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9/29 End of the party


The Wrigley Field tours are over, as the ballpark is prepped for the renovation work.

9/29 Wrigley Field from Sheffield Ave.


Crews are hauling scaffolding into the ballpark to prep the bleachers, while the Wrigley Field grounds crew continues to maintain the outfield grass.

9/29 Wrigley Field


Waveland Avenue behind the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field is closed as city of Chicago crews wrap up their prep work for the renovation project.

9/29 Cubs 2014 stats leaders


Games played: Luis Valbuena, 149
RBI: Anthony Rizzo, 78
Hits: Starlin Castro, 154
Home runs: Rizzo, 32
Doubles: Valbuena and Castro, 33 each
Batting average: Castro .292


Wins: Jake Arrieta, 10
Losses: Edwin Jackson, 15
ERA (starter): Kyle Hendricks 2.46 (13 games), Jake Arrieta 2.53 (25 games)
Innings pitched (starter): Travis Wood, 173 2/3 innings
Strikeouts (starter): Arrieta, 167
Quality starts: Arrieta, 18

Innings pitched (reliever): Justin Grimm, 69
ERA (reliever): Neil Ramirez, 1.44
Games (reliever): Grimm, 73
Strikeouts (reliever): Pedro Strop, 71
Saves: Hector Rondon, 29

* Cubs starting pitchers recorded 79 quality starts, yet had only 40 individual wins in those games.

* Ten players made their Major League debut: Rafael Lopez, Arismendy Alcantara, Jorge Soler, Matt Szczur, Javier Baez, Dallas Beeler, Kyle Hendricks, Neil Ramirez, Eric Jokisch, and Tsuyoshi Wada.

* Starlin Castro led the Cubs with 386 assists, made 15 errors for .973 fielding percentage.

9/28 Extra bases

* The Cubs and White Sox finished 73-89 this season, the first time in the city’s history that the two teams posted identical records.

* If you’re looking ahead, the Cubs will pick ninth in the June 2015 First-Year Player Draft, according to MLBTradeRumors. Here’s the order based on how teams finished 2014:

1. Diamondbacks
2. Astros (for failure to sign 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken)
3. Rockies
4. Rangers
5. Astros
6. Twins
7. Red Sox
8. White Sox
9. Cubs
10. Phillies
11. Reds

The first 11 picks are protected, meaning that teams cannot lose those picks for signing free agents who have been extended qualifying offers.

– Carrie Muskat

9/28 Rizzo: We want to win the division

The Cubs closed the 2014 season with a win and lots of momentum, and Anthony Rizzo made it clear what the goal is for next year.

“To be the [National League] Central champs,” Rizzo said after hitting a two-run homer in the Cubs’ season finale, a 5-2 win over the Brewers. “[We want] to win the division, and obviously, that’s the playoffs and we want to go deep.

“It takes a lot of work and we have a very tough division and teams aren’t going anywhere in it, it’s only getting better,” Rizzo said. “That’s our expectation, that’s the message we want to send.”

The Cubs finished fifth for the fifth straight season, but the future looks bright with players like Arismendy Alcantara, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kyle Hendricks in the mix.

“All those guys know we want to step it up, and we need to go into Spring Training prepared to be a better club with the expectations of us improving and making ourselves hopefully a topic of conversation throughout the season,” manager Rick Renteria said.

– Carrie Muskat

9/28 Cubs 5, Brewers 2

Anthony Rizzo hit his 32nd home run, a two-run blast in the first, and scored on Arismendy Alcantara’s tie-breaking two-run double in the sixth to lift the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Brewers in the season finale Sunday in front of 33,837 at Miller Park.

Under new manager Rick Renteria, the Cubs finished 73-89, and below .500 for the fifth straight season, but they did top last year’s 66-win total and head into 2015 encouraged by the play of some of the top prospects, including Alcantara and Jorge Soler. It’s the first time the Cubs have won 73 games since a 75-87 season in 2010.

The Brewers, on the other hand, have to be wondering what happened after leading the division for 150 days and not making the playoffs.

Jacob Turner picked up the win, starting in place of Kyle Hendricks, who was scratched after the Cubs decided the rookie right-hander had reached his innings limit. Turner improved to 3-1 in six career games (five starts) against the Brewers, which included a win at Wrigley Field on Sept. 1.

Chris Coghlan walked to lead off the game against Brewers starter Mike Fiers, stole second and one out later, tallied on Rizzo’s 32nd home run. Rizzo is the first Cubs left-handed batter to hit 32 homers in a single season since Rick Monday did so in 1976.

– Carrie Muskat

9/28 Thanks to everyone


Appreciate all the comments and posts throughout the season. Here’s to a winning 2015.

– Carrie Muskat

9/28 Rusin claimed by Rockies

The Rockies claimed left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin off waivers from the Cubs. In 24 big league games over three seasons, Rusin was 4-9 with a 4.97 ERA. A fourth-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Rusin was 8-13 with a 4.31 ERA in 23 starts for Iowa this year, including a no-hitter in May against New Orleans. He has a 38-41 record and 3.84 ERA in six Minor League seasons.

9/28 Game 162 lineup

Jacob Turner gets the start Sunday as the Cubs close the regular season at Miller Park against the Brewers. Here’s the lineup:

Coghlan LF
Baez SS
Rizzo 1B
Soler RF
Valbuena 3B
Alcantara CF
Valaika 2B
Baker C
Turner P


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