The Rundown: Pirates Tattoo Cubs’ Backsides, Team Considers Deadline Options, Godspeed Tyler Skaggs

There is no point in even talking too much about last night’s game. The Cubs looked flat and seem a bit too complacent. They are a mediocre team that gets beat by other mediocre teams and it is probably time that the front office starts to think about radical changes.

Be thankful for the 2016 world championship, because since winning it all that year, the Cubs have shown neither the hunger nor the fire that were trademarks of the the first two seasons of this incredible five-year run. They remain stuck with what seems to be a never-ending World Series hangover. Pass the ibuprofen and bicarbonate, please and thank you.

They’re not having fun. There is no swagger with this team. They have become the fictionalized version of the Cleveland Indians in Major League II.

Last night’s 18-5 shitshow loss to the Pirates is the low-water mark of the Joe Maddon era. The Pirates tattooed the Jolly Roger on the asses of every Cubs pitcher that took the mound. Josh Bell, Colin Moran, and Adam Frazier combined to go 14-for-17 with three home runs (all by Bell), nine runs scored, and 11 RBI. Frazier had four doubles, tying a major league record that was set by Paul Waner in 1932.

Chicago is 20-26 over the last month and a half, and you can save your “rough stretch” and “small sample size” arguments for someone else. From my vantage point, that’s a quarter of a season mired in inadequacy.

You can call last night’s game an outlier if you like, but a team this talented shouldn’t be going 6-8 across a two-week stretch that includes games against the Mets, Reds, Pirates, and White Sox. If you can’t beat the teams you’re supposed to beat, it makes no sense to even think about the playoffs.

Further, I am tired of hearing that the Cubs have this untouchable core. Frankly speaking, a team that plays .435 baseball for uncomfortably long stretches should not have a single untouchable player. If the Cubs continue to play like zombies, maybe Maddon needs to be a little more like Herb Brooks. Somebody get a whistle.

Cubs News & Notes

How About That!

MLB set a new record for most home runs in a month with 1,142 June blasts. The previous record was set the month before.

Yesterday was Bobby Bonilla Day. The former third baseman and outfielder receives an annual $1.19 million check from the Mets every July 1. Those payments will continue through 2035, when Bonilla turns 72.

Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martínez is extremely confident and has high expectations for himself after being named the team’s closer.

The Red Sox are unlikely to add significant payroll at this year’s trade deadline.

Christian Yelich became the first Brewers’ player to hit 30 home runs before the All-Star break. With last night’s 8-6 win, Milwaukee took sole possession of first place in the NL Central.

Monday’s Three Stars

  1. Josh Bell – The Pirates’ slugging third baseman was 4-for-6 with three taters and seven RBI.
  2. Adam Frazier – Tied a major league record with four doubles on a 5-for-6 night with three runs scored and two RBI.
  3. Colin Moran – The Cubs couldn’t get the outfielder out. Moran was 5-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI.

That’s one painful trifecta for Cubs fans.

Extra Innings

Godspeed, Tyler Skaggs.

They Said It

  • “Give them credit. They barreled up, out of 23 of the [hits], maybe 22. They were really impressive offensively. You can’t take that away from them. They were that good.”Joe Maddon
  • “A lot of guys are where they need to be from an individual standpoint. From a team perspective, that’s where the real frustration lies. We haven’t capitalized on a lot of opportunities. It’s too often the storyline.” – Jed Hoyer
  • “We’ve got to play better in all facets. I don’t think the product we’ve put out on the field recently is indicative of the team we have in here and the talent we have in here.”Daniel Descalso

Note to Descalso: Salvation lies within, young man.

Tuesday Walk Up Song

Fix You by Coldplay. Sometimes you just need a bad song and a good cry.

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