The Rundown: Cubs Take 2 of 3 From Pads, Saturday is Lee Elia Day, Ohtani Misses Cycle by Inches

“Celebrate it, anticipate it, yesterday’s faded.” – Talk Talk, Life’s What You Make It

The Cubs took two of three from the Padres, including yesterday’s 5-2 win. They’re 14-10, in third place in the NL Central, and trail the first-place Pirates by three games. I’ve said these Cubs remind me of the 97-win 2015 iteration a few times, and they’re on pace to win 95 games.

With six games against the Marlins and Nationals starting today in Miami, the team is also well-positioned to improve that winning percentage. I dislike Miami as much as I do the Mets, if only because the Marlins have always been a burr in the ass of Chicago’s North Side baseballers. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs take four of the six games before returning to Chicago to play the Marins and Cardinals.

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

The Lee Elia incident turns 40 tomorrow, and word of caution, earmuff the kids if you find the audio.

Central Intelligence

Climbing the Ladder

“The sun is shining to wake me up. No one around, just me and the sky.” – Freddy Jones Band, In a Daydream

The Cubs got home runs from Swanson, Hosmer, and Velázquez in yesterday’s win. It was Swanson’s first as a Cub, which kind of caught me by surprise considering his fast start this year. The Cubs have a bit of a predictive formula, and it’s at the top of the order. When Swanson, Nico Hoerner, and Ian Happ get on base, the Cubs usually win. The trio had five hits and a walk in 13 plate appearances on Thursday.

  • Games Played: 24
  • Record: 14-10 (.583)
  • Total Plate Appearances: 933
  • Total Strikeouts: 193
  • Strikeout Rate: 20.69%
  • Team Batting Average: .276
  • Runs Scored: 135
  • Runs Allowed: 89
  • Chances of Making the Playoffs: 66.5%, 2.0% to win the World Series

How About That!

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is already discussing trade possibilities ($) for the 7-19 White Sox. Things have really gone off the rails under new manager Pedro Grifol. Even Dylan Cease is having a rough go at it for the underachieving ChiSox.

The Braves have been celebrating home runs with an oversized hat this season, but that has been put to a stop after a complaint from the league’s official on-field hat manufacturer. What an adult thing to do.

ESPN fired Marly Rivera after an obscene exchange with another reporter while trying to get an interview with Aaron Judge.

The Padres and Giants are playing in Mexico City this weekend.

If you feel like prospecting ahead of this year’s minor league draft, Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline dropped his top-150 list, conveniently on NFL Draft Day.

Thursday’s Three Stars

  1. Shohei Ohtani – The two-way superstar and future Cub had a single, double, and triple, and earned a win yesterday. He also came within inches of hitting a home run, which would have given him a cycle.
  2. Isaac Paredes – The former Cubs farmhand had a two-hit day with five RBI against Cease and the sinking White Sox.
  3. Brett Baty – The Mets rookie was 3-for-3 with a walk and an RBI and is slashing .321/.387/.851. Paging Matt Mervis.
  4. Morel – I know he’s not in the bigs but the dude is on fire.

Extra Innings

We need a better name than “Dansby Dingers.”

Friday Morning Six-Pack

  1. The Bears traded down one spot during yesterday’s draft and then selected right tackle Darnell Wright of Tennessee.
  2. There was plenty of drama leading up to the first round, including a rumor from unnamed sources that mentioned a potential problem between Justin Fields and Cole Kmet.
  3. Jerry Springer, the ringmaster of civilization’s end, died yesterday. His type of sensationalism changed television, particularly news delivery. Examples of guests Springer hosted include members of the KKKadult babies, a self-described kung fu hillbilly, and a number of folks seeking their five minutes of fame for the oddest of reasons. We have social media for that now.
  4. New York City’s MTA said it would stop posting service updates on Twitter, saying the platform was “no longer reliable.”
  5. The number of U.S. residents who smoke cigarettes has reached an all-time low.
  6. The history of “Stuck in the Middle With You” by Stealer’s Wheel is the perfect way to close the week. It also gives me an opportunity to link to my favorite scene from “Reservoir Dogs.”

Apropos of Nothing

I wanted to share “Ten Years Gone” by Led Zeppelin because it’s the perfect Friday song.

They Said It

  • “Feel like I got a good glimpse of what Wrigley wind can do. It’s obviously cool. A special place, and getting the first one out of the way is definitely a good feeling, for sure.” – Swanson
  • “I lean on Stro a little bit with certain things. Because me and him are similar pitchers, we do similar things. And he’s been there, done that. He’s thrown a lot of innings, he’s eaten up innings. And some of the advice he’s told me is, throw a little bit less [before the game].” – Wesneski
  • “I can’t explain how valuable it is for a young guy to learn early that you don’t need to make extra throws just to get ready.”Tommy Hottovy
  • “Baseball’s a difficult game. You really have to focus all your energy on your own preparation and performance. I think Matt knows that. He also knows that he can only control the controllable and that’s going out there and putting up good ABs, playing good defense, and running the bases every day. The rest is not up to him. We’ll see where everything leads.” – Jared Banner

Friday Walk-Up Song

Hard to believe it’s been 50 years since The Midnight Special was the best thing on television.

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