“Oh, don’t sorrow, no don’t weep, for tonight, at last, I am coming home. I am coming home.” – U2, A Sort of Homecoming
Kyle Hendricks still has some work to do, but at least he was throwing strikes on a night when the home plate umpire gave Blake Snell a much more generous strike zone. David Ross drew an ejection for sticking up for Hendricks and his hitters, and the veteran righty had three pitch clock violations. If you’re looking for a silver lining, Hendricks did retire the last 10 batters he faced.
None of it mattered because Chicago’s offense was nonexistent. They managed four singles against Snell, Steven Wilson, Nick Martinez, and Tim Hill, and struck out 12 times. Anaheim is next, so the Cubs must find their bats ASAP.
Cubs News & Notes
- Marcus Stroman is shuffling his way into the NL Cy Young Award conversation. The Cubs will have a big decision to make at the trade deadline.
- As Evan wrote previously, Stro would love to stay with the Cubs, but he’s very open-minded about his future wherever he plays.
- Stroman was also named the NL Player of the Week.
- Ross was pretty irate with home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi last night and drew a 2nd-inning ejection for arguing balls and strikes.
- MLB fans ripped Cuzzi for his embarrassingly bad calls in last night’s game.
- Christopher Morel has cooled down a bit after a torrid start, but his splits show that he hits better when he is not relegated to DH.
- A pair of Cubs could be close to returning from the IL. Cody Bellinger took batting practice before yesterday’s game and Brad Boxberger may start facing live hitters as he continues his rehab from a forearm strain.
- The Cubs have some interesting big-league bullpen options at Triple-A Iowa in Ben Brown and Daniel Palencia.
- Zach Buchanan of The Athletic has a nice write-up ($) about Cade Horton, who is one of three prospects MLB scouts liked this week.
- CBS Sports re-ranked their top 25 prospects yesterday and Pete Crow-Armstrong was bumped up to No. 22 overall.
Odds & Sods
Seiya Suzuki knows a thing or two about poor umpiring, apparently.
Seiya Suzuki's plate discipline is a strength, but he's been burned by called strikes outside the zone, including two pitches tonight that ended in strikeout.
Since he debuted last year for Cubs, Suzuki is tied for 2nd highest Pitch% of called strikes outside the zone in MLB: pic.twitter.com/1fRBtC3G96
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) June 6, 2023
- St. Louis: Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols has a new gig as a special assistant to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
- Milwaukee: The Brewers activated Luis Urías from the IL before last night’s game. The infielder was sidelined for a little more than two months due to a hamstring injury.
- Cincinnati: The Reds are not shy about promoting their best prospects, and last night Andrew Abbott tossed six innings of one-hit ball in a 2-0 win over the Brewers. Abbott, a 2021 second-round draft pick from the University of Virginia, walked four and struck out six. The 24-year-old left-hander threw 105 pitches in his MLB debut.
- Pittsburgh: Reliever David Bednar has earned elite status as a closer.
Climbing the Ladder
“Ah, don’t you know, I’ve been on my own, but I’m coming home, and I’d like you to be there. I feel a little cold in the air, and you’re not anywhere. You’re just another face, I used to know.” – Genesis, Like it Or Not
Hendriks had an off night considering his previous work at Petco Park, as The Professor entered last night’s game with a 2.29 ERA in six starts in San Diego. Hendricks is from Mission Viejo, so the Friars spoiled his 2023 homecoming. If the Padres make a push for the playoffs and if the Cubs consider trading Hendricks, perhaps the two teams will swing a deal.
Four hits and 12 strikeouts will not beat anybody, by the way. Chicago’s once lofty run differential shrunk to +1 with last night’s loss. The team’s batting average has dropped 36 points since the Cubs took two of three from San Diego at Wrigley Field at the end of April.
- Games Played: 59
- Record: 26-33 (.441)
- Total Plate Appearances: 2,254
- Total Strikeouts: 551
- Strikeout Rate: 24.44%
- Team Batting Average: .249
- Runs Scored: 257
- Runs Allowed: 256
- Chances of Making the Playoffs: 18.8%, 0.9% to win the World Series
How About That!
MLB pitching injuries continue to spike upward and the pitch clock may be partially to blame.
The Athletics would owe the city of Oakland $30 million if they leave for Las Vegas after the 2024 season.
The A’s will also owe MLB a $300 million relocation fee, though they are trying to get Las Vegas to pay for part or all of that.
The splitter could be making a comeback.
Monday’s Three Stars
- Shane McClanahan – The Rays starter earned his major league-leading 9th win by beating the Red Sox 4-1. McClanahan also lowered his ERA to a pristine 2.02.
- Luis Arráez – The .400 watch is on! The Marlins’ leadoff man had three hits last night and is now batting .399 on the season.
- Marcus Semien – The Texas second baseman had two hits last night, extending his hitting streak to 24 games. he also scored the winning run as the Rangers walked it off 4-3 over the Cardinals.
The first 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan are as intense as it gets in Hollywood. The Americans suffered 2,400 casualties in that battle of Omaha Beach but took it by nightfall.
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) June 6, 2023
Tuesday Morning Six-Pack
- A day before the invasion of Normandy, General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a famous speech in which he told the troops, “The eyes of the world are upon you.”
- Robert Hanssen, the person responsible for what the FBI once called “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in US history,” was found dead in his Colorado prison cell at age 79 yesterday.
- If you are unaware, June is Black Music Appreciation Month.
- Give the following artists a listen today: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Otis Redding, Prince, Michael Jackson, and Mary J. Blige a listen today. Now that’s a six-pack, but you’re free to recommend something else in the comments section.
- Sky-high egg prices are finally returning to normal levels. I can confirm, too, because I bought a dozen Grade-A large eggs for 99 cents yesterday at the local Piggly Wiggly. I haven’t had a scramble in about six months!
- Peter Gabriel isn’t performing many of his classic hits on his current tour.
They Said It
- “The only thing that matters really is today. How can we win and be better today than we were yesterday? The more that that is the focus, the other stuff will take care of itself. That’s your job to worry about what it’s going to look like. It’s our job to continuously make adjustments — and play our best ball — to be able to put wins on the scoreboard more often than not.” – Dansby Swanson
- “For a Cubs system that has struggled to develop major-league starters over the last decade, [Horton] might give you a glimmer of hope that they have something that can be a foundational piece in the rotation for years to come.” – Buchanan
Tuesday Walk-Up Song
This video was directed by Godley & Creme. Let’s hope our Cubbies grab a couple of wins against the Angels.