The Rundown: Cubs Limping into Second-Half, Team Still Focused on Winning NL Central, All-Star Rosters Announced

“But the freak, and his type, all for nothing misses a step and cuts his hand, but showing nothing, he swoops like a song. She cries, ‘Where have all Papa’s heroes gone?'” – David Bowie, Young Americans

The Cubs are a frustrating bunch, aren’t they? They usually have great starting pitching except when Jameson Taillon takes the bump. After yesterday’s 8-6 loss, Chicago has lost five of six at home after winning four of five in Pittsburgh and London. Their attempt to finish with a strong 13-game run ahead of the All-Star break has gone haplessly awry.

We are now at the halfway mark of the season and it’s difficult to tell how good or bad this team is. I could use many more games like Friday night’s 10-1 win and a lot less of yesterday’s disappointment. Hopefully, Chicago’s North Side Baseballers will turn it around when they play the Brewers here in Milwaukee starting today. I may go to today’s game, but I’ll definitely be at Wednesday night’s affair, so look me up if you are in town.

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

Shohei Ohtani is at the top of my wishlist and if Tom Ricketts is serious about winning, he needs to do whatever it takes to sign the two-way superstar this winter.

Central Intelligence

Climbing the Ladder

“Some blame the management, some the employees.” – Dire Straits, Industrial Disease

Christopher Morel played third base yesterday and was 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI. He now leads the club with 15 big flies even though he wasn’t called up until May 9. Let’s hope he becomes a fixture at the hot corner.

Taillon needs to turn things around in a hurry because he’s starting to remind me a lot of Danny Jackson, who was 5-14 for the Cubs in 1991-92 after signing as a free agent. Chicago traded Jackson to the Pirates halfway through the ’92 season for Steve Buechele.

I’m not a fan of the ghost runner rule, which seems to be an advantage for visiting teams.

  • Games Played: 81
  • Record: 38-43 (.469)
  • Total Plate Appearances: 3,135
  • Total Strikeouts: 749
  • Strikeout Rate: 23.89%
  • Team Batting Average: .248
  • Runs Scored: 375
  • Runs Allowed: 351
  • Chances of Making the Playoffs: 29.9%,  2.1% to win the World Series

How About That!

Ohtani made the American League All-Star team as a pitcher and also as a designated hitter.

There are 26 first-time All-Stars heading to Seattle next week.

Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wander Franco were this year’s biggest snubs.

Eight Braves players made the National League squad.

The White Sox and Cardinals are the teams most likely to conduct a fire sale this month. The Pirates, Rockies, and Tigers are also listed.

July 1 was Bobby Bonilla Day as if the Mets don’t have enough of a problem with this year’s bloated payroll. Bonilla has 12 years of deferred $1.2 million payments left and will be 72 when his contract expires.

Sunday’s Three Stars

  1. Javier Báez and Jake Marisnick – Both ex-Cubs players hit grand slams for the Tigers in a 14-9 win over the Rockies. Zach McKinstry also had two hits for Detroit and Kris Bryant had two knocks for Colorado.
  2. Mark Canha – The Mets first baseman was 2-for-4 with a home run and a stolen base.
  3. Andrés Giménez – The second baseman had a double and a home run plus a stolen base in the Guardians’ 8-6 win over the Cubs. Giménez also scored three runs.

Extra Innings

I love watching Haydn McGeary hit. He has such a beautiful swing.

Monday Morning Six-Pack

  1. Would you be shocked if I told you that Mark Knopfler wrote songs for Tina Turner, Jeff Healy, and Jimmy Buffett?
  2. Americans increased their spending on fireworks by about $100 million this year compared to last summer, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.
  3. Deploying the unusual business move of restricting how much people can use your product, Twitter owner Elon Musk slapped daily limits on the number of posts users can see each day, and the deluge of unhappy posts was reportedly relentless.
  4. The Coney Island hot dog-eating contest takes place tomorrow, and as is customary, celebrate accordingly. Emcee George Shea likes to say “The Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest is the crucible through which greatness is forged.” Can I get an amen?
  5. Wimbledon begins today, and Novak Djokovic is the clear favorite in the men’s draw, but keep your eyes on Taylor Fritz and Francis Tiafoe.
  6. A growing number of Australian students are “hot-bedding”—sharing a bed with a stranger—because rental costs are too high.

They Said It

  • “Baseball is one of those games where you can have a bad month and a great two months, or vice versa. You just really have to stay even keel and balanced. The guys in this clubhouse know what we’re capable of, so it’s just a matter of doing it. Hopefully, we catch fire. One win after another, it starts to kind of roll and we have clumps of big winning streaks, because the division is wide open, truly.” – Stroman
  • “I love our team. We’ve got a great starting staff and our bullpen has kind of worked its way out. We’re not going to slug you to death. I don’t think we’re that type of team. But, we’re going to have to get key hits, get guys on base, take our walks, and get timely hits.”David Ross

Monday Walk-Up Song

I love this video because it’s an exact visual encapsulation of the lyrics.

Back to top button