The Rundown: Laugh Through the Pain, Play Through the Pain

By the time Nolan Arenado’s hit had passed third base, I was already laughing. What else can you do at that point? When the previous hitter — memories of the game are already fading and I don’t even care enough to look it up at this point — banged a come-backer off of Pedro Strop’s foot, it was all but assured that the things were going to get sideways.

I wasn’t necessarily in good spirits, mind you, my laugh was more of the maniacal variety. So salty was I over the inglorious display of ersatz baseball that I actually challenged a stranger to fight over his espousal of a very, very bad opinion.

Okay, so I don’t think we’re really going to be throwing down at CDI, but I will actually be there and will thus be able to claim victory by way of forfeit. Which is more than the Cubs can say after failing to show up themselves on Saturday.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a flight to catch a couple more points to make here so let’s move quickly.

Playing through it

In addition to the personal conflagration that seems to have spread through the clubhouse, Addison Russell has been battling performance issues at the plate an in the field. It can be argued that the extra-baseball matters with which he’s involved should be keeping him off the field all on their own, but the fact is that he was in the lineup. How long he will remain in good stead may be in question.

I’m not even talking about the domestic matters, which bear far more weight than what goes on between the lines. When you have a shortstop who can’t make throws to first base and then opts to stop throwing there altogether, he’s a detriment to the team when he suits up.

Whether it’s shoulder pain or psychological stuff, I don’t know. What I do know is that Russell looks all kinds of mixed up out there and like he needs some time away.

Ben Zobrist has looked similarly lost, at least at the plate, though obviously for different reasons. There may, however, be a common thread in terms of injury. The impact of Russell’s shoulder woes is only speculative at this point, but we know that Zobrist is still fighting through wrist troubles that are hindering his ability to swing from the right side.

And that’s too bad, because Zobrist is hitting worse from the left side than Kyle Schwarber at this point (okay, not really). With a DL trip apparently out of the question, the only thing to do now is play through the pain. That’s fitting for the Cubs on the whole as they fight through these rough stretches of bad baseball. Forget the last game, move to the next.

More news and notes

  • Aaron Judge hit a baseball 121.1 mph, the hardest ever in Statcast era

  • Jameson Taillon will be activated and will start Monday for the Pirates, roughly a month after undergoing surgery for testicular cancer
    • This is very good news and I’m happy for the dude
  • Aroldis Chapman is expected to come off the DL next week.
  • A lot of people apparently want the Cubs to be sellers.
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