April 2016

#Cubs plan zany suit trip to Pittsburgh

Last year, the Cubs wore pajamas on the flight back from Los Angeles and players could wear shorts to Miami. The first theme trip this year will be Sunday when they travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game series, and it will be what manager Joe Maddon called “a minimalist zany suit trip.”

“It’s not your typical Hugo Boss thing, not Italian cut by any means,” Maddon said Saturday. “Mine will feature tulips.”

In Spring Training, Maddon was surfing the Internet for ideas, and found a website that featured very unique suits. Some are camouflage colored, some are harlequin patterned. Maddon bought two — the tulip suit and a leopard print.

“Being a Layfayette [College] leopard, I thought it was appropriate,” he said.

Catcher Tim Federowicz, called up from Triple-A Iowa on Friday, may borrow the leopard print suit. He didn’t have time to shop.

There’s more to the theme trip than just wearing the outrageous outfit on the team plane.

“If you’re seen at any time without part of your suit on, it’s a $100 fine — unless you’re working out,” Maddon said. “Like going to the ballpark, in the hotel, going out for Starbucks in the morning, if you’re seen without any part of the suit — [you could wear] the coat, tie, pair of pants, shoes, socks, some method or form of the outfit. If you’re seen without it, it’s a [$100].”

The money will go to the Cubs clubhouse guys.

The reason for the theme?

“Part of it was that we never get dressed up,” Maddon said. “We’re going to get dressed up with this suit. I didn’t want it to be a conventional suit. And I found these. … It was my weird mind working.”

So, heads up Pittsburgh.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs vs Braves ppd. plus pitching update

Saturday’s game between the Cubs and Braves at Wrigley Field was postponed because of the forecast for inclement weather throughout the day. No make-up date was set. The two teams do have a mutual off day July 7 when the Braves return to Chicago to play the White Sox. Fans are encouraged to retain their tickets from Saturday’s postponed game to use for the rescheduled contest.

*John Lackey will start Sunday in the series finale against the Braves. The Cubs did tweak the rotation against the Pirates, and will have Jason Hammel, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester go in the three-game series,  which starts Monday. Kyle Hendricks is now pushed back to Thursday and will open the Cubs’ series at Wrigley against the Nationals.

*The postponement does give Kris Bryant an extra day to receive treatment for a sprained right ankle suffered Thursday. Manager Joe Maddon said he would wait and see whether to start Bryant on Sunday. Bryant was on deck to pinch-hit on Friday.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs vs Braves ppd.

Saturday’s game between the Cubs and Braves was postponed because of inclement weather. No make up date was announced.

The two teams do have a mutual off day July 7 before Atlanta starts a three-game series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Cubs and Braves will close this series on Sunday. John Lackey will start for the Cubs and Julio Teheran will go for the Braves.

#Cubs Minor League report

Friday’s games

Logan Watkins hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to lift Iowa to a 1-0 win over Colorado Springs. Jake Buchanan gave up one hit over six innings and struck out five. It was his first quality start of the season.

Tennessee scored eight runs in the eighth to beat Biloxi, 8-3. Chesny Young had four hits and two RBI, Jacob Hannemann had three hits and one RBI, Carlos Penalver had two hits. Duane Underwood made his first start and gave up one run on four hits over four innings.

Myrtle Beach lost, 4-3, to Salem. Yasiel Balaguert had three hits and two RBI. Ian Happ had two hits and one RBI.

South Bend went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and lost, 4-1, to Cedar Rapids. Kyle Twomey gave up one earned run over five innings. Daniel Spingola had two hits.

#Cubs lineup vs Braves

The Cubs open a three-game series against the Braves at Wrigley Field on Friday. Jon Lester gets the start against rookie Aaron Blair with first pitch scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Zobrist 2B

Rizzo 1B

Soler LF

Baez 3B

Russell SS

Ross C

Lester P


#Cubs Bryant day to day re: ankle

An MRI confirmed Kris Bryant has a mild right ankle sprain, and he was not in Friday’s lineup. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said the third baseman might be available later in the game.

Bryant had to leave Thursday’s game after four innings when he rolled his ankle while running the bases. He was to receive treatment during the Cubs’ game against the Braves.

