Something very, very special happened in last night’s win. Huge moment. Memorable. Historic. Something we’ll be talking about for years to come.
The Cubs passed the Pirates in the standings.
OK, more from the game and the Cubs’ world …
• I’m putting this up top because I am still blown away by it. In a game full of huge moments, this stupid thing might actually have been the craziest:
— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBroz) May 18, 2022
• That guy has a no-hitter, and that might’ve been the most impressive thing he’s ever done. (That interview was pretty fun, as Miley is an interesting guy, and also Yan Gomes kept throwing stuff at him.)
• Christopher Morel and Brandon Hughes kinda stole the show, but it was Keegan Thompson who set up that win. Tasked with being something more than an “opener” but something less than a “starter” last night, Thompson had everything working, and managed to go 5.0 innings over just 65 pitches. It was basically a real start – a great one! Some stray things I noticed: (1) Thompson was using the changeup more than usual and it looked really good; (2) he was throwing his cutter much harder than usual (up 1.5 mph!); and (3) I saw more four-seamers that had natural cut on them (his most “cutting” four-seamer last night cut twice as much as his average cutter!).
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 18, 2022
• In his unique role, Thompson is up to 32.0 innings, and his 1.41 ERA is 5th lowest among all pitchers in baseball with at least 30.0 innings pitched. The 3.52 FIP says there’s a lot of good luck baked in there, but I would point out that the 53.1% groundball rate, the bonkers 29.3% soft contact rate, and equally bonkers 23.2% hard contact rate all point to a guy that hitters are finding impossible to square up right now. In those situations, your ERA is going to beat your FIP by a healthy amount. So, while I would say there’s regression coming on the ERA, I think if he keeps pitching like this, the true talent level ERA is still going to be incredibly good. (Now we wait to see if he gets another start, or if he goes back to his bulk role.)
• Thompson tried to make a wild catch, by the way, and Kyle Hendricks was unimpressed by the use of the glove:
Savage Kyle Hendricks mocking Keegan Thompson. pic.twitter.com/ROdiZtINrQ
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 18, 2022
• If you missed it in the flood of big moments, lefty Daniel Norris left early last night with Achilles soreness, and he was officially dubbed day-to-day. Given the full bullpen, though, and Marcus Stroman possibly coming back soon, I would expect the Cubs to be overly cautious with something like that – if Norris wakes up feeling at all still sore back there, he should go on the IL to be safe.
• The incident between Dan Vogelbach and Willson Contreras was exactly what it looked like from the outside: Contreras checking on Vogelbach after the collision, Vogelbach flipping Contreras’s mask away, and Contreras being like, wtf man? From Contreras (NBC): “I was just basically checking on him and he overreacted. It kind of surprised me a lot, but it is what it is. The only thing that I said was, ‘Don’t do that to me. We played together.’ At the end of the day it doesn’t matter. We won the ballgame and they got shutout.” Dang right.
Here's video of said kerfuffle: pic.twitter.com/l5NqFM91F9
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) May 18, 2022
• That win not only gave the Cubs their third series win in a row (after not winning a series since the first of the year), but also gave the Cubs four wins in a row, aka the longest winning streak in baseball right now.
• Clint Frazier had a nondescript first rehab appearance at Iowa, though he was apparently quite close to it being more descript:
Clint Frazier crushed a ball down the LF line. Home plate umpire called it fair for a home run. Frazier circled the bases and touched home and then it was ruled foul.
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) May 18, 2022
• Friends being friends:
Dibs. A Chicago tradition.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 17, 2022
• I hate that this stat is, indeed, bonkers:
This stat is bonkers. pic.twitter.com/Xlludrs6b8
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) May 17, 2022
• A heads up for those of you in the Wrigleyville area this afternoon: