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Cubs pack home uniforms in order to end road woes


The Chicago Cubs left for their current road trip with an excellent 41-19 record at Wrigley Field but a woeful 21-33 record on the road. Outside of maybe the Colorado Rockies and their unique challenges with elevation there isn’t usually much rhyme or reason to why a team may struggle on the road as badly as that, so it’s not like the Cubs could really do anything concrete about it.

But they did try to something. From the Chicago Tribune:

The Cubs’ white home jerseys were packed into their equipment bags Wednesday night, loaded on the bus and flown to Cincinnati with the rest of the team.

When the players arrived at Great American Ball Park on Thursday afternoon, they discovered their pinstriped jerseys hanging in their lockers.

They didn’t wear the jerseys in last night’s game against the Reds, of course. That’d be weird. They wore their alternate road blues. But whoever was behind the plan — everyone is denying responsibility, but it was probably Joe Maddon — felt that the mental trick might work. And it did for at least one night, as the Cubs romped to a 12-5 win over the Reds. I presume, then, that the home unis will be displayed again tonight and for the rest of the road trip. At least as long as they keep winning more than they lose. Whatever works, right?

Related to that: I wonder how long it’ll be before teams just start wearing home uniforms on the road and vice-versa. I’m not sure what the rules are about that, if any, but it’s already the case that many teams wear alternate solid tops at both home and on the road. What’s the difference if they wear whites or grays in a non-traditional setting? It’s not like this is basketball or football. Guys aren’t making high-speed passes in traffic or whatever.

I suppose it’d be a bit of a drag for the fans if both clubs’ uniforms are too alike — more so at the stadium than on TV — but given how much teams have strayed from traditional uniform orthodoxy I’m guessing we’ll see it eventually.

Chris Archer exits start after one inning due to apparent injury

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Pirates starter Chris Archer exited Tuesday night’s start against the Pirates while warming up ahead of the second inning. He was examined by the Pirates’ training staff before walking off the field. The reason is currently unknown but an update should be forthcoming.

Archer allowed a pair of singles before getting consecutive strikeouts to see his way out of the first inning. The 30-year-old right-hander has had a forgettable year in Pittsburgh, entering Tuesday’s action 3-9 with a 5.23 ERA and a 141/55 K/BB ratio in 118 2/3 innings.

The Pirates, overall, are in rough shape, losing 22 of their last 27 games dating back to July 21. They are 51-73, 15.5 games out of first place in the NL Central cellar. It may behoove them to play it safe with Archer since they don’t have anything to play for over the remainder of the regular season. The club holds options for his 2020 and ’21 seasons at $9 million and $11 million, respectively.