The Rundown: Royals Blast Cubs to Complete Sweep, Miggy Gets 500, Topps Blindsided by MLB, Cleveland Takes Little League Classic

“Ain’t nothin’ but a muffin, we’ve got a lot of butter to go.” – Prince, Partyman

Instant Replay

On Friday I said the Cubs would sweep the Royals, then Kansas City proceeded to wax our Boys in Blue over the entire three-game set. That sweep leaves the Cubs with the sixth-worst record in all of baseball this morning and, obviously, in possession of the draft choice that comes with it. After yesterday’s 9-1 affair, Chicago has now lost 13 straight games at Wrigley Field and it may be too much to expect for the Cubs to put the brakes on that streak anytime soon even with the Rockies coming to town. It would be nice to pull the plug on the rest of the season, but there are still 36 games to be played.

The 13 straight losses by the Cubs at the Friendly Confines is a team record, by the way, which means Tom Trebelhorn can sleep easy for the first time since 1994. I don’t suppose David Ross will conduct a firehouse chat on Waveland Avenue, but he’s kinda-sorta going into concession speech mode.

“We’re just trying to come in every day and try to do our best and compete,” Ross said. “This is a great environment here, a great place to play.”

“These guys work their tail off, and they go out there compete as best they can,” the second-year manager continued. “Now, sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes it does. Right now, it’s not working out a lot. But we’ll put our pants on tomorrow and go out and try to take it to the Rockies.”

You have to wonder if Ross is feeling like he was sold a bill of goods when he was hired. Last year he had to deal with a COVID-shortened season, this year his team was completely gutted by Jed Hoyer, and unless he signs an extension this winter, he’ll enter 2022 as the lame-duck manager of a rebuilding ballclub. If the Cubs didn’t have Kyle Hendricks, they might not win another game. Epstein talked for years about a great reckoning, but this season has been nothing short of a bloodletting under Hoyer.

If you’ve watched any of the games recently, I’m sure you noticed more and more empty seats at Wrigley Field. Hopefully, Tom Ricketts has also noticed and will do what he can financially to jumpstart the Cubs toward their next window of contention as quickly as possible. Big-name free agents may not want to sign to play for a rebuilding franchise, however, especially when the chief executive states that he wants to limit contracts to shorter terms ($). There aren’t a lot of selling points at the corner of Clark and Addison these days, and franchise-low losing streaks combined with dwindling attendance isn’t helping.

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

Seems par for the course when it comes to Rob Manfred, right?

Climbing the Ladder

“Hey…look me over. Tell me do you like what you see? Hey, I ain’t got no money, but baby I’m rich on personality.” – Prince & The Revolution, Baby, I’m a Star

  • Games Played: 126
  • Total Plate Appearances: 4,617
  • Total Strikeouts: 1,234
  • Strikeout Rate: 26.7%
  • Team Batting Average: .229

Two-hits-per-day Frank Schwindel had two more hits yesterday. Has his mug become a viral meme yet? It should.

Apropos of Nothing

When Chicago holds the Air & Water Show, the USN Blue Angels make their way all the way up to Milwaukee before turning back. I woke up yesterday morning to my entire building shaking during a fly-by. When I was a kid, the event always meant the end of summer and back-to-school. Sigh.

How About That!

Miguel Cabrera became the 28th major leaguer to hit 500 home runs and the first Venezuelan to accomplish that feat.

Who will be the next major league player to reach that milestone? Nelson Cruz and Mike Trout are probably the likeliest.

The Indians beat the Angels 3-0 in this year’s Little League Classic.

Shohei Ohtani FaceTimed the ESPN kids-cast during yesterday’s game.

Major league players relish the opportunity to play in the Williamsport, PA classic.

The Reds took a one-game lead over the slumping Padres for the second NL Wild Card yesterday.

Because of a brutal upcoming schedule that includes 10 games against the Giants and six against the Dodgers, San Diego is fighting an uphill battle. The Padres are 5-11 against the Rockies and Diamondbacks this season and just lost two of three to the Phillies.

The Orioles have now lost 18 straight games. Chins up, Cubs fans.

Sunday’s Three Stars

  1. Miguel Cabrera – 500 home runs punched Cabrera’s ticket into baseball’s Hall of Fame, not that there was any doubt previously. Miggy is now just 45 hits shy of 3,000.
  2. Cal Quantrill – The Cleveland starter two-hit the Angels over seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in  Williamsport last night.
  3. Rhys HoskinsBryce Harper has been mentioned frequently as a potential MVP, but Hoskins may have a better case. After yesterday’s two-homer game, the first baseman is pacing the Phillies with 26 taters and 70 RBI.

Extra Innings

Miggy, forever and ever. It seems like a century ago that he led the Marlins past the Cubs in the 2003 NLCS.

They Said It

  • “Listen, it’s no fun to lose. It’s like nobody is having a good time. But what I do know is we should be really thankful we’re in the major leagues and get a chance to put on this uniform and play baseball for the Chicago Cubs.”David Ross
  • “[Sosa was] a great ballplayer. Unfortunately, he won’t come to terms with saying, ‘Hey, I want to come back.’ And that’s all it takes. One little thing: ‘I want to come back and be a part of the Cub organization.’”Fergie Jenkins

Monday Walk-Up Song

Prince/The Time Medley by Morris Day & The Time featuring Bruno Mars – One of the better Grammy moments of recent years.

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