August 2013

8/30 Cubs lineup

The Cubs open a three-game series against the Phillies Friday at Wrigley Field. Interim Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg becomes the second person to go into the Hall of Fame as a Cub only to manage against the team following enshrinement. Sandberg was admitted into the Hall in 2005. Sandberg joins Rogers Hornsby, who played for the Cubs from 1929-32, and was enshrined in the Hall in 1942. Hornsby faced the Cubs while managing the Reds in 1952-53. A total of 15 Cubs Hall of Famers managed against the organization at some point in their careers, however, Hornsby and Sandberg are the only two to do so following enshrinement into the Hall.

Here’s Friday’s lineup:

Castro SS
Lake CF
Rizzo 1B
Navarro C
Schierholtz RF
Murhpy 3B
Bogusevic LF
Barney 2B
Samardzija P

8/29 Minor matters

Wednesday’s games

Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs over eight innings in Iowa’s 5-2 win over Omaha. Ty Wright had two hits and three RBIs. For Hendricks, the eight innings were a season high, and this was his third straight quality start. Brian Schlitter converted his 20th save.

Tennessee had the day off and returns to action Thursday against Chattanooga.

Kris Bryant and Dustin Geiger each hit home runs to help Daytona beat Dunedin, 6-2, and clinch the Florida State League second-half title in the first game of a doubleheader. Lendy Castillo threw 2 2/3 innings of relief for his second win. In the second game, Wes Darvill was 3-for-3 in Daytona’s 3-0 win. Bijan Rademacher had two RBIs.

Scott Baker had his best rehab outing, giving up one hit over five innings in Kane County’s 9-1 win over Cedar Rapids. Baker retired the first 13 batters he faced. Jeimer Candelario and Carlos Escobar each homered.

Jacob Rogers, Yasiel Balaguert and Justin Marra each homered to power Boise to a 10- win over Salem-Keizer. Marra finished with three RBIs.

Mesa had the day off and returns to action Thursday against the Diamondbacks.

8/28 Dodgers 4, Cubs 0

Edwin Jackson ended August without a win, serving up solo home runs to Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier, and also made a throwing error that led to another run, as the Dodgers topped the Cubs, 4-0, on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. Ricky Nolasco is the only starter the Cubs will face in five games who hasn’t won a Cy Young, yet he looked as if he had the trophy on his mantel. Nolasco struck out 11 and held Chicago to three hits over eight innings as the Dodgers shut out the Cubs for the third time this season.

Despite the loss, the Cubs completed their long, 15,000-plus miles of travel back and forth to the West Coast with a 12-12 record against West division teams in the American and National Leagues. Last season, they went 1-18 on the road against the NL West, but were 8-8 this season.

Jackson finished August 0-3 in five starts, giving up 19 earned runs on 38 hits over 28 2/3 innings for a 5.96 ERA in the month.

Ramirez hit a changeup for his 15th home run in the first, and Ethier made it 2-0 with his 10th home run with one out in the fourth.

What hurt was Jackson’s error in the fifth. Juan Uribe and Tim Federowicz both singled. Nolasco then bunted, and Jackson fielded the ball but bounced his throw past third baseman Cody Ransom for an error. Uribe scored on the play, and Federowicz tallied on Skip Schumaker’s single.

It’s the third time this season the Dodgers shut out the Cubs.

8/28 Sveum ejected

Cubs manager Dale Sveum was ejected in the first inning Wednesday for arguing a checked swing call during Dodgers leadoff batter Yasiel Puig’s at-bat. The count was 2-2, and Chicago starter Edwin Jackson thought the Dodgers outfielder had gone around on the next pitch, a fastball, rather than check his swing in time. Sveum challenged the call, and was ejected by first base umpire Lance Barksdale. It was Sveum’s sixth ejection this season, and the earliest.

— Carrie Muskat

8/28 Ryno’s coming back to Wrigley

On Friday, Ryne Sandberg returns to Wrigley Field as interim manager of the Phillies. The Hall of Fame second baseman played 15 seasons with the Cubs, and made it no secret that he wanted to manage the team. What kind of reception does Cubs manager Dale Sveum feel Sandberg will get?

“I’m sure he’ll get a standing ovation,” Sveum said. “This guy is in the Hall of Fame. He’s arguably the best second baseman to play the game and he did it all in Chicago. It’ll be a nice moment for him to come back, after getting his first job, and a couple weeks after he gets it, he comes to Chicago for the first time.”

Sveum spent most of his playing career with the Brewers, and thought about possibly managing there but was passed over as well. He also managed in the Minor Leagues, but Sveum wasn’t a Hall of Fame player.

“I only did it in Double-A for three years, which is a perfect level to manage at,” Sveum said. “Guys are past the core development, so you have decent players, and you’re dealing more with men than kids, and they’re hungry to get to the big leagues and most people in Double-A have a shot at a cup of coffee in the big leagues. That’s what you try to do as a Minor League manager is get every player a cup of coffee.”

So Sveum, like Sandberg, rode the buses and caught the early flights and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the clubhouse.

“It’s impressive that somebody who had those credentials [like Sandberg] would want to stay in the game and go back to the Minor Leagues and teach and progress and get accustomed to managing, especially to the National League part of managing, and obviously get an opportunity to do it,” Sveum said.

A lot of players say they want to manage or coach, but once they get into player development, they realize how much of a commitment it is.

“Some guys have had great careers but they find out [what it takes], it turns into a 24/7 job, it’s not for everybody,” Sveum said.

