threw a no-hitter … and then haven’t won since. Who knew that a no-hitter could so thoroughly break your own back?

•   The Cubs have fallen 2.5 games back. Of the REDS. The Brewers finally lost a couple games, but the Cubs’ losses mean they’re still 8.5 back in the division. They’re also now 7.0 games back of the second Wild Card spot, to the extent you needed to know. Oh, and the Cardinals? The dreadful, so-many-losing-streaks-of-their-own Cardinals? They’re just a half-game behind the Cubs. They might enter the break ahead of the Cubs despite being absolutely abysmal for like two months. That should tell you a lot.

•   David Ross joked/not joked that he has stopped checking the standings (Sun-Times).

•   Zach Davies, who pitched well enough last night (within his typical ability), offers his perspective (Cubs.com): “I don’t think, at any point in any season, any player thinks that you can go on a 10-game losing streak. But those things happen. Teams go on 20-plus-game winning streaks. Hopefully that’s in our future, but as of right now, we’re trying to get that first one.”

•   Javy Báez looked fantastic at the plate last night, like I mentioned in the EBS. It wasn’t just the walk, double, and homer in the scorebook, it was literally how he looked taking his at bats. I don’t know how a guy goes from looking like he is completely guessing before every pitch for a couple weeks to suddenly looking last night like he was Joey Votto up there, perfectly tracking every pitch and knowing its course vis a vis the strike zone when it was still 40 feet from home plate. But I’m just telling you, if last night was the only Javy Báez game you ever saw, you’d be like, “Holy crap, that guy has the best plate discipline I’ve ever seen.” He might be in a really good place suddenly, the timing of which is certainly interesting given the course we now expect the Cubs to take.

•   Oppo Javy is the best Javy, with a rocket double and a no-doubt homer:

•   But I still don’t know that the Cubs would actually trade Báez, a guy they definitely would like to retain after this season on a reasonable deal, and a guy whose market at the deadline might not land you an impact prospect.

•   The good news is that Zack Short is proof that you can get a really interesting prospect in a Trade Deadline deal even for a complementary fourth outfield rental (Cameron Maybin). The bad news is that, well, it was the Cubs who traded him away:

•   Old friend hanging ’em up, which is apropos timing since he last played with the Cubs just as they were transitioning into the current competitive cycle that now seems to be at a close:



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.