Good morning, frents!
And welcome to what is inarguably the coolest day in Midway Minute history. A group of readers and I are helping a family furnish their new apartment using funds donated by other newsletter readers.
I mean, even if Midway Minute never becomes anything more than an obsessive Justin Fields propaganda machine, we will have left at least one piece of good work behind for someone else. Thank you to everyone who's made this a reality so far.
Three quick things:
- We're still $410 short of our $3,000 goal for the Moore family. Let's get that knocked out before the Humble Design moving truck pulls up this morning. You can donate here.
- I'd love to meet as many of you as possible on the outdoor patio at Midwest Coast Brewing this afternoon. We'll be there after the project from 4 to 7 so pop in and say hello if you can.
- No newsletter tomorrow, but you can follow our progress on my Twitter account. RT the thread to help spread the word.
Now let's get to the newsletter ...
Sox 9, A's 0
Cubs 2, Reds 1
Wings 80, Sky 76
Cubs at Reds (11:35, Marquee)
A's at Sox (7:10, NBCSCH)
Fire at Inter Miami (6:30, WGN, ESPN+)
Red Stars at Louisville (6:30, Paramount+)
Winning streak: 1
All bad losing streaks must come to an end.
The Cubs' latest string of defeats ended at 12 on Tuesday, thanks a 2-1 win over the Reds in Cincinnati. It was the team's first win since August 4 and only the third since the July 30 trade deadline.
Kyle Hendricks turned in another quality start on the road — he's 8-0 with a 2.27 ERA in his last 11 road starts. Ian Happ, meanwhile, somehow went 3-for-4 with a homer and the bullpen turned in a scoreless effort just for old time's sake. Codi Heuer recorded a two-inning save.
Party like it's June 2, when the Cubs were nine games over .500 and coming off a sweep of the Padres at Wrigley.
Or ... maybe not.
The Cubs are still currently 53-69 and 21 games behind Milwaukee in the standings. The suck must be embraced for sake of a higher draft slot.
So how much lower might this team might go?
There will undoubtedly be more games like the previous dozen than Tuesday's brief dance with victory. Perhaps even as early as this afternoon as Adrian Sampson, a 29-year-old Triple-A starter starts his fill-in stint in the rotation.
But where will the team's final loss total and draft pick end up?
Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation did a deep dive on the Cubs chances of becoming just the fourth team in franchise history to lose 100 games.
It's a good piece that's worth your time, but here's the tl;dr version: It probably won't happen.
While the Cubs entered Tuesday's game playing .217 baseball over their previous 46 games, they still have a lot of games left against similarly bad teams. The Royals and Pirates won't make tanking easy.
They also realistically won't climb higher than fifth in the draft, unless things really get crazy. The Diamondbacks and Orioles have yet to reach 40 wins and Baltimore is riding a 13-game losing streak and counting. The Pirates and Rangers have 42 wins apiece.
That leaves the Cubs slumming with the Marlins, Nationals, Royals, Twins and Rockies for a pick in the top half of the top 10 over this final month and a half.
We can save the debate whether a higher baseball draft pick is really worth watching day to day with the randomness of success maybe higher than any other sport.
But at this point, it's really the only thing worth tracking on the North Side that's not a farm report.
Next: Adrian Sampson (0-0, 0.00) vs. Tyler Mahle (10-3, 3.58)
Kyle Hendricks won his MLB-leading 14th game on Tuesday. Name the two pitchers who led the 101-loss 2012 Cubs with nine wins apiece.
The Sox won their second straight over Oakland with a 9-0 victory keyed by another good Reynaldo Lopez appearance and Jake Lamb and Jose Abreu both hitting three-run homers.
But A's pitcher Chris Bassitt took a scary comebacker to his eye in the second inning that had both teams thinking about things other than the score for the rest of the game.
The good news: A's manager Bob Melvin reported after the game that Bassitt never lost consciousness and that damage may have been limited to lacerations and not damage to his eye.
"There was like a dark cloud around that game the whole time," Tony La Russa said.
Next: Lance Lynn (10-3, 2.26) vs. Cole Irvin (8-11, 3.52)
Allie Quigley's 27 points weren't enough to bring the Sky back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but the real concern lies with Parker's ankle. It's the same one that kept her out for seven games near the start of the season, but the team is optimistic this injury won't be as bad. Standout Kahleah Copper also left the game with an ankle injury. Keep those fingers crossed this Sky season isn't derailed by bad health.
- What was it like to be at Justin Fields' debut at Soldier Field? Brendan Sugrue wrote about it in his second piece for us. Midway Minute
- Andrew and Austin Romine became the first brothers since 1894 to start a game for the Cubs. NBC Chicago
- "We are playing a struggling game, where you struggle every day. It’s okay to celebrate the positive things”: Tim Anderson was the subject of another good national profile, this one written by Michael Lee. Washington Post
- Meet the coach who's helping Chicago's Filipino-American basketball players get opportunities to play across the world. Block Club
- NHL owners reportedly approved jersey ads for the 2022-23 season. Bleacher Report
Chicago t-shirts: BreakingT has new designs for Justin Fields and Tim Anderson's walkoff last week. Check them out here.
Trivia answer: Jeff Samardzija and Paul Maholm