The Rundown: Bryant the Giant Expects Warm Reception Today, Cubs Relishing Role of Spoiler, Gotham Set for Epic Mets-Yankees Battle, Scherzer Lights Out for L.A.

“And I’m still standing here, and you’re miles away, and I’m wonderin’ why you left.” – John Waite, Missing You

Instant Replay

The prodigal son returns today, as Kris Bryant makes his return to Wrigley Field as a member of the Giants. He’ll probably receive a warm welcome and a number of standing ovations, grown men will cry, women will swoon, kids will remember this day forever, and 95% of Cubs Nation will forget they’re Cubs fans for most of the day. I suppose José Quintana, who is also returning to the Friendly Confines for the first time since leaving Chicago in free agency, is likely to be booed. Do we still care about Tommy La Stella?

Personally speaking, I hope Bryant goes 0-for-12 this weekend, the Cubs sweep the Giants, and that Jason Heyward, who is receiving the paycheck that should be going to Bryant, is the weekend’s MVP. It would be kind of cool if Patrick Wisdom, Frank Schwindel, and Rafel Ortega hand San Francisco their asses, and if Bryant does go yard, I certainly hope whoever catches the ball launches it back onto the playing field.

No hard feelings, I’m just a Cubs fan and refuse to root for the opponents no matter the legacy attached.

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

Salvador Pérez has 42 home runs. The single-season MLB record for home runs by a catcher is 45, held by Johnny Bench. I’d say Perez will take that crown before the Brewers clinch. Milwaukee’s magic number is 10.

Climbing the Ladder

“You know you can’t fool me, I’ve been loving you too long. It started so easy you’ll want to carry on.” – Air Supply, Lost in Love

The Big Three have enjoyed varying degrees of success since Jed Hoyer shipped them out of town.

  • Javier Báez: .273/.333/.879, 7 HR, 13 RBI, 139 OPS+
  • Anthony Rizzo: .265/.342/.793, 5,16, 118
  • Bryant: .265/.328/.815, 6, 14, 118


  • Schwindel: .354/.404/1.066, 10, 30, 181- so let’s root, root, root for the home team.

I wonder if Bryant will be asked about service time manipulation this weekend. Nah, Chicago’s reporters aren’t that predictable, are they?

How About That!

The Blue Jays swept the Yankees in a four-game series, have won eight straight, and now trail New York by just a half-game in the AL Wild Card race.

The Triple Crown watch is on for Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. The 22-year-old third baseman leads the AL with a .319 batting average, is tied for second in home runs with 42, and is four RBI off the pace with 100.

Max Scherzer may be the greatest trade deadline acquisition ever (subscription to ESPN+ required). The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 48 innings since Washington traded him to Los Angeles. Scherzer is also six punchouts shy of 3,000 for his career.

Bryant has also been one of the game’s better deadline acquisitions.

The Mets and Yankees will face each other this weekend and the stakes couldn’t be any higher.

Jacob deGrom is trying to ease fears among Mets fans with regard to his “perfecly fine” elbow.

Thursday’s Three Stars

  1. Bo Bichette – The Blue Jays shortstop was 3-for-5 with a home run and a stolen base as Toronto edged the Yankees 6-4.
  2. Sean Manaea – The White Sox have really struggled against the American League’s better pitchers this year and last night was no exception. Manaea held the ChiSox to a run on five hits with nine strikeouts in earning hsi ninth win of 2021.
  3. Cal Quantrill – The former reliever has found new life as a starter with Cleveland. Last night he tossed 7.2 innings of one-run baseball against the Twins with five strikeouts.

Extra Innings

I’ve got nothing.

They Said It

  • “I hope they have like a Game of Thrones chair at home plate, and like a red carpet. And they carry me and then I can just wave to the fans.” – Bryant
  • “From a fan perspective, it’s [wierder for Bryant and other ex-Cubs], all this stuff. I feel like it’s a privilege and an honor for a fan base to have players to miss. Regardless of how they leave, time is going to always win. And this [was] a group that did a lot of special things here. So I think if anything it’s a treat for them to be able to root for the players to come back through here so soon.” – Heyward
  • “Life comes at you pretty fast.” – Jed Hoyer

Friday Walk-Up Song

Every Time I Think of You by The Babys – There’s enough over-the-top production in this number to compensate for my lack of warmth for San Francisco’s biggest deadline acquisition. No, I’m not feeling jilted. Not at all.

Back to top button