The Rundown: Blowout Win Salvages St. Louis Series, Morel Stays Hot After Promotion, Yankees Last in AL East

“But no one heard them callin’. No one came at all ’cause they were too busy watchin’ those old raindrops fall.” – Blues Image, Ride Captain Ride

The Cubs beat the Cardinals 10-4 yesterday in what I will forever refer to as the Yan Gomes Game. That puts the Chicago catcher on the team’s Mount Rushmore with Ryne Sandberg, Kerry Wood, and Tuffy Rhodes. Gomes and the Cubs “salvaged” the three-game series after losses in the first two games.

The most hilarious concerning part of the series was the overreaction by Cubs fans. Chicago’s North Side Baseballers are still better than the Redbirds, and no, Willson Contreras does not play better just because he’s being heckled by the home crowd. That’s a coincidence, and it’s non-quantifiable.

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

When you know, you know.

Central Intelligence

  • St. Louis: According to Jim Bowden, the White Sox may shop Lucas Giolito, and Cardinals fans are salivating a bit at the prospect of Rick Hahn trading him to the Redbirds.
  • Milwaukee: The Brewers have quietly intimated that they’d leave Milwaukee if they do not get financial assistance to do $290 million worth of upgrades to American Family Insurance Field. Those warnings are getting a little bit louder.
  • Cincinnati: The Reds designated veteran right-hander Luis Cessa for assignment Tuesday. Maybe he can go to St. Louis to resurrect his career.
  • Pittsburgh: Pirates fans are calling for highly-touted catching prospect Henry Davis to get the call to the bigs.

Climbing the Ladder

“Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face and stars fill my dreams.” – Led Zeppelin, Kashmir

The Cubs continue to win games defined as blowouts (9-2) but can’t get over the hump in one and two-run affairs (3-12). None of that has anything to do with Matt Mervis, who is batting .190 with eight strikeouts in 21 plate appearances, Eric Hosmer, or Contreras, who just rubs opponents and his own pitchers the wrong way.

It is worth noting that Chicago is 13-7 (.650) in the games where Gomes is the starting catcher. They were 2-6 (.250) while he was on the IL, so you do the math.

It’s more concerning that Hoerner is unavailable, and I disagree with putting Nick Madrigal at the top of the order. David Ross should bat Swanson in the leadoff position, move everybody else up one spot, and bat Madrigal ninth. Remember how Joe Maddon would sometimes bat starting pitchers in the 8-hole followed by a good hitter with a poorer OBP? That’s the concept I’m going for here.

By the way, Christopher Morel brought his hot bat with him to Chicago. It’s kind of a bummer that David Ross sent him down in favor of players like Edwin Ríos, Luis Torrens, and Miles Mastrobuoni. I understand the positional challenges, but build the best roster and let everything else work itself out.

Justin Steele won his sixth game of the season, which ties him at the top of the National League with Clayton Kershaw.

  • Games Played: 37
  • Record: 18-19 (.486)
  • Total Plate Appearances: 1,443
  • Total Strikeouts: 316
  • Strikeout Rate: 21.89%
  • Team Batting Average: .269
  • Runs Scored: 183
  • Runs Allowed: 135
  • Chances of Making the Playoffs: 45.2%, 1.6% to win the World Series

How About That!

The Yankees are in last place in the AL East this morning despite a 21-17 record.

New York needs to routinely beat the game’s weaker opponents to create the tailwinds necessary to compete for the division lead.

The Yankees Cardinals, White Sox, and Mets are among baseball’s most disappointing teams.

An Orlando group is proposing a $1.7 billion stadium in its attempt to lure a big league franchise to central Florida.

Major League Baseball, hoping to reverse a talent drain of African American players, is backing the Black College World Series for the first time this year.

Wednesday’s Three Stars

  1. Gomes – The veteran backstop was 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Patrick Wisdom also homered for the Cubs.
  2. Kenley Jansen – The Red Sox closer has nine saves on the season and became the seventh pitcher all-time to record 400 career saves.
  3. Justin Verlander – The 40-year-old Mets starter threw seven innings of two-hit ball to beat the Reds 2-1. The win also means that Verlander has beaten every single MLB team at least once.

Extra Innings

Morel is the second Cubs player to homer in back-to-back season debuts. The super UT had a 183 wRC+ at Iowa.

Thursday Morning Six-Pack

  1. We have plenty of new content over at Bears Insider this morning. Rick Leen ranked Chicago’s draft picks by impact and potential performance and wonders aloud if Justin Fields has the goods to be league MVP.
  2. Additionally, the Bears will not play the Chiefs in Germany this season, and GM Ryan Poles has $37.5 million in available cap space, though most of that will likely be targeted to extend Cole Kmet and Jaylon Johnson.
  3. Chicago, the self-proclaimed “sanctuary city,” saw more than 8,000 migrants arrive in the past year and now outgoing mayor Lori Lightfoot has declared a state of emergency and is demanding financial assistance. By the way, Title 42, the controversial immigration policy that was only legal because of the national public health crisis, expires tonight.
  4. Is there a bigger piece of shit than George Santos? He’s so awful that Republicans even despise him. The New York congressman’s alleged aversion to the truth got him indicted on 13 financial crimes yesterday, though he pleaded not guilty to all charges and he refused to resign. Santos is looking at 20 years in prison if convicted.
  5. The foldable phone is back, comes with AI-enhanced search functionality, and will only cost you $1,799 to purchase!
  6. A Hopewell, New Jersey home was hit yesterday by what could be a 4 billion-year-old meteorite.

They Said It

  • “It’s a hard one. You look at our underlying numbers and there’s a ton of things to draw a ton of confidence from. But it’s a results business, and we haven’t won the games. The biggest frustration of all of it is, whenever you’re playing all those close games, it means someone gave up a run at some point. Our pitching has been fantastic. Our run prevention has been fantastic. We just haven’t gotten any big hits.” – Hoyer
  • “[Amaya] has the tools to become a superstar.” – Contreras
  • “The thing that I’ve liked [about Amaya] is the slow heartbeat in the big moments, being able to block the ball with the game on the line and a runner at third in extra innings, the plate discipline, the calm at-bats.  I like the way he’s preparing. I like the conversations that the pitching coaches are telling me he’s having. With his receiving skills, he looks really clean and polished back there so far.” – Ross

Thursday Walk Up Song

This video garnered 17 million-plus views and was produced as a high school media project.

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