“Well, I lay my head on the railroad track waiting on the Double E. But the train don’t run by here no more.” – Linda Ronstadt, Poor Poor Pitiful Me (Warren Zevon cover)
Boy, that loss last night gave me some Bryce Harper PTSD, and yikes, Michael Fulmer and Julian Merryweather are the last two pitchers I want to see in the 9th inning. Fulmer gave up a game-winning grand slam to James Outman in Thursday’s 6-2 loss.
I’ve said it since spring training, but the Cubs are one legit closer shy of doing some damage in the National League. Hopefully, Chicago’s North Side Baseballers can bounce back today.
Cubs News & Notes
- The Cubs placed Jameson Taillon on the IL with a mild-to-moderate groin strain, so he did not start yesterday’s game and is expected to miss at least 15 days. Javier Assad was recalled to take his place.
- The Cubs are confident in Assad’s abilities as a starter.
- Jason Heyward made his return to Chicago last night and received a very warm ovation.
- The Cubs showed a pregame video honoring and highlighting key moments from Heyward’s time in Chicago, including his community service work.
- Shohei Ohtani will definitely leave Los Angeles if the Angels fall out of contention.
- If you’re anxious about the eventual arrival of Matt Mervis, you’re going to have to be patient ($). Patrick Mooney breaks it down for The Athletic.
- MLB.com released its initial power rankings for starting pitchers, and though no Cubs made the top 10, Marcus Stroman and Justin Steele did receive honorable mentions.
- After a retool that spanned a couple of seasons, the Cubs finally appear to be relevant again.
- The Cubs honored Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson yesterday as it was their first home game since April 15.
Odds & Sods
Cody Bellinger knows how to celebrate 4/20.
Cody Bellinger with a 420-foot home run! pic.twitter.com/Q8ZrSRtp7c
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) April 21, 2023
- St. Louis: The Cardinals relegated hard-throwing reliever Jordan Hicks to non-leverage work and he’s thriving.
- Milwaukee: The Brewers placed outfielder Garrett Mitchell on the IL with a left shoulder subluxation.
- Cincinnati: The Reds have reportedly engaged in contract extension talks with LHP Nick Lodolo
- Pittsburgh: The Pirates are off to a hot start thanks to their starting rotation.
Climbing the Ladder
“But if fate should break my stride, then I’ll give you my Vincent, to ride.” – Richard Thompson, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Let’s ignore Fulmer’s meltdown and focus on the positives. The Cubs only struck out five times yesterday, Trey Mancini had two hits, and Bellinger had his blast. On the pitching side, Brandon Hughes looked fantastic in his return to Wrigley.
- Games Played: 18
- Record: 11-7 (.611)
- Total Plate Appearances: 707
- Total Strikeouts: 147
- Strikeout Rate: 20.79%
- Team Batting Average: .282
- Runs Scored: 101
- Runs Allowed: 66
- Chances of Making the Playoffs: 59.6%, 1.6% to win the World Series
How About That!
Scherzer is not going to appeal his suspension.
Thursday’s Three Stars
- Liam Hendriks – Cancer free. Way to go, my man. The White Sox closer posted to social media on Thursday that he is cancer free after completing chemotherapy treatments for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hendriks, 34, finished his final round of chemotherapy on April 5, positing a video of him ringing the “victory bell.”
Nico Hoerner is in a roll, but it looks like Mancini made the cutting room floor.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 21, 2023
Friday Morning Six-Pack
- In 2016, Las Vegas had zero pro sports teams and Oakland had three. If the Athletics’ stadium deal goes through, Vegas will have four teams and Oakland will have…none. It has been reported that the new stadium will be ready by 2027.
- The data you didn’t know you needed: An interactive map lets you discover what a Big Mac will cost you at every U.S. McDonald’s. If you get the late-night munchies in Lee, MA, it’s going to cost you eight bucks and change.
- You’ve got your garden variety obsessions, and then there’s this.
- Disney and Florida have officially stepped into the octagon in preparation for the fight we’ve all been waiting for.
- Pearl Jam has announced its summer tour and Chicago is included, but the shows will not be at Wrigley Field.
- A woman will be serving 21 years in prison because she tried to kill her doppelgänger with poisoned cheesecake.
They Said It
- “At some point, Matt’s going to impact the Cubs. There’s no question. When that is, I don’t know. But we’re aware that certainly, he can have an impact here.” – Jed Hoyer
- “It’s always fun to come to Wrigley. It’s a baseball spot, historic. Good to see it. The only thing I wish we would see is the ivy, but I know that’s a couple of months away. Still good to be here.” – Heyward
- “Just not really much to explain other than just felt a little something in [Taillon’s] groin and didn’t feel like that’s something we should push. It was pretty sore. Got some work on [it] loosened up a little bit but then some time went by, and it tightened back up. Hopefully, it’s a minimum stay on the IL.” – David Ross
Friday Walk-Up Song
Good thoughts in, good words out. Enjoy your weekend friends.