Just retired already, and the decision to move to Pujols, Stroman’s Great Start, Hoerner Tough Stretch, and Cubs Bullets

It’s very strange to me that the Chicago Cubs (and five other MLB teams) aren’t playing today on Labor Day. I know it’s not a baseball-related holiday or anything, but I guess it feels like every summer vacation is baseball-related to me personally. I want to watch the Cubs today. Yes, even after what happened yesterday.

  • It was entirely appropriate, if not fun at all, for Albert Pujols to do it with the Cubs one last time before he retired. I know some were saying Brandon Hughes should have been asked to walk the Pujols on that spot – first base was open, Pujols kills left – but if you do, you guarantee Paul Goldschmidt will come with the runners at base, unless he bumps into Brendan Donovan Double play. So, try playing with the Pujols, or potentially lock up a goal-scoring opportunity for Goldschmidt? Choose a thickness. I think the Cubs made the right call, it’s just that Hughes, God bless him, put in a terrible show.
  • The loss, which completed a sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis, sent the Cubs down to 22 games under 0.500, a level they haven’t seen since…the Cardinals swept them in St. Louis exactly one month ago. Cubs currently has the eighth worst record in baseball, two games better than the Reds (5), and two and a half games worse than the Rangers (11). That’s roughly its range now. If you are curious, Based on how lottery odds workIf the Cubs finish eighth with the worst record, they are likely to pick eighth, ninth or tenth next year in the first round. Fifth is where you jump so far ahead in the probability that you will land a higher pick. So, you know, if the Reds want to beat the Cubs the rest of the way, there’s going to be something to be said for that. (Or! As we’ve discussed, win a whole bunch of games the rest of the way, because there’s value in both directions. Just don’t stay in the 8-10 range, because that’s kind of nasty.)
  • Regarding the Pujols and the 700, I’ve gone back and forth with it just enough to know I don’t care. On the other hand, seeing the massive and historic achievements that have been made is part of the reason we watch the sport, and I think Pujols has earned this. On the other hand, this is the guy who has tortured my Cubs fans for so long that I’m permanently scarred against enjoying anything he does. So you balance those scales, and for me, I’m landing on: whatever, man. Get 700? Fine. whatever. Failed to achieve his goal? Fine. whatever.
  • …I suppose I would find it pretty funny if he got to 699 and then made a short one-foot run on a deep fly ball in the last game of the season. 😈
  • Random facts at the beginning of the Pujols’ run against the Cubs, which now ended mercifully:
  • Wood last came down 10 years ago. Farnsworth 8 years ago. Heredia 17 years ago.
  • Marcus Strowman was great yesterday, and now his ERA season is down to 3.73 (about 12% better than the league average, and has been excellent since that early season injury/COVID issues).

  • Nico Horner has quietly had a rough last few weeks (and has actually been below average in the board overall since the beginning of July), which has seen his overall board season numbers drop to the league average overall. Certainly not bad for a major defensive shell, but certainly not bad as things were heading earlier this year. Some of his recent struggles have been just bad luck, as I’ve been poring over the data, but some are average exit speeds that barely exceed 80 mph. He simply hasn’t hit the ball hard lately. I hope it ends strong, Then they extend it to the cubs.
  • Shohei Ohtani is so absurd. “What if you just found out drowning at 100mph?”:
  • Well, this could have been a disaster:
  • How. How is this not just a gap doubling loop:
  • Alert for people who wanted to get one of these – they’ll be available at 1:20 PM today In plain shirts: