Author Archive

#Cubs feel good about 2B options

The Cubs have been mentioned as a possible match for the Phillies’ Chase Utley, but both Chicago manager Joe Maddon and general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday the team has in-house candidates to help at second base, including Javier Baez and Tommy La Stella.

“I think we have some really nice pieces who aren’t even here yet,” Maddon said. “Regarding Chase Utley, I know that’s been talked about a lot but I’m anticipating playing with the guys here and I really like what we’re doing. Don’t just look at outside, look at inside.”

Baez was batting .291 at Triple-A Iowa with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs. La Stella, who has missed time because of a strained right oblique, was batting .222 at Iowa.

“Giving [La Stella] at-bats every day makes sense,” Hoyer said. “We could bring him up here and he could be a bench player for us now but given the fact he hasn’t had a [full] season, we thought the most prudent thing was to give him at-bats and at some point, he’ll help us. That day is not today.”

In order to get another left-handed bat in the lineup, the Cubs moved Chris Coghlan from left field to second. He made his seventh start there on Tuesday.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs lineup: Hammel time vs Tigers

Jason Hammel starts Tuesday night for the Cubs in the first of two Interleague games against the Tigers at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber LF

Coghlan 2B

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Soler RF

Montero C

Hammel P

Russell SS

The Cubs are 9-1 in their last 10 games, and 15-2 in their last 17 contests since July 29. The nine-game winning streak was their longest since a nine-game stretch, May 26-June 3, 2008.

ESPN Stats & Info notes this was the first time the Cubs have won at least nine in a row in August or later since winning 10-straight in September 1953.

The nine-game winning streak was the Cubs’ third of at least six games this season. The last time that happened was in 2008.

So far in Interleague play, the Cubs are 8-8, and have four games remaining, including Tuesday. Besides the two-game series vs. the Tigers, the Cubs will play the Indians on Aug. 24 and the Royals on Sept. 28.

#Cubs homestand details: hats, vets and ’90s salute at Wrigley

After a three-game series on the South Side, the Cubs return to Wrigley Field Tuesday night for a seven-game homestand, beginning with a two-game series against the Tigers. The Cubs will play the Braves Thursday through Sunday, and have a makeup game Monday against the Indians.

On Wednesday, the National WW II Museum will commemorate the 1945 World Series match up between the Cubs and Tigers, which was the year World War II came to an end. Both teams will sport 1945 throwback jerseys for the game. “The Victory Belles,” an a cappella group from the museum, will sing the national anthem plus there will be a flyover. World War II veteran Richard Duchossois will throw a ceremonial first pitch and a group of World War II veterans will be honored on the field for a fourth inning military recognition.

On Friday, it’s Budweiser Bleacher Friday with ’90s Day and each bleacher guest 21-and-older will receive a ‘90s re-issue Cubs hat in neon pink or yellow. Guests will hear many of their favorite songs from the decade, including Cubs player selections as their walk-up music. Budweiser Bleacher guests can play some of their favorite ‘90s arcade games behind the bleachers and may even enjoy a treat from the past with some popular ‘90s candies distributed on-site.

Fans 21-and-older can enter the #BudFridays social media contest by sharing their best ‘90s-themed photos on Twitter and Instagram using the #BudFridays hashtag. One winner will be selected to receive four tickets to the final Budweiser Bleacher Friday event Sept. 18. Official rules, prize value and details are available at the team’s #BudFridays contest page.

Tickets remain available for each series at www.cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827).

*Thursday is Firefighter Appreciation Night. Guests with designated Special Group Night Terrace Reserved Outfield tickets receive a Cubs Firefighter Baseball Cap. Special Group Night tickets are available at www.cubs.com/specialevents.

*On Saturday, up to the first 10,000 fans will receive a Jon Lester Cubs Debut bobblehead presented by Las Vegas.

*On Sunday, a Cubs Toy Airplane presented by American Airlines will be given to the first 5,000 children age 13-and-younger. The first 1,000 kids 13-and-under can run the bases post-game, weather permitting.

*On Tuesday, pro golfer and 2015 British Open champion Zach Johnson will throw a ceremonial first pitch and lead the seventh inning stretch.

*As part of this year’s “Let’s Give” campaign, Cubs manager Joe Maddon will continue his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative during his post game press conference on Friday. He’ll represent the Crushers Club, whose mission is to restore high-risk youth toward a path of maturity by using boxing, peer mentoring and music to engage and surround them with hope. A portion of the proceeds from Maddon’s upcoming Respect 90 The Main Event will benefit Crushers Club’s youth boxing program in Englewood. Tickets and more information for the Sept. 2 event are available at www.cubs.com/maddon.

*On Sunday, Cubs Charities and Baseball Tomorrow Fund will host an equipment drive to benefit the Bronzeville Little League. Fans can bring their new or gently used baseball and softball equipment to Wrigley Field’s Gate D from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. CT. Monetary donations also will be accepted.

#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Iowa lost, 5-4, to Las Vegas in 12 innings. Dallas Beeler gave up one run over 7 1/3 innings for his third consecutive quality start. Javier Baez had two hits and one RBI. Tommy La Stella was 0-for-5 and Mike Olt 0-for-4 with a walk.

Tennessee had Monday off and resumes play Tuesday against Montgomery.

Myrtle Beach had Monday and returns to play Tuesday against Winston-Salem.

South Bend had Monday off and opens a six-game home stand Tuesday, facing Dayton.

Adonis Paula hit a two-run homer in Eugene’s 7-4 win over Boise. Alex Bautista had three hits and two RBI. Frandy Delarosa had two hits and two RBI.

Mesa swept a doubleheader against the White Sox, totaling 21 hits in the two games. Jose Paniagua hit a two-run homer in the second game. Daniel Spingola had two hits, including a double and a triple, and three RBIs in the first game.

#Cubs vs Cards on Sept. 20 to start at 1:20 pm CT

The Cubs announced the Sept. 20 game against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field will start at 1:20 p.m. CT. The game had been listed as “TBD” on schedules.

No word yet on when the Cubs will make up the Aug. 3 game against the Pirates that was cancelled because of rain. The game will most likely be played as a doubleheader during the Cubs’ next series in Pittsburgh, Sept. 15-17.

Want to play your October, #Cubs fans? Here’s postseason sked

MLB announced the schedule for the 2015 postseason, which will open with the American League Wild Card Game on Oct. 6. Game One of the 2015 World Series is scheduled for Oct. 27 in the AL champions ballpark.

Following the scheduled Oct. 4 conclusion to the regular season, any necessary regular season tiebreaker games would be play Oct. 5. The Oct. 6 AL Wild Card game would be followed on Oct. 7 by the National League Wild Card game.

Both AL Division Series will begin on Oct. 8. The first full slate of Division Series games, featuring two NL Division Series openers and a pair of ALDS Game Twos, will be held on Oct. 9.

Overall, the Division Series are scheduled from Oct. 8-15, with two potential Game Fives on Oct. 14 (ALDS) and Oct. 15 (NLDS).

The AL Championship Series will begin on Oct. 16, and the NL Championship Series will begin on Oct. 17. A potential Game Seven of the ALCS would be Oct. 24, while a Game Seven of the NLCS would be Oct. 25.

Game One of the 2015 World Series is scheduled for Oct. 27 at the ballpark of the AL Champions. The 111th Fall Classic will shift to the ballpark of the NL Champions on Oct. 30.

A Game Seven, if necessary, would be scheduled for Nov. 4 at the AL ballpark. The scheduled off days during the World Series are Oct. 29 and Nov. 2, if necessary.

#Cubs Minor Leagues: 4 Eugene pitchers combine on no-no

Sunday’s games

Taylor Teagarden was 3-for-3 with one RBI and Javier Baez had two hits and a stolen base in Iowa’s 4-3 win over Las Vegas. Tsuyoshi Wada started, and gave up one run over 5 2/3 innings.

