Seeing Rizzo Again, Happ Wants to Stick Around Forever, La Russa Math, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Seeing Rizzo Again, Happ Wants to Stick Around Forever, La Russa Math, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I am in serious trouble. I think I’ve mentioned here before that I could never find a REALLY GOOD cinnamon roll place around me locally, which was probably for the best, because when I do have easy access to REALLY GOOD cinnamon rolls, it’s a problem for me. Welp. I found one. I got my first batch yesterday, and ate two of them immediately (they are, uh, not small … ).

•   I am looking forward to this weekend’s series in New York. Sometimes, even when the Cubs are bad, I just enjoy seeing them play a really good team (and if it’s in a ballpark I don’t get to see them in very often, all the better). I don’t think the Cubs are gonna take this series, and I think the differences between the two rosters might be revealed as pronounced over the course of the three days. But whatever. I think it’s just neat to see them playing a really good Yankees team in New York. What are we doing this year as fans if not enjoying the periphery?

•   Speaking of which, this will be the first time the Cubs face Anthony Rizzo with the Yankees. Expect a lot of surrounding discussion on that whole thing, which may or may not be enjoyable. I still wish him nothing but success with the Yankees, but if he could not hit like five homers and/or a game-winning shot, that’d be great. Rizzo is hitting .215/.315/.478/126 wRC+ on the year for the Yankees, though the notoriously streaky lefty is at just .176/.272/.351/78 wRC+ since the last day of April. Let the Cubs not be the start of a new hot streak.

•   Ian Happ spoke with Dave Kaplan about a whole lot (shouts to Obvious Shirts for hosting), including how he deals with trade rumors and his desire to stay in Chicago for his career:

•   Tony La Russa’s decision to intentionally walk Trea Turner in a 1-2 count (with two outs) so that he could match-up a lefty against Max Muncy has been the talk of the baseball world for the last 16 hours or so. As it should be, since it was bizarre, something we never see, and almost certainly wrong. His reaction after the game – acting like it was a no-brainer to do it – only added fuel to the fire. But here’s the interesting thing: Ben Clemens did the math at FanGraphs, and by his calculations, while La Russa was indeed wrong to go to the intentional walk, it reduced the White Sox’s chances of winning by a mere 1 percentage point. I suspect that’s because the Dodgers already had a two-run lead in the 6th inning (so the Sox’s chances were already pretty low, and any decision won’t move the needle too much), so looking only at the change in chance of winning probably doesn’t tell the whole story of how bad the decision was. Still, it’s interesting to think about it this way.

•   The decision was still bad and silly and foolish and lol.

•   Lefty Sean Newcomb continues his rehab assignment at Iowa (ankle), and he was firing bullets last night:

•   My guess is that the Cubs are using this rehab assignment as an opportunity to work with a guy in the minors who didn’t otherwise have any options available. When Newcomb is “ready,” then he either has to come back to the big league team or hit waivers. I’m sure the Cubs really want to keep him through the season so they can continue their work in the offseason – he’s got loads of upside – but the roster situation and the coming pitching staff limit (13 pitchers total) is going to make it tricky.

•   Weird and Wild from Jayson Stark, including this Cubs tidbit:

FRANKLY SPEAKING — Don’t let the lede item to this column confuse you. Here at Weird and Wild World HQ, we’re still highly entertained (most of the time) by the parade of position-player pitchers. And the Cubs’ Frank Schwindel outdid himself last week.

Thursday: Hit a homer.
Friday: Pitched and allowed two homers.
Saturday: Hit another homer.

As NBC Sports’ ever-attentive Chris Kamka reports, that made Schwindel the first Cub to hit and give up at least two home runs in the same series since … 1894 … when actual pitcher Scott Stratton hit two and served up two on the same day (July 27).

•   Tremendous robbery here as part of Oklahoma’s Women’s College World Series win:

•   This is actually really scary:

•   Ohtani helped the Angels win that game, by the way, with a dominant performance on the mound and a homer, so the Angels FINALLY ended their 14-game losing streak. No Nickelback necessary.

•   The Chicago Bears were at Wrigley Field and they had a home run competition, featuring Justin Fields hitting tanks:

•   NOT cool:


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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.