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Maris Cinelli
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Awesome pics!! Apologies for my hiatus; been trying to get transferred to another department at work (what a headache). I was at trivia when Mills clunked it up in the first inning and went "Oh #$!@, this again." And then it ended up being much like the Brian Matusz game (you know the one), complete with the extra-innings walk-off. He put the BISCUIT in the BASKET! This whole week has been a little 200-proof shot of pure Cubbie pleasure, huh?
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a BIG JON painting! Beautiful work as always, Tim! I, too, saw the first inning and sat there going "well, looks like we're going to have our annual game where Lester coughs up a hairball against St. Louis"...and then...five innings of bagels, great bullpenning, and great situational hitting, and then tonight Professor Hendricks was just amazing and BOTE delivered and CarGo put the Biscuit in the Basket and Cishek Cishekked and El Birdos got SWEPT and I'm seeing STARS.
Toggle Commented Jun 10, 2019 on Cubs 9 Cards 4. Lester never panics. at Cubby-Blue
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Nothing gives me more joy than watching some hot-sh*t dangerous hitter swing out of his shoes at a 70-mph curve. Except, perhaps, for watching a whole parade of these guys get more and more frustrated trying to deal with Hendricks. I remember a game a couple of years back where the Cubs were playing the Red Sox, and I wanna say it was Hanley Ramirez...guy swung so hard at that changeup that his helmet came flying off, and he promptly took his bat and golfed it down the first base line. Beeeee-youtiful.
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Unpopular opinion: I kind of like his big red beard. He's like some sort of barbarian warlord, coming out of the bullpen to hack your head off. I was so excited when I got the news. I look forward to not losing my mind with anxiety every time the Cubs lead after the seventh. Speaking of, your Strop painting is GORGEOUS!
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2019 on Cubs get Craig Kimbrel. at Cubby-Blue
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Ah, my favorite rant of May: the bullpen! (Although I have to admit, "Pullpen" had me laughing out loud at work, so thanks for that). It's not even like the Cubs have someone who is especially cover-your-eyes awful back there, there's just a whole lot of...meh, beyond Monty, Chatty, and Ceesh. Nobody really passes the "Cringe Test" (i.e., you don't cringe when their name is announced). Thank Heavens Strop is back this weekend! Although, a little Schadenfreude: Ryan and I were watching St. Louis v. Atlanta on Sunday Night, and El Birdos had just about the worst blown save I've ever seen. St. Louis was like 251-0 in such situations (or something absurd), and it took like five different pitchers to do it. Not a single one of these guys could do anything right. Ry turns to me and says "well, it could be worse. We could have THIS clown show in our bullpen."
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It was a great week of baseball. The offense is an artillery barrage! We had Javy walking off, another Chatty Chatty Bang Bang, a nutso almost-comeback against Philly, and some egregiously bad umpiring. The bullpen. The bullpen makes me drink. Like, I actually went out with my better half and his boys and drank too much and ranted about blown saves. I don't think Cishek's arm or shoulder is feeling quite right, given that he seemed to have the whole right side of his body wrapped in ice for the postgame yesterday. I was encouraged by what I saw from Norwood, I guess? I think bullpenning as a whole is a kind of a mess this year. Even Milwaukee melts down pretty consistently. Darvish has been pretty good lately, though...
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WOW! That's so cool about your brother!! Someone online referred to the extra-innings end of the game (with Willy finally deciding he had had enough by blasting one out right over Christian Yelich's head) as "Chatty Chatty Bang Bang." I laughed for like 30 minutes. I do like the slow replacement of "oh @$!#, Chatwood" to "Oh good, Chatwood's here! I'm going with "valuable part of this bullpen." So twentysixteeney.
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I especially loved Len Kasper's call of KB's walk-off shot. It was just a full-throated scream by the end. And props to Almora, and to Jon Lester, who just gutted it out through the crappy weather (the whole Midwest is like this: can it go above 50 degrees, please?) The whole thing feels rather twentysixteeney (twothousandsixteeney? I believe both are proper!)
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Man. Brooming those feathery dillweeds back to St. Louis sure was satisfying. A Maddux, an improbable come-from-behinder we really shouldn't have won, and then a total nuclear beatdown on ESPN, where everyone remotely into sports could witness Kris Bryant upstaging A-Rod and his stupid mouth by hitting a grand slam whilst up 9-2. Fecking GLORIOUS.
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*blinks, squints* Huh, my vision must be going. Must be all the stars in my eyes!
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Naw, it didn't sound douchey at all!! My turn to sound douchey: Kyle actually threw 81 pitches yesterday (you've got 84 up above!) Go GET THEM today, Yu!!
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JEALOUS. J E A L O U S. Re: your reply on your last entry about unenthusiastic rich Cub fans. You tend to get those types at a businessman's special. Playing devil's advocate, though: when someone for the Cubs is pitching ridiculously well, I tend to be unenthusiastic and resolute as well because I am a superstitious idiot who is afraid to be like OH MY GOD KYLE IS LITERALLY MADDUXING THEM because I just know in the next inning he'll walk the bases loaded and then start leaving it up....yaknow? In 2016 Kyle was no-hitting El Birdos into the 9th, and my dad and I were watching the game at my place up in Evanston, and we were like YEAH, THE WEATHER'S BEEN REAL NICE, HUH? Still, great pictures!!! Thanks for sharing!!
