Around the time the verdict came down, Kato Kaelin was angry on Twitter. You remember Kato, right? The Brewers — from Kaelin’s hometown of Milwaukee — lost a Thursday matinee 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pittsburgh Pirates spent a good portion of the first half of the season trying — and failing — to find any sort of traction. Once they'd figure out one problem, another would pop up. If it wasn't the bullpen, it was the mess left by outfielder Starling Marte's 80-game steroid suspension. Or the back end of the starting rotation. Or the massive funk that baffled star center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Two hot weeks have changed the discussion dramatically. Gregory Polanco homered, Chris Stewart added three hits and the surging Pirates completed a four-game sweep of the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers with a 4-2 victory on Thursday. The Pirates have won 11 of 13 and moved within three games
This is slowly becoming more like Willson Contreras’ team, whether or not the Cubs add a veteran catcher like Alex Avila before the July 31 trade deadline. Yadier Molina took the in-game, All-Star photo of Nelson Cruz and Joe West, but Contreras is coming for moments like that, too. In a Cubs clubhouse filled with calm, serious young players who were fast-tracked to Wrigleyville, Contreras is the one who got left exposed in the Rule 5 draft at the 2014 winter meetings and spent parts of eight seasons in the minors before making his big-league debut. As much as the Cubs needed that ice-cold demeanor from guys like Kris Bryant and Addison Russell to end the 108-year hex, they will use Contreras’ fire to try to win the World Series again.