The Cubs are now 0-1 when second baseman Addison Russell goes yard. That’s probably a little offsides, but I couldn’t help myself.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 15, 2019
Melisa Reidy would like everybody to just move on. Reidy is the ex-wife of Russell and a victim of his abusive behavior.
“Continuing to project hatred won’t solve or help encourage anyone to be a better person,” Reidy wrote in an Instagram post. “I see Addison taking hits from every direction (and) he continues to show up (and) face crowds that are disgusted with him. Which is completely understandable for y’all to feel that way…I felt that way for a long time.
“Only God knows Addison’s heart. Not gonna lie he’s not my favorite person but my heart & conscience can’t take much more of the brutal name calling & condemning. I’ve forgiven Addison for hurting me & I’ve let go of all the anger I once had towards him.”
And though the Cubs lost 6-5 in extras last night the good news is that Yu Darvish was absolutely filthy. If his performance marks a turning point in his season, we can all thank Joe Maddon. As I mentioned in yesterday’s column, the Cubs’ manager still believes the best is yet to come for Darvish.
Yu Darvish, Filthy 97mph Fastball (for K #10). 🔥 pic.twitter.com/yMq0KEb6nQ
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 16, 2019
“He’s too good,” Maddon said. “There will be that mental epiphany, or whatever you want to call it. It’s going to happen. I know he’s going to take off, then you’ll see that incredible run he’s going to be on.”
I think Darvish needed to hear that everybody still thinks he can be the pitcher the Cubs expected when he was signed. Up until now, I’ve been a firm believer that there would always be irreconcilable differences in terms of Maddon’s trust in his starter and how Darvish felt he should be used, particularly when he gets into mid-game jams and his pitch count escalates. Perhaps they’ve found a mutual understanding of on another.
If Maddon has managed to earn trust in and from Darvish, maybe the Cubs should extend their manager.
Cubs News & Notes
- Darvish had his first game of 10 or more strikeouts since 2017. Even more importantly, he didn’t walk a batter while punishing Reds hitters using a nasty slider that at times seemed simply unfair. He seems to be working very well with Taylor Davis behind the plate, though that will likely end when Victor Caratini is activated from the IL.
- Darvish will face Jake Arrieta in his next start when the Phillies and .220-hitting Bryce Harper will come to Wrigley Field for a three-game set this weekend.
- Brad Brach was the losing pitcher yesterday, allowing a run on two hits and two walks across 1.1 innings. The bullpen was uncharacteristically mediocre after Darvish exited with a 5-3 lead.
- Kris Bryant singled in the 10th, extending his streak of reaching safely to 24 consecutive games. The 27-year-old former MVP looks locked in after a slow start to the season.
- Bryant is the new Ben Zobrist.
- Javier Báez still hasn’t got “Javy hot” yet. That’s an exciting thought.
- Despite hitting .115 (3-for-26) with a .148 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot, Jason Heyward still has Maddon’s support. Papa Joe thinks Heyward is simply suffering from some bad luck.
- Anthony Rizzo hit in the batting cage but was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a stiff back. Maddon said he’d likely be out of the lineup again Thursday, but will return for a weekend series in Washington.
- If you’re truly interested in following Zobrist v. Zobrist, Ben filed for legal separation from his wife, Julianna, in the state of Tennessee yesterday. The filing cited that his wife “has been guilty of inappropriate marital conduct which renders further cohabitation impossible.” Before you start digging for dirt, understand that such language is status quo in these filings. Juliana had previously filed for divorce in Cook County, IL.
Parties can file for a no-fault divorce in TN only if every issue is uncontested. Otherwise, 'marital misconduct' is standard language for a standard divorce petition and doesn't necessarily mean anything nefarious.
— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) May 15, 2019
How About That!
The Marlins lost their seventh consecutive game, putting their run differential at a frightening -96 and dropging their record to 10-31. They have been shut out nine times so far this season. I wonder what the league record is for lowest attendance in a single game or season.
Miami has hit just 24 home runs all season. They don’t have a single player on pace to hit 20 and only one player has an adjusted OPS better than the league average of 100. The Marlins have just 69 extra-base hits all season and are the first team in MLB history to get this deep into the season without either a triple or intentional walk.
The Padres’ impressive farm system could yield a run of playoff appearances sooner rather than later.
Is the .300 hitter a thing of the past or are lowered batting averages league-wide the result of players looking to hit for more power?
Wednesday’s Three Stars
- Gleyber Torres – The Yankees shortstop had three home runs in helping New York sweep a doubleheader over the Orioles. Torres was 3-for-8 on the day with three runs scored and three RBI.
- Kenta Maeda – The Dodgers starter needed just 85 pitches to strike out 12 Padres over 6 2/3 innings. He had 15 first-pitch strikes and allowed just three hits in the 2-0 win.
- Tommy La Stella – At this point, La Stella automatically makes this list every time he homers because each one sets a new career high. 3 AM connected for his 11th long fly yesterday and continues to lead the Angels in home runs. For the season, he is batting .301 and slugging a very robust .611.
This custom Chicago Cubs jersey “accidentally” featuring the buyer’s credit card number on the back actually exists and belongs to real person who posted to it to their real Twitter account. The owner of said jersey, Dan White, claims he accidentally entered his card number in the name field while ordering , but his Twitter bio also says he’s a comedian so it’s entirely possible he’s just looking for some attention. I scrolled through his tweets. I’ve seen funnier.
F me. Just dropped $150 on a customized Cubs jersey but I screwed up the information fields and accidentally had it embroidered with my credit card number. pic.twitter.com/Eip8PkIMiG
— Dan White (@atdanwhite) May 13, 2019
Apropos of Nothing
I finally have a day off from my primary job. Good thing, too. I was starting to feel like a zombie, which is apparently a real thing in the Midwest these days.
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) May 16, 2019
They Said It
- “I feel like he’s been playing well but I don’t feel like he’s been hot. I don’t know if that’s the right way to describe it, because obviously numbers speak for themselves. But I feel like he’s just had a lot of big hits for us, but he hasn’t really got like kind of Javy hot.” – Jon Lester
- “In each start, you’re seeing something different [from Darvish] that you can take away as a positive. Everything is starting to pinwheel into putting everything together. His tempo maybe was a little slow, but I don’t care. He was getting outs, making quality pitches, wasn’t falling behind as much as he normally does. He didn’t put himself in a stress situation.” – Taylor Davis
- “[Arietta] is a legend in Chicago, for sure. I respect that. I’m looking forward to facing him.” – Yu darvish
- “[Heyward] doesn’t look good, I get it. But he’s had some pretty good swings that have not been rewarded. Among the [leadoff] candidates, he’s not going to let it bother him.” – Joe Maddon
Thursday Walk Up Song
Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet. This is a 1994 cover of the original by the Troggs, which was released in the Summer of Love, 1967. Yesterday was the two-year anniversary since my girls lost their mother, and this was her favorite song. Yes, I still get a little misty when I hear it.