“Got motion, restrained emotion. I’ve been driving, Detroit leaning. No reason just seems so pleasing.” – Pretenders, Brass in Pocket
There was no no-no for Stro, but he came close and put the hammer down on the Cubs’ losing streak. Marcus Stroman was brilliant yesterday, hurling a complete game, one-hit shutout win over the Rays. The veteran right-hander pitched no-hit baseball through six innings before surrendering a single to Wander Franco for the only hit he allowed in the game.
Stroman was so good David Ross never entertained the thought of removing him.
“I didn’t even get anybody up,” Ross said. “The way we’ve been going, that was his game.”
Cubs News & Notes
- Stroman had a career-best 20 swinging strikes in yesterday’s win.
- The complete game was the fifth of Stroman’s career and it was also his best start as a Cub.
- An overall trend suggests players who hit home runs in five consecutive games go hand-in-hand with staying power. That bodes well for Christopher Morel.
- Tauchman has been a pleasant surprise since being recalled from Iowa.
- Kyle Hendricks gets his second start of the season in tonight’s tilt with Tampa.
- Cubs relievers have the worst ERA in all of baseball, and the unit is also trending down over its last seven games.
Odds & Sods
Liam Hendriks kicked cancer’s ass. Everything else is just gravy. Chicago baseball fans owe a big thanks to Hendriks and Stroman for providing a whole lot of sunshine on a couple of otherwise gray seasons.
Liam Hendriks fires a strike for his first pitch of the 2023 season. 💚 pic.twitter.com/GwTyLXlgUC
— MLB (@MLB) May 30, 2023
- St. Louis: Cardinals pitchers are among the league leaders in fastball usage.
- Milwaukee: The Brewers are in the midst of a run-scoring drought and they’re now in the bottom half of the National League in offensive output. The Cubs and Cardinals are the only teams in the division with a positive, though threadbare, run differential.
- Cincinnati: The Reds have suddenly become a dark horse candidate to win the NL Central and their youthful lineup is leading the charge.
- Pittsburgh: Slugger Jack Suwinski hit two bombs into McCovey’s Cove in a 14-4 loss to the Giants.
Climbing the Ladder
“Cut the night just like a razor, you rarely talk and that’s the danger.” – INXS, The One Thing
The Cubs were 2-10 in one-run games before yesterday, so the 1-0 win is significant and surprising. Thankfully that’s all the Cubs needed because Ross went with a very weak lineup that included Miles Mastrobuoni, Mike Tauchman, Edwin Ríos, and Tucker Barnhart. Tauchman got the lone RBI, driving in Seiya Suzuki with a 4th-inning sacrifice fly.
- Games Played: 53
- Record: 23-30 (.434)
- Total Plate Appearances: 2,046
- Total Strikeouts: 488
- Strikeout Rate: 23.85%
- Team Batting Average: .255
- Runs Scored: 243
- Runs Allowed: 238
- Chances of Making the Playoffs: 23.6%, 0.5% to win the World Series
How About That!
Hendriks was greeted by a thunderous ovation when he took the mound at Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday.
The veteran reliever has been cancer-free for two months after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in December. Two days after his first treatment for Stage 4 cancer, Hendriks had already pinpointed when he wanted to be back on a big league mound.
A’s reliever Lucas Erceg was “electric” on the mound Monday and earned his first big league win. The righty, who was drafted as a third baseman by the Brewers, tossed three perfect innings against the Braves.
Nevada lawmakers questioned whether a proposal to subsidize a new MLB stadium with tax credits and bonds would further jolt Las Vegas’ economy, or serve as a handout for a big business that could strain government resources.
Monday’s Three Stars
- Hendriks – The ChiSox closer gave up two runs on three hits in an inning of work and looked rusty in doing so. That stat line doesn’t matter though.
- Stroman – He threw goose eggs at baseball’s best team and punched out eight batters in the process.
- Aaron Judge – The big — there’s a size descriptor again — Yankees right fielder blasted two home runs and plated three runners on Monday.
No words are necessary.
STR0 SH0 pic.twitter.com/Rtq3HuBZmT
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 29, 2023
Tuesday Morning Six-Pack
- Disgraced Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes will check into prison today to begin her 11-year sentence.
- Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Sen. Lindsey Graham over comments the US lawmaker made about Ukraine. In response, an unfazed Graham tweeted, “See you in The Hague!”
- If you’re free this coming weekend you might still be able to get tickets to the Catalina Freaking Wine Mixer.
- Gamblers lost almost $1 billion at blackjack tables in Las Vegas last year, the most since 2007 and the second-highest amount on record. That’s intentional, as the nation’s playground is trying to rid itself of deadbeat gamblers in favor of high rollers.
- I care deeply about my readers, which is why I’ve decided to share the wonderful and hilarious “The History of the World in Legos.”
- I’ve also uncovered the 40 best summer-themed songs just because I’m that guy.
They Said It
- “Going CG [complete game] at Wrigley, that’s like one of the top moments in my career. The energy. When I walk out there 40 minutes before a game, there’s a massive cheering section already. The bleachers are usually filled, and everyone’s ready to roll, so that gives me so much momentum and motivation. I’m very thankful for that home crowd. They’re the best fans in the game.” – Stroman
- “This guy, he’s a star that likes to shine bright. And he does that on this stage, in this stadium, in front of those fans, and in big-time moments. Just an electric performance from him.” – Ross
- “Again, this is bigger than baseball, right? This is about life and the diagnosis and the comeback and how [Hendriks] did it. And how good he was prior to [it] and how good he’s going to be afterward.” – Pedro Grifol
Tuesday Walk-Up Song