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...Was that twentysixteeney enough for you? I can't articulate how jealous I am that you got to see THAT. (I had Thai food with some colleagues, did a little work around the lab, and then locked myself in my office. And watched Kyle Hendricks throw an absolute master-class in professorial perfection. Holy Mother Of Maddux, was that fabulous or what?) And yeah. With Friday's eve, the Cubs did rise, and strike the stars right in her eyes.
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We used to call John Lackey "The Grump On The Bump". The thing that's so cool about Lester is how adaptable he is. Your velo's down a couple MPH? Uncork a wicked changeup. Although I think he did hit 93 on the gun last night... I think what was so 2016-ey was not that they ruined Gonzales, but HOW they ruined him - working deep counts, sac flies, situational hitting, an audacious Javy-boom; the whole shot. Yeah, it's early, but winning 13 of 17 after starting off looking completely incompetent is really something. Looking at the numbers, the outright statistical turnaround that happened here looks pretty ridiculous. I also don't know how it is that the bullpen started off so rough and now looks entirely serviceable, if not actually pretty good. How does this happen?! I know, it's May, the Cubs will suffer fortune's slings and arrows, etc. Blow the Deadbirds out, boys. Take first, put stars in my eyes. They're sure as heck trying.
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What a great game. I needed a laugher to listen to whilst cooking! I like the combination of Jon Lester being an immovable strikeout dispenser (that cut fastball looked reeaall good) and the entire middle of the order going all Baron von Boomstick. Chasing the M's starter out of the game in the second inning through sheer demoralization was also fun. Whatever happened at the end of March and beginning of April is looking more and more like a startup bug because this smells a little 2016-ey. It's spring, though, so could just also be my allergies...
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This game took like six years off of my life, I swear. How many times can you load the bases and not somehow push a run across the plate by sheer randomness? After that deep terrifying flyout to Zobrist to end the game, my better half handed me a Sam Smith imperial stout (lovely gent that he is). Along with a paper bag, into which he advised me to blow.
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I know until he got hurt that Caratini was Hamels' personal caddy and it was working pretty well. It can't hurt. Yu is definitely better this year than last year. I think Russell has a couple more weeks in AAA. If/when he does come back, my guess is that Zagunis goes back down and Addy/Javy platoon at second/short, although I'm tempted at this point to leave Javy at short because he plays very well there. I think Zobrist plays more outfield, and Descalso plays second once every fifth day. The guy hits like .480 with RISP so I don't think you park him on the bench. "Position" is kind of arbitrary to the Cubs sometimes.
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Watching Yu fumbling around trying to find his command in the first inning is pretty annoying. But all things considered, I thought he pitched well. I was encouraged! I might have Davis catch him again; I half wonder if super-calm Yu and wound-up Willy don't jive together quite right? Davis' pitch framing was also really good, which is what you want when someone's fumbling around trying to find his command. Alas, chicks do indeed dig the long ball, and this chick loved seeing Bote use Chase Field as his personal launch pad. 469 feet!? That's a "thank you, Theo!"-swing, right there.
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That was some vintage Kyle. Swings and misses for days at 76-MPH changeups. Bugs Bunny stuff. Some random Diamondback swung so hard he fell over. I cackled.
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The Cubs are putting on a "How To Overcome a Bad Start" clinic. Quintana and Hamels are a left-handed force of nature, yesterday Kyle Hendricks goes "..hold my beer", and now there's so much silence from the "send Maddon and the whole FO to the firing squad" crowd that you could hear a flea fart. Why do the Cardinals even keep pitching to Yelich? Someone is going to get fired if they keep pitching to him (not that the Cardinals' pitching is any good to begin with...)
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Cole was an absolute warrior last night. And J-HEY HEY!!! Someone got a picture of him just before throwing the pitch that got Grandal out, and he had this sly smile that just said "I got this." What a great performance. I've been laid up with strep throat for three days. That win was like *oxygen.*
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Somewhere in the seventh inning, I just banged my head into my coffee table and sighed, because the Cubs were having *that* game. Still not panicking. The bullpen looked okay last night for sure, and Hendo definitely got hung out to dry by...well, whatever butterfingered insanity was going on in the infield. They'll get it figured out. Just a little bit of misalignment in the universe. Mark Zagunis looked like he hadn't played left field a day in his life, though. Ye Gods.
Toggle Commented Apr 2, 2019 on APRIL FOOLS, say the Cubs. at Cubby-Blue
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The Professor is going to show 'em how it's done. There is a difference between ranting ("Montgomery has been terrible!" and other things of the sort) and whatever...slack-jawed, over-the-top mouth-foaming idiocy is currently going on...
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Yeah. Early season baseball is totally weird. The 'Stros look awful, the Cards look awful, the Yanks look awful, everything's just out of sorts. You're not going all doomsday because you're a rational person. But you won't believe some of the ledge jumping that's going on on some of the Cubs sites I belong to, like the next 159 games don't mean squat. One particular doofus tonight said (I kid you not) that Theo needs to resign and save his legacy, which reads to me as "I am a complete irrational moron who believes in making infinitely pessimistic extrapolations based on a very small sample size". I laughed so hard I knocked my beer over into my pile of goldfish crackers. Scwharber looks terrific. So does Descalso. And Heyward!
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Happy Opening Week!!! The long off-season has ended, and the eternal cycle of birth and renewal begins (to sound like Bartlett Giamatti) Yeah, that game stunk, but it's also March 30th, and right now, a lot of wacky things are happening. Sale got destroyed, Mikolas got destroyed, the Yankees made like nine errors between Thursday and Saturday. Nice to see the offense out of hibernation, especially the Big Blue Ox, and I thought Quintana looked pretty good in relief.
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