Hello again, everybody. It was very nice to see the Cubs bounce back strong from a five-game losing streak and sweep the Mets on the road. This quick turnaround exemplifies why the Cubs of 2015 are vastly different than many of their recent versions.
During the past few years, the Cubs would turn a five-game losing streak into a nine-game losing streak instead of going to New York and beating a strong pitching staff three times in a row. It is very encouraging to see this team overcome adversity at almost every turn. As the Mid-Summer Classic approaches, this team is exciting and adventurous and hopeful. So let’s focus on that and get down to some serious rambling as this great country prepares to celebrate its 239th birthday.
• Rizzo’s slide was so pretty and amazing that I could barely get through three tweets before someone else had posted it. I mean, I was on twitter for 127 seconds Thursday morning and saw it seven different times.
• Who ever thought we would be talking about Rizzo’s sliding ability? This is just fun.
• Question of the day: Would you trade Kyle Schwarber for Cole Hamels? I heard that former Mets GM Steve Phillips would in a heartbeat. And although Mr. Phillips fielded a few great teams, I do not believe I would make this trade.
• I could be nearsighted on this one, but I do not think Hamels puts this team over the top. This team is craving offense as well, and trading Schwarber means the Cubs are going all in right now. If I had to guess, I do not think they do it.
• I believe the Cubs will try to add a second-tier option and go for broke in free agency this winter.
• It is no secret that David Price would love to pitch for Joe Maddon again, let alone his college pitching coach, Derek Johnson, who is the Cubs Minor-League Pitching Coordinator. And yes, I realize that most of those reading this already know these facts.
• The point is that there are many good pitchers who will be available during the next hot-stove season, so I am not sure the right move is trading a huge chip for Hamels when there are multiple pitchers of the same ability available very soon.
• Don’t look now, but Coghlan has gotten his batting average back above .250. He is on pace to hit close to 20 homers with about 42 RBI. This stat line reeks of Mark Bellhorn. I am sorry; I just had to say that.
• In 2002, Mark Bellhorn hit .256 with 27 homeruns and 56 RBI. Outside of Mark Bellhorn himself, does anyone recall that Mark Bellhorn hit 27 homeruns in one season? Seriously, anyone?
• There have been multiple first-half surprises, but Tommy La Stella recording six at-bats while Mike Baxter has 53 is up there for me.
• Jake Arrieta is really rounding into form and that is great to see. His ERA is below 3.00, and he is on pace to win 16 or 17 games. But yeah, the Feldman trade was garbage.
• Hey … remember when the Ricketts were broke? Great times, and it never get old!
• I will say this, and feel free to disagree, but Kris Bryant is flying under the media radar to me. Sure, there has been coverage, but after the Spring Training he had, I thought every at-bat would be national sports news.
• Bryant is on-pace to hit over 20 home runs and knock in close to 100 runs. That is a pretty solid rookie season. I was pretty young in 1987, but could you imagine a rookie hitting 49 homers as Mark McGwire did that year. That would be off-the-wall news today.
• Not to be repetitive, but we all wanted one meaningful game in September. I think we are going to get to watch multiple meaningful Cubs games in September, and maybe a few in the second half of the month.
• It was great to see Lester come out strong this week, but it was against an offense that is entirely woeful at best. The Mets sure have some great young arms, and while injuries have been an issue, that offense is bad. Really bad.
• Sticking with the word of the minute, it should be good that the woeful Marlins ride into town. While they have won three in a row, they are 13-24 on the road, and the Cubs need to capitalize on that weakness, especially with Stanton out of the lineup.
• No matter the slide, I still laugh at the fact that Rizzo has 12 stolen bases this season and leads the team. He had 16 total stolen bases in his career prior to this year.
• Bryant has 90 K’s and Russell has 75. If those two can work to improve their numbers in the second half, a fateful September may be upon us. Either way, we are talking about the Cubs and September in the same breath, and that, in itself, is a victory.
That is all I have for now. I hope each and everyone of you has a phenomenal Fourth of July. Celebrate well and celebrate safe.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!