I’ve written many times this season about the Cubs’ ability to never quit and always keep battling.
Well last night was a perfect example.
After a bad 9-1 loss in game 1 of yesterday’s double-header, the Cubs fell behind 5-0 in the 2nd inning of game 2. Most people — me included — probably wouldn’t have been surprised if the Cubs just called it a night at that point and sailed through the remainder of the game.
But this year’s Cubs are just not going to do that.
With the thrilling game 2 victory, the Cubs came away with a series split — when they easily could have been swept out of Cincinnati.
I know that I won’t be counting them out at any point this season. I mean, the Cubs — behind Taylor Teagarden — were able to defeat probably the nastiest closer in the game in Aroldis Chapman. Crazy.
Price is right?
Despite the split in the double-header, yesterday definitely exposed the weakness that is the back end of the Cubs’ rotation.
Would David Price actually be a possible solution? Well, the Cubs have talked to the Tigers about a trade for their ace, according to Bruce Levine.
Earlier in the week, Bob Nightengale reported that the Tigers could be sellers at the trade deadline, and would make Price and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes available.
It could be a matter of the Cubs doing their due diligence, but Levine makes it sound like the Cubs are pretty serious about pursuing Price. In fact, he describes the Cubs front office as being “sharks in a fish tank.” I’m not sure that metaphor quite works, but I’m thinking he means the Cubs are very interested.
The Cubs would not be trading any of their top prospects, according to Levine, because of the fact that it would only be a two-month rental.
Look, if the Cubs can pry away David Price without having to give up too much, I am all for it. But I’m not sure it’s going to be as easy as Levine is making it sound.
I definitely would love him in the Cubs’ rotation, however.
It’s also possible that the Tigers don’t decide to sell. Jayson Stark tweets that the Tigers won’t make up their mind until after Sunday. If they go on a hot streak in the next few days, maybe they stay the course. The Tigers beat the Mariners last night 9-4.
After Tuesday night’s 13-inning affair, the Cubs relievers needed…well, some relief. Yoervis Medina was called up from Triple-A yesterday to provide an extra bullpen arm.
Medina, acquired in the trade for Welington Castillo earlier this year, appeared in the first game of the double-header and did not fare well. He gave up four runs in an inning of work. So much for the help.
To make room for Medina, the Cubs designated LHP Clayton Richard for assignment. The move leaves one fewer option for that fifth starter spot.
Right now they can go with Dallas Beeler or Tsuyoshi Wada, although the Cubs will very likely have a new starter on the roster soon coming via trade. Whether it’s David Price or not, we’ll just have to wait and see.
* It’s starting to look like the Cubs won’t be making any more major moves to bolster the bullpen. Jayson Stark says there’s “nothing going” between them and Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. The Cubs could easily stick with what they haven now. If Rafael Soriano can be a serviceable piece, and Neil Ramirez can return to last year’s form, this bullpen will be just fine. It’s probably not worth going after Papelbon, with other areas of the team (bench bat, starting pitcher) in need of an upgrade.
* Overshadowed in Tuesday’s dramatic comeback win (“The Schwarber Game”) was the return of starting pitcher Jason Hammel, who was forced to leave his last start before the All-Star break with a tight hamstring. He was a bit rusty at first, but it was an overall solid performance on Tuesday. However, Gordon Wittenmyer writes that Hammel is still dealing with “some lingering effects” of the injury and that he experienced some pain in his calf. This will definitely be something to keep an eye on going forward. Losing Hammel for any period of time would not be good. He said he plans on making his next start, so fingers crossed that his injury doesn’t worsen.