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THE BEAT GOES ON: Cubs 6, Royals 1

Sonny And Cher. Before she believed in life after love.

The Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals moved their home-and-home series to Kaufmann Stadium in KC for the third game of this four game set.

The Cubs, having won the first two, came in rocking a five game win streak, and the Royals had have a losing streak of the same length. How would tonight go?

The Cubs rode their third straight 7 inning start, this time by Yu Darvish, and a grind-out fourth inning to a 6-1 win. This gives the Cubs a 10-2 record at the 20% mark of the scheduled season. Let’s get to this:

THE GOOD:

Darvish. He’s given the Cubs two outstanding starts in a row. 7 innings, 4 strikeouts against 5 hits and 1 walk. His ERA is down to 2.12, and he’s carrying over his dominant second half from 2019 into this season. And if there’s going to be a postseason, the Cubs will need their starting pitching to carry a huge part of the load. Of course, Oleg covered this in depth earlier today.

Victor Caratini. He runs like he’s carrying a piano on his back, but he scored from first on Kris Bryant’s 9th inning single/error, and he had a couple hits and an RBI. Also had a really nice game behind the plate, stole a decent amount of strikes for Darvish.

Colin Rea. He hadn’t pitched in the majors in over four years before tonight, July 30 2016 to be exact. Sure it was garbage time, but he still came in and got the three outs he needed to get in the ninth, and I’m sure he was pumped like it was Game 7 of the World Series.

The Cubs’ taking advantage of the other team’s mistakes. Tonight Royals’ first baseman Ryan O’Hearn muffed a two-out throw from third that Anthony Rizzo would have caught in his sleep. Kris Bryant, who was safe on the play, wound up scoring. In fact, the Cubs were able to put this game out of reach due to O’Hearn’s butchery.

The Cubs’ hot start. Whatever David Ross is doing is working. He had big shoes to fill, with Joe Maddon getting them to the postseason 4 years out of 5, but maybe after a few years of being managed by the cool uncle, it’s time for strict dad to take over. They’re 8 games over .500 in their 12th game, something it took them 34 games to to accomplish last year. That came shortly after their longest win streak of 2019 – 7 games, if you’re keeping score at home.

THE BAD:

Yeah, Javier Baez hit a flare down the right field line, and if he had busted it out of the box he could have been standing on second when Willson Contreras’ ground ball would have only counted for one out. But over the course of even this short season, Baez will do enough El Mago stuff to nab bases he has no business nabbing. Besides, he drove in two runs. He’s quite good.

THE UGLY:

Am I the only one who thinks Alex Gordon looks like Chris Elliot? Yeah? OK, well I do.

Tomorrow the Cubs and Royals close it out, and the surprisingly-good Tyler Chatwood is on the bump.

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