Addison Russell makes his Wrigley Field debut Monday night when the Cubs open a three-game series against the Pirates. It should be nice for Russell, whose parents and fiance were expected at Wrigley. Hopefully, they brought warm clothes. It’s a little chilly at the ballpark. Jason Hammel gets the start. Here’s the lineup:
* Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was impressed by the Cubs after seeing them for four games last week in Pittsburgh. The two teams play a three-game series, starting Monday at Wrigley Field.
“The people nobody talks about are [Dexter] Fowler and [Miguel] Montero,” Hurdle told reporters in Phoenix on Sunday. “You just put two solid players in the middle of the diamond, it’s always talked about as where you’ve got to have a backbone. And then you add the experience of [David] Ross to complement the left-handed catcher. You got a center fielder who can go get the ball, and a switch-hitter at the top of the order.
“You’ve added young players to your lineup who have shown the ability to produce offensively in the Minor Leagues,” Hurdle said. “You’ve got an anchor at first base [in Anthony Rizzo]. There’s not a team in baseball that probably wouldn’t like to have that guy, except for maybe [the D-Backs]. [Starlin] Castro seems to be re-energized and rekindled. The depth they’ve added to the starting rotation. … They have a better team, and they’re like everybody else now — they’ve got to go play games.”
* The Cardinals placed ace Adam Wainwright on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday because of a left Achilles and ankle injury, and will likely be sidelined for the rest of the season. Cubs reliever Jason Motte, who was Wainwright’s teammate in St. Louis, sent a text message as soon as he heard the news.
“That’s a tough break for St. Louis and I don’t wish poorly on anybody — I always want to beat everybody at their best,”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Sunday. “I’m certain they will figure it out. They have great resources and some nice spare parts that I’m not aware of. Sometimes that’s a rallying cry for a group. You have to be careful with that.
“It definitely hurts them but it has nothing to do with us,” Maddon said. “It’s just about us playing our game, winning our
game, and respecting 90 feet on a daily basis and coming out ready to play and good things will happen.”
Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta didn’t want to see another pitcher injured.
“That’s an unfortunate event to take place for those guys, especially the way it happened,” Arrieta said. “An arm injury or
something like that when he’s on the mound is one thing. The Achilles is such a freak kind of accident. [Cubs infielder
Logan] Watkins had the same thing happen to him, and it’s devastating. But they’re deep. I know they’ve got some guys in
Triple-A who can come in and fill that void. Not many guys can do what Wainwright does every five days but I think they’ll
be all right.”
He watched the Wainwright video over and over to try and see what happened.
“Everyone makes that same movement and it’s one of those things that can happen at any moment, which is scary,” he said. “It makes me cringe to think about that.”
Arrieta isn’t a great hitter but he’s not sure the National League should adopt a designated hitter just so pitchers avoid
“I think a lot of teams want to see the DH implemented around the league,” Arrieta said. “I wouldn’t care one way or the
other. If they do add that, it’ll strengthen each and every National League lineup a little bit.”
* The Cubs finished the road trip 4-2, and three of the wins were come from behind victories.
“In the division, on the road, two tough venues, two tough teams, and to come back with a 4-2 record, is not a bad thing,”
“It’s a testament to the guys we have here,” Arrieta said. “The young players are a little more advanced than most and
that helps bridge the gap in experience. They’ll take their lumps, just like we all will, but they’re ahead of the curve.
Soler, Bryant, Russell, these guys are polished to the extent that they can come here and contribute right away. That’s
what each one of them has been able to do in their short time here. We all know it will continue.”
* Maddon was excited to see Starlin Castro’s great defensive play in the sixth but liked even more how the shortstop ran
out a ground out at the start of the ninth.
“If there’s a good baseball karma, he’s created that for himself by the way he’s gone about his business,” Maddon said.
Castro has hit safely in 14 of 17 games to start the season.
