The Rundown: World Series Trophy Damaged, Bryant’s Low Homer, Schwarber Fastest to 20 Taters

As Theo Epstein was busy shredding onstage with Eddie Vedder at the Hot Stove, Cool Music fundraiser, the 2004 and 2016 World Series trophies were crowdsurfing atop the reveling masses. As you might imagine, that wasn’t necessarily the best choice when it came to the integrity of the venerable baubles.

“A handful of flags came off the trophy during the event Saturday night,” Julian Green, Cubs vice president of communications and community affairs, explained to the Chicago Tribune. “(It) was repaired and was on display Sunday.”

I wonder how many HSCM attendees have little gold flags sitting in display cases this morning. I mean, you didn’t think this was purely a matter of them falling off in the melee, did you? I can’t blame anyone for hoarking a token or two, though, and can’t say I’d have been above it in that moment myself.

In a huge coup, CI has obtained exclusive footage of the feverish trophy repair efforts that took place in order to get it ready for its Sunday showcase.

Bryant’s line-driviest homer ever

Prior to his game-tying 1-iron shot Tuesday night, Kris Bryant had hit only three of his 69 career home runs with launch angles less than 24 degrees. There was a 23.8 degree shot during his two-homer game on the Fourth of July a couple years back, a 23.3 degree laser on 5/25/15, and a 23.2 degree rope on August 23 of last season.

Due to the carefully crafted “upness” of his swing, Bryant isn’t the line-driviest hitter on the planet, though you’d never have guessed it from the results he got from sitting on a change that came middle-in and just sat there like a BP meatball. When are pitchers going to stop throwing him inside? He crushes in that location.

Not that I’m complaining, it’s just that I can’t understand what these guys are trying to prove. Now, I know what you might be thinking: Maybe Jeremy Hellickson just made a mistake. Except that only two of the 10 pitches he threw Bryant in three at-bats were anywhere other than the inside corner, and only one of those was further outside than the middle third of the plate. But hey, keep trying to beat the MVP inside, I’m sure that’s going to work out really well. For Bryant.

Oh, and if you’re worried about Bryant’s status after he left Tuesday’s game with calf tightness, he told reporters he’s “300 percent” going to play tonight. I guess that means he’ll play three different positions, which isn’t actually unheard of for him. In fact, he went for three homers and two doubles in Cincy the last time he manned three spots in the field.

Schwarber fastest Cub to 20 homers

Early in the day, Joe Maddon had reiterated his desire to keep Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff spot to let him work through his issues. His faith was not affirmed in Schwarber’s first two trips to the plate, but then the left fielder pounded a shot to the bleachers in right that made him the fastest Cub ever to 20 home runs.

Schwarber can flat-out do damage, whether it’s the numbers he’s put up in 97 regular season games or the unbelievable production we’ve seen from him in 14 playoff contests. Now it’s just a matter of getting into a groove that doesn’t involve a ground ball-heavy approach or a bunch of strikeouts. Well, not an inordinate number of K’s.

In the dugout after the schneid-busting shot, Schwarber could be seen lovingly telling a teammate to F off, which was a nice touch.

Chris Sale: Still a douche

In the wake of the Boston crowd giving Adam Jones a standing O, which was a nice (if temporary) response to his announcement that both racist epithets and peanuts had been hurled at him the other day, everyone’s least favorite cut-up decided to be a jerk. I’m sure Sale is a good dude on some level, but I also know he’s one of these Jake Peavy types who takes the unwritten rules way too seriously.

As such, he felt Manny Machado still needed to be taught a lesson even after all the mess with headhunting and whatnot. Of course, Machado may have pimped Monday’s homer a little bit too hard (he hit another Tuesday, for what it’s worth). Still, the lanky lefty sailing one behind the hitter Tuesday afternoon was completely unnecessary. And there’s no way you can call it incidental, as Sale is a very accurate pitcher whose zone map for the game showed just the one real outlier.

Not that Sale cares what I think about him or whether angering one of the game’s elite hitters was a smart move.

”Whatever, man. I’m not losing sleep tonight,” the pitcher said after the game.

More news and notes

  • The White Sox remain coy about the status of Carlos Rodon, who still hasn’t been cleared to throw off the mound
  • In a fight for the Marlins that even Ernest Hemmingway thinks is going on too long, the Romney/Glavine group has jumped back in with an offer reportedly over the $1.3 billion from Jeter/Bush
  • Beef Castle to the DL with shoulder tendinitis
  • The Mets are looking for new pitchers to ruin in the wake of Thor’s trip to the DL
  • Decorating my new house and Cubs-themed basement has opened my eyes to cool decorative pieces like this minimalist art poster
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