The Rundown: Cubs Riding High After 5-1 Trip, Hoyer Expected to Buy, Cards Start Sell-Off, Padres Likely Standing Pat

“And she screams, ‘Why, oh why?’ I said, ‘I don’t know.’ The catastrophic hymns from yesterday.” – Green Day, Misery

…And then, depression set in.

The Cubs’ offense gave Kyle Hendricks no support at all and the Cardinals snapped Chicago’s winning streak at eight with a 3-0 win. The North Siders did take the series, however, and St. Louis started dismantling its roster during the game. We also found out that Christopher Morel is better served as DH and that Trey Mancini is never going to stick the way the front office hoped he would. It might be time to recall Matt Mervis and Nelson Velázquez. I must also mention that after an early error, Morel made two sparking defensive plays later.

The Cubs are a notoriously streaky team, and though it’s impossible to win every game, here’s hoping yesterday’s loss doesn’t become a trend. There’s not much left to say beyond that. All eyes will be on Hoyer today and tomorrow to see what types of reinforcements will be coming to the Windy City.

Marcus Stroman takes the bump against the first-place Reds tonight, and I’d bet against it being his last game in a Cubs uniform.

Cubs News & Notes

Odds & Sods

At least we’re not White Sox fans. That “competitive window” may have been the most disappointing in the history of baseball.

Central Intelligence

Climbing the Ladder

“You have to sleep late when you can and all your bad days will end.” – Flaming Lips, Bad Days

The Cubs excelled at futility against Steven Matz and relievers Giovanny Gallegos and JoJo Romero. Though they only struck out six times, Chicago’s North Side Baseballers could do no better at the plate than four singles and a double. Yan Gomes had two of Chicago’s five hits. Ross opted for another disappointing Sunday lineup in yesterday’s contest.

Don’t look now, but Michael Fulmer is in a bit of a groove. He’s only allowed four runs since June 3, pitching to a 1.44 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 25 innings of work.

  • Games Played: 105
  • Record: 53-52 (.505)
  • Total Plate Appearances: 4,041
  • Total Strikeouts: 947
  • Strikeout Rate: 23.43%
  • Team Batting Average: .254
  • Runs Scored: 514
  • Runs Allowed: 457
  • Chances of Making the Playoffs: 46.6%, 3.7% to win the World Series

How About That!

The Angels and Rockies have agreed on a trade that sends outfielder Randal Grichuk and first baseman C.J. Cron to Los Angeles for Jake Madden and Mason Albright.

The Blue Jays acquired flamethrowing reliever Jordan Hicks from the Cardinals for Sem Robberse and Adam Kloffenstein.

I think it’s safe to say that Steve Cohen has been a colossal failure since taking over the Mets.

Justin Verlander is being heavily pursued by the Dodgers but don’t sleep on the Astros.

Verlander holds a no-trade clause and could force a trade to Houston ($), per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Braves have also checked in on Verlander.

The Red Sox are open to trading outfielder Alex Verdugo.

The Angels made the right move by keeping Shohei Ohtani.

The Marlins are reportedly eying Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres.

The White Sox have already traded five pitchers, but trading Dylan Cease might be their best opportunity to acquire top prospects.

The Southsiders are also reported to be listening to offers for Jiménez and Louis Robert Jr.,  but the team is open to trading anybody on the current roster.

The Yankees are targeting upgrades at catcher, third base, and in the outfield, but do they have any chance of winning the AL East?

The Phillies are targeting right-handed hitters but could be competing with the Yankees for the same players.

The Orioles and Cardinals have discussed outfielder Dylan Carson.

The Braves want to add a starting pitcher.

The Rays are expected to go big in the relief pitcher market.

The Guardians are a perfect match for Atlanta. Cleveland is considering making Aaron Civale available.

Royals starter Ryan Yarbrough has also emerged as a legitimate trade chip.

Kansas City traded versatile infielder Nicky Lopez to the Braves for lefty reliever Taylor Hearn.

The Reds have placed Jonathan India on the injury list, which means it’s unlikely that Cincinnati will trade him. Stuart Fairchild was recalled to take his place on the roster.

Terry Francona passed Casey Stengel into 13th place for most managerial wins with 1,927.

Some MLB owners are upset with the preferential treatment the A’s are getting for their expected move to Las Vegas.

Sunday’s Three Stars

  1. Matt Olson – Atlanta’s first baseman bashed two home runs and plated five runners, helping the Braves sweep the Brewers. Atlanta outscored Milwaukee 29-18 in the three-game set.
  2. José Ramírez – Two-tater Ramírez had another multi-homer game, going 2-for-4 with two big flies and three RBI in the Guardians’ 5-0 win over the White Sox.
  3. Verlander – In what was likely his final start with the Mets, Verlander earned his 250th career win by beating the Nationals 5-2.

Extra Innings

I’d love to see the Cubs acquire Jeimer Candelario, but I wish there was a linked source to this tweet.

Monday Morning Six-Pack

  1. The Bears go to full pads today, and I’ll be ramping up coverage over at Bears Insider all week.
  2. Today is National Avocado Day, and as always, celebrate accordingly.
  3. Barbie is closing in on $1 billion at the box office. If the movie hits that mark, Greta Gerwig would become the first solo female director to exceed that threshold.
  4. The USWNT play their final FIFA World Cup group stage match against Portugal at 3 AM ET on Tuesday. Following a disappointing 1–1 draw against the Netherlands, the team can still advance to the knockout stage with a win or a tie.
  5. American swimmer Katie Ledecky broke Michael Phelps’s record with her 16th individual gold medal at the world championships.
  6. Sizzling temperatures in the US Southwest are set to ease this week with the arrival of monsoon rains.

They Said It

  • “We’ve got to get better in some areas, but I think the fight and the belief that you’re seeing at this moment is a collective group that’s playing together. We’re not playing perfect baseball, but there’s no wavering in how [we] compete. That’s a really powerful thing.” – Ross
  • “We’ve got the guys in this room that can get the job done. Whatever we [add to] this clubhouse, we’re just going to keep it rolling and keep attacking these other teams.” – Hendricks
  • “We have the boys in a really good position right now. We’re playing really, really good baseball. We’re finally finding that identity as a team. The chemistry is there. Everyone is coming together. The pieces are falling into place now.”Adbert Alzolay

Monday Walk-Up Song

Let’s stop that losing streak at one game, please, and thank you.

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