The Rundown: Morel Bombs ChiSox, Fulmer Clutch As Possible, Epic Day for Individual Performances

“You say you wanna go for a spin. The party’s just begun, we’ll let you in. You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy.” – Kiss, Rock and Roll All Nite

I’m going to skip the preamble and let the Cubs speak on my behalf. Before I do that, I want to say I’m tired of the fans who unforgivably trash this team and then celebrate a walk-off win like they’re the greatest fans in Chicago. Just stop, rant over.

A quick recap:

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

Do they call Ozzie Albies “Aquaman?” If not, someone should start.

Central Intelligence

Climbing the Ladder

“I was caught in the middle of a railroad track. I looked ’round, but I knew there was no turning back.” – AC/DC, Thunderstruck

Yes, I referenced that song. Suck it, Sox fans.

Morel’s home run was hit so hard that the exit velocity wasn’t even recorded by Statcast, and it sent a sonic boom through Wrigley Field. The second-year slugger was mired in a 4-for-39 slump with 16 strikeouts when he won the game, but stats don’t matter as long as you win.

I can’t say enough about Madrigal. That was a gigantic blast by the Liliputian infielder against his former team.

None of that would have been possible without Fulmer, who came in with the bases loaded in the top of the 8th and struck out Luis Robert Jr., Yoan Moncada, and Andrew Vaughn. He earned every penny of his contract with that performance. The expected tally is slightly greater than two runs in that situation, on average.

  • Games Played: 120
  • Record: 62-58 (.517)
  • Total Plate Appearances: 4,606
  • Total Strikeouts: 1,079
  • Strikeout Rate: 23.43%
  • Team Batting Average: .254
  • Runs Scored: 604
  • Runs Allowed: 541
  • Chances of Making the Playoffs66.8%, 1.8% to win the World Series

How About That!

Rays infielder Wander Franco may never play in MLB again, according to insider Héctor Gómez. One assumes he’s probably going to forfeit the remainder of that 12-year, $223 million contract extension, too.

Is your favorite team a contender or a pretender, last night’s results aside?

While a false narrative has circulated that Major League Baseball is a “dying sport,” a groundbreaking report peels back the data to show that the sports property is an exceptional value for advertisers.

Dodgers hurler Walker Buehler wants MLB to create separate Rookie of the Year awards for pitchers and hitters.

Which team has baseball’s best rotation? I was shocked to learn it is the Phillies, who boast Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suárez, Michael Lorenzen, Aaron Nola, Cristopher Sánchez, and Taijuan Walker among their top six.

Marlins minor leaguer Ian Lewis stole five bases without recording a single hit on Wednesday night. That’s so rare it’s been done just once in AL/NL history dating back to 1901. That one player is Rickey Henderson, who did it in 1989.

Wednesday’s Many Stars

There were plenty of superb performances yesterday besides those by Madrigal, Fulmer, and Morel, so let me expand this category this morning. Last night offered plenty of surreal experiences for fans of the game.

  1. Spencer Torkelson, Stone Garrett, DJ Stewart, Christian Walker, and Bryce Harper – Each hit two home runs in wins by their respective teams.
  2. Zack Gelof – The A’s second baseman was 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI, and a stolen base in an 8-0 thrashing of the Cardinals. Paul Blackburn had a big game, too, with eight strikeouts in seven scoreless frames.
  3. Charlie Morton – The veteran Braves starter blanked the Yankees with 10 strikeouts in six shutout innings. Atlanta’s 2-0 victory put New York below .500 on the season.
  4. Reid Detmers – He took a no-hitter into the 8th inning in the Angels’ 2-0 win over the Rangers. Shohei Ohtani hit his AL-leading 42nd home run in the contest. He trails Matt Olson by one for the MLB lead.
  5. Luke Raley – A pinch-hit, inside-the-park home run is a notable achievement, and almost as fun as Morel’s walk-off bomb.
  6. Matt McLain – The Reds rookie was 3-for-5 with three RBI, a home run, a double, and two stolen bases in a 7-2 stomping of the Guardians.
  7. Fernando Tatis Jr. – The Padres shortstop was 3-for-4 against the Orioles and stole home uncontested in a 5-2 win.

Extra Innings

You want to see it again, don’t you?

Thursday Morning Six-Pack

  1. The Bears are running joint practices this week with the Colts before the two teams will play an exhibition tilt on Saturday. Justin Fields had an up-and-down day, but D.J. Moore continues to impress everybody. Chicago’s rookies have also been impressive so far.
  2. Sean Tuohy Jr., better known as “SJ,” claimed in an interview that Michael Oher threatened the Tuohy family a few years prior to the legal petition the former offensive lineman filed in court on Monday.
  3. It’s my personal goal to use the following words in this space before the end of the year: suspire, inchoate, flâneur, Csárdás, and of course, rigmarole.
  4. On this day in 1998, former President Bill Clinton turned everyone’s minds into slush when, during grand jury testimony over his affair with Monica Lewinsky, he retorted, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” That’s not rigmarole, but it’s still a funny quip.
  5. A pig’s kidney transplanted into a brain-dead human is still working after a month, but for the love of Gene Wilder, hasn’t reanimation proven to be a massive failure?
  6. This is an old story but I still dig it: People who love the Dave Matthews Band need to come out of the closet. The music bullies aren’t as tough as they pretend to be.

They Said It

  • “What a great swing, great environment. Morel, he’s just so electric. That ball’s smoked. A line drive to get over the basket like that, that exit velocity — I haven’t even seen it all. Crazy, crazy swing.”David Ross
  • “I thought initially, off the bat, it was too low to get out. But [Morel] hit it probably as hard as you can possibly hit the ball. It just kept going and going. For that ball to get out in that situation, it’s just so much fun. The crowd went crazy, the guys also went crazy, and everyone was going in all different directions. That’s probably one of the most fun games to be a part of.” – Madrigal

Thursday Walk-Up Song

No need to come down from last night’s high!

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