“You’re in your own little world as a player,” he said. “At the end [of his playing career], I started asking a lot of questions of Jim Leyland and really paying attention to the game itself. When you’re a player, you worry about your four at-bats and not making a fool out of yourself.”

Did it take long for Sveum to get over not getting the Brewers’ job?

“I don’t think it’s tough to get over,” Sveum said. “It’s just part of the game, and you understand the business part and how lucky it is to get one of these jobs. There’s luck involved. There’s a circulation of managers being let go. There’s only 30 of these jobs and for newcomers to get one, it’s hard to do.

“It’s not easy to put $100 to $200 million payrolls together and hand them to somebody who’s never done it before,” he said. “You keep plugging along and doing your thing, and if it happens, it happens.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/28 Cubs lineup

The Cubs close their three-game series in Los Angeles on Wednesday against the Dodgers. Here’s the lineup:

Castro SS
Barney 2B
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Bogusevic LF
Lake CF
Castillo C
Ransom 3B
E. Jackson P

8/28 Extra bases

* After going 6-4 (.600) in their first 10 games after the All-Star Break, the Cubs are 8-21 (.276) in their last 29 games starting July 29. They have lost eight of their last 11 games overall and return to Wrigley Field on Friday having lost 16 of their last 19 home games.

* After facing former Cy Young winners in back-to-back games this week in Los Angeles (Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw), the Cubs will do so again this weekend when facing Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay on Friday and Cliff Lee on Saturday, giving the Cubs a match-up against a Cy Young Award winner four times in a five-game span. Wednesday’s game is the exception.

* The Cubs have played exactly 66 games at home and 66 games on the road. The Cubs are six games better on the road this season than at home, posting a 25-41 record at Wrigley Field and a 31-35 record on the road.

* Overall, the Cubs have an 12-11 mark in the home ballparks of teams that play in the NL or AL West this year. A season ago, the Cubs went 1-18 in NL West ballparks, including losses in their first 18 games before winning their final NL West game at Arizona on Sept. 30.

8/28 Minor matters

Tuesday’s games

Justin Grimm gave up one earned run over five innings in Iowa’s 7-6 win over Omaha. Luis Flores hit a solo home run and Edwin Maysonet had three RBIs. Dave Sappelt and Edgar Gonzalez each drove in a run.

Eric Jokisch gave up two hits over six scoreless innings in Tennessee’s 4-2 win over Mobile. Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo home run and Jonathan Mota had two hits. It was Jokisch’s fifth straight quality start.

Dustin Geiger and Chad Krist each hit home runs to help Daytona beat Dunedin, 6-4, in the completion of Monday’s game. In the second game, Kyler Burke threw five scoreless innings of relief to combine with two other pitchers on a seven-inning no-hitter and a 1-0 Daytona win. Kris Bryant hit a double, and has now hit safely in 1 of his first 12 games with Daytona.

Reggie Golden and Jeimer Candelario each hit home runs in Kane County’s 8-7 loss to Wisconsin. The Cougars committed six errors in the game. They’ve now lost 77 games, setting a franchise record for most losses. The old mark was 61-76 set in 1992.

Boise had the day off.

Ryan Sweeney was 2-for-5 with a double and one RBIs in his third rehab game as Mesa beat the Mariners, 8-3. Luis Valbuena went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBIs in his first rehab game. Mark Malave had two RBIs and two doubles.

8/28 Looking ahead …

The Cubs play host to the Phillies and Ryne Sandberg this weekend at Wrigley Field. Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.03) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.81)
Saturday: LHP Chris Rusin (2-3, 2.64) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (11-6, 3.07)
Sunday: RHP Jake Arrieta (1-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (10-11, 4.40)

8/27 Cubs 3, Dodgers 2

Travis Wood stole the spotlight from Clayton Kershaw, this season’s favorite for the National League Cy Young Award, as the Cubs posted a 3-2 win and snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Dodgers in front of a sellout crowd of 52,326.

“He’s the best pitcher in the game right now,” Wood said of Kershaw. “He’s an outstanding pitcher, and he had an off night tonight — on his off night, he held us to two runs. I was fortunate to go out there and make quick pitches and get quick outs.”

Dioner Navarro and Starlin Castro each hit RBI singles to hand Los Angeles’ its sixth loss in 26 games this month.

“This is the hottest team, but I think for all these guys, and especially the guys who were here last year and myself and the coaching staff, this is probably one of our most satisfying wins, that’s for sure,” Dale Sveum said.

The West Coast has not been kind to the Cubs, who went 1-18 on the road against the NL West last season. This was Chicago’s first win against Los Angeles since May 6, 2012.

Wood avoided going 0-for-August when he struck out six over seven innings for his first win since July 28. The only blemish off the Cubs lefty was a two-out RBI single by Juan Uribe in the sixth. Wood lost to the Dodgers on Aug. 2 at Wrigley Field, giving up five runs over an abbreviated 3 1/3 innings. Tuesday was much improved.

“Wood was an All-Star,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s been having success by staying out of the middle of the plate. He didn’t do it in Chicago, but he did a nice job tonight.”

The key may have been the Chicago first. Kershaw needed 29 pitches to get through the inning.

“I think that was huge for us,” Navarro said of the first. “We got his pitch count up a little bit. I knew Kershaw, and I knew he was going to throw at least six innings. We did a great job as a team, it was a great group effort and we did what we were supposed to do.”

— Carrie Muskat