* Arrieta has posted four straight quality starts this year. On Sunday, he gave up two runs over six innings.
* Miguel Montero hit his 100th career home run on Sunday. He wasn’t aware it was a milestone homer until clubhouse manager Tom Hellmann told the catcher that they got the ball as a souvenir.
“It’s a nice number,” Montero said, joking that he had about 600 more to go.
— Carrie Muskat
Miguel Montero hit his 100th home run, a solo shot, and Addison Russell smacked a three-run double to back Jake Arrieta and lead the Cubs to a 5-2 victory Sunday over the Reds. With the win, the Cubs finished the road trip 4-2. Three of the four wins have been come from behind wins. Arrieta gave up two runs over six innings, and now has recorded four straight quality starts. Chicago has scored at least five runs in nine of its 14 games, and improved to 9-2 when scoring that many.
Russell had 11 strikeouts in his first 19 at-bats but delivered in the fourth with the bases loaded and one out when he lined a double into the gap in right center. The infielder was promoted from Triple-A last Tuesday when the Cubs were in Pittsburgh.
“It’s just a stepping stone,” Russell said of his hit. “I need to capitalize on that and bring it to the next game.”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon has preached the need to be patient with Russell, who is the youngest active player in the National League at 21.
“He’s going to keep coming on offensively,” Maddon said. “Defensively, he’ll get more used to playing where he’s supposed to be [at second] and that’s when you’ll see even better play at second base.”
Up next: The Cubs play host to the Pirates on Monday in the first of three night games at Wrigley Field. Jason Hammel gets the start.
Christian Villanueva homered and drove in five runs in Iowa’s 9-8 loss to Colorado Springs. Matt Szczur and Taylor Teagarden each had three hits. Dallas Beeler made his first start since coming off the DL, and gave up six earned runs on five hits over four innings.
Tennessee totaled a sesaon-high 16 runs in a 16-10 win over Chattanooga. Dan Vogelbach and Stephen Bruno each homered. Vogelbach was 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits. Kyle Schwarber drove in two runs.
Paul Blackburn gave up four runs over five innings in Myrtle Beach’s 4-2 loss to Winston-Salem. Jacob Hannemann and Jeimer Candelario each had three hits.
South Bend beat Fort Wayne, 9-2. Charcer Burks had three RBIs and Cael Brockmeyer notched his 10th RBI of the season.
If you filled out a scorecard for Saturday’s game, and it didn’t get wet, you can use it Sunday. The Cubs lineup will be the same vs. the Reds in the series finale. No update on a make up date for the rain out yet. It’s sunny and beautiful in Cincy on Sunday. Here’s the lineup:
* The Cubs have tweaked the rotation for the upcoming series vs. the Pirates. Jason Hammel will stay on his regular routine and go Monday, and be followed by Travis Wood and Kyle Hendricks on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Jon Lester will open the Cubs’ series vs.the Brewers on Friday.
Miguel Montero and Jorge Soler played dominoes. Anthony Rizzo posted a photo of himself with other 25-year-old-and-under teammates, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Starlin Castro and Soler. Joe Maddon had a little applesauce, some peanuts and a couple pieces of sushi.
The Cubs had plenty of down time Saturday at Great American Ball Park as they waited 4 hours 13 minutes before their game vs. the Reds was postponed because of rain. No make up date was announced. The Cubs return to Cincinnati July 20-22 and Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
The Reds wanted to play because the team was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1990 World Series championship squad, and had a sellout crowd at the ballpark.
“I know [the Reds] wanted to get it done for the full house and I totally get it, and I’m not going to denigrate the Reds for doing what they thought was the right thing to do,” Maddon said.
Saturday was the fourth rain delay of the season for the Reds, and all have been at Great American Ball Park. However, Saturday’s delay time nearly equaled the first three, which totaled 4 hours 23 minutes.
“The forecast has been so inconsistent all day,” Maddon said. “There was no way to believe it was not going to rain any more. I was originally told we were going to play at 2 [p.m. ET], and then 3:15 and then 4. I had three start times.”