“If [athletic trainer PJ Mainville] thinks [Bryant] can help us in the latter part, he’ll let us know,” Maddon said. “We’ll know game in progress whether or not he’s able to hit late if we need that.”

The Cubs’ biggest concern is that Bryant doesn’t aggravate his ankle and the injury becomes worse.

“I think if we just rest him a little bit right now and aren’t really abusing it right now, it should go away relatively fast,” Maddon said. “The thing with sprained ankles is to not re-jam it somehow. That’s the problem with an ankle. He could be feeling fine after a week or two weeks, and then you hit it wrong and feel it.”

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Minor League report

Thursday’s games

Ryan Williams gave up four runs over 5 2/3 innings and Albert Almora hit a three-run home run in Iowa’s 10-5 win over Colorado Springs. Ryan Kalish finished a homer shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a double, triple and one RBI. He scored four runs. Almora finished with three hits.

Jacob Hannemann had two hits, including a solo home run, in Tennessee’s 6-5 loss to Biloxi. Rob Zastryzny took the loss, giving up five runs over six innings. Billy McKinney had two hits and two RBI.

Myrtle Beach’s game at Potomac was postponed because of rain. The two teams will play a doubleheader June 16.

South Bend lost two seven-inning games to Quad Cities. Justin Steele took the loss in the first game, giving up three earned runs over 1 2/3 innings. Ryan Kellogg took the loss in the second game, giving up three earned runs over six innings.

#Cubs Minor League report

Wednesday’s games

Iowa had the day off. The I-Cubs open a four-game home stand against Colorado Springs on Thursday.

Tennessee had the day off, and will begin a five-game series in Biloxi on Thursday.

Zach Hedges gave up one run over six innings in Myrtle Beach’s 5-1 win over Potomac. Ian Happ had two hits, including a two-run homer, and Cael Brockmeyer hit a two-run homer.

South Bend’s game at Quad Cities was postponed because of rain. The two teams were to play a doubleheader Thursday.

Post-game notes from #Cubs win

The Cubs beat the Brewers, 7-2, on Thursday at Wrigley Field. Here are some post-game notes courtesy of the Cubs media relations department:

JAKE ARRIETA now has won his last 16 decisions, tied for the longest streak by a Cubs pitcher in franchise history along with Rick Sutcliffe’s 16-game winning streak spanning the 1984-85 seasons. Arrieta is the first Cubs pitcher to go 5-0 in his first five starts since Greg Maddux in 2006.

The Cubs have won Jake Arrieta’s last 18 regular season starts, a new franchise record. They’ve outscored the opponent, 99-22, in those 18 games.

Arrieta did give up a run in the fifth inning to snap a streak of 52 2/3-consecutive scoreless innings at home, the second-longest streak by a Major League pitcher in the modern era. The White Sox’s Ray Herbert holds the record with 54-straight scoreless innings at home during the 1962-63 seasons.

However, Thursday was Arrieta’s first non-quality start since allowing four runs in five innings on June 16, 2015, vs. Cleveland.

ANTHONY RIZZO reached base four times for the second time this season. He drove in his 23rd run, tying him for the most RBI by a Cubs player in April since Derrek Lee had 28 RBI in April 2005.

DEXTER FOWLER now has driven in a run in a career-best five-straight games.

NOTES: The Cubs are 16-5, and it’s their best 21-game start since going 17-4 in 1907.

They drew a season-high 11 walks, and now have drawn at least 10 in three games this year. However, the Cubs also left a season-high 14 runners on base.

The Cubs saw a season-high 199 pitches. The previous high was 198 pitches by Reds pitchers last Thursday at Great American Ball Park.

KRIS BRYANT extended his hitting streak to six games with a third inning single. He was pulled to undergo an MRI on his right ankle after rolling it while running the bases.


#Cubs Bryant to be evaluated

The Cubs’ Kris Bryant left Thursday’s game to be evaluated because he rolled his right ankle running the bases in the third inning. Bryant, who started in left field, was lifted after four innings and replaced by Javier Baez against the Brewers. Bryant was hit by a pitch on the left elbow in the first inning, and singled in the third, then was and plunked again on the leg in the fourth.

— Carrie Muskat