Stroman and Chicago, Bellinger Raking, Nico Prevents History, Old Friends Struggling, Woodruff Hurt, and Other Cubs Bullets

Social Navigation

Stroman and Chicago, Bellinger Raking, Nico Prevents History, Old Friends Struggling, Woodruff Hurt, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Ahhhh. Getting outside every day for just a bit. We’re back to that. And I love it. That sunlight on my face, it just makes such a difference in my overall mood.

  • Once again, the Cubs won a series, and that’s the most important thing. Any series the Cubs can win right now in this stretch against exclusively strong teams, that’s great. I just wish they could pull off a sweep. That said, I swear I won’t be greedy: if the Cubs want to do the win-two-lose-one ordering again this weekend in Los Angeles, I’d be ecstatic (especially because that Sunday game is going to come against Julio Urias).
  • Marcus Stroman, who was excellent yesterday even without his best command, talked about the Ian Happ extension and how he wants to stay as well:
  • Stroman, 32 next month, has one more year left on his deal after this season, but he’s also got an opt-out. Give how he’s pitching, it’s a lock that he’ll opt out if not earlier extended (and given the Cubs’ starting pitching depth – and some other possible targets in free agency – I’m not sure they’ll extend in advance of free agency; my guess is they let Stroman opt out, but then stay in touch in the offseason).
  • Every series counts, but after that very first series (in the cold and also against Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff), Cody Bellinger has been raking:
  • Bellinger homered in the 9th yesterday:

  • Got a tip from a friend that this Tucker Barnhart-Nico Hoerner 9th inning throwout combo prevented Julio Rodriguez from becoming the fastest (in games played) player to ever reach 30 homers and 30 steals:

  • Without that play, Rodriguez would’ve pulled it off in just 145 games to start his career. Alas, Nico happened. Sorry to JRod. Mike Trout did it in 146 games.
  • I presume better days are ahead for him, but at the moment, Willson Contreras is hitting just .179/.238/.205/26 wRC+ for the Cardinals. That’s the 10th worst wRC+ in baseball right now.
  • Unrelated – at least in terms of me holding a little animosity about how the separation happened – the current worst hitter in baseball is Javy Báez: .100/.163/.100 with a NEGATIVE 28 wRC+. Of some particular concern in the early going for Báez is that his strikeout rate is just 18.2%, but his ISO is literally zero. He is making lots of contact, but has no extra-base hits. As you might guess, his contact quality is abysmal – he’s swinging out of the zone more than ever *AND* making contact with it more than ever. It’s the worst of both worlds, and that’s just not his style. More contact isn’t always better.
  • Brandon Woodruff is headed to the Injured List with shoulder inflammation. Anything with the shoulder gives you pause, but it sounds like more caution than anything. From Woodruff: “Coming into this week, I wasn’t expecting to miss any time. Then, just from playing catch and [the] throwing program, I just wasn’t able to recover the way I wanted to. Being so early, there’s not any sense in pushing something right now and then it leads to something big where you miss a big chunk of the season. I was very hesitant to really honestly say something, but I knew if I didn’t I would go out there and I would do more damage.” Woodruff, 30, has a sub-3 ERA for the Brewers since he became a full-time member of their rotation in 2019, so he’s obviously quite important to their season.
  • Janson Junk filled in last night for Woodruff, and gave up 5 runs (4 ER) over 4.2 innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks.
  • Brennen Davis gets hit by so many pitches. He seemed to be OK after this one went off his hand and into his face:
  • omg:
  • A day later, this news is still awesome, and it’s still very cool that Michael got to break it:
  • Give him a follow, and he will therefore feel pressure to keep doing good tweets.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays just keep on winning:
  • Bulls keeping the season alive:

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.