Every time I smash one of my shins, I realize there was a pretty obvious design flaw there in the human body. I mean, I guess the bones being strong is good, but why does it have to hurt so much? Gimme some padding already!
- The Cubs beat the Brewers in a wild one yesterday, their fourth win in a row and their 10th in their last 14 games.
- They are legitimately hot right now, with a lot of players really clicking. Who’s to say whether it’ll last much longer now that the Cubs are in a really tough stretch of the schedule, but it’s impossible (for me? for you?) not to feel some reflected happiness as this plays out.
- Speaking of which. Everyone knows that the most important thing for the Cubs’ future right now is player development. But I was curious, setting that aside, which of these two paths you think is “better” for the Cubs:
- Nick Madrigal had three hits yesterday, continuing his upward trend since returning from his initial groin injury. Since that return, on May 31, Madrigal has been so much more Madrigal-like: .304/.368/.333/103 wRC+, 6.4% BB, 10.3% K. As you can see, there is good and bad there, but it ticks up a bit better since the return from the second injury (August 4): .325/.413/.375/129 wRC+, 8.5% BB, 10.6% K. Again, I see nits to pick – the .371 BABIP isn’t going to stick around, so he’s going to need to hit the ball a little harder in the air and/or get those strikeouts back down into his previously absurd 6-7% range, in order to keep producing at an above-average level. But mostly, I just like that I’m seeing more line drives and more overall success for a guy who probably REALLY needed to be reminded that he can succeed as a big league hitter, albeit in his unique/capped way.
- Mostly just saying this for fun, but: the whole winning-ten-out-of-their-last-14 thing? It started the day after Madrigal returned.
- Great to see a strong game from Christopher Morel yesterday, as he’s otherwise been in quite a slump: .140/.189/.320/38 wRC+, 34.0% K rate since July 25. Coincidence or not, Morel left the August 6 game with hamstring tightness, which makes you wonder if it’s been bothering him a bit since and/or whether it was bothering him a bit before that game. This has already been a long and intense year for a young player like Morel, so some physical wearing down would not be surprising. I hope David Ross keeps giving him that periodic rest.
- Since he only tripled yesterday, Franmil Reyes’ wRC+ with the Cubs dropped from 200 to 195. FOR SHAME. Still did something fun:
What a bummer this whole year has been for Wade Miley and the Cubs:
- The Cubs don’t need Miley, specifically, to return soon, but I do think they need SOMEONE to come up and start spreading around the starting innings a bit more. It looked yesterday like Keegan Thompson may need some rest soon.
- What did folks think of Joe Girardi in the booth for yesterday’s game? I thought he was definitely doing some re-adjusting to that world, and there were a solid number of meaningless platitudes, but overall, I liked it. I thought he added a little something. If he’s not going to get another managerial job next year, the rest of this season might be a bit of an audition for him for a more robust broadcasting gig next year (not necessarily with the Cubs/Marquee, but wherever). It’s like a guy out there playing for his next contract. Put some good tape together and see what happens.
- If you missed it in the Prospect Notes, Miguel Amaya might be missing a lot more time:
- Josh Hader blew it AGAIN for the Padres. He gave up a walk and a homer, with this play sandwiched in between:
- Old friend Mark DeRosa will be leading Team USA:
This is just delightful (and no ducks were harmed in the filming!):