The Rundown: Cubs Sweep World Champs in DH, Hendricks Returns to Form, Marisnick Looks Great, Ángel Hernández Disgrace to Game
“Now the sky is gettin’ light
And everything will be alright
Think I finally got the knack…Just floatin’ here lazy on my back.” – The Monkees, Goin’ Down
Sock it to me! The Cubs swept the world champion Dodgers in a Tuesday doubleheader and we can all feel just a slight bit of vengeance for the way the 2017 season ended. Even better, they knocked Clayton Kershaw out of the first game after the ace had completed just one inning of work.
Kyle Hendricks was the hero in Game 1 and Javier Báez atoned for a three-error game in the first contest with a game-tying extra-inning bomb in the nightcap. David Bote lashed a single into the right field gap in the 9th inning to give the Cubs the sweep.
- The Good: Jake Marisnick had a home run and a stolen base in Game 1 while flashing speed on the basepaths that is making him the team’s most exciting player since Dexter Fowler wore the royal blue pinstripes. His OBP sits at .364, third-best on the team behind Nico Hoerner (.500) and Kris Bryant (.403).
- The Bad: Báez had the first three-error game of his career in the opener, but his 8th inning bomb in the second game was his biggest hit of the season.
- The Ugly: The Cubs were 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position in the 4-3 nightcap win.
- The Profound: The Professor went the distance in the afternoon tilt, shutting down the Dodgers until Max Muncy homered with one out in the 7th inning.
- The Showstopper: Marisnick and Ildemaro Vargas both scored on a 3rd inning wild pitch by Dennis Santana to give the Cubs a 6-0 lead in Game 1.
- The Upstarts: Keegan Thompson started Game 2 and threw 3.2 innings of shutout baseball. Justin Steele earned his first career win after pitching a ballsy 9th inning, keeping Los Angeles off the board by striking out pinch hitter Austin Barnes with some absolute filth.
Having clinched the series with yesterday’s sweep, Cubs fans will break out the brooms tonight, hoping Chicago can take the third game of the series, too.
Cubs News & Notes
- Impressive Stat of the Day: The Cubs stole three bases in the two games and now have 24 on the year, second-most in the majors.
- The Cubs knocked three-time Cy Young Award winner Kershaw out with a four-run opening frame, the shortest outing of his career and most runs he’s allowed in the 1st inning since giving up five in a 2008 start as a rookie.
- The complete game by Hendricks was easily his best start of the season.
- Chicago placed Hoerner, Dan Winkler, and Jake Arrieta on the 10-Day IL before yesterday’s game amidst a flurry of roster moves.
- How would you feel if the Cubs traded Bryant to the White Sox? A Cubs-Sox trade involving the MVP third baseman could be one of the biggest, boldest May trades in baseball history.
- Craig Kimbrel saw his impressive streak of 19 straight appearances without allowing an earned run end when he blew the save in Game 2.
- Kohl Stewart joined the Cubs before yesterday’s twin bill as the team’s 27th man but did not see any game action.
- This Cubs dad taught his son a lesson in disrespecting the enemy.
- Somebody drop the needle on the Cat Stevens hit “Father and Son.”
- Andrew Chafin is a national treasure.
Climbing the Ladder
“Expectations. Strong belief something will happen in the future. Pressure. A motivator. A positive. An indicator you are in the right place.” – Joe Maddon
- Games Played: 30
- Total Plate Appearances: 1,116
- Total Strikeouts: 300
- Strikeout Rate: 26.9%
- Team Batting Average: .225
Don’t look now, but the Cubs are finally one disciplined game shy of falling beneath 10 strikeouts per game. Only Walker Buehler stands in their way. No pressure, though.
Odds & Sods
Ángel Hernández should be fired, but he works for what is obviously the toughest union on the planet. There’s some very strong language in this video by the way. Earmuff the kids.
Noted bad umpire, Ángel Hernández blows a couple easy ones, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/3KSAEUu3jM
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) May 5, 2021
How About That!
Hernández admitted to guessing on the call that originally took a double away from Royals catcher Salvador Pérez.
The veteran umpire said he was “blinded by the light.”
Boston outfielder Hunter Renfroe hit his 100th career home run last night and Red Sox staffers entered into serious negotiations to retrieve the ball from the fan who caught it.
The Brewers and Dodgers have each lost two straight after being ranked in a dead heat for first place in this week’s MLB power rankings.
Reds infielder Jonathan India has taken high socks to an entirely new level. He may need garters for those to properly run the bases.
Speaking of garters…it’s not wrong, you know. Just remember to breathe out of the right eyelid. Or is it the left?
Keep an eye on these top prospects now that the minor league season has begun, including Cubs farmhand Brailyn Márquez and his 80-grade fastball.
Tuesday’s Three Stars
- Dylan Cease – The White Sox starter threw one-hit ball for six innings, struck out 11, and had three knocks in his first professional plate appearances as the ChiSox routed the Reds 9-0.
- Huascar Ynoa – The Braves rookie starter earned his third big league win and also hit a grand slam, leading the Braves over the Nationals 6-1. Who needs a DH?
- David Bote – Four hits and four RBI in two games, including a walk-off single in the nightcap, helped the Cubs sweep the Dodgers.
The argument here is “let the kids play” and even while removing my Cubs blinders I’m not so sure Amir Garrett qualifies, but if you can present a strong enough argument, please do. Nevertheless, Garrett was suspended for seven games, Báez received a fine of an undisclosed amount, and Reds fans have lost their minds.
El Mago said he has no regrets after receiving the fine.
Reds pitcher Amir Garrett cursing Anthony Rizzo out after striking em out
Rizzo is a good kid.. great home.
Javy Baez though? WITH ALL THE SMOKEpic.twitter.com/iIuNU6b0nH
— Elite Media Group (@TheEliteMedia_) May 2, 2021
They Said It
- “I’m just super proud of the fight this group has. Huge day for us. Lot of bumps and bruises, a lot of maneuvering on the roster and guys just continuing to stay ready. … Just all-around big wins. Defending world champs, doubleheader — nice to get two in that scenario, especially when it feels like every little thing was going against us and then we come up with two wins. I thought tonight it started to be the character of this team.” – David Ross
- “Embarrassing.” – Clayton Kershaw
- “It’s just so enjoyable to see as a team because we want it so bad. Things have been going slowly for us, or up and down. But the way we have fun here, the way we compete is on another level I believe. It feels great to win the series. But we’ll see. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully, it keeps going our way.” – Javier Báez
Wednesday Walk Up Song
The Show Must Go On by Three Dog Night – Look at Major League Baseball, conducting itself with all the pompacity of “professional” wrestling.