* 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 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
Kris Bryant had three hits, drove in three runs, and scored another on a crazy play to back Jake Arrieta and lead the Cubs to a 5-2 victory Monday night over the Pirates. Jorge Soler had a career-high four hits. Arrieta gave up one run over seven innings, striking out seven. He now has 500 career Ks.
“We’re just playing the game with a lot of verve right now and I really enjoy watching us play,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Up next: Travis Wood faces Francisco Liriano on Tuesday at PNC Park in the second game of the four-game series. The Cubs will welcome 21-year-old infielder Addison Russell, who was expected to be called up.
Jake Arrieta gets the start Wednesday as the Cubs try to wrap up their opening series at Wrigley Field against the Cardinals. Here’s the lineup:
La Stella 3B
Jake Arrieta, scheduled to start Tuesday night, now will start Wednesday for the Cubs in the series finale against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. St. Louis will go with Lance Lynn.
After an off day Thursday, the Cubs travel to Denver to face the Rockies. The rotation that series will be Travis Wood on Friday followed by Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks. Jon Lester will start Monday when the Cubs return home to face the Reds at Wrigley Field.
— Carrie Muskat
Reds 9, Cubs (ss) 5
Dexter Fowler had two hits, including a solo home run, and scored two runs but it wasn’t enough as the Reds beat the Cubs split squad, 9-5, in Goodyear, Ariz. Jorge Soler drove in a run, and now has 10 RBIs.
Cubs (ss) 18, Rockies 4
Jake Arrieta belted a three-run homer and a two-run double, and Kris Bryant went 4-for-5 to power a 21-hit attack and lead the Cubs to an 18-4 victory over the Rockies at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz. Arrieta struck out five over four innings, then went to the bullpen to finish his work day with another 30 pitches. He homered in a seven-run first and added his double in a three-run second in front of a sellout crowd of 15,266.
* On Sunday, Edwin Jackson and the Cubs face the Royals in Surprise, Ariz. The game will be broadcast on WGN TV and on WBBM radio.
Jake Arrieta belted a three-run homer in a seven-run first and added a RBI double in the second, struck out five over four innings, and then did a little extra work in the bullpen on Saturday. It was a good work day, he said.
Arrieta gave up three hits over four scoreless innings, then went to the bullpen to throw another 30 pitches. The right-hander took advantage of batting eighth, a strategy manager Joe Maddon has been experimenting with this spring.
“I like it,” Arrieta said. “I think it allows us to put a little speed behind me. I feel I can handle the bat well. Depending on the
situation, I feel I can put a bunt down effiiciently.”
The Cubs pitchers have a friendly competition as far as their hitting stats, and Arrieta said they’re trying to simply put together good at-bats.
“It is the pitcher, and it seems like a break in the lineup, but we feel we can do some damage there and help us out,”
The Cubs sent 11 batters to the plate in the first. Anthony Rizzo reached on a fielding error by second baseman Charlie Culberson, advanced to third on Bryant’s double off the right field wall, and then scored when catcher Michael McKenry’s attempted pickoff throw skipped into left field.
Bryant tallied on Addison Russell’s bunt single as Rockies starter Jon Gray bobbled the ball. Ryan Sweeney hit a RBI single
and another run scored on David Ross’ suicide squeeze which Gray again had trouble handling. Arrieta then launched his
first spring homer to left for a 7-0 lead. Gray struck out Jonathan Herrera, and was lifted.
Gray, the Rockies’ first-round pick in 2013, gave up seven runs — six earned — on four hits and one walk over two-thirds
of an inning.
“I just didn’t feel like myself at all,” Gray said. “I didn’t get strikes early. I didn’t give my team a chance. I think I
was too worried about being in the zone that I left some too hittable.”
— Carrie Muskat
Chris Coghlan hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly and Albert Almora had two hits, both doubles, and drove in two runs to lift the Cubs to a 7-5 victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday in Glendale. Jake Arrieta gave up five runs on seven hits over four innings, striking out five. Said Arrieta: “I just need to be a little more precise with things earlier in counts so I’m not in hitter friendly counts in big situations, and moving forward, that’s something I’ll put emphasis on.”
C.J. Edwards gave up two hits over two scoreless innings, and Hector Rondon survived a comebacker by Darwin Barney that the Cubs pitcher knocked down, and was able to recover in time to throw out his former teammate.
Almora was not scheduled to start, but subbed for Matt Szczur who was a little bruised after crashing into the left field
wall on Tuesday. Szczur is day to day.
Up next: The Cubs will play two on Thursday, beginning with a “B” game at Sloan Park in Mesa against the Angels at 1 p.m. Arizona time. Kyle Hendricks will start that game and Kris Bryant is scheduled to DH. The regular game will start at 6:40 p.m. Arizona time as the Cubs travel to Scottsdale to face the Diamondbacks.
— Carrie Muskat
Jake Arrieta gave up one unearned run over four innings and Eric Jokisch pitched three shutout innings to help the Cubs beat the Athletics 5-3 Friday night in front of 8,007 at Cashman Field. Kris Bryant went 0-for-4 in his return home to Las Vegas. Junior Lake hit a RBI single and Addison Russell and Dexter Fowler each hit RBI doubles for the Cubs. This was Arrieta’s second spring start, and his longest outing. Tommy La Stella went 3-for-3.
Chicago now is 2-8-1 in Cactus League play. On Saturday, the Cubs will play two more. Kyle Hendricks will start against the A’s in Las Vegas, while Edwin Jackson will start in Maryvale against the Brewers.
Jake Arrieta did exactly what he wanted Friday night for the Cubs. In his second spring start, the right-hander gave up one unearned run over four innings against the Athletics in front of 8,007 at Cashman Field. Arrieta was efficient, throwing 59 pitches, 40 for strikes, but no changeups. That was his plan.
“That was one of the points of emphasis going in,” Arrieta said of being efficient. “Establish the fastball, sinker moving in to righties especially. I threw some good breaking balls and stayed away from the changeup today to focus primarily on the cutter and the curveball, and they were both good.”
The curve was sharp, and that’s encouraging for Arrieta, who will be one of the Cubs’ top three starters.
“I was able to use [the curve] early in the count for early strikes and to set up a couple counts later in the game, third, fourth inning,” he said. “I think I got one, maybe three on swings and misses. That’s what I was looking for today, and just keeping the fastball down in the zone, and both of those areas were pretty crisp.”
It isn’t that Arrieta is abandoning the change.
“I wasn’t sure how long I was going to go today,” he said. “Last time out, [it was] two innings, and it’s tough to get it all in. That’s why I eliminated it today. We went that direction.”
The A’s took advantage of an error to score against Arrieta in the first. Craig Gentry singled to lead off and moved up on a throwing error by shortstop Addison Russell, who was cut off by third baseman Tommy La Stella as he ran for the ball. Gentry then scored on Max Muncy’s single.
— Carrie Muskat