“It’s so tough to get up. It’s so tough.” – The Cars, Moving in Stereo
The Cubs have gone from playoff contender to draft lottery hopefuls in their last month of baseball. Chicago is in last place in a very weak division and now owns the worst record in the National League thanks to playing uninspiring baseball and looking like a bunch of patsies as the Reds rolled over them.
The Rays are probably licking their chops as they prepare to help the Cubs close out a disappointing 2-4 homestand. Sounds like a perfect time to host the best team in baseball.
Cubs News & Notes
- Marcus Stroman would prefer an extension that keeps him with the Cubs but also said he’s happy if he has to play elsewhere.
- Patrick Mooney of The Athletic writes that a gigantic sell-off at the trade deadline ($) is a very real possibility.
- The Reds exposed Chicago’s many ugly flaws in the three-game sweep. It was the first time Cincinnati swept the Cubs since 2013.
- The Cubs know they have to start piling up wins to have a shot at winning the NL Central.
- In fact, a crappy division is the only thing keeping Chicago’s hopes alive this season.
- David Ross still believes the Cubs have the potential to climb back into the race.
- Jameson Taillon continued to struggle on Saturday, but the Cubs aren’t overly concerned.
- Taillon failed to make it through five innings for the fifth consecutive time.
- The Cubs are transitioning flame-throwing Daniel Palencia to the bullpen at Iowa, and he had a dazzling debut.
- Codi Heuer is close to returning and should provide a boost to Chicago’s beleaguered bullpen.
- The Cubs gave fans Billy Williams bobbleheads on Saturday, but they had the wrong jersey number. The team issued an apology and said they will replace all 10,000 giveaways next season.
Odds & Sods
Don’t miss any holiday functions to watch the Cubs or White Sox today, okay?
Memorial Day in Chicago: The Sox and Cubs have a combined record of 44-63. Good for 4th and 5th place, respectively.
According to Elias, it's the 8th worst combined win pct (.411) on Memorial Day (since 1901). And first time since 2014, they've both been in 4th place or worse.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) May 28, 2023
- St. Louis: Brendan Donovan made history on Saturday by scoring all of the Cardinals’ runs while accounting for every single RBI, and collecting all of the team’s extra-base hits. He also added a stolen base just to show off.
- Milwaukee: Outfielders T-Plush, more commonly known as Nyjer Morgan, Carlos Gómez, and Keon Broxton were all once part of the Brewers’ Swag Crew, and now Broxton is attempting a comeback.
- Cincinnati: Rookie Matt McLain had four hits yesterday, and Elly De La Cruz will be added to the roster any day now. Is it just me, or do the Reds seem closer to competing for the NL Central than the Cubs?
- Pittsburgh: The Pirates are rocking four different uniforms this season, and their threads have always been among the best in baseball.
Climbing the Ladder
“Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.” – Simon & Garfunkel, The Only Living Boy in New York
I was originally against firing him, but it’s fair to wonder if Ross is the right person to be managing this team. His club is just rolling over and dying lately. By the way, the Cubs struck out 29 times in the three-game set against the Reds, and they’re 11-24 (.314) in their last 35 games.
Please read the link above to Sean Holland’s recap of yesterday’s game. He sums things up much better than I could.
- Games Played: 52
- Record: 22-30 (.423)
- Total Plate Appearances: 2,017
- Total Strikeouts: 477
- Strikeout Rate: 23.65%
- Team Batting Average: .257
- Runs Scored: 242
- Runs Allowed: 238
- Chances of Making the Playoffs: 19.9%, < 0.1% to win the World Series
How About That!
An umpire mocked the Marlins for challenging a call but then overturned the play after a review. He said, “They’ve got their heads up their asses” into a live microphone.
Sunday’s Three Stars
- Isaac Paredes – The Rays third baseman had a double, a home run, and five RBI as Tampa Bay downed the Dodgers 11-10. Incidentally, the Rays stole five bases in the game and lead the majors with 72. Yan Gomes and Tucker Barnhart will have their hands full today.
- Astros Batters – They hit seven home runs on Sunday, including two by Yordan Álvarez, and one each by José Altuve, José Abreu, Jeremy Peña, Jake Meyers, and Chas McCormick. Abreu sprinted around the bases in celebration of his first home run with the team.
- Ryan McMahon – The Rockies’ third baseman had three hits, including a home run, and five RBI as Colorado sunk the Cubs to the bottom of the National League with an 11-10 win over the Mets.
Should we start looking ahead to the 2024 draft? The Cubs have a 13.2% chance of earning the first overall pick as of this morning. They are also a lock to have a top-10 pick if they continue to play at this pace.
Sunday May 28th, 2023
The Chicago Cubs are the worst team in the National League. pic.twitter.com/QU2UY6cajP
— Chief Cub (@ChiefCub) May 28, 2023
Monday Morning Six-Pack
- Fleet Week on the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty is one of my favorite annual traditions.
- It took him 12 attempts, but Josef Newgarden finally won the Indy 500. If you prefer the Monaco Grand Prix, Max Verstappen is also a first-time winner, though rain near the end of the race caused quite a bit of drama.
- Formula One racers can have their eyes shut for 20 meters of driving when they blink, which is probably why they do it selectively while behind the wheel. Unlike non-racecar-driving humans who blink randomly, competitive speed demons tend to close their eyelids during the same parts of each lap, researchers have discovered.
- If you’re looking to drop your winter weight now that we’ve reached the unofficial start of summer, these 15 salad recipes will help trim the excess off of your waistline.
- Toy laser guns still sound the same way today that they did back in the 1950s, and that’s a pretty cool thing.
- The Cars debuted 35 years ago this week and changed music, though they rarely get the credit they deserve. Give Phoebe Cates an assist and keep the kids away from today’s column.
They Said It
- “There’s still a lot of potential to be better in a lot of areas. We had some success early on and then we kind of hit a little bit of a rut this last month. We haven’t really gotten on any kind of a roll. The team, as a whole, works really hard and brings the competitiveness, their work ethic, and their intensity every single day. You know [there are] moments we could have been better out of the bullpen. [There are] moments, as of late, where our offense hasn’t really started to roll. We’ve [got] some good starting pitching, but we definitely have our blips.” – Ross
- “We’re not putting all three phases of the game together at the same time. It was an ugly weekend for us. The Reds came in and beat us up.” – Drew Smyly
Monday Walk-Up Song
Few covers are as good as the original but this is every bit as fun as the version by Little Willie John.