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Is it time for Cubs fans to panic?

One of you greedy fools wished on the severed monkey paw. You were not supposed to do that, for it is cursed. And you wished for the Cubs to win one lousy World Series, just one, without thinking of the repercussions. They won that World Series, but now you’re wondering if the phrasing just one constitutes a legal monkey-paw technicality.

The question at hand is if the modern game has gone too far. Verducci bemoans the lack of action between the homers and whiffs, and he isn’t alone. My former boss spent many thousands of words on the same complaint and that was before the strikeout rates went truly bonkers around the league.

If you want to distill everything into a crude sentence, here you go: Baseball is getting dumber. The dumb is being obscured by numbers spin rates, exit velocities, launch angles but it’s still obvious. Throw ball HARD. Hit ball HARD. If ball not hit hard, player in TROUBLE, but chance to hit ball HARD always come around again. This is disconcerting, I agree.

And yet, holy heck, did you see Bellinger’s home runs? The dude whips his bat through the zone with an uppercut that makes it look like every third frame was removed from the video. It’s not dumb. It’s art. It’s a delicate ballet, a triumph of the nervous system over physics.

Sometimes it’s right to stare at different FanGraphs pages and pretend you understand what linear weights to tweet you, and sometimes it’s right to point at a low batting average and say, THAT BATTING AVERAGE SHOULD BE HIGHER. This is time for the latter.

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Dyson earned a hit early in the inning

This was Wake Forest’s first super regional win in program history, and the game was remarkable for featuring seven home runs between the two teams.

And wouldn’t you know it but Game 3 could barely get two innings in before yet another delay sent the teams scurrying to the clubhouse. Florida had scored a run in the bottom of the second, then the game was suspended in the top of the third. Florida’s starter, Brady Singer, was understandably pissed the hell off.

So, after play was suspended around 4 p.m. ET, the teams retook the field just after 8:15 p.m., and righty Tyler Dyson took the hill in place of Singer. Dyson earned a hit early in the inning, but pitched his way out of the jam to get back to the dugout with no nicks.

In the bottom of the same frame, Schwartz picked his bat up from where he had left off in the early game to crush a solo homer to left, which landed in or around the same area his earlier mash had.

Stage 3 lasted six seasons, past Colon’s 43rd birthday. He was a middle finger to age, to our preconceived notions of what a successful baseball player should look like. And even though there were controversies along the way (performance-enhancing drugs and a second family, the usual), he was so much damned fun that he became an essential part of being a baseball fan.

It was his 44th year on the planet that did him in. Colon will likely be the last active player to appear in a game last century, unless Tomo Ohka’s knuckleball is progressing well in an undisclosed location. Colon will be remembered as the ace of an Indians team that needed him, the undoing of an Expos team that didn’t need him, the star of the Angels, the bane of different colored Sox, the surprise of the Yankees, and the gift of the Mets.

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So many good dogs showed up to Brewers game for Bark at the Park

Good news! Two of America’s favorite things met again Tuesday when the Milwaukee Brewers had their Bark in the Park night during their home series against the San Francisco Giants.

Plenty of good doggos came out to support their team.

If you’re the Pirates, and you’re reasonably confident with your pitching development system, how do you approach the draft? Do you focus on hitters at the top and figure that you can polish pitchers selected later, or do you hope that you can turn good prospects into great ones and pick them early?

It’s a fascinating conundrum, and we know what the Pirates are trying to do. They’ve had a rough year on a couple fronts, including with injuries and developmental stalls. This pick doesn’t make up for it, but it’ll help them feel a little better, at least.

The Marlins had baseball’s worst farm system before the season started, according to Baseball America, and it’s going to take more than one draft pick to get them out of the cellar.

That written, it’s hard not to be impressed with the raw physical ability they just added to the organization, and if everything goes right, this could pay off for the better part of a decade. They just have to figure out what’s happened with the system over the years, other than dubious trades.

Related: David Eckstein was hit by more pitches (76) from 2001 through 2004 as the non-Eckstein shortstops were in the remaining 13 qualifying seasons (61). He was so, so amazing. If you know him only from gritty jokes and general obnoxiousness, please reevaluate. He was the Mike Trout of annoying.

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Some of that has to do with the Cubs pitchers being slow to third base.

Let’s pause here to give it up for TCU’s pen, which shut down Florida’s bat through the middle-late innings. There’s no need for an actual phone to the pen when your guys are throwing lights-out stuff.

TCU scored their ninth run on a sac-groundout to bring it up to 9-2, and the Gators had nothing to say after that, so a Saturday rubber match to decide the other party in the CWS final two was needed.

The average pop time (from the catcher’s mitt to the mitt of the infielder covering second base) is between 1.9 and 2 seconds. Montero got one throw off to second that was under two seconds, and that one came in at 1.96.

Some of that has to do with the Cubs pitchers being slow to third base. But four of the runners reached when Montero dropped the ball or couldn’t handle the pitch. To be fair, one of those pitches was in the dirt and would have been a wild pitch if the runner wasn’t running, but the other ones were fumbles and drops.

One big upset of the day occurred in the Tallahassee regional, where No. 4 seed Tennessee Tech which slapped the most home runs in the NCAA this year upended the hosting Seminoles, 3-1. The Golden Eagles required just two pitchers on the day, with Michael Wood and Travis Moths splitting the work of six and three innings, respectively. Now, FSU will have to fight its way out of the losers bracket.

But the biggest upset of the day went down in Chapel Hill, where Davidson topped No. 2 overall national seed North Carolina, 8-4. The Tar Heels were never in it, and the Wildcats needed just two arms to get the job done. A full five Davidson players notched RBI, and UNC’s bats fell dead asleep until a three-run seventh inning.

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My thesis today is that the Astros might be better than they’ve been so far this season.

It’s nearly impossible to improve on a .724 winning percentage, so I’m not going to argue that this is a true .800-winning percentage team. I think it’s likely they will win fewer than three-quarters of their remaining games. So I’m using rhetorical chicanery to suggest the Astros might be better. When that definition of better translates roughly to but they’ll start losing more games, you can take it with a grain of salt.

But when I’m confronted with a surprising team either a surprise contender, or an expected contender that’s blowing away the rest of the competition I like to play a game called Should They Be Doing This? It’s fun for the whole family. Minutes to learn, lifetime to master. It goes like this:

When they do the same because no one can score runs off Eric Hacker, perhaps you should reserve a little skepticism. That sort of thing.

Thanks to the last week of events, it’s about time we adjust their Villainy Score.

Anthony Rizzo slid into Padres catcher Austin Hedges on Monday night. He didn’t have to slide into Hedges, but he chose to do so: For Rizzo and the Cubs, it was merely an out. For Hedges, it was an injury, as he limped away from the play and is not expected to be in the Padres’ lineup on Tuesday.

If you ask Rizzo, it was open season on Hedges he thinks colliding with the catcher is what you’re supposed to do in that situation, as he shared in his response to the Padres’ criticism of the play:

I don’t by no means think that’s a dirty play at all, Rizzo said. I went pretty much straight in, he caught the ball and he went towards the plate.

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