The results of the first three rounds project to have significant impact on the future of the Bears. Defensive end Shea McClellin and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery are expected to be starters before opening day.But the picks point to several important conclusions about the thinking of the organization, the talent available in this draft as well as what is thought about sections of the current roster.Selecting a pass rusher has been expected since the end of the 2011 season. Corey Wootton was a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft but has been besieged by injuries and simply hasnt developed enough to satisfy the organization.The pass rusher the Bears chose is revealing as to how the Bears draft board is set up.When the first pick came at No. 19, and wanting a pass rusher, the Bears had their pick from McClellin, Chandler Jones from Syracuse (No. 21 to New England), Whitney Mercilus from Illinois (26th to Houston) or Nick Perry from USC (28th to Green Bay). Alabamas Courtney Upshaw lasted until the third pick of the second round, going to Baltimore.General managerPhil Emery said last week that the Bears had a core of seven possibles for the 19th pick. Not all of them were pass rushers, but only Quinton Coples and Bruce Irvin were gone when the Bears picked. They did not settle for McClellin
There were some added stakes to Saturday night’s Cubs-Dodgers matchup. Darvish made his first start at Dodger Stadium since his infamous Game 7 loss in the 2017 World Series, looking for a great effort in front of a fan base that had their up-and-downs in terms of their relationship with him. He (maybe) took a small jab at the Dodgers before the game had even started, telling the Los Angeles Times that he wasn't worried about being booed because “the Dodgers don't have many fans here in the first three innings, so maybe it will be on the quieter side.”
Yu Darvish told @dylanohernandez that "the Dodgers don't have many fans here in the first three innings, so maybe it will be on the quieter side." It was not. The #Cubs RHP heard resounding boos when he was introduced before game.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) June 16, 2019
Well Dodgers faithful certainly got the message and made sure to let Darvish hear it.
Yu Darvish with a warm welcome in his return to Dodger Stadium.— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) June 16, 2019
A loud collective “Yuuu” or boos? You be the judge...
Yes I know the correct answer. pic.twitter.com/waxvIQA4J0
However, Darvish got the last laugh on Saturday night. He pitched a stellar seven innings. Over those seven innings, Darvish gave up 1 ER on 2 hits and also notched 10 strikeouts.
10+ K starts by #Cubs pitchers this season— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 16, 2019
In 2018, they only had one (Quintana)
Darvish has been hitting his stride as of late, maintaining a 2.96 ERA over his last four starts.
"This was really important in my life. I think now I can move forward. I pitched good here." -- Yu Darvish, on pitching a gem in Dodger Stadium, where he lost Game 7 of the 2017 World Series— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 16, 2019
Joe Maddon on Yu Darvish: “When he really believes in himself and he has confidence in himself – he is one of the best pitchers in baseball.”— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) June 16, 2019
All of that being said, it would be remiss of me not to mention the contributions of Darvish’s teammates. His great outing helped keep the Cubs in the game, but the gutsy performances of Anthony Rizzo and Pedro Strop are what won the contest.
Dodgers All-Star relief pitcher Kenley Jansen had a 10-game scoreless streak coming into Saturday night, but one swing of Rizzo’s bat was all that was needed to restore balance to the everlasting battle of pitcher versus hitter. After Jansen hit Kris Bryant with a pitch to put him on base, Rizzo activated “clutch mode”, mashing a 400-foot bomb out to right field.
Though small, Saturday night’s homer gives Rizzo a three-game hitting streak, perhaps forecasting that things are trending upwards for the first baseman as the Cubs look to close out the series against the Dodgers with a win on Sunday night. And not to be left out of the fun, Pedro Strop came in to face the Justin Turner, MVP hopeful Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Matt Beaty to nail down the save.
Never afraid of high-pressure moments, Stop came through big time.
Strop got a ground out from Turner, struck out Bellinger and Beaty in his 15-pitch save effort. This was a much-needed win for the Cubs, who have well-documented struggles on the road. As they look to split the four-game set with the Dodgers on Sunday night, the Cubs can be pleased with their fight this week.
HUGE comeback win for the #Cubs as they notch their first victory after trailing through 6 innings on the season!— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) June 16, 2019
Darvish was great and Rizzo's 2-run shot in the 9th put the Cubs ahead for good pic.twitter.com/4rxOppQPLS
Saturday’s win over the Dodgers was the Cubs first win of the season after trailing through six innings, as they were 0-23 in such situations prior to the victory. Amid a season that has been fraught with injury and general roster construction concerns, it was wonderful to see the Cubs pull out a tough win lead by the much-maligned Darvish and the never-quit attitude of his teammates.
The White Sox lost Saturday night.
That’s baseball, of course, they’re not all going to be winners. And this rebuilding franchise has seen plenty of losses. But the feelings have been so good of late — whether because of Eloy Jimenez’s 400-foot homers or Lucas Giolito’s Cy Young caliber season to this point or a variety of other positive signs that make the White Sox future so bright — that losing Saturday to the first-place New York Yankees seemed rather sour.
Obviously there will be plenty more losses for this White Sox team before the book closes on the 2019 campaign. Back under .500, these South Siders aren’t expected to reach elite status before all the pieces arrive, and it would be no shock if they’re removed from the playoff race in the American League by the time crunch time rolls around in September.
But don’t tell these White Sox that an 8-4 defeat is a return to reality or a reminder that this team is still a work in progress. Even if, for a lot of players, development is still occurring at the major league level, the “learning experiences” that have been such a large part of the conversation surrounding this team in recent seasons and their daily goal of winning baseball games aren’t mutually exclusive.
“The Yankees are sitting in first place and they lost two games in a row,” catcher James McCann said Saturday night, providing a reminder of how the first two games of this weekend series went. “Just because you're expected to win and expected to be World Series contenders doesn't mean you're not going to lose ballgames. It's how you bounce back.
“And it doesn't mean you're going to win tomorrow, either. It's just, how do you handle a defeat? How do you handle a bad at-bat? How do you handle a bad outing, whatever it may be? But it doesn't mean that we step back and say, ‘Oh, we're back under .500, we're supposed to lose.’
“We expect to win when we show up to the ballpark. You can take learning experiences whether you win or lose. Do I think a game like tonight reminds us we're supposed to be in a rebuilding mode? No. We still expect to win, and we're going to show up tomorrow with that mentality.”
Maybe that’s a description of the much-discussed “learning to win” young teams supposedly need to do on the road to contender status. Maybe that can’t happen until a team figures out how to bounce back from a defeat — until it learns how to lose and how to act in the wake of a loss.
For all McCann’s certainty about the team’s expectations on a daily basis, his explanation was peppered with questions. He said he’s seen the answer to “how do you bounce back?” from this club, and his three-run homer in the eighth inning Saturday night was fairly convincing evidence that the White Sox didn’t use up all their fight just getting back to .500.
So while the White Sox know they won’t win every game — that no team will — they need to know how they handle defeat. Losing, it turns out, might end up being more instructive about when this team is ready to win.
“I think we've done a pretty good job (bouncing back),” McCann said. “You look at the road trip in Houston and Minnesota where we took two out of four from a good Houston team and then played really not very good baseball for three days in Minnesota only to come home and have an extremely good homestand.
“It's the big picture. It's not the very next day. It's not, ‘We've got to bounce back and win.’ It's not a must-win situation in the middle of June. But it's how do you handle yourself? How does a game like tonight, do you show up flat tomorrow and let it snowball into a three-, four-game spiral? Or do you fight?
“And that's what this team's been really good at doing is fighting and not giving in.”