Stroman and Chicago, Bellinger Raking, Nico Prevents History, Old Friends Struggling, Woodruff Hurt, and Other Cubs Bullets
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:
- 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.
- Owen Caissie’s three-homer night came on his mother’s birthday:
- The Tampa Bay Rays just keep on winning:
- Bulls keeping the season alive:
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