Cubs

MLB Power Rankings: Yoenis Cespedes blasts Mets atop NL East

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MLB Power Rankings: Yoenis Cespedes blasts Mets atop NL East

No, Yoenis Cespedes isn't a legitimate contender for National League MVP, but the New York Mets wouldn't be nine and a half games ahead of the Washington Nationals in the NL East without the 16 home runs he's hit in 40 games since being acquired just before the trade deadline. The Mets woke up on the morning of July 31 at 52-50, three games behind Washington in the division. With Cespedes on the team, they've gained 11.5 games on the Nationals and are 30-11. Goodness.

With that comes another week of MLB Power Rankings from CSNChicago.com's Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz. Stay with us every Monday from here through October for a fresh set of rankings.

Stay tuned for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20 | Week 21

Rank Team
Last Week Comment
1 1

As I asked last week: Are all the injuries finally catching up to them?

2   3

Taking full advantage of Cardinals' recent down turn.

3 3

Johnny Cueto could be costing himself millions in free agency with his 5.43 ERA in nine starts with the Royals.

4   6

 Took three of four from the Yankees in New York and enter the week leading the AL East by three and a half games (with a +198 run differential!). 

5 4

Missed a golden opportunity by dropping last two games to lowly Phillies.

6 8

No, Cespedes is not the NL MVP.

7 5

Hot stretch has them tied with Cubs for third-best record in NL now.

8 7

They still have three games left with Toronto, but if they slip any further Joe Girardi may want to start lining up his rotation for the wild card game.

9 9

Huge four-game series at Texas starting Monday night will go a long way toward determining if they win the AL West or have to fight for the second wild card spot.

10 10

 They’re 25-15 since the start of August and 8-4 against Houston this year. This is gonna be a fun week.

11 13

Madison Bumgarner since Aug. 1: 7-1, 1.81 ERA, 73 K in 59.2 IP. Awesome, but too little, too late for Giants' postseason chances. 

12 12

 Their vexing dominance of Chris Sale is a big reason why they’re still in the playoff race.

13 15

 A four-game series at Minnesota starting Thursday could be critical for their wild card hopes.

14 11

 This team just can't stay healthy. Ryan Zimmerman was killing the ball, then goes down with an oblique. Watch out for them next year, though.

15 14

 The secret behind their late run at the wild card? A massive defensive turnaround

16 21

 Finally righted the ship after a horrid stretch, but enter the week six games out of the wild card in a case of too little, too late.

17 18

 David Peralta since July 26: .368/.399/.559 (.958 OPS) in 44 games. He's turning into a star.

18 16

 Matt Moore returned to the rotation last week and the results weren’t any better (8R/5IP vs. Boston). Not all Tommy John recoveries are immediate successes.

19 20

Since Dave Dombrowski took over Aug. 18, the Red Sox are 16-6 and Tom Brady triumphed over the NFL. Let the #Hottakes roll.

20 17

Kyle Seager has been on a tear since facing the White Sox last month: .422/.486/.781, 6 HR in 17

21 19

Only 16 White Sox starters since 1901 have made 30 or more starts with an ERA of 4.89 or higher. Jeff Samardzija would be No. 17 at this rate (the last was Jose Contreras in 2007).

22 22 J.D. Martinez had -1.1 WAR in 252 games with Houston. Since coming to Detroit, he has 8.6 WAR in 262 games.
23 23

Matt Kemp has 15 HR, 50 RBI and a .935 OPS since July 8. Padres needed that earlier in the year, but he's proving he's not washed up yet.

24 22

Did well to get Domingo Santana (.964 OPS) from Houston at the deadline. 

25 28

Jose Fernandez is just ridiculous. 2.06 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 60 Ks in 48 innings ridiculous coming off Tommy John surgery and biceps injury.

26 25

Instead of talking about this year’s bad A’s team, let’s remember some guys from the 2002 team: Olmedo Saenz, Terrence Long, Jim Mecir, Chad Bradford.

27 26

Looks like they have a nice long-term rotation piece with Anthony DeSclafani, who's been solid all year.

28 27

Nolan Arenado is just ridiculous. Who would've pegged him to hit 40 HR this season?

29 30

 If they played the Cubs even just one series a month, this season would've gone far differently.

30 29

They very well may end up with the No. 1 pick the way they've been losing lately.=

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

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NBC Sports Chicago

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

A Cubs pitcher taking in a Blackhawks game in a suite is nothing special, but doing so with a World Cup winner is... different.

Kyle Hendricks was spotted by the cameras of Thursday's Blackhawks-Coyotes broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago. The guy he was standing next to was none other than Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, a World Cup with Germany and Champions League winner with Bayern Munich.

Hendricks is known for being reserved on the mound and in his interviews with the media. Meanwhile, Schweinsteiger was filmed yelling "Bear Down" in the hallway of Toyota Park after a Fire practice earlier in the day.

There's no telling what inspired Schweinsteiger to do this, but he has definitely embraced Chicago sports teams since joining the Fire in March of 2017.

Makes you wonder what Hendricks and Schweinsteiger were talking about. Best places to get brats in Chicago?

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist won't win the Comeback Player of the Year award this winter, but maybe he can take home a Grammy for Best New Artist?

The Cubs veteran infielder/outfielder posted a hilarious video on his Instagram Wednesday night showcasing how he's been spending October after the Cubs were unceremoniously ousted from the playoffs after on the third day of the month.

It's a fantastic music video of Zobrist lip-syncing to Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait" while he nearly knocks the TV off the wall of his home by swinging the bat indoors pretending to hit off Clayton Kershaw and frolicking around a field that looks shockingly similar to Hershel's farm from the second season of "The Walking Dead":

View this post on Instagram

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year.... I will wait for you....

A post shared by Ben Zobrist (@benzobrist18) on

Zobrist also posted a lengthy caption on his perspective on the Cubs' disappointing end to the season:

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) 
Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not
Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. 
I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. 
What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. 
To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year....
I will wait for you....

Come for the Zobrist lip sync, but stay for the 37-year-old using a bat as a guitar while wearing a sleeveless shirt and rocking an old-timey top hat.

A year ago, Zobrist completely reshaped his offseason workout plan after three straight years of playing deep into October. It appears he's added another new trick to his winter workout — hopping over fences even though there is a clear opening just a foot away.

Hey, whatever works...