Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs were defeated by the Boston Red Sox in the 2016 All-Star Game, which means that to clinch the World Series at home, the Cubs will have to beat the Red Sox (or the Cleveland Indians, maybe) in five games come October. But we’re looking way too far ahead, as there are still 74 games left and the Cubs have some work to do to get back on track.
Actually, if we’re being literal about who was responsible for what, then we should say that the Kansas City Royals defeated the Cubs, as Eric Hosmer won the MVP for his critical hits and Salvador Perez also had a big homer off Johnny Cueto (way to go, Cueto!). The Cubs who played did fine in my estimation, as Kris Bryant did this:
Then his co-conspirator, Anthony Rizzo, did this:
Everyone had a good experience, even the two Cubs who didn’t play. The Cubs position guys were out of the game after the fourth inning (I thought they could have had another at-bat, but whatever) and Jon Lester would have pitched a full inning if not for an error behind him as his normal infielders were gone. All of the scoring was done by the fourth inning, so the rest of the day was a pitching duel. I think if this game counted for something (oh wait, something about home field) Kris Bryant probably would have laid out for this one:
Even if he had gotten to it, though, Bryant would have either had no play or would have had to concede the run to get the out, so I’m pretty much whatever on this one. That hit had murder written all over it and I’m just glad he got out of the way as it was no ordinary play. That was pretty much all the Cubs highlights as they otherwise played drama-free defense before they were lifted.
We know that there are various topics on the table as MLB and the MLB Players Association work towards a new collective bargaining agreement after this season is done. After I put down my thoughts in the previous blog linked, I did read a very nice rundown by Nathaniel Grow at FanGraphs, who gave his lawyerly take on the statements that I listed and also agreed that their statements were skirting the issue. I recommend that as a good read.
Cubs baseball (and the rest of MLB) resumes on Friday, so here are the matchups that we know about…
Texas Rangers vs. Chicago Cubs
New York Mets @ Chicago Cubs
The Mets are battling some nagging injuries, and Matt Harvey is now done for the season, so they have some reshuffling to do with their rotation as well. Yikes. So while the Cubs know who they want to go in the series, the Mets will have to wait until they decide who needs rest and who is actually healthy enough to go after their weekend series.
UPDATE 10:00 PM: So now we have a post-break rotation and can extrapolate from there…
Mets announce rotation after the break (in order): Bartolo Colon, Logan Verrett, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz & Noah Syndergaard.
— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) July 14, 2016