June 2016

#Cubs and Lackey face Mets

John Lackey gets the start Thursday night when the Cubs face the Mets in the first of a four-game series. Here’s the lineup:

Zobrist RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Contreras C

Baez 2B

Szczur LF

Russell SS

Lackey P

Almora Jr. CF

Jason Heyward is not starting for the second straight game. He’s batting .238 vs. left-handed pitchers.

Anthony Rizzo is batting .444 (16-36 AB) with four doubles, four homers, and nine RBI during his current 10-game hitting streak.

Over his last 21 games, Kris Bryant is slashing .295/.406/.705 with eight homers, 18 RBI, and 21 runs scored.

#Cubs Minor League report

Wednesday’s games

Iowa had Wednesday day off, and will open a five-game series at Round Rock on Thursday with a doubleheader. Ryan Williams will start one of the games.

Tennessee beat Jacksonville, 4-2. Jen-Ho Tseng gave up one earned run over five innings. Bijan Rademacher hit a solo home run and finished with three RBI and Victor Caratini added a solo homer.

Jonathan Martinez gave up three hits over six scoreless innings in Myrtle Beach’s 1-0 win over Salem. Gleyber Torres and Jeffrey Baez each had two hits. Ian Rice hit a RBI double in the fourth.

Ryan Kellogg gave up two unearned runs over six innings in South Bend’s 8-2 win over Lake County. Eddy Martinez had three RBI, and Eloy Jimenez drove in one run.

Dylan Cease gave up two earned runs over four innings in Eugene’s 9-7 win over Boise. Trent Giambrone had two hits, including a solo home run, and Chris Pieters had three hits and two RBI.

Mesa lost, 5-4, the Mariners. Gustavo Polanco had three hits and one RBI.

#Cubs and Hendricks vs Reds in finale

Kyle Hendricks gets the start in the Cubs’ series finale vs. the Reds on Wednesday. It’s an early start — not what either team needs after a 15-inning game Tuesday night. It’s Benny and the Kids in the lineup today. Ben Zobrist is the only one over 26 years of age.

Here’s the Cubs lineup:

Zobrist RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Contreras C

Baez 2B

Szczur LF

Russell SS

Hendricks P

Almora Jr. CF

On Tuesday, the Cubs reached 50 wins in their 76th game, their fastest to the mark since 1918 when they their 50th in game No. 71.

Cubs pitchers Travis Wood, Spencer Patton and Pedro Strop all spent time in left field Tuesday. The last time the Cubs saw three pitchers play the field at any point within the same season was 1904 (Mordecai Brown, Bob Wicker and Frank Corridon). According to baseball historian Ed Hartig, going back to 1913, the Cubs never had two pitchers play the field in the same game.

Javier Baez’s 15th-inning grand slam was the latest by inning in Cubs franchise history, edging out the 14th-inning grand slam by Cliff Johnson in 1980 in a suspended game against the Expos. Johnson is credited with hitting the grand slam on May 28, 1980, though he actually hit it on August 8, 1980. He was on the Indians when the game started but acquired by the Cubs on June 23, 1980.

*Looking ahead to Cubs at Mets, here are the pitching matchups:

Thu: RHP John Lackey (7-4, 3.29) vs. LHP Steven Matz (7-3, 3.29)
Fri: RHP Jason Hammel (7-4, 2.58) vs. RHP Jacob deGrom (3-4, 2.67)
Sat: RHP Jake Arrieta (12-2, 2.10) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (6-4, 2.86)
Sun: LHP Jon Lester (9-3, 2.03) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (8-3, 2.49)

#Cubs Minor League report

Tuesday’s games

Iowa beat Oklahoma City, 3-2. Clayton Richard, making a rehab outing, started and struck out two in one inning. Aaron brooks scattered four hits over four innings. Tommy La Stella went 1-for-3 with one RBI.

Tennessee had the day off, and faces Jacksonville on Wednesday.

Myrtle Beach lost both games of a doubleheader vs. Salem. David Bote hit two doubles in the first game and drove in a run. Yasiel Balaguert hit a solo homer in the second game.

Carson Sands gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings in South Bend’s 3-0 win over Lake County. Sands struck out four, and is now 6-1 with a 3.25 ERA. Tyler Alamo and Adonis Paula each homered.

Pedro Silverio gave up four runs over 3 2/3 innings in Eugene’s loss to Boise. Wladimir Galindo had two hits, including a double and triple.

Junior Marte gave up one unearned run over three innings in Mesa’s 5-1 win over the Giants. Gustavo Polanco had two hits and two RBI. In his first pro game, Zack Short, the Cubs’ 17th round Draft pick, reached base four times with three walks and a hit.

#Cubs Candelario, Jimenez to Futures Game

Iowa third baseman Jeimer Candelario and South Bend outfielder Eloy Jimenez will participate in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on July 10 at Petco Park in San Diego, part of the All-Star festivities. South Bend pitching coach David Rosario will be on the World Team coaching staff. Moises Alou is the World Team manager. Candelario is ranked seventh on MLB.com’s list of top 30 Cubs prospects, while Jimenez is 10th.

Here’s a photo of Cubs prospects Gleyber Torres (left) and Jimenez (right)


#Cubs and Lester face Reds

What will Kris Bryant do for an encore? Bryant and the Cubs face the Reds on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. On Monday, Bryant hit three home runs and two doubles, the first time that’s been done in Major League history. Bryant is batting third on Tuesday and playing third. Here’s the lineup:

Zobrist 2B

Heyward RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Contreras LF

Baez SS

Szczur CF

Ross C

Lester P

Noteworthy: Bryant (21 homers) has surpassed 20 homers for the season at 24 years and five plus months old, becoming the youngest Cubs player to reach 20 home runs prior to the All-Star break since a nearly identically aged 24-year-old Ernie Banks did so in 1955. Anthony Rizzo was the last Cub to reach 20 homers before the break in 2014, doing so one month prior to his 25th birthday.

