A Chance Today, Bellinger's Robbery, Taillon Solid, HosMervis, and Other Cubs Bullets

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A Chance Today, Bellinger’s Robbery, Taillon Solid, HosMervis, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

We’ve got a weird sickness holding serve in our house, with three of five Taylors dealing with high fevers and general malaise, but no other symptoms or positive tests for anything. Just one of those weird viral things, but lasting a long time. Hopefully the two of us who didn’t get hit can hold it off, and if not, I hope the other three recover before I do get hit. Having sick kids is bad enough, but when both parents are sick, too … woof.

  • Before the Dodgers series opener, I said, “Going on record now so you can yell at me later when I don’t stick to it: going 1-2 in this west coast series at the Dodgers is not at all a bad outcome this weekend.”
  • Well, you might wind up yelling at me. After the Cubs won the series opener and then came within a foot of winning the second game, it’s impossible for me to fight the feeling that a loss today would be extremely disappointing. And facing Julio Urias today means a win is going to be tough to come by. So the 1-2 series that I said I’d be OK with is pretty likely at this point … but it doesn’t feel OK. Heck, you can preemptively start yelling at me.
  • … OR! The Cubs will win today, and it will be an extremely awesome road series win. Baseball happens!
  • Cody Bellinger’s home run robbery (of Jason Heyward of all people) was one of the few highlights last night, especially because he immediately got booed by the Dodgers fans who’d been celebrating his return until that moment. He reached his arms out to soak up the boos, and he said after the game it was all out of love.
  • Jameson Taillon struggled through his first inning last night, getting through it unscathed, but taking 28 pitches in the process. That shortened his night, but other than the long Heyward fly out, he was pretty dominant in innings two through five. His best start with the Cubs so far, and it seems like things are progressing well with him.

  • I expect it was very special for the Cubs to be at Dodger Stadium for Jackie Robinson Day:
  • The HosMervis Meter is the difference in OPS between Eric Hosmer at Matt Mervis at any given time. It currently stands at .408. I could be talked into giving this thing another two weeks or so, but if we get into May and Mervis is still raking at Iowa (currently .293/.456/.585/160 wRC+, with a 22.8% BB rate and a 15.8% K rate (no, I didn’t get those backwards)) and Hosmer is still struggling in MLB (currently .256/.326/.308/76 wRC+, with a 66.7% groundball rate (no, I didn’t typo that)), then the calls to make a switch are going to be VERY LOUD.
  • The Cubs will not be one of the teams extending beer sales in response to the shorter games – part of the Wrigleyville night game ordinance (remember that whole thing? the FIGHT to get some more night games?) dictated that booze sales at Wrigley Field have to stop by 10:30pm or the end of the 7th inning, whichever comes earlier (The Athletic).
  • A truly bizarre situation in the Twins-Yankees game, as Yankees starter Domingo German (who was dominating) was thoroughly investigated during a foreign substance check, and the umpires concluded that he just needed to go wash his hands … ? The explanation after the game, which followed Twins manager Rocco Baldelli getting ejected for arguing about how it was handled, was that German simply had too much rosin on his hands. Rosin, of course, is legal, but apparently the umps felt he was getting too much on his hands between innings (he doesn’t really use it on the mound, apparently), which was creating an unfair level of tackiness. But, again, rosin is legal. So I guess “wash your hands” was the compromise solution.
  • The problem there is that if a guy is rosin’ing up his hand between innings, it wouldn’t be THAT hard to get an illegal substance on there, then hit the rosin bag, and then claim at the check that you simply got too much rosin on your hand and that’s why it’s sticky. If I had to guess, the umps maybe wondered if something like that was going on, but they couldn’t be sure – rosin sometimes does get pretty tacky on its own – so they went with the “wash your hands” approach instead of the immediate ejection that is typically to follow any detection of illegal stickiness. I wonder how many pitchers hit the rosin hard between innings (I haven’t really heard of that before), and whether this is something that’ll get more attention.

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.