Tennessee gave up 10 unanswered runs in the last five innings to lose 11-4 to Chattanooga. Willson Contreras had two hits and one RBI.

Brad Markey gave up three hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings in Myrtle Beach’s 2-0 win over Lynchburg. Chesny Young had three hits.

Zach Hedges gave up one run over five innings in South Bend’s 4-1 win over Wisconsin. Ian Happ hit his fourth home run and a triple, plus drove in three runs. He now has four home runs and 13 RBIs in his last eight games.

Four pitchers combined for the fifth no-hitter in franchise history as Eugene blanked Everett, 3-0. Preston Morrison started and went three innings, Kyle Twomey threw three innings, Luis Hernandez two innings, and Trey Masek finished with one inning for the Emeralds first no-no since 1968. Kevonte Mitchell had two hits and one RBI. Morrison now has given up one run over 13 2/3 innings.

Mesa had Sunday off and returns to action Monday with a doubleheader against the White Sox.

#Cubs lineup vs White Sox

Dan Haren makes his third start for the Cubs on Sunday in the series finale vs. the White Sox. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Denorfia LF

Bryant DH

Rizzo 1B

Soler RF

Russell SS

Castro 2B

Montero C

Herrera 3B

*Bryant is just getting a mini break by not starting at third base.

#Cubs Minor League report

Saturday’s games

Carlos Pimentel gave up one run over seven innings in Iowa’s 6-1 win over Las Vegas. John Andreoli had two hits, including a two-run homer, and finished with three RBI. Javier Baez had two hits and stole a base.

Ryan Williams gave up one run over six innings in Tennessee’s 4-1 win over Chattanooga. Jacob Hannemann had two hits
including a solo home run. Albert Almora extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a double.

Paul Blackburn gave up one run over seven innings in Myrtle Beach’s 4-1 win over Lynchburg. He struck out nine. Pin-Chieh Chen had two hits and one RBI. Cael Brockmeyer had two RBI.

Jake Stinnett gave up four runs over six innings in South Bend’s 4-3 loss to Wisconsin. David Bote had two hits, both
doubles.

Donnie Dewees hit his fifth home run, a two-run shot, in Eugene’s 4-3 win over Everett in 12 innings.

Dan Vogelbach had two hits in his first rehab game with Mesa, which lost, 5-0, to the Giants. Jesus Camargo gave up two
hits over four scoreless innings.

#Cubs Arrieta: “We know we’re on a good run”

Jake Arrieta posted his 11th straight quality start Saturday in the Cubs’ 6-3 win over the White Sox. Arrieta now has a 1.35 ERA in those 11 games, and is 8-1.

“He’s extremely good,” White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton said of the Cubs right-hander. “He’s in an upper tier that I haven’t seen very much at this level to be honest with you.

“My second strikeout,  after I put my helmet down, I kind of smiled because I realistically didn’t know if I would have done anything different in those circumstances because of how explosive his ball is out of his hand and how he delivers the pitch,” Eaton said. “Hats off to him. We had some chances but he bears down in situations. He’s a heck of a competitor.”

Jorge Soler drove in two runs and Kyle Schwarber, Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo each recorded an RBI for the Cubs who have won 14 of their last 15 games and nine in a row.

“We know we’re on a good run,” Arrieta said. “We don’t necessarily know how many in a row it is, We just know we’re winning. We’re not going to win them all but when we keep playing the way we are, we’ll win a lot.”

Schwarber’s RBI single in the fifth was big because the White Sox had intentionally walked Fowler with a runner at second and nobody out to face the rookie. He delivered.

“There’s nothing personal there — it’s a smart decision to not face the righty and go after the lefty,” Schwarber said. “It does get a little fire under you and you want to have success a little more.”

He also survived having a beer can thrown at him after he chased down Alexei Ramirez’s double.

“I guess that’s what this series is all about,” Schwarber said.

The game was a little sloppy at times. Manager Joe Maddon had cautioned that they would not all be oil paintings.

“This was more paint by numbers,” Maddon said.

— Carrie Muskat

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54,594 other followers