If I were truly miserable and wanting to pawn that off on the rest of the world to dissipate my pain, I would complain about the Cubs not sweeping this sad sack outfit. But hey, they’ve gone 6-1 against this excuse to siphon public funds, and after sweeping the Cardinals you’re probably allowed one hiccup. 6-1 on the homestand will definitely play. Let’s wrap it up.
The Two Obs
-There is some worry right at the top. Pedro Strop’s injury, which is going to take a few weeks, leaves the Cubs even more shorthanded in the pen. It also leaves them without a for-sure strikeout option. Don’t worry about not having a closer, as the Cubs can finally just match it up in the late innings which they should have been doing anyway. But unless Carl Edwards Jr. finds it, there is no one out of the pen who can get through an inning without any contact. The Cubs have survived the past two games, and a big thank you to Mike Montgomery, but this is a AAA lineup they were facing at best. There are much bigger challenges and outs to get coming, and the Cubs have no sure thing to get them right now. And the answers to those are probably as far away as Strop’s recovery. Teams don’t make trades in May, but the Cubs might have to find a way.
-Secondly, this is Strop’s second hammy injury in two seasons, and you have to be a touch worried this is just going to be a thing that keeps happening. And he’s as close to indispensable as they have.
-Anyway, good thing Kris Bryant has gone plaid lately, because some of the other pistons in the offensive engine have gone…well, whatever pistons go that’s bad. I’m not a car guy. Bote is hitting .196 the last two weeks. Schwarber has one extra-base hit in a week. Heyward is 2-for-his-last-24. But hey, this is how it’s supposed to go. One part goes down, the other goes up. Hey, that’s kind of like pistons!
-They’re going to have to lower beer prices at Wrigley when Yu Darvish pitches. I can’t afford to drink at that pace. It’s the same thing we’ve talked about before, where he’s trying to be too perfect and is afraid of any contact on his pitches. He had a plethora of hitters down 0-2 or 1-2 but wouldn’t come anywhere near the plate. This isn’t about injury. Darvish has come back from a long absence before. It’s not about ability, because he’s never been this wild before. It’s in his head. But they’re still winning his starts, and winning around them, and have bought him time to figure it out. The Cubs haven’t needed him yet. They will though.
-But Montgomery gives them some options. So does Chatwood. They may have to keep one always in reserve to piggyback on Darvish. But this would be the way to mask your holes in the pen, wouldn’t it? Just have Chatwood or Monty throw a couple or three innings and keeping everyone else to a couple innings a week? That’s a solution. It’s worth trying I think.
-The Brewers have moved into second place. They move in here tomorrow. Maybe time to stamp some authority on this bitch.