The Daily CCO: The Cubs Had a Sweep of a Good Weekend and Other News and Notes

The Cubs completed arguably its best three game series in four-plus seasons, and not because the Cubs swept the Orioles, but the way the team played.

The Cubs received two outstanding starts, the bullpen did not allow a single run in three games and preserved two one-run leads. The staff held the Orioles to four total runs in three games. Defensively there were not any miscues in the field while turning in several outstanding plays.

The offense drove in runs with two out hits and came through with runners in scoring position plus the Cubs scored 13 runs against a good Orioles’ pitching staff and hit only four solo home runs.

For those that point to wins as the gauge for how the team is playing. The Cubs are 13-10 in August and with the sweep over Baltimore, the Cubs own a 9-8 record against the American League. At Wrigley Field this year, the Cubs are 32-33 and dating back to May 17 (90 games), the Cubs are a .500 team with a 45-45 record.

It was an encouraging three games and if this weekend was any indication it could be a fun last five weeks of the season for the Chicago Cubs.

Felix Doubront

Felix Doubront made his third rehab start Sunday, his first with the Smokies, and it was a rough outing. Doubront gave up four runs, three earned, on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Doubront threw 95 pitches, 59 for strikes.

PrintIn two starts with Iowa, Doubront gave up six runs on 12 hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts in 10 innings (5.40 ERA, 1.50 WHIP).

Felix Doubront is scheduled to make his Cubs debut Saturday in one of the two games in St. Louis. He is expected to stay with the big league team and make additional starts in September.

News and Notes

Rick Renteria and Brandon Hyde rescued a member of the Wrigley Field grounds crew that fell underneath the tarp while the infield was being covered Saturday.

Quality starts since July 4 for the Cubs: Jake Arrieta (8), Kyle Hendricks (6), Tsuyoshi Wada (4), Travis Wood (2) and Edwin Jackson (2).

Javier Baez has hit seven home runs in 19 games with the Cubs and he hit 23 longballs for Iowa in 104 games. Baez has put together another 30 home run season, seven fewer than he hit last year for High-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee.

Anthony Rizzo is one of the main reasons for the Cubs improved defense this season according to a report from Bruce Levine. The Cubs entered play Sunday with the third highest fielding percentage in the National League … and over the previous 22 games, the Cubs had the highest fielding percentage in the majors.

And speaking of Anthony Rizzo, with his run-scoring double on Sunday he has 70 RBI on the season in 127 games. Rizzo is 10 RBI short of the 80 runs he drove in last season … and he’s already topped his home run total with 29, just one short of a 30-homer season.

Arismendy Alcantara became the first player for the Cubs since Alfonso Soriano on July 8, 2013 to hit a home run and steal a base in the same game Sunday.

Hector Rondon recorded his 21st save of the season Sunday, but save No. 20 was a tremendous accomplishment for Rondon according to a report from ESPN Chicago.

Logan Watkins thinks he can be a part of the Cubs’ future according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

New MLB Rules for International prospects could greatly affect the Cubs according to a report from Comcast SportsNet … and the Cubs are not too happy about the rules changes according to Dan Bernstein.

Keith Law took a look at what the Red Sox received in Rusney Castillo (subscription only), and while no one knows if he will be able to hit to the level Boston is hoping, the addition of Castillo gives the Red Sox options to trade its top position-player prospects in the off-season for pitching.

15 of the Cubs games this season have been delayed by rain, a total of 21 hours and 56 minutes of delays.

Weekend Headlines

As is with the case during the season, it was a rather busy weekend for the Chicago Cubs … both at the Major League level and in the minors. From roster moves, to rumors, to home run mania in the minors to the sweep over the Orioles, here are the headlines.

This Day In Cubstory

2002 – Cubs traded Jeff Fassero to the Cardinals for two players to be named later. Cubs received Jared Blasdell and Jason Karnuth on Sept. 24, 2002 to complete the trade.

1998 – Cubs traded a PTBNL and cash to the Twins for Mike Morgan. The Cubs sent Scott Downs to the Twins on November 3, 1998 to complete the trade.

1991 – Doug Dascenzo committed an error in the Cubs 12-9 loss to the Padres and ended his National League record streak of 242 consecutive games without an error (442 chances). Dascenzo’s streak began in 1988 and ended two games short of the AL record.

1981 – Dennis Lamp lost his bid for a no-hitter when Robin Yount led off the ninth with a bloop double. Lamp settled for a one-hit, 5-1 victory over the Brewers.

1974 – Gary Matthews Jr., born

1950 – Dutch Leonard beat Warren Spahn and the Braves 7-6.

1947 – Billy Jurges, who shifted from coach to active player just two days prior, hit a two-run homer in the 10th that gave the Cubs a 9-7 win over the Giants. Bob Scheffing and Andy Pafko also homered for the Cubs

1922 – In the highest scoring game ever played, the Cubs beat the Phillies 26-23 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs scored 10 runs in the second and 14 in the fourth. Cubs led 25-6 after four innings but held on for the win. The Phillies had the bases loaded in the ninth when the last out was recorded. Cliff Heathcote collected five hits and Hack Miller hit two home runs and drove in six runs.

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Quote of the Day

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." – Walt Disney

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  • BigJonLilJon

    Cubs team ERA for August is 3.07. And that’s with Jackson and Wood looking like batting practice. 2nd best team ERA in National League. Wada amazes me. I remember in spring training watching him and saying how awful he was. Maybe I was wrong about that one. Will see if he can keep it up over the long term.
    Who says our pitching outlook is so horrid????

    • Dwalker

      I said when we traded shark and hamels that we might not see much differnce without them. I was wrong, we are actually winning games behind their replacements, something we totally failed at when shark pitched good games. But, i do have worries. Woods regression, as well as the regression of most of the over performers we have traded, makes me wonder if Arrieta, Hendricks and Wada can ALL keep it up. and will they pull a woods next year and regress? I feel like we have a lot of short term success stories and no long term ones for pitching the last few years. If even two out of three though does this net year, I’d be really realy happy. Now, bring Soler up so we can watch him, Baez and Rizzo have their own private homerun derby all september.

  • Gramps

    So much fun watching the Cubs play the weekend. What a fantastic game on Sunday. Kudos to Wada and the bullpen for the pitching, to AA for hitting that line drive home run and in particular to Rizzo for taking that outside pitch and driving it to his off field for a double. The home runs will come but if the Cubs start hitting situation-wise rather than swinging for the downs this team will really take off. I hope they learn that they have to give in to the pitcher when they have 2 strikes and just start making contact. I don’t mind the violent swings for the first 2 strikes, but make contact with people on base when having 2 strikes.

    Finally, something to look forward to for the Cubs! GO CUBS!!!

  • Larry Schwimmer

    I was so happy at how well the CUBS played over the weekend against BALTIMORE (and without Castro). Those of us who’ve supported THEO’s plan 3 years ago and endured some depressing seasons — will soon be redeemed. While many of our prospects will not be successful in MLB — the fact that we have so many good ones bodes well. Best of all, the F.O.s strategy is to continue finding undervalued players and drafting high potential prospects for the future.

    I believe it’s much tougher to find good hitters who hit for high average or can hit with RISP or hit lots of HRs — than it is to find good pitchers. So, another reason for optimism is the huge number of offensive players in the CUB minor league system that continue to develop! While I can’t wait to see the day that SOLER and BRYANT are up — I think that RUSSELL will turn out to be an amazing talent for the CUBS. And…BAEZ has quickly become a mesmerizing rookie who’s every at bat is filled with the potential for a mammoth HR.