Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
1. Game Notes (Cubs lose, 10-8)
Jason Hammel started off with a very rough first inning, and when the rain delay kicked in during the third inning, it was perhaps a stroke of mercy, as by that point Hammel had given up home runs to Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, and Anthony Gose. In the bottom of the first, Chris Coghlan put one over the wall to give the Cubs 2 runs, but when the rain delay started, the Cubs were down 5-2.
The game finally restarted at about 10:30 after a 2 hour and 17 minute delay (a bit to my chagrin, at first, because things had gotten off to such a bad start. I was sort of hoping for a postponement last night), and the Tigers added a run very quickly to make the score 6-2 going into the bottom of the 4th inning. In the top of the 5th, the Tigers threatened to score again on a hit to left field by Kinsler, but a brilliant throw by Kyle Schwarber got the runner at home, ending the inning and preventing a run.
Schwarber then went on to make things interesting at the plate when he made it a 6-5 game in the bottom of the 5th with 2 outs with a 3 run HR after Addison Russell tripled and Dexter Fowler drew a walk. The Cubs even managed to bring the game to a tie in the 7th inning, but a disastrous 3 run 8th inning at the hands of Pedro Strop was ultimately the nail in the coffin. James Russell came in for the 9th inning, and although the Cubs put 2 more runs on the board in the bottom of the 9th, it didn’t end up being enough.
A couple of good notes from last night’s game is that our bullpen (for the most part) kept us in the game after Hammel was only able to go 3 innings (because of rain delay, but he likely would not have gone much longer without it), and that our offense did not quit and kept scoring runs.
Tonight, the Cubs will send Jon Lester to the mound against Daniel Norris.
2. Cherington steps down in Boston
This is not news that directly involves the Cubs, but news broke during last night’s rain delay that Dave Dombrowski had been hired in Boston, and Ben Cherington would not be staying. The possibility of Cherington joining the Cubs front office in some capacity may be a long shot, but it would be interesting to see if he could fit in some capacity. It’s pure speculation, but it seems clear that Cherington would leave Boston because he is looking to land somewhere else, and probably right away. Otherwise, why not finish the season there? Whether or not he does come to Chicago, the value of the front office for a team is often overlooked, and shouldn’t be. What we are watching on the field now is very much the product of the work that Theo and Jed have done, so anyone who can come and enhance the front office further is welcome, in my opinion.
3. Injury news/Roster moves
Top OF prospect Billy McKinney went on the DL for the remainder of the season with a hairline fracture in his right knee. This late in the minor league season, this is not much of a big deal, because he will end up sitting out just a few weeks. McKinney had been hitting .285 with 26 doubles in 77 games for AA Tennessee since being called up from Myrtle Beach.
The Cubs signed Trevor Cahill to a minor league deal and assigned him to AAA Iowa. To make room, C.J. Edwards was moved to the 7 day disabled list.
Fowler was placed on waivers and cleared, so he would technically be free to be traded at this piont, but this seems more like a way to gauge his market value rather than a real attempt at moving him. He is a free agent after this season, so in theory he would make a nice late season rental if something actually were to happen. In other waiver news, Starlin Castro still has not been placed on waivers.
4. An eye on the Pirates
When the Cubs went into rain delay, my attention turned to the Pirates/Diamondbacks game. Right now, working on catching up to and hopefully passing the Pirates should be the goal, so it is a good idea to keep tabs on how they are doing as well. Going into last night’s action, the Cubs were down 2 games in the division and for the first wild card spot, so it was nice to see that the Pirates saw a 5 run lead evaporate in the 8th and 9th innings last night. The game went into extra innings, and eventually the Pirates won on a walk off in the bottom of the 15th inning.
5. Down on the farm
Dallas Beeler had a pretty nice start for Iowa on Monday night, going 7.1 innings without giving up a walk and allowing just one run to score. Beeler is a nice option to have in terms of pitching depth as the closing stretch of the regular season approaches.
Javier Baez went 2 for 5 with a run on Monday night and then added another hit against Las Vegas last night. Baez is hovering just beneath .300, but it is important to note that this is significantly higher than what he did for Iowa in 2014, and it is rivaled only by his 54 game stint for AA Tennessee in 2013, when he hit .294.
THIS DAY IN CUBS HISTORY
1949: The Phillies host ‘Eddie Waitkus Night’ at Shibe Park and shower their injured first baseman with gifts. The All-Star infielder, in uniform for the first time since June, had been shot in the chest at Chicago’s Edgewater Beach Hotel by Ruth Ann Steinhagen, an obsessed fan upset with his trade from the Cubs to Philadelphia.
1965: At Wrigley Field, Reds’ hurler Jim Maloney no-hits the Cubs 1-0 with the only run scoring on a Leo Cardenas homer in the tenth inning. Earlier in the season the Fresno native had also no-hit the Mets for ten innings, but lost the game in the eleventh when Johnny Lewis homered.
1969: At Wrigley Field, Ken Holtzman no-hits the Braves, 3-0, with Ron Santo‘s first inning homer off Phil Niekro providing all of the Cubs’ runs. It is the fifth no-hitter of the season, and the first since 1923 (Sad Sam Jones) in which no strikeouts are recorded.
1989: Cubs’ center fielder Jerome Walton extends his hitting streak to 29 games in an 8-4 loss to Houston at the Astrodome. With his seventh-inning single, the 24 year-old rookie establishes the longest consecutive-game hit streak in modern franchise history, surpassing the mark set by Ron Santo in 1966.
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