Keep Trying to Turn the Corner, End of the Pen, Canario So Hot, and Other Cubs Bullets - Bleacher Nation (2024)

Keep Trying to Turn the Corner, End of the Pen, Canario So Hot, and Other Cubs Bullets - Bleacher Nation (1)
Keep Trying to Turn the Corner, End of the Pen, Canario So Hot, and Other Cubs Bullets - Bleacher Nation (2)

The Cubs did the bare minimum this weekend, taking just one game from the charging Reds. That is not going to cut it if the Cubs intend on competing for a playoff spot deep enough into July to justify some aggressive buying at the Trade Deadline.

  • I remember talking about this a lot last year, that the Cubs at least avoided super long losing streaks. They were always able to pull out a win just in time to keep the wheels on. Then, of course, they went on that crazy run in the lead up to the Trade Deadline, didn’t sell, did a little buying, and kinda ran out of gas (particularly the important part of the bullpen) over the final two months. We don’t want to see that same trajectory this year, though it’s important to note that when the Cubs FINALLY turned it on last year, they were already 10 games under .500. They haven’t reached THAT level of plunge just yet this year.
  • Fun fact: that plunge last year? It hit its lowest point on June 8 as the Cubs were swept by the Angels in three. The next day, June 9, the Cubs beat the Giants in San Francisco, and went 11-2 over their next 13. Wouldn’t it be fun if the Cubs saw their low this year after also losing three straight through June 8 (Saturday’s loss to the Reds), and then turning on the wins on June 9 (yesterday’s win)? If they did the same kind of 11-2 stretch this year, the Cubs would be six games over .500 instead of still a game under, as they were last year. (Also, don’t follow it up by losing 7 of 8 this time.)
  • Craig Counsell’s comments on the win, with praise for the battery and the early offense:
  • As you know, I have almost zero time for the pitcher win statistic as any kind of useful way to evaluate pitcher performance (we have so many far, far better ways to analyze, and that particular stat is also often straight up misleading). But I do have time for it as a humorous descriptor of some things that have been happening:
  • This is the first time a #Cubs starting pitcher recorded a win since Javier Assad on May 15 at Atlanta, snapping a streak of 21-games without one.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 9, 2024

  • That’s just funny. The only way to have a streak THAT LONG without a pitcher win is if (1) you’re losing a lot of games, (2) your starters generally aren’t going six innings, and/or (3) you’re playing a lot of close games where the decision falls to the bullpen. (More on Shōta Imanaga’s great start soon.)
  • When Mark Leiter Jr.’s splitter gets a whiff, the batter is frequently not remotely close:
  • Mark Leiter Jr., Nasty 85mph Splitter. ✌️

    — Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 9, 2024
  • Slowly, slowly, Hector Neris’s peripherals are improving to something closer to average (he’s only 5% worse than league average by FIP- now!), and further from abysmal. His ERA (2.63) is still outstanding, and you just have to hope the underlying performance continues to improve if that ERA is going to stay strong. I tend to think he’s also still miscast as the team’s closer, but I understand why Craig Counsell has gone that route in the absence of 2023 Adbert Alzolay or 2023 Julian Merryweather.
  • Ethan Roberts will require a 40-man and 26-man roster spot if the Cubs do decide to bring him up, though he will have minor league options remaining:
  • Ethan Roberts is now up to 8 ⅓ scoreless innings (27.3% K-BB%) in AAA and just completed his first back-to-back appearance returning from TJS.
    His sweeper is leading the way with a 41.9% whiff rate and heavy sweep, averaging 20 inches of movement. He could be close to a call up.— Greg Zumach (@IvyFutures) June 10, 2024

  • After yet another home run yesterday, Alexander Canario’s Triple-A numbers this season are starting to approach extreme levels. His .289/.373/.611/146 wRC+ slash line is 9th best in all of Triple-A by wRC+ (he just passed teammate Brennen Davis and his own lofty 142 wRC+), and four of the guys ahead of him are not really prospects. I still don’t quite know how/when/where his first REAL opportunity to run in the big leagues is going to be (the strikeout rate is likely to be a significant challenge at the big league level, I have to admit), but I just wish it could be with the Cubs. Somehow. I love watching Canario take swings.
  • The Brits get baseball:
  • British broadcaster Darren Fletcher’s call of the Mets-Phillies ending in London

    — Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) June 9, 2024
  • The Chicago Red Stars played at Wrigley Field this weekend:
  • Historic night here at Wrigley Field.

    Packed house for the NWSL matchup between the Chicago Red Stars and Bay FC.

    This is first time in 80 years that a professional women's sporting event has been held at the Friendly Confines.— Xavier Sanchez (@Xavier_Sanchez4) June 9, 2024

    Chicago Couple Goals 💐

    (via @malpugh)

    — National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) June 8, 2024


    35,038 turned up to watch the first ever NWSL game at the iconic home of the Chicago Cubs. Just incredible. 🔥🤩— The Women's Game (@WomensGameMIB) June 9, 2024

  • I actually don’t think these are terrible (which is now the low bar for the City Connects):
  • We represent the Land of 10,000 Lakes

    — Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 10, 2024

    The Ripple Effect

    — Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 10, 2024

    Keep Trying to Turn the Corner, End of the Pen, Canario So Hot, and Other Cubs Bullets - Bleacher Nation (3)

    written by

    Brett Taylor

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here.Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

    Keep Trying to Turn the Corner, End of the Pen, Canario So Hot, and Other Cubs Bullets - Bleacher Nation (2024)
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