Officially Eliminated, Thompson Nears a Return, More RISP Woes, Gomes Improving, This Day in History, and Other Cubs Bullets

I’m more annoyed this morning than angry about yet another Bears loss to the Packers, with more underwhelming offense, and more blown calls in the Packers’ favor. I didn’t expect the Bears to win that game – or 10 or 11 others this season – but it’s just so annoying to be in this stretch where you feel like EVERY TIME these teams face each other, it’s gonna play out the same way.

At least in baseball, even when I feel like the Cardinals are better than the Cubs, there are still going to be some Cubs wins …

  • Speaking of the Cubs and Chicago sports disappointment, the Cubs were officially eliminated from postseason contention this weekend after their losses to the Rockies. It doesn’t sting since the Cubs were unofficially eliminated so long ago. I think I would say we had near 100% confidence that this wasn’t going to be a surprisingly competitive year just a month into the season, when the Cubs were swept in back-to-back early May series by the White Sox and Dodgers at Wrigley Field. That capped a 5-16 stretch within the first month of the season, and it was like, yeahhhhh that 10% shot at getting really fortunate is not going to happen.
  • More bad Chicago sports news from the weekend, as the South Bend Cubs blew a 5-0 lead in the opener of the Midwest League Championship series and lost 11-8 to Lake County. Kohl Franklin was a bit hot and cold, Luke Little atypically struggled in some key moments, and the usually sharp defense made three errors.
  • Nico Hoerner is playing catch from 90 feet (NBC), but there is no update yet on a planned return. We learned over the weekend that the MRI on his triceps revealed a mild to moderate strain.
  • Meanwhile, Keegan Thompson was back with the big league Cubs – like, in the clubhouse, not on the active roster – yesterday, after his successful rehab outing with Iowa (NBC). David Ross would say only that Thompson figures to return “shortly,” but he wouldn’t get into specific plans with respect to Thompson’s role or return date. For his part, Thompson would love a chance to finish the season strong, and he’s feeling good after a break: “There’s been ups and downs [this season]. Started out really good, obviously, and then as the season went on, maybe the innings got up there and body wore down a little bit. It was nice to get a break in here and recover and get my body back to fully healthy and try to finish strong.”
  • On the season, Thompson, 27, has throw 104.1 innings (17 starts, 8 relief), and posted a 3.97 ERA (2% better than league average by ERA-) and 4.55 FIP (15% worse than league average by FIP-). Those numbers were 3.36 and 4.03, respectively, before his final two implosive outings.
  • An annual story, even as the personnel changes:
  • Two interesting things on that: (1) as Brad points out on Twitter, if you are a team that doesn’t get a lot of hits with runners in scoring position, you might find it easier to also be a team with a whole lot of PAs with RISP, since you can drive in a runner only once, but you could record multiple outs in one RISP situation; (2) Yan Gomes smacked a two-run single immediately after that graphic flashed.
  • Speaking of Gomes, who also homered and singled off the wall in the game, he’s got his offensive number climbing ever closer to “OK, fine, this is acceptable when you consider the excellent catching ability”: .242/.270/.375/78 wRC+. Heck, since 2015, that’s just about his average production: .236/.289/.401/82 wRC+. Gomes, who just turned 35, is under contract for next season and – absent a surprise in the Willson Contreras free agency (like him accepting a Qualifying Offer) – figures to be the 1A option behind the plate in 2023.
  • What a wild moment this was. That whole day was just so freaking crazy:
  • Throwing it further back in Cubs history:
  • This is bonkers:
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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