“It was a rainy night. It was the myth of a rainy night.” – Jack Kerouc, On the Road
What a great victory by the Cubs last night, and it was a fun game to watch if you’re a fan of offensive baseball. With their 10-7 win over the Mets, the Cubs won their fourth consecutive road game, which is a something they haven’t done since a 3-1 win over the Mariners in Seattle on May 1. A win over the Reds on May 14 pushed that streak to five, Chicago’s longest streak of the season away from the Friendly Confines. They’ll try to match that this evening when they go for the sweep.
The Cubs had a 10-1 lead before most of us had finished our dinners last night, battering one of the Mets’ best pitchers, Noah Syndergaard, in the process. It was the worst outing of Syndergaard’s career, as the right-hander had a great deal of difficulty finishing off Cubs hitters with two strikes. By the time Nick Castellanos left the park with a man on in the 3rd inning, the game seemed pretty much over.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 29, 2019
You won’t see many games where Kyle Hendricks doesn’t get the win after being staked to a nine-run lead. Last night was an exception, however, as New York knocked Hendricks out of the game before he completed the requisite five innings necessary to qualify for the win. The Professor was chased with two outs in the 5th after the Mets closed the gap to 10-6. Hendricks hit two batters last night. How often does that happen?
At that point most of social media had conceded that the Cubs were going to blow the game, which I guess is a collective Pavlovian response of sorts whenever Joe Maddon goes to his bullpen. The hot takes came fast and furiously from all corners of Cubs fandom.
But the boys held on, though it was a shaky effort at best. A combination of five relievers shut down the Mets, allowing just a single earned run despite putting nine runners on base in 4.1 innings. Clean or dirty, a win is a win. Just out of curiosity, when Craig Kimbrel allowed the first two runners to reach base in the bottom of the ninth, how many of you started thinking about the walk-off grand slam by Bryce Harper two weeks ago?
They sweep today, yes? I told you the Cubs were about to start rolling. They’d go a long way toward making that prediction just a bit more prophetic if they can beat Jacob deGrom tonight. Get your brooms ready.
I’ll quote Kerouac again to close:
“Ah, it was a fine night, a warm night, a wine-drinking night, a moony night, and a night to hug your girl and talk and spit and be heavengoing.”
Go Cubs go. Everybody in.
Cubs News & Notes
- Last night’s win served as a microcosm of this season for the Cubs. The offensive outburst in the first three innings proved the North Siders could be a threat to any team and any pitcher. But then the bats disappeared for the rest of the game.
- Syndergaard is the first pitcher to allow 10 or more runs to the Cubs since the 2009 season.
- With the Cardinals’ loss to the Brewers earlier in the day, the Cubs are now just two games back in the NL Central.
- The red-hot Cardinals are on a mission to bury the Cubs. That’s cute.
- The Brewers are off today and then come to Chicago hoping to narrow the gap in the Wild Card race. They trail the Cubs by 3.5 games.
- It’s probably time to move Jason Heyward down in the order. He’s really struggled as a leadoff hitter.
- Kris Bryant used one of Pete Alonso’s 34-inch 32-ounce birch wood Axe Bats earlier this season. It was a gift to the Cubs third baseman from the rookie slugger, though Bryant abandoned it after about a week of use.
- Castellanos is not a fan of analytics. He believes front offices leverage them to keep salaries down and suppress the free agent market, which could lead to a potential strike during the 2021 season.
- Anthony Rizzo might have to rest his achy back for a few more days. The good news is that Willson Contreras looks ready for game action and a rehab assignment.
- Mets’ hitting coach Chili Davis admitted he may have been a bit too outspoken ($) while working for the Cubs last season.
How About That!
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen blew his seventh save of the season last night, matching a career high set seven years ago. The Dodgers picked him up with a win in extra innings, to which Jansen was credited.
The Yankees continue to bash, hitting four more home runs last night.
The Twins tied another home run record last night when Jonathan Schoop hit is 20th of the year. The Twins now have seven players with 20 or more taters. Schoop went yard twice in the game against the White Sox, his fifth multi-homer game of the season and 13th of his career.
Wednesday’s Three Stars
- Gerrit Cole – Despite taking a no-decision and giving up four runs in 6.2 innings, 14 of the 20 outs the Astros starter recorded were by strikeout. That’s pretty good.
- Xander Boegarts – The Boston shortstop’s two-homer three-RBI day is only half the story. Boegarts is now the first Red Sox shortstop to hit 30 homers and drive in 100 in a season since Nomar Garciaparra did it in 1998.
- Jonathan Schoop – The Twins second baseman had four RBI to go with his two longballs. Schoop has now homered in five straight games dating back to August 16.
This season has been one of the worst for home plate umpires. Somebody really needs to read them the riot act. It’s almost as if they want to be replaced by robotic umpires.
— Umpire Auditor (@UmpireAuditor) August 29, 2019
They Said It
- “The movie Moneyball, that was the start of introducing this idea of analytics to fans. Obviously, the movie was entertaining with Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt. But the way I look at it, what good did it do the A’s? They still haven’t won the World Series.’’ – Nick Castellanos
- “How about it? There’s no reason why we shouldn’t or can’t [continue winning on the road]. We have a very good ball club, we have tried-and-true, tested kind of guys. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t.” – Joe Maddon
- “We have it in us to be multidimensional and locked in and really grind out at-bats and get on base. But I think using last year, too, as a guide, I think we are susceptible. There’s no way around it. We’re susceptible to these long stretches where we lose that identity, and we’re a little more one-dimensional and more vulnerable to certain kinds of pitching.” – Theo Epstein
- “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” – Jack Kerouac
Thursday Walk Up Song
Three is a Magic Number by Schoolhouse Rock. The Cubs go for the sweep and if they get it they would complete their first undefeated road trip of the season. Of course, it’s only three games. A win puts them a buck and a half behind idle St. Louis.