The Rundown: Hawkins Would ‘Love’ to Keep Bellinger, Brown Was Closet Cubs Fan in Philly, Mets Shut Out 7th Time This Season
“You’re the light in my deepest, darkest hour and you’re my savior when I fall.” – The Bee Gees, How Deep is Your Love?
How weak is the NL Central? The Cubs are 4-6 in their last 10 games and gained on everybody in the division except the Reds, who had the same record. Mr. Hoyer, please find a closer. If Chicago was .500 in one- and two-run games they’d be running away with the division.
Cubs News & Notes
- GM Carter Hawkins would love nothing more than to keep Cody Bellinger on the Cubs after this season.
- Bellinger has found new life as a Cub. His April was so good that it was his best month in four years.
- The center fielder has provided the best value among baseball’s middle-tier free agents, a list that also includes Clayton Kershaw.
- Bellinger and Marcus Stroman are among the top 10 available free agents this winter. It’s going to be a very good deadline for Hoyer and Hawkins.
- Ben Brown admitted he was “secretly happy” to be traded to the Cubs last year. His father-in-law has several Cubs tattoos and Brown named his dog “Wrigley” long before the Phillies traded him for David Robertson.
- Brown was dominant in his second start for Iowa,
- The organization is considering changes to the new LED lights at Wrigley Field.
- The Cubs put 20 runners on base in Wednesday’s 10-4 win over the Cardinals.
- Sam Fels writes for Deadspin these days, and he’s not a fan of manager David Ross.
Odds & Sods
Shout out to Jon Lester who accomplished this amazing feat in extra innings on July 31, 2016.
WALK-OFF BUNT! 😮 This is the first walk-off bunt in an MLB game during regulation since August of 2018!pic.twitter.com/rgXdEecxLq
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) May 11, 2023
- St. Louis: The Cardinals are the worst team in the National League, but they have the highest television ratings. It’s got to be Chip Caray and Jim Edmonds, yes?
- Milwaukee: The Brewers have gone 6-12 since starting the season 14-5.
- Cincinnati: The Reds beat the Mets 5-0 on Thursday, and that makes five consecutive series losses for the Metropolitans.
- Pittsburgh: The Pirates have batted .181 as a team with an ERA of 5.02 since April 30, when they were 20-9. They’re 1-8 since.
Climbing the Ladder
“In another perfect life…In another perfect light, we run.” – Foo Fighters, Run
Despite getting 14 knocks in the series finale against the Cardinals, the Cubs continue to struggle with leaving players on base. They were 6-for-14 with RISP Wednesday night and left eight men on base. They left nine men stranded on Monday and Tuesday and lost both games by two runs. They’re leaving 7.8 runners on base per game, the most of any team in Major League Baseball so far, according to TeamRankings.com. Getting a legitimate closer would be wonderful, but timely hits would be a much nicer gift.
How About That!
The Athletics, Cardinals, and Giants are listed as the teams most likely to sell at the deadline. I’d also add the White Sox and Yankees to that list.
The Mets have been shut out an MLB-worst seven times this season. That equates to about $16 million of nothing-burgers based on New York’s absurdly high payroll. That doesn’t include the salaries owed to Robinson Cano, Bret Saberhagen, and Bobby Bonilla, by the way.
Brent Rooker is the best hitter in baseball, Eduardo Rodríguez is the game’s most dominant pitcher, and the Marlins are 12-0 in one-run games.
The Rays are historically good.
WFAN afternoon drive hosts Craig Carton and Evan Roberts implied Tampa Bay has been cheating this season. That accusation didn’t sit well with Todd Frazier, A.J. Pierzynski, and Erik Kratz.
Twins pitcher Tyler Mahle needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the 2023 season.
Red Sox lefty James Paxton hasn’t pitched in a regular season game since April 6, 2021. He returns to the mound tonight after a 765-day absence.
Thursday’s Three Stars
- Josh Lowe – The Rays are the first team to win 30 games thanks to Lowe. The outfielder was 2-for-5 with a home run, a double, and five RBI in an 8-2 win over the last-place Yankees.
- Nathan Eovaldi – The veteran starter struck out a career-high 12 batters in beating the A’s 4-0. Eovaldi allowed three hits and one walk in his 8.2-inning outing.
- Casey Schmitt – The Giants’ rookie shortstop was 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBI Thursday night. Schmitt is 8-for-12 with two homers and four RBI through three games, something only Joe DiMaggio has done previously.
This mammoth shot by Glenallen Hill will probably never be duplicated.
𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝟏𝟏, 𝟐𝟎𝟎𝟎
Glenallen Hill murders a baseball.pic.twitter.com/E1qEbHsc6m
— This Day in Chicago Sports (@ChiSportsDay) May 11, 2023
Friday Morning Six-Pack
- The Bears dropped their 2023 schedule which includes six nationally televised tilts thanks to Justin Fields. The NFL has also expanded its flex scheduling process, so Chicago could hit prime time on at least one more occasion.
- Early projections indicate the Bears will be much better this year than last, but it’s concerning that Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon are looking at potentially significant regression.
- Self-checkout and tipflation trends have collided and it’s not pretty. Automated, cashier-less systems that ask for 10-20% tips equates to emotional blackmail.
- RATT rocker Stephen Pearcy says that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame “doesn’t give a shit” about 1980s bands. He also failed to mention his own band’s lack of mainstream popularity. The Hall recently announced their 2023 inductees, with Rage Against the Machine, Kate Bush, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, and Missy Elliott leading the group.
- Dolly Parton, who was inducted last year, finally dropped (pre-order) her first rock and roll record, just because she felt her admission to the Hall of Fame was somewhat misguided. Here’s hoping we also get a rock LP from the 90-year-old Nelson.
- The COVID-19 pandemic is officially over, and CNN has a big problem with that. Of course, they do.
They Said It
- “It’s a lot of close games, a lot of things that if it kind of falls in our way, we’re not having this conversation. It’s so easy to kind of — I don’t want to say overreact — but it’s also so easy to say, ‘What’s wrong?’ We’re all for making adjustments where things need to be adjusted, and we’re just going to continue to go out and do what we do. The teams I’ve been on that have been successful, that’s the mentality: You show up tomorrow and go about your business the same way and things will start to work in our favor.” – Dansby Swanson
- “[Brown] is a guy that probably knew he was going to go to Double-A in his heart. But when we sent him [down] this year, he was sort of almost surprised, which I loved. Like, ‘Wait a second, I just threw great. I want to stick around.’ I think when he’s pitching in Iowa, he believes he’s a big league pitcher. And that’s the makeup and the confidence that I think is going to serve him really well.” – Jed Hoyer
- “[Christopher Morel] loves being alive. He loves playing baseball. He loves his teammates, his family, and the people that impact his life. I don’t know. He’s just got a very good outlook on, I think, life in general. His perspective and the way he carries himself warms my heart.” – Ross
Friday Walk-Up Song
Today is International Nurses Day. Celebrate accordingly, please and thank you.