Wrigley Field is good for about 2-3 completely bizarre games each year and this is definitely one. On several occasions I was unsure if I was watching a baseball game or footage from a Barstool blackout party circa 2012
Fortunately the boys were up to the task and it didn’t calm the bats en route to scoring 9 runs, all of which came after 5 innings and most which came from the bat of David Bote:
+ Bote entered the game 12-32 in his last 12 games with 5 extra base hits and a 1.085 OPS. Not too shabby for a dude making league minimum that’s locked up for another 4 full seasons and can handle every position on the field. There’s something about him that makes you think there’s more to baseball than just the numbers no matter how meatball that sounds. The dude makes shit happen and tonight is no exception.
+ Darvish still doesn’t have a Win at Wrigley but I think anyone who watched the game can agree he was absolutely Filthy
Willson Cone-treras dropped a 3rd strike in the 6th inning on Trevor Story which lead to back-to-back singles and Darvish leaving prematurely. Even tho it’s not really premature by his historical standards as a Cub, you can judge based on his stuff and it was by far the best I’ve seen him pitch at home.
We’ve been telling this story the whole season – the Cubs want to manage Yu’s confidence with the same emphasis as his work load. Several times to start the year he exited in the 4th and 5th innings. People would get mad. People would bitch. The long term goal didn’t change though and that’s get Yu to a point where he can go out and shove a ball up another team’s ass.
Sounds simple on paper when you throw 98 but it’s a lot harder when you have fragile emotions and even that’s being nice. Yu needed a chance to really settle in and that meant quick hooks and letting him build on small victories, like commanding his fastball or throwing his breaking ball for a strike behind in the count. Slowly and over time that shit will add up and the idea is he will explode into the guy he’s been his whole life. Just needs to feel good to get there.
Safe to say we’re at that point with him now. 3 of his last 4 starts have been dominant and that typically means an avalanche of good starts is coming. Tonight was a huge step in that direction. Just wait til it’s 80 degrees and humid in Wrigley. His slide will be infinitely better and it’s already one of the best.
+ To close – Kimbrell is here on a 3 year $45M deal that looks so much better than anyone could have guessed this offseason when the Cubs were hunting for bullpen help. Literally the day the draft ends Theo pulls this move off. So brilliant, so savy. So Theo.
I’ll circle back tomorrow with extensive thoughts on how Kimbrel should fit and be used, which may not be as simple as you think. Keep in mind Joe is pulling the trigger on these decisions, but keep in mind that doesn’t matter for a long time. The boys have steam, we got fresh juice in the pen and a whole lot of confidence moving forward.
In other words it’s a good time to be a Cubs fan.