The Cubs needed a specific start time for Jake Arrieta, who requires 40 minutes to prep. Maddon asked the umpires to at least give them a heads up regarding that, and they did.
“When you don’t have a specific game time, it’s hard to get into that groove,” Maddon said. “I thought the umpires did a great job in the end of trying to put this whole thing together.”
Arrieta did not throw a pitch, although he did share on Twitter that he wasn’t happy about the delay. Maddon said they saw Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani go to the bullpen twice in anticipation of the game starting. Arrieta (2-1, 1.74 ERA) and DeSclafani (2-0, 0.86 ERA) will square off Sunday in the series finale. The forecast calls for sunshine and temps in the low 60s.
This is the Cubs’ second game to be postponed because of rain. They still have to make up an April 7 game against the Cardinals.
At least two hours before the game was called, Maddon walked around left field to check the conditions.
“I’d heard the field drains well and I wanted to see it for myself,” he said. “It’s true. I want to compliment them on their drainage.”
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs return home Monday for a six-game homestand, starting with three against the Pirates. Wrigley Field will celebrate its football history this homestand in conjunction with the city of Chicago hosting the 2015 NFL Draft.
he first 10,000 fans at the May 1 game will receive a Wrigley Field Football presented by Wintrust Community Banks that commemorates 50 seasons of Chicago Bears football at the historic ballpark. NFL legends Michael Irvin and Kurt Warner will throw ceremonial first pitches Tuesday while NFL Network personalities Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci and Melissa Stark will lead the seventh inning stretch. Former NFL great Ickey Woods will throw a first pitch the following day. Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould wraps up the homestand with a first pitch and seventh inning stretch on May 3.
The Cubs and Cubs Charities will continue this year’s “Let’s Give” campaign through several events and recognitions during the homestand. On Tuesday, the team will present a check to the Illinois Tornado Relief Fund from last week’s fundraising efforts at Wrigley Field. Firefighters from Kirkland, Ill., who have aided in tornado recovery efforts will be recognized on the field pregame.
On Wednesday, the Cubs and Robert R. McCormick Foundation will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Cubs Care during the annual Cubs Care Grant Luncheon in the Audi Club at Wrigley Field. Cubs Charities and Cubs Care will grant more than $1 million to nonprofit organizations serving those in need in the Chicago area. That evening, Cubs Charities will recognize personal fundraising efforts from individuals running Saturday’s Race to Wrigley Charity Run presented by ATI Physical Therapy. Proceeds from personal fundraising will support critical care needs for pediatric patients in Chicago. The top fundraising team and individual will be recognized during a pregame ceremony on the field.
On Friday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon will continue his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative by representing Misericordia Heart of Mercy, a Cubs Charities grantee, during his post-game press conference.
* The first 10,000 fans attending the May 1 game at 1:20 p.m. CT vs. the Brewers will receive a Wrigley Field Football presented by Wintrust Community Banks. Beginning in the 7th inning, fans can visit the Cubs Store across from Wrigley Field to inflate the football after they depart the ballpark.
Wintrust is rallying Cubs fans to support Cubs Charities and beat the rival White Sox in the process through its “You Decide” crosstown campaign. For each fan who opens a Wintrust Cubs checking account, Wintrust will donate $25 to Cubs Charities. Fans also can participate in the competition by tweeting with the #DecideCubs hashtag. With each use, Wintrust will donate 25 cents to Cubs Charities. Wintrust will donate an additional $25,000 to the charity of the team whose fans open the most accounts. Fans may visit http://www.wintrust.com/youdecide to participate.
On May 3, the first 1,000 kids 13-and-under can run the bases post-game, weather permitting, as part of the team’s ongoing Kids Sundays at Wrigley Field.
The start of Saturday’s game was delayed because of rain. Here’s the Cubs lineup: