The Rundown: Weather Remains MLB’s Lead Story, Harper Launches Broken-Bat Bomb, Jeter a No-Show at Yankee Stadium

In case you are keeping score at home, the Cubs are 7-7 with three DNPs due to inclement weather (there have been four games PPD, but the home opener was simply shifted back a day). However, with three shutout losses and another two in which the team only scored one run, one might argue that Chicago is 7-2 with eight DNPs. It’s ugly no matter how you break down the first three weeks of this season.

If you remember, the Cubs started last season at 6-7 also. So much for Joe Maddon’s quick start. In fact, the 2018 season hardly feels like #EverybodyIn. It is convenient to blame the weather for the team’s inconsistent play, but they are hardly the only team that has suffered through numerous schedule interruptions. It’s also easy to say it’s still early, but a feast-or-famine offense combined with inconsistent pitching will leave any team playing .500 baseball, if that.

Tonight’s 7:05 PM game is under threat of cancellation as well. Game-time temperatures are supposed to be hovering around the freezing mark and tomorrow calls for a 90 percent chance of rain with a high of just 38 degrees. My guess is the team does whatever it takes to ensure there is baseball this evening at Wrigley Field.

Cubs News & Notes

Drew Smyly said his recovery from Tommy John surgery is going well and he expects to start throwing from a mound this week. Smyly, who underwent surgery last June, has been doing rehab work in Arizona. After a short break from his program, actually getting on the hill is his next step.

With all the weather cancellations, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts explained it is often difficult to make weather-based decisions playing early-season baseball in Chicago: “You never know what tomorrow is going to be like. Unfortunately, weather predictions aren’t predictable enough to really lean on, regardless of what the actual weather does.”

What do we make of Yu Darvish so far? The team’s marquee offseason acquisition has been shaky at best. Having logged just 15 innings in his first three starts, Darvish has posted a 6.00 ERA and has surrendered three home runs. He looked strong in his first four innings of Friday’s start against Atlanta before a balk call threw him off his game in the 5th.

Maddon is still weighting options at the top of the order. Ian Happ has struggled to make good contact after a very strong spring training. The leadoff spot has been a black hole collectively for the team so far, other than some big at-bats by Ben Zobrist.

Javy Baez is hitting just .191 and is third on the team with 13 strikeouts. Despite that, he leads the team in home runs and RBI and over the past 10 games, the Cubs’ acrobatic second baseman is ranked 12th offensively among all NL players. Contact or not, he commands attention with every at-bat.

How About That!

Royals reliever Blaine Boyer is being hailed for his quick thinking after he grabbed the steering wheel of the Royals’ team bus in an emergency situation. The windshield shattered, cutting the face of driver Fred Folkerts. Boyer quickly stepped in to take the wheel and steer the bus to the side of the road.

Bryce Harper hit a 406-foot home run with a broken bat against the Mets last night. He’s good.

Brandon Drury, the Yankees third baseman who was placed on the disabled list with migraines on April 7, said he has begun taking anti-inflammatory medication to help the pressure that is causing the blurred vision and headaches, but said he still feels symptoms, especially when physically active. There is no timetable for his return.

Weather forced the cancellation of three more games yesterday, including one at a domed stadium.

Monday’s Three Stars

  1. Didi Gregorious – The Yankees shortstop homered twice with three RBIs in the Yankees victory over the Marlins. It was the second time this season that Gregorious has had a two-homer game.
  2. Bryce Harper – The broken-bat home run was the Nationals’ All-Star’s eighth of the season to go with 17 RBI. Harper was 2-for-4 with three ribeyes in Washington’s 8-6 come-from-behind victory over the red-hot Mets.
  3. Dave Mengden – The A’s pitcher fired eight innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts in Oakland’s 8-1 victory over the White Sox.

Hot Takes & Syrup

  • Derek Jeter was a no-show for Miami’s game against his former team yesterday. The Yankees beat the underfunded and undermanned Marlins 12-1 at Yankee Stadium. Giancarlo Stanton had no impact on the game, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, and was the team’s only starter not to have a hit.
  • The Blue Jays’ attempt to poke fun at other teams over weather cancellations so far this season backfired spectacularly yesterday.

They Said It

  • “It’s just fun to watch [Baez] play baseball. He always has so much fun out there. It doesn’t matter if he’s 0-for-20 or 20-for-20 or has four homers in two games or whatever. … I get wowed by him all the time. It’s great to have him on our side because he plays with joy.” – Kyle Schwarber
  • “It would be an awkward situation for me to actually go to Yankee Stadium.” – Derek Jeter

Tuesday Walk Up Song

Who’ll Stop The Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival

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