OSS: Good pitching and great defense pick up another W.
- Alec Mills had another solid start, pitching seven shutout innings with four strikeouts and three walks. I caught the first few innings on TV and thought it was shaping up to be an extremely fifth-starter-ish performance, but then I blinked and it was suddenly the seventh inning.
- Javy Baez and David Bote had great defensive plays in this one. Javy had yet another #JavyTag, and it still blows my mind what kind of spatial awareness he has on these kinds of plays. Bote had a great play going to his right when a Royal hit a ball against the shift and displayed a Javy-esque arm gunning the runner down.
- Kris Bryant homered in his first game back from his stomach bug. Kris Bryant’s bat potentially warming up was just what the rest of the division didn’t need (dying laughing).
- I had to add this comment from andcounting in the last thread, since it was on point:
Ross took Kimbrel out of the closer’s role after 11 batters faced. We can say it was an obvious choice, but he didn’t use him in a save situation, and that dude’s making a pro-rated ton of money. And he made that call after 11 batters faced and with plenty of rest for Kimbrel, and he’s avoided any major verbal explosions about it in the media so far. Also the Cubs somehow avoided losing either of the games in which Kimbrel melted down or any late-inning leads since then.
All of this with a team who actually seems to be having fun and simultaneously following an unprecedented set of restrictions and guidelines and stresses.
It’s a young season, but Ross isn’t embarrassing himself.
- More Cardinals tested positive today, but things are still tentatively on for the Cubs-Cards series this weekend. It sounds like several players left the hotel to hit up a casino prior to this outbreak. Who knows if that was actually the vector, but it’s not a great look fellas.
- It was a tough day for Willson Contreras, who went 0-4 with three strikeouts.
- Mark Grace was, uh, not great as the quasi-third guy in the booth and his audio setup was not exactly what Marquee probably wanted either. But the weirdest thing was that when Len brought up the new extra innings rule, all of them agreed that they liked it a lot more than they thought they would, and even more surprisingly I kinda agreed with them. Maybe we just lucked out with a couple of exciting half innings, but it’s nice not to have to gird one’s loins for a potential slog that ends up getting decided because some team ran out of relievers. I was prepared to hate it, but I think I kind of like it now? Hopefully we’ll have chances to take a bigger sample size of this going forward.
Next up: Brady Singer takes on Cyle at 7:15 PM CT, before both teams head to KC for two more games.