Brewers and Pirates gain on Cubs on and off the field while White Sox remain bad


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Just when you thought it was safe to sit back, relax and watch the Cubs stroll to another NL Central title, they hit a bump in the road and the Brewers spring back to life.  Even the Pirates are acting like they have a shot at the Central title.  A lot went on during the MLB trade deadline and not a lot of it was good for Cubs fans.

Well, that was distasteful

As far as on the field action, the Cubs lost to the Pirates 5-4.  Jon Lester wasn’t particularly good, giving up four runs in five innings.  Steve Cishek and Jesse Chavez followed with a scoreless inning each.  Justin Wilson pitched the eighth and gave up a solo homer to Gregory Polanco.  That turned out to be the difference.

The Cubs runs came on a three-run homer by Javy Baez in the fourth, which tied the game at 3-3 at the time.  The Cubs other run came in the ninth when Addison Russell doubled in David Bote with nobody out.  Unfortunately Russell was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple.  Russell was ruled out on a replay review after initially being called safe.  Russell beat the throw, but came off the bag.

Strange Brew in Milwaukee infield

Later in the evening, the Brewers defeated the Dodgers 1-0 behind Wade Miley.  Well, that was unexpected.  The Brewers picked up help before the trade deadline.  They added Royals third baseman, Mike Moustakas and Orioles second baseman, Jonathan Schoop.  Since the Brewers already have an excellent third baseman in Travis Shaw, I’m not sure where everybody plays this season, but I’m sure they’ll work it out.  I’ve been waiting for the Brewers pitching to fold, but so far that hasn’t happened.  The Cubs would do well not to expect a Brewers fade this season.

And here are some more guys to worry about

In a somewhat surprising development, the Pirates were buyers at the trade deadline.  And big buyers at that.  They added Rays starting pitcher, Chris Archer, as well as Rangers closer, Keone Kela.  I’ve thought that Archer has underperformed for some time now.  Maybe a different environment will be good for him.  The Pirates gave up promising outfielder, Austin Meadows, as well as reliever, Tyler Glasnow for Archer.  They will also send a third player to be named later.

If I’m a Pirates fan I’ve got to feel good about the team going for it this season.  On paper, they still look a little short on talent to me, but hey, they’re winning.\

And there’s the White Sox, playing just bad enough to lose

Meanwhile, on the south side of Chicago, the baddest part of town when it comes to baseball, the White Sox absorbed a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Royals.  James Shields gave up two two-run homers to the Royals and Matt Davidson hit only one two-run homer for the Sox, and there you have it.

Take my pitchers, please

After trading of Joakim Soria, the White Sox made no other moves at the deadline beyond sending international bonus money to the Rays for left-handed minor league pitcher, Hunter Schryver.  Not exactly a game changer.

Filler added

The Cubs did make an addition, adding reliever, Brandon Kintzler, form the Nationals.  Actually, I think Theo Epstein did pretty well before the deadline.  The Cubs have added starter, Cole Hamels, who gets his first start as a Cub tonight, as well as swingman, Jesse Chavez and the aforementioned Kintzler.  Beyond Hamels those aren’t high profile guys, but figure to be helpful.

Come Ryan, pick up the Pace

On a completely different note, it’s time for the Bears to get their first round draft pick, Roquan Smith, signed.  In the past the Bears have been accused of, and probably unjustly so, of being cheap, but this smacks of cheapness.  The issue is apparently the Bears want to take back some of Smith’s money in the event he’s suspended for illegal use of his helmet while tackling. Since nobody knows how the new rule is going to play out, I can see Smith’s trepidations.  The Bears have a lot of optimism going into the season; don’t put a damper on it by cheaping out.



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