According to Elias, Bryant is only the fifth Cub in franchise history to record five multi-homer games before his 25th birthday.

Also on Monday, Jake Arrieta picked up the win. He’s the ninth pitcher in franchise history to reach 12 wins before the All-Star break, the first since Rick Sutcliffe in 1987.



#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Iowa split a doubleheader at Oklahoma City, dropping the first game, 10-9, in nine innings, and winning the second, 3-2, in eight innings. Jake Buchanan gave up two runs over seven innings in the nightcap for the win. In the first game, Tommy La Stella, Dan Vogelbach and Juan Perez each homered. La Stella also hit a single in his first game as part of a rehab assignment. Vogelbach was a combined 5-for-7 with two doubles, a two-run homer and four RBI.

Tennessee defeated Pensacola, 12-1, in a rain-shortened game. Brad Markey gave up one run over six innings for the win. Ian Happ had three hits, including a two-run homer, and finished with three RBI.

Myrtle Beach’s game at Salem was postponed because of rain. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Tuesday.

Adbert Alzolay gave up four earned runs over five innings in South Bend’s 6-1 loss to Lake County. Carlos Sepulveda and Tyler Alamo each had two hits.

Jesus Castillo gave up one hit and struck out 11 over five scoreless innings in Eugene’s 8-2 win over Spokane. Matt Rose had two hits, including a two-run homer, and three RBI.

Erling Moreno struck out six and gave up three hits over six scoreless innings in Mesa’s 7-2 win over the Giants. Jose Gonzalez had three hits and two RBI.

About last night … #Cubs notes from the Bryant game

On Monday night, Kris Bryant became the first player in MLB baseball to ever hit two doubles and three homers in a game. The five hits were a career high for Bryant, who is the top vote getter among NL third basemen in the latest All-Star balloting.

With 16 total bases, Bryant set a new franchise record for the Cubs; the previous record was 14. Also, became the youngest player in Cubs history with three homers in a game (10 days younger than Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, who hit three in 1955).

He is the third player in modern Major League history to slug an extra base hit in each at bat in a game, with at least five at-bats and three home runs in that game. The others were Josh Hamilton (May 8, 2012, 5-for-5, 2B, 4 HR) and Joe Adcock (July 31, 1954, 5-for-5, 2B, 4 HR)

Bryant has hit safely in all five games at Great American Ball Park this year, batting .542 (13-for-24) with four doubles, five homers and 14 RBI.


This was Bryant’s second multi-homer game of the season, fifth of his career. Both multi-homer games this year have come at Great American Ball Park.

Bryant’s home run stats for the night:

Third inning: Solo homer off Dan Straily, 1-0 count. Distance: 410 feet to center field
Fourth inning: Three-run homer off Straily, 1-0 count. Distance 444 feet to left field
Eighth inning: Solo homer off Ohlendorf, 1-2 count. Distance 403 feet to left field

*With 21 home runs and 57 RBIs, Bryant is tied with the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado for most home runs in the NL and is third in RBIs behind Arenado (65) and the Reds’ Jay Bruce (59). Bryant does lead the league in runs scored (59). His slash line now is .278/.367/.567

And, Bryant did all this while playing three different positions in the game, playing third base, left field and right field.



#Cubs and Arrieta face Reds

Jake Arrieta opens the Cubs series against the Reds in the ballpark where he threw his second career no-hitter back on April 21. He is the first Cubs pitcher to throw a no-hitter in consecutive seasons. The Cubs won 16-0 that day, and it was the second-most lopsided no-hitter in Major League history.

Here’s Monday’s lineup vs. the Reds:

Zobrist 2B

Heyward CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Contreras LF

Montero C

Russell SS

Coghlan RF

Arrieta P

Arrieta has a 1.74 ERA, the lowest mark in all of baseball. He will try to become the first 12-game winner in the National League and the second to reach the mark in the Majors (the White Sox’s Chris Sale is 13-2).

The Cubs are 21-9 vs. NL Central teams this year, including a 6-1 record vs. the Reds.

In case you missed it, here are the pitching matchups for this series in Cincy:

Monday: RHP Jake Arrieta (11-2, 1.74) vs. RHP Dan Straily (4-4, 3.83)
Tuesday: LHP Jon Lester (9-3, 2.10) vs. LHP John Lamb (1-4, 4.78)
Wednesday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-6, 2.76) vs. LHP Cody Reed (0-1, 6.75)


#Cubs Minor League report

Sunday’s games

Rob Zastryzny gave up three earned runs over seven innings and Dan Vogelbach hit a solo home run in Iowa’s 6-5 win over Oklahoma City. Mark Zagunis had two hits. Iowa’s second game was postponed because of the weather.

Paul Blackburn gave up two hits over six scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over Pensacola. Ian Happ had three hits and one RBI.

Charcer Burks and Ian Rice each hit home runs to back Jake Stinnett in Myrtle Beach’s 2-1 win over Carolina. Stinnett struck out five and gave up four hits over eight innings. Rice hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the eighth.

Kyle Miller gave up one run over five innings in South Bend’s 11-1 win over Dayton. Tyler Alamo hit a two-run homer and finished with three RBI. P.J. Higgins had three hits and three RBI and Eloy Jimenez had two hits and two RBI.

Eugene won its third straight, beating Spokane, 4-1. Manuel Rondon gave up one run over five innings and Kevonte Mitchell hit a two-run homer.

Mesa had the day off and resumes play vs. the Giants on Monday.