Willy Gets the Boot, Cubs and Brewers Record Futility, Steele, Happ, Cain, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Willy Gets the Boot, Cubs and Brewers Record Futility, Steele, Happ, Cain, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I’m sorry, but did Nacho Fries at Taco Bell only last like two weeks? I feel like they were barely there this time around and then gone. I wanted Nacho Fries this weekend!

•   In the 9th inning last night, Willson Contreras was subject to one of the fastest ejections you’ll ever see:

•   The thing is, the pitch was a strike. You could see it on the broadcast if you followed the pitch closely, and then the pitch-tracking from Statcast also had the pitch pretty clearly in the zone. HOWEVA, thanks to the pitch’s shape and the catcher’s receiving, it looked WAY inside, and I can understand why Willson got so pissed in that moment. He thought he’d just loaded the bases with one out in a two-run game. He probably said a magic word or two, the ump probably reacted understandably, and that was that. Everyone did a thing that was kinda understandable.

•   Oh, and I love how David Ross was like, well, I *have* to say something to the ump. “So, uh, that was a strike, huh? Are you sure? OK. Bye.”

•   It was a rough night for Contreras overall, despite him crushing a homer. He got robbed not once but TWICE by some stellar Brewers defense, with Luis Urias making a diving play up the middle on a sure-fire single, and Lorenzo Cain doing this to rob at least a double:

•   The Brewers have owned the Cubs this year almost unlike they’ve owned any other team:

•   So does that mean if they win today, the Brewers will have had their best single season against any one opponent? If it happens, that’s some serious ignominy for the Cubs.

•   Ian Happ, still raking:

•   Happ’s wRC+ (103) is nearly matching that from his sophomore season (106), which was followed by the surprising decision to send him to Triple-A Iowa to open that next season. I don’t really mean anything by it, just noticed it. And yes, I am very aware of the context around how Happ has put together his numbers this year, and why it gives you pause about planning to rely on him as a guaranteed starter next year.

•   Justin Steele got his first career hit last night, which was also the first hit off of Corbin Burnes in a very long time (remember the shared no-hitter):

•   It’s ok to be happy about fun things (Marquee): “That was really cool,” Steele said. “I’ve really enjoyed hitting my whole entire life. Really loved it growing up — high school and stuff. Getting a hit in the big leagues was always a thing I wanted to accomplish. If they get rid of the DH next year, I can always say I got a big-league hit.” As for the pitching, like I said last night, I love the 11 whiffs in 79 pitches, but overall too much wildness to really be successful as a starter. I feel very confident that a healthy Steele contributes to the Cubs next year. Still not sure how many starts he’ll get.

•   The Myrtle Beach Pelicans finished off their win last night with this play from Ed Howard, and just … the transfer and the arm are wow:

•   Interview with sidearming righty Cubs reliever Scott Effross:

•   It is, indeed, fairly hilarious:

•   Don’t forget Javy Báez’s challenging story:

•   Go win yourself some gear:


•   Training camp battle time:

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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.