Are you ready for this Central Division ride? It’s going to be a bit bumpy again.
After losing 6-5 to the Rockies last night, the Cubs fell a half game off the pace and now trail the idle Brewers. If anything, last night’s game showed the Cubs may need more bullpen help than just Craig Kimbrel. Then again, pitching is always a crapshoot when playing in Colorado.
After staking Yu Darvish to a 4-0 lead, a pair of two-run blasts by the Rockies made a game of it and Colorado’s bullpen was just a tad better than Chicago’s. You can’t win ’em all, but it sure seems like the Cubs should have won this one.
Mike Montgomery has been looking all sorts of sixes and sevens lately — if I may pull a phrase from Joe Maddon’s idioms dictionary — and last night was no exception. Montgomery gave up a run on two hits in a third of an inning, the big blow being a no-doubt home run by Ian Desmond. Desmond’s 486-foot blast was the longest in baseball so far this season. If you follow that link, shield your eyes.
At least the Cubs appear to be having fun and taking things in stride, and a win tonight combined with a Milwaukee loss will put them back in first place. That being said, this is a tough two-city road trip for the Cubs and it would have been nice to start it off with a win, especially since it was right there for the taking.
If there’s a bright spot in the despair of last night’s loss, it’s that Darvish pitched well again. He didn’t walk anybody yesterday evening, and other than the two home runs he gave up in the 3rd inning, he pitched a terrific game. The big right-hander worked ahead in the count for most of the night, getting 17 of 25 first-pitch strikes. I would like to see him get out of the habit of giving back early leads.
Cubs News & Notes
- Carlos González received a hero’s welcome in his return to Coors Field.
- David Bote and Kyle Schwarber hit back-to-back homers for the second time this season.
- The Cubs rotation has been a steadying force in putting the Cubs back into contention after a 2-7 start to the season.
- It comes with a bad title, but Tribune writer David Haugh offers a glimpse of the culture that Theo Epstein has created in Chicago and how it helped the Cubs sign Kimbrel.
- Pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Kimbrel’s pitch velocity and movement looked good for what would be considered similar to the first mound session of Spring Training.
- Epstein could be looking to make more additions to the Cubs bullpen, and the Giants may be a match in a potential trade.
- To get a much-needed left-handed reliever the Cubs may be putting some of their prospects on #HugWatch ($) while hoping some of their newer investments pay off.
- The Cubs have been a streaky team this season. Will they hit one of their extreme cold stretches at the wrong time, costing them the division?
- Kyle Hendricks and Cole Hamels completely shut down the Cardinals in their last starts, and thanks to improved mechanics, Hendricks looks playoff-ready.
- Jon Lester played with David Ortiz for eight seasons in Boston, so the shooting of the former Red Sox slugger Sunday night in his native Dominican Republic tugged at the Cubs’ left-handed ace.
Utter shock. That was no robbery, that was a hit, and they better get to the bottom of it. Thank god no amount of evil or hate can overcome a heart that big. You got this @davidortiz, we love you bro!
— Jon Lester (@JLester34) June 10, 2019
How About That!
The Red Sox flew Ortiz to Boston so he could continue his medical care at Massachusetts General Hospital. Big Papi is expected to make a full recovery.
Ortiz’s father, Leo, confirmed his son was shot once, according to an ESPN report. The bullet penetrated through Ortiz’s back and exited out through his stomach.
The Diamondbacks hit three straight home runs to open the game and finished with a team-record eight taters in a 13-8 win over the Phillies in a homer-happy game on Monday night. Between the two teams, a total of 13 baseballs left the yard.
The recent MLB draft wasn’t as strong historically as years past. In fact, per Keith Law, just three teams have a new number one prospect ($) this month, and those players were the top four picks in this year’s draft.
Josh Donaldson overreacted just a bit after being hit by a pitch last night. The Pirates and Braves then emptied their benches. Some will resort to anything to get mentioned in the headlines, I guess.
How do you not love the Padres when you see how much fun they’re having? I miss the Cubs’ dugout celebrations and bullpen dances. Stop being too cool for school.
Monday’s Three Stars
- Eduardo Escobar – The Diamondbacks third baseman hit two of Arizona’s eight home runs last night against the Phillies. He also tallied five RBI.
- Charlie Morton – The veteran pitcher has become Tampa Bay’s ace this season. Last night he threw seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts in leading the Rays over the A’s.
- Nick Markakis – The Braves right-fielder had a nice 4-for-5 night with a home run and four RBI in leading Atlanta past Pittsburgh 13-7.
Apropos of Nothing
A lot of media has become pay-per-access, and though I try to provide links to free content, it’s not always possible. Free is nice, but many of our favorite writers need to make a living, too. I don’t get paid for saying so, but a couple sites are worth the few extra dollars per month to read their stories. I won’t tell you where to spend your money, but you should at least know that when I link to paid content ($), I am also a subscriber.
This may be the greatest fan catch of all time. Check it out.
This might be the best fan catch we've ever seen. pic.twitter.com/YYXGUy4Oxz
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 11, 2019
They Said It
- “[A victory] was there for us — we could not finish it off.” – Joe Maddon
- “In the last five to six starts, a lot of time that has happened – we score, and I give up a run. I don’t feel good.” – Yu Darvish
- “We all feel comfortable where we are and how we’re progressing. We’re trying to stay on top of things and push the envelope. The biggest thing we’ve been able to do lately is eliminate some of those big innings.” – Tommy Hottovy
- “As long as it goes over the fence I don’t care how far it goes.” – Ian Desmond
Tuesday Walk Up Song