Bring on the Redbirds!
St. Louis is in town and the Cubs should have nothing on their minds but a sweep. I won’t get into yesterday’s 3-1 loss because I simply cannot stand meatloaf games, especially when the team looks helpless against a pitcher they should beat handily. No offense to Peter Lambert, but if AAA players are knocking the crap out of him, the Cubs shouldn’t look like they stacked their lineup with their instructs roster.
On the bright side, nothing defines remedy and revenge like a sweep of your most hated rival. Sorry Brewers fans, Milwaukee just doesn’t compete with the Cardinals when it comes to iniquitous opposition. Turnabout is fair play after all, and the Cardinals swept the Cubbies in St. Louis last weekend. That was awful to watch.
This is still all the rage and hope throughout Chicago however…
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 7, 2019
Too bad Craig Kimbrel likely won’t be ready before the end of the month. Nevertheless, the wheels are already spinning for manager Joe Maddon. In the meantime, we are stuck with bullpen status quo (also awful to watch) until Kimbrel makes his Chicago debut, as unappetizing as that may be. Can we stomach 3-4 more weeks of Brad Brach in high leverage appearances? Do we have a choice?
That brings me to this weekend’s series. It’s still too soon to say any one game or series is must-win, but once again the Brewers are proving that they’re not going anywhere. I still can’t decide if that’s because the Cubs choose to tether themselves to their step siblings to the north by playing stretches of insanely bad baseball, or if it is just that the Brew Crew is that good.
If you take away the Cubs’ two weakest chunks of clunkers, which includes 2-9 and 4-9 stretches of their schedule, Chicago is 28-9. That means they’re better this year than they were in 2016 when they’re not playing like 100 floors of frights.
So a sweep of the Cardinals before a mini-West Coast swing that has the Cubs playing a rematch with the Rockies in Colorado and the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine may not be a necessity, but it’s pretty close. Bring me the heads of Kolten Wong and Adam Wainwright!
It is revenge I sweep, and nothing less will suffice.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 2, 2019
Cubs News & Notes
- The Cubs still have the best odds of winning the Central Division, and the Kimbrel signing increased those chances.
- It’s official: The Cubs and Cardinals will play a two-game set at London Stadium next season. The games will be considered home games for St. Louis. Must be the red uniforms, I guess.
- The Cubs are hoping Ben Zobrist will return this season but have to be prepared for the fact that he may not. No matter what’s been said, I don’t believe the Kimbrel signing has anything to do with Zo’s status.
- Maddon believes that Albert Almora Jr. is better suited to a platoon role despite evidence to the contrary.
- Politics are politics and a ballgame is just a ballgame. That’s the message a spokesman for the Cubs-owning Ricketts family has regarding this weekend’s Republican National Committee-Trump re-election “retreat” in Chicago. Okay, sure.
- Third-string catcher Taylor Davis was once so positive the Cardinals would draft him that he rented out a restaurant for 50 of his closest friends during the 2011 draft. The Cubs eventually signed him as an amateur free agent. Davis is at Iowa now, but will more than likely see more time with the Cubs this season.
On This Date in 1969
The Cubs and the Reds played to a 5-5 tie at Wrigley Field after rain and darkness canceled any chance at extra innings. The game was replayed on September 3rd after the original replay date of September 1 was rained out. Chicago lost the makeup game 2-0, the start of an eight-game losing streak that basically cost the ’69 Cubs the NL East title.
How About That!
The Yankees have announced that Didi Gregorius was reinstated to their major league roster ahead of this evening’s game. They also announced that they have transferred Troy Tulowitzki to the 60-day injured list.
Dallas Keuchel has found a new home in Atlanta. Keuchel and the Braves agreed on a one-year $13 million contract per Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. In early March, the Astros allegedly offered Keuchel two possible deals — one year at $15 million, or 2/$24m, which he obviously turned down.
Should the Indians be buyers or sellers at this year’s trade deadline? The Tribe trails the Twins by 10.5 games in the AL Central.
Thursday’s Three Stars
- Max Kepler – The Twins OF was all the offense Minnesota needed in dropping the Indians 5-4. Kepler was 4-for-4 with three home runs and four RBI.
- Travis D’Arnaud – The Rays’ newly-acquired catcher has two dingers and four RBI in leading Tampa Bay past the Tigers 6-1. The Rays purchased his contract from the Dodgers on May 10.
- Mike Moustakas – Moose paced the Brewers in their 5-1 win over the Marlins with two taters of his own. The win put Milwaukee just percentage points behind the Cubs for first place and helped Milwaukee avoid being swept by Miami.
Apropos of Nothing
I had a 6 AM phone interview this morning for a position in MLB digital media. It’s a dream opportunity for me. If hired, I’ll have to work in Manhattan. I’ll get my answer on June 20 and I’d still pen this column, in case you’re wondering. I’d get to see about 100 baseball games per year in person, plus spring training tilts in Arizona and Florida and all playoff/World Series games. Nobody likes a Bragosaurus, I know.
This is the baseball quote of the year…
The A's took USC shortstop Grant Green instead of Mike Trout with the No. 13 overall pick in 2009.
— ESPN (@espn) June 7, 2019
Yankees minor league infielder Matt Lipka has received death threats for breaking up a minor league no-hitter with a 9th-inning bunt single the other day.
“It is what it is,” said pitcher Rico Garcia, who threw six no-hit innings and striking out 11, told MILB.com. “[Lipka] was doing what he had to do. And we were really passionate about getting the no-hitter. It is what it is. I can’t really speak for what he was trying to do or what he was trying to accomplish. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get the no-hitter. Emotions were high after.”
The Yankees are reportedly investigating the death threats made against Lipka to decide if further measures need to be taken.
Are we serious in the world of 2019 that people are so sensitive that a bunt hit in a 3-0 game leads to this? Yankees prospect, Matt Lipka, of the Trenton Thunder, breaks up a no-hit bid that turns into trouble. #PinstripePride pic.twitter.com/MCuB0ByWpe
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) June 6, 2019
They Said It
- “Reality is…it’s just another [three] games on the schedule.” – Mike Shildt
- “I would imagine in the position that’s he’s been in, he had some kind of a strategy of program mapped out. The first thing you do is find out and then set up program. You think about a three-week window, normally it sounds right. Think about relief pitchers in spring training. Conventionally it would be like that kind of a window. But you’ve got to talk to the guy first and see what he’s been doing.” – Joe Maddon
- “It’s not about getting on the field as quickly as possible. It’s about being the best that I can.” – Craig Kimbrel
- “One thing that the family wants all Cubs fans to understand … while there are lots of people with various political views, everyone is welcome to come cheer on the Cubs.” – Organization Official Statement
Friday Walk Up Song
A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash. I can neither confirm nor deny that “Sue” was the most popular name for male babies born in St. Louis in 1969.