Organizational Recap – 6/9
Synopsis: The Cubs played the NL-West leading Colorado Rockies in the series opener last night. Despite a first-inning run, Jon Lester’s 4-run 2nd inning, highlighted by former Cub prospect (traded for Ian Stewart) and NL batting champ D.J. LeMahieu’s 3-run homer with 2 outs. Tyler Chatwood seemingly shut down the Cubs’ lineup, allowing only a first-inning run, a solo home run to Kris Bryant, his 14th of the year.
Notes: As the Cubs took the field Thursday night, the biggest story surrounding the team was the MLB’s announcement of an investigation of domestic violence claims against young shortstop Addison Russell made by his wife on an Instagram post Wednesday night. Obviously, no evidence has been preventing supporting or condemning Russell’s innocence or guilt, and Russell, in a statement made through the Cubs organization, maintained his innocence. Obviously, the distraction of Russell’s domestic violence investigation engulfed the team, which tried to stick to focusing on baseball. Hopefully, justice will be served in this case, and on the baseball side of things, the Cubs can put aside the distraction and media frenzy of the case. In other news, Jon Lester suffered his first loss at Wrigley Field in 13 months. Two-out hits can come back to bite pitchers, and the veteran Lester learned it the hard way. Furthermore, D.J. LeMahieu’s home run serves as a reminder for one of the worst trades in the Theo Epstein era, when he and Tyler Colvin were traded for Ian Stewart, the temper-tantrum throwing predecessor to Kris Bryant. Obviously, the division lead is still within reach: The NL Central is weak this year, and if the Cubs can get their key cogs going, they should be fine come the trade deadline. However, as tonight’s result indicated, a hot pitcher combined with a Cubs’ team surrounded by distraction leads to a loss.
Down on the Farm:
I-Cubs 1, OKC Dodgers 6
- Outfield prospect Jacob Hannemann went 2 for 4 with a double and two steals as the Triple-A side fell flat on offense otherwise.
Smokies 3, Birmingham Barons 2
- The Smokies won on a walk-off wild pitch to continue their successful season at 33-26. Cael Brockmeyer went 2 for 4 with an RBI single.
Pelicans 9, Carolina Mudcats 3
- Eloy Jimenez homered as the Class-A affiliate of the Cubs used a 4-run 6th inning to fly by their Southern Division rival.
SB Cubs 8, Bowling Green Hot Rods 5
- A 4-run 7th inning propelled the Cubs to a victory over Bowling Green. Reliever Dakota Mekkes has been on a tear lately, striking out 47 strikeouts in 31 innings an owns a 0.61 ERA.