The Daily CCO: Cubs Working on Playing Clean Baseball

After one of the team’s better four-game stretches in three-plus years, the Cubs had a rough couple of days to wrap up the season series in Cincinnati. The Cubs were charged with three errors Wednesday night and two more Thursday.

Rick Renteria is hoping the last two games against the Reds “are few and far between” and talked to the beat writers about what he told his infielders on the mound Thursday after the second error in the sixth inning.

Renteria admitted the Cubs “might have gotten a little flat” in the last game of the series and that he thinks the players are “kicking themselves.” Renteria stressed the importance of playing clean games and he knows his team can play better than they did Wednesday and Thursday.

While September should be fun, as well as intriguing, to watch, Renteria and his staff have the challenge of not letting the mistakes get to the young players with a difficult schedule filled with not only teams within the division but with teams playing for baseball in October.

The coaching staff and front office were given a gift this year by the schedule makers and will be able to use the final month of the season as a way to evaluate players. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have both said publicly the front office has important decisions to make in regards to the 40-man roster. With the team playing all but one series against contending teams, the front office will have a better idea of where the players are in their development.

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo was not in Thursday’s starting lineup and missed his second game in a row with tightness in his lower back. The Cubs’ first baseman was hoping Thursday that he would be able to return to the lineup for Friday’s opener of the four-game series in St. Louis.

PrintRizzo told the beat writers his back tightened up during the rain delay Tuesday night after he hit the home run off Johnny Cueto. Rizzo said he’s not worried about the injury but admitted he is frustrated by it.

News and Notes

According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Justin Ruggiano is going to see a specialist in Dallas about the injury to his left ankle that landed him on the DL.

Jed Hoyer acknowledged the Cubs are “going to be a fairly high strikeout team going forward” due to “the natures of the guys we have here.” Hoyer added the strikeouts have been extreme as the players are making their debuts and those numbers should go down according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

One of the veterans in the clubhouse, Chris Coghlan, gave Jorge Soler and Javier Baez some advice according to a report from Carrie Muskat, “Don’t read anything, don’t watch anything.”

When the Cubs have called up prospects this season, the players have made their debuts on the road and in hitter friendly parks. Theo Epstein said that has been by design and that he thinks bringing the players up while the team is on the road is smart.

Jake Arrieta admitted he did a bad job of controlling the run game Thursday and took full responsibility for the Reds swiping six bases. Arrieta did not have ‘Jake-like command’ Thursday according to his manager.

Javier Baez hit the deepest ball of anyone, yet, off Aroldis Chapman according to FanGraphs.

The Cubs are 14-12 in August and finish the month with four games in three days in St. Louis.

From MIT to the Chicago Cubs for Joe Bohringer, the team’s Director of Pro Scouting.

Minor News and Notes

The Smokies were no-hit Thursday night by Andres Santiago. The Chattanooga Lookouts beat Tennessee 1-0 and Santiago allowed just one baserunner, a walk to Christian Villanueva in the eighth inning. Villanueva was erased on a double play, and Santiago faced the minimum (27 batters) in nine innings. Thursday was the first time the Smokies had been no hit in a regular season game since May 22, 2002 and the first time since Sept. 7, 2007 a team no-hit Tennessee. The good news in Thursday’s loss, Addison Russell returned to the lineup.

Kris Bryant is ready to help the Cubs according to a report from Jonathan Mayo.

This Day In Cubstory

2012 – Darwin Barney established the National League single-season record with his 114th straight errorless game at second base.

2012 – Indians selected Scott Maine off waivers from the Cubs

2002 – Mariners signed amateur free agent Luis Valbuena

1989 – Trailing 9-0 after five innings, the Cubs rallied and beat the Astros 10-9 in 10 innings at Wrigley. Dwight Smith entered the game as a defensive replacement and singled in a run in the seventh, threw out a runner at the plate in the eighth, tied the game with a sac fly in the eighth and drove in the winning run in the 10th.

1989 – Logan Watkins, born

1973 – Cubs traded Pat Bourque to the A’s for Gonzalo Marquez

1971 – Henry Blanco, born

1966 – Picking up a win in relief in a 4-2 victory over the Braves, Robin Roberts became the first and only pitcher to record a win against the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves and Atlanta Braves.

1955 – Harry Chiti, Dee Fondy and Gene Baker homered in the fourth inning as the Cubs beat the Giants 6-3 at the Polo Grounds.

1918 – In a war-shortened season, the Cubs clinched the NL Pennant after George ‘Lefty’ Tyler beat the Reds 1-0 at Wrigley Field

1908 – Cubs beat Christy Mathewson and the Giants 3-2 with Mordecai ‘Three-Finger’ Brown picking up the victory in the Cubs eighth straight win.

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Quote of the Day

"I could throw harder if I wanted, but why? When they’re in a jam, pitchers try to throw harder. I try to locate better." – Greg Maddux

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  • Tony_H

    Great article on Joe Bohringer.

    • Theboardrider

      Thanks for pointing it out Tony. I don’t always have time to click on each link and I probably would have overlooked it if you hadn’t mentioned it.

      Including Bohringer, the guy from BP, and others. Is there any team with a more caluclated strategy and smart accomplished numbers guys working in the FO? I don’t remember one. It’s like if Theo calls guys say…”uh yeah, I want in.” Shoot, a lot of the hard work is already done. These new guys can skip the 2+ years of constant critiscm and enjoy the spoils that are on deck.

      • Theboardrider

        It was interesting in Tito’s book reading about Bill James presence around the clubhouse in the early days of Theo in Boston. Particularly in Spring Training. Tito said they were all like “who’s the nerd?” But quickly everyone came to rely on him and the players would come to him for scouting and everyone used him and respected the heck out of him.

        • Theboardrider

          Sort of reminds me of Ernie Adams and Bill Belichick, Adams is this nerd who never played much sports, and Belichick is 100% dependent on him. People in New England say without him they don’t know if they’d have any titles.

          Well him…and cameras :)

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