“Illusion is just the same conclusion. I don’t know how to play the game of what it is or how it’s going to be when one train is my friend and the other train is me.” – Little Feat, Two Trains
I didn’t expect the Cubs to struggle this badly against the Marlins and Nationals. Chicago is now 1-4 on the trip with two games left in D.C. The boys in blue need to sweep those tilts to win the series, then head home to exact revenge on Miami.
Cubs News & Notes
- The Cubs officially promoted catcher Miguel Amaya and DFA’d pitcher Ryan Borucki as the corresponding move.
- Amaya is on the active roster with Yan Gomes out, though Tucker Barnhart got the start at catcher last night. The Cubs play tonight and have an afternoon game tomorrow, so Amaya should start one of the two games.
- Hayden Wesneski used his sinker/changeup combination more than ever in his start against the Nats.
- Wesneski also filed for a trademark for his nickname, Weznasty.
- Jameson Taillon took a big step forward in his rehab and a numbers crunch in the rotation looms.
- Wesneski’s performance on Tuesday made a strong case for keeping him in the starters’ group.
- Marcus Stroman will take the mound tonight against Jake Ervin.
- All rants aside, former manager Lee Elia actually loved his time in Chicago.
Odds & Sods
Dudes love the long ball.
Times sure were different in 1988 and thank you Kathy Ireland for the reminder. pic.twitter.com/859MSUPc11
— Michael Canter of Cubs Insider ✨ (@MEdwardCanter) May 3, 2023
- St. Louis: Cardinals bloggers are preparing for a roster purge and sell-off because the team is underperforming so badly. Jordan Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, Tyler O’Neill, Jordan Hicks, Tommy Edman, and Paul DeJong are the likeliest candidates to be moved. They’re stuck with their starting catcher, though, and it’s telling that three of the players on the block are pitchers. Or maybe it’s just a coincidence (wink, wink, nod, nod).
- Milwaukee: The Brewers announced several minor league promotions yesterday, though no players were promoted to the bigs.
- Cincinnati: The Reds have reportedly traded veteran RHP Chase Anderson to the Rays.
- Pittsburgh: The Pirates learning that less means more has unlocked a very potent offense.
Climbing the Ladder
“Till all at once, it’s half past three, and it’s down to your trust in me, and I’m holdin’ on to nothing but the wheel.” – Peter Wolf, Nothing But the Wheel
The Cubs have hit a rough patch but still boast a lofty 19-10 (.655) Pythagorean record due to their +44 run differential. Patrick Wisdom was the only semblance of any offense in last night’s loss. We can continue to storm the gates while championing the promotions of Matt Mervis and Christopher Morel, but I don’t think Carter Hawkins is convinced this team needs either right now.
Dansby Swanson, Cody Bellinger, and Eric Hosmer had two hits apiece in the loss. Hosmer also made an error at first base, though it led to no damage. Wisdom has 11 home runs and is tied for the NL lead with Max Muncy and Pete Alonso.
- Games Played: 29
- Record: 15-14 (.517)
- Total Plate Appearances: 1127
- Total Strikeouts: 240
- Strikeout Rate: 21.29%
- Team Batting Average: .274
- Runs Scored: 152
- Runs Allowed: 108
- Chances of Making the Playoffs: 61.4%, 2.32% to win the World Series
How About That!
A poll of executives indicates the Pirates are the biggest surprise in baseball while the White Sox and Cardinals are the game’s biggest disappointments. Bellinger and Swanson were listed among the best free-agent signings after one month of baseball.
Charlotte and Nashville are the top two cities for expansion now that the A’s are moving to Las Vegas.
If Mexico City lands an AL franchise (currently ranked No. 7), Yankees star Aaron Judge could benefit in his quest to be baseball’s single-season home run champion. Pitching obviously gets diluted with expansion, but Mexico City would have the highest elevation of any big league city, too.
Tuesday’s Three Stars
- Bryce Miller – The Mariners’ top pitching prospect made his major league debut and struck out 10 A’s batters without issuing a walk. That’s just the third time in MLB history that that’s ever been done. Stephen Strasburg and Johnny Cueto were the others.
- Ryan Mountcastle – The young Baltimore star was 3-for-6 with two home runs and five RBI as the Orioles upended the Royals 11-7.
- Connor Wong – The hard-hitting Red Sox catcher also blasted two home runs Tuesday night.
You can’t stop P-Wizzy…you can only hope to contain him.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 3, 2023
Wednesday Morning Six-Pack
- What if I told you that there are no baseball players among the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world? What if I also told you that Shohei Ohtani will probably change that next year?
- Happy Fed Decision Day to all who celebrate. With inflation sizzling at still-uncomfortably high levels, Chair Jerome Powell is expected to announce the central bank’s 10th straight interest rate hike this afternoon. Next quarter we’ll find out how that affects the housing and automotive markets, where prime rates are expected to hit about 6.5 percent.
- Chegg, the popular one-stop shop site for all things schoolwork, mentioned that students increasingly view ChatGPT as their go-to study buddy, and that warning destroyed its stock price yesterday.
- The risk of premature death from being socially disconnected is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and represents an even higher mortality impact than a lack of physical activity and obesity, according to US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. That’s scary considering some are still self-isolating due to COVID-19 concerns.
- Chicago bars and restaurants are working to change our tipping culture, and that’s a very good thing.
- Things I did not know: The rock/soft-metal group Tesla originally started as a grunge band.
They Said It
- “I thought Trevor Williams threw [really well] and kept us off balance. We had that one inning that we had a shot at but weren’t able to come through.” – David Ross
- “It hasn’t been easy. It’s been a roller coaster, ups, and downs, a lot of work mentally and, of course, physically. But this is something that makes us strong, positive every day, and faithful.” – Amaya
Wednesday Walk-Up Song
The Cubs remind me a lot of the Two-Face character from the Batman comics.