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I know it's really hard to do right now, but I'm going to try and look at this week as it actually happened and not through the no-hitter colored glasses of one game. Because there was some real scuffling going on and it took a no-no to wash out the bad taste of losing four in a row and it really wasn't that much fun. The cold slap of reality came in the guise of two West Coast powers; one is the three-times-in-five-years champion and the other is the more-money-than-God monster team - and let's not even get into the jet lag . . .
In times like these I think we can all just quote some rock lyrics and move on. You know what's what Rock and Roll Joe Maddon would do. And even though his favorite song is "Kitty's Back," I'm going to go with Led Zeppelin:
These are the seasons of emotion and like the wind they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion - I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient, quotient - Upon us all, upon us all a little rain must fall.
It's just a little rain oh yeah
So yeah Cub Fans, into each season a little rain upon us must fall. And even though through the years it's been a lot more rain than blue skies, even this good, fun, young team is going to get into some bad weather.
The Week In Review: The Cubs went 3-4 for the week. They lost two of three to both the Giants and the Dodgers, and won the make-up game Monday with Cleveland. And Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter. The losses were all in a row and felt like 25 losses in a row, because you know, we are Cub fans. But in the scheme of things, these things happen. But in the scheme of the Cubs, well, it just feels like every loss is really a big deal. And this last win feels like it's all good again - in a losing week.
The Week In Preview: The boys in blue head home looking for some real home cookin'. Playing "would-be" playoff teams on the road is a real pain in the season. Welcoming the Reds and D-Backs might be just what the doctor ordered.
The Second Basemen Report: HA! Finally some action at the keystone position. Everyone's favorite Castro (sorry, Fidel) started five games at second, with Tommy La Stella getting the other two starts. Also, the Cubs signed Emilio Bonifacio to a minor-league deal, so there is a good chance Emilio will join the team this week as the roster expands, as he is kinda "Maddon-y" as he can play multiple positions and one of those is second base. Not to mention the possible addition of Javier Baez. This second base thing is not close to over.
In former Cubs second basemen news, Bonifacio last played second base for the Cubs in 2013. Emilio didn't really do much with the Cubs, or any of the other seven teams he played for, but he was NL Player of the Month for July 2011 where he batted .380 with a .466 OBP. Maybe he has one more of those months left? He was missed, but now not so much as he's back.
Mad(don) Scientist: Boy, Big Poppa Joe really likes to muss with the lineups these days. You can see some of the method to the madness as guys will be up for anything. Like, who is to say that in two years Schwarber and Bryant won't be two of this team's three everyday outfielders? And that easing them into things is probably the best bet down the line? But sometimes things just look really odd. At least he's still doing this, and that is something.
Wishing Upon A Starlin: We covered Castro getting more work this week at second base. And I guess he's responded as he is batting close to .280 for the month of August. Which is kind of okay. Would be nice if he didn't boot the ball at second though.
Kubs Kalender: On Saturday the Cubs will give away a fleece blanket. It's only supposed to be like 86 degrees, so that's not really functional, but neither is this complete roster.
Ameritrade Stock Pick of The Week: Shares of Cubs playoff tickets traded lower this week.
Over/Under: The number of games left against the Pirates and Cardinals +/- too many (for reals it's 13).
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that this isn't over.
* Touch 'em all: The Cub Factor archives.
* Know thy enemy: The White Sox Reports.
Marty Gangler is our man on the Cub. He welcomes your comments.