Cubs with 8 straight series win, Caratini rehab, Lester with MLB-best ERA, more
Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports

Cubs with 8 straight series win, Caratini rehab, Lester with MLB-best ERA, more

by - Columnist -

Next Game: Today, 5:40 PM CDT: Cubs vs Reds. RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 3.19 ERA) vs RHP Sonny Gray (0-4, 4.15 ERA).

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Cubs/Reds Probable Pitchers: ; WEDNESDAY: RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.40 ERA) vs RHP Tanner Roark (3-1, 3.27 ERA); THURSDAY: LHP Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.50 ERA) vs RHP Luis Castillo (3-1, 1.97 ERA).

Walks, not runs: Before Sunday’s game (vs. Brewers), the Cubs’ bullpen had the best ERA (2.67) in all of MLB over the past 30 days. Ironically, they also had the worst walk percentage (13.7%) in the majors over the same period.

Eight Straight: With Sunday’s series win over Milwaukee, the Cubs have now won eight-straight series- which marks the first time they’ve done so since June 2008. If you exclude the 1-1 tie with the Angels (as that series is not complete yet due to a rainout), the Cubs are now at nine straight series wins, as they won the Cubs/Pirates’ series before playing the Angels. I’m not sure how it will work (as far as team/MLB stats) if the Cubs win that makeup game against the Halos in early June, but if they do, that would then make ten straight series wins and they’re still racking them up.

Victor Caratini: Now in Iowa on a rehab assignment, Victor Caratini earned the I-Cubs “Player of the Game” last night after going 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Chicago’s waiting, Victor.

Everybody In: Willson Contreras says this year feels like 2016… “We are together.”

Big Jon’s cutter: There’s nothing like watching Jon Lester when he’s pitching well, and he certainly did so on Sunday. By the way, Lester has not allowed an earned run in three straight starts and has a MLB-leading 1.16 ERA this season. Watch as Jon’s cutter knocks Lorenzo Cain to his knees…

Jon’s as tough as mom: There was a great story told of Jon Lester, his mom, and her toughness, during ESPN’s Sunday night broadcast of the Cubs game. It seems she suffered from bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, not too long before she was due to retire. The doctor’s said she needed surgery on both wrists, or she wouldn’t be able to return to work, nor would she receive her pension. Lester offered to give her what her retirement would’ve been so that she wouldn’t have to have surgery or return to work. She refused, saying “they aren’t going to win.” Refusing any of Big-Jon’s money, she underwent the surgeries, went through the recovery and rehab, and returned to work, so that she’d get the pension she’d worked her whole life for. Great story, congrats Mrs. Lester, I see where Jon got it from...

Is Happ finally happening? I, like most, have kept an eye on Ian Happ as he navigates his way through some remedial training in Iowa. While I’m still very skeptical about what he’ll do when (and if) the Cubs bring him back up, I’ll give him some credit- he’s doing well in Des Moines. He’s now reached in 21 of his last 22 games, with 22 walks, as compared to just 12 strikeouts over that time.

Kimbrel/Keuchel watch: Believe it or not, 198 days have passed since the end of last year's World Series, and the start of the free agency period. If Keuchel and Kimbrel wait another 20 days, for the start of the amateur draft, they'll no longer be tied to draft-pick compensation. With the way that the starting rotation is performing, there’s no way that the Cubs will go after Dallas Keuchel, but for those who are holding out hope for a Craig Kimbrel signing (I suppose there’s a minuscule chance), not having to give up a draft pick will be at least a little more enticing.

MLB showing some love:

Yesterday’s Cub Birthdays: Happy birthday to Willson Contreras and also to ex-Cubs Terry Hughes (70) and posthumously, Bob Smith (91), Lou Stringer (102), and Jimmy Archer (136).

NL CENTRAL SCHEDULE (May 12 – May 18, 2019)

(Wins are in green, losses in red)


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