The Rundown: Cubs Sweep Mets, Billy McKinney Makes Splash in Debut, Wada to Cubs Rotation?

So a guy walks into his doctor’s office:

“Doc, I’m feeling awful.”

“Here, just take four of these and call me on Friday.”

“Mets, huh? This seems a little powerful, don’t you think, doc?”

“Trust me, I’m a doctor.”

Thank God for modern medicine. Or should I say, Metsicine? Truth be told, I wouldn’t have pegged a four-game series with the NL East leaders as the prescription for what had been ailing the Cubs, but that’s exactly what it turned out to be. Facing a daunting rotation that featured a Norse god (Noah Syndergaard) and the Dark Knight (Matt Harvey), not to mention the only pitcher whose name starts with a lower-case letter (Jacob deGrom) and a guy who started the game with a sub-2 ERA (Jon Niese), the Cubs rose to the challenge.

One of my few laments in the series is that we didn’t get to see yet another comic book character in Bartolo Colon. He looks like The Blob but at 42 years of age, the Round Mound on the Mound continues to toil at a high level. Dude has a 40-to-1 K/BB ratio this year. And that’s not some weird stat that inflated by a small sample size; he has struck out 40 men and walked one in just over 46 innings this season. He’s also one pastrami sandwich away from three bills, which makes his performance all the more amazing.

One guy who’s not been performing so well is Travis Wood, the Cubs’ starter on Thursday afternoon. His offense did enough to prevent a loss from being tacked onto his record which, even though a pitcher’s win-loss totals should be the last thing used to judge his performance, made the outing look a little better than it really was. Heading into the game, more than a couple amateur artists were painting this as a last-chance outing. I don’t draw too well myself, but I can definitely connect the dots, and a picture may be coming into focus.

Wada twirls gem for I-Cubs

Tsuyoshi Wada went 7 innings in Des Moines Thursday, picking up the win after allowing only 1 run on 4 hits. Originally scheduled to start earlier, Wada was pushed back for unstated reasons. That dot-connecting thing? Let’s try it. He’s a lefty, he looked good for the Cubs in 13 starts last season, he’s got a $4M contract, and this start coincided with Wood’s. Things are starting to become clear. Color me surprised if Wada doesn’t take the bump next Wednesday in San Diego.

Billy McKinney doubles his pleasure

The newest member of the Tennessee Smokies wasted no time making his presence felt, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Between McKinney, Kyle Scwarber, and Dan Vogelbach, I almost feel sorry for right-handed pitchers in the Southern League. Almost. Between having Addison Russell and Jason Hammel both in Chicago and McKinney raking, not to mention Jeff Samardzija getting roughed up on the South Side, last year’s trade is looking better each day.

Other notes

*MLB always tries to integrate the host team’s character into the All-Star game and we all know the Reds love to tout their deep roots, but I’m not sure how I feel about the pillbox-style caps New Era has put together. I’m a pretty big hat guy, but these just seem too…busy. The picture below is admittedly small, but I think I like the AL hats better; the team logos look too obscured in the NL whites. Cleveland and Detroit are kind of weak sauce too.

*A recent study revealed that 34% of NBA fans are either completely insane or have roughly the same concept of time as my 6-year-old.

Throwback Thursday

I spent the day at home with that same little boy as he recovered from a nasty bug, which meant general lethargy and a lot of cartoons on Netflix. It also meant bonding over the Cubs, which even included one of my old Starting Lineup figurines.


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