The Cubs have started a very difficult 11-game, three city road trip with two victories at Fenway Park. Reports after Tuesday’s game indicated the Cubs clubhouse was pretty happy and Chris Bosio is “thrilled with his pitching staff.”
Jake Arrieta, Edwin Jackson and the Cubs’ pen, along with help from the defense, have held the struggling Red Sox offense to one run over the first 18 innings of the series.
The Cubs began the series at Fenway with only two wins on the season when the offense scored two or fewer runs, the Cubs are now 4-28 when scoring two or less runs this year … and 4-32 in games in which they’ve trailed after five innings.
After posting a 15-13 record in June and winning back-to-back games at Fenway Park, the Cubs are 17-13 since June 1 and no longer have the worst record in baseball. The Diamondbacks have the fewest wins in the majors and the Cubs have a better winning percentage than the Astros, Phillies and Rockies.
And the Cubs have won three straight road series for the first time since winning five in a row to close out the 2010 season.
Arismendy Alcantara is more than pushing for a promotion at this point. Alcantara extended his hitting streak to 10 and then 11 games in Tuesday’s doubleheader. Alcantara went 1-for-3 with a run scored in game one while playing centerfield, then 2-for-4 in the night cap after lining up at second base. Alcantara also swiped a base in each game of the twin bill.
Over his last 10 games, Arismendy Alcantara is hitting .475/.488/.725 with four doubles, two home runs, two walks, nine strikeouts, three stolen bases and a 1.213 OPS.
Arismendy Alcantara is one of two players in the minors with at least 10 triples, 10 home runs and 15 stolen bases … the other is Mike Yastrzemski of the Orioles.
According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Alcantara “has taken another step in his development at Triple-A Iowa in recent weeks, putting him squarely on the Major League club’s radar.”
Jesse Rogers caught up with Jason McLeod and he indicated the front office and the Major League coaching staff has noticed how Alcantara is playing.
Jason McLeod said, “He’s getting closer.”
Cubs News and Notes
The Cubs day off Thursday will help Jake Arrieta. Rick Renteria said Tuesday that his rotation will stay on schedule and that will give Arrieta an extra day after throwing a career-high 120 pitches Monday.
Hector Rondon has converted 11 of 13 save opportunities and closed out back-to-back games at Fenway Park. Rondon told ESPN Chicago, he is “just trying to make good pitches and see what happens.”
Clark the Cub was at Fenway Park on Tuesday … and a lot was made about him being there.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel are the two Cubs starters that are likely to be traded. Jake Arrieta is under club control through the 2017 season and the general consensus is that the Cubs will not trade him. And Travis Wood “could be a candidate for a contract extension once the Cubs get through their annual sell-off.” The Cubs were rumored to be discussing a contract extension with Wood last off-season.
The Giants are one of several teams interested in both Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija. Brian Sabean addressed the rumors and said “he has not yet exchanged names with other teams in trade discussions.” According to Henry Schulman’s report, Sabean indicated “the number of available players is not close to what the media make it seem” and “none of his minor leaguers is untouchable.”
Minor News and Notes
Brett Jackson had a very good start to his month. Jackson collected four hits and drove in six runs in Iowa’s doubleheader along with a walk. Jackson tripled in game one and went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Jackson hit the game winner in the night cap, a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the eighth.
Brett Jackson’s walk-off homer was the first for the Iowa Cubs since Brad Snyder walked off New Orleans on May 7, 2011.
After going hitless in the first game with a walk, Kris Bryant went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored in the night cap. Bryant is slashing .400/.500/.771 in his last 10 games with four doubles, three home runs, seven walks and eight strikeouts with a 1.271 OPS. Bryant did commit his first Triple-A error in the first game, he made a high throw to first base.
Javier Baez keeps improving at the plate while taking grounders at second base before games. Baez did not record a hit in Iowa’s doubleheader. But Baez went 0-for-2 with a sac fly RBI in game one and 0-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored in the night cap. Baez is hitting .364/.488/.485 in his last 10 games with nine walks, 10 strikeouts, four doubles and a .973 OPS.
James Pugliese will handle the ninth inning duties for Kane County.
The Cubs will likely have three prospects in Baseball Prospectus’ top 20 and four in the top 40 in BP’s top 50 that is being released Monday.
Zak Hermans received a spot start for Triple-A Iowa in the nightcap of Tuesday’s twin bill. Hermans allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. Hermans tweeted he had an awesome experience after making it to the park just in time for the start. Hermans went back to Kane County following his Triple-A debut.
Albert Almora tripled Tuesday as part of a 1-for-4 day at the plate … .356/.383/.511 in last 10 games with two walks and five strikeouts.
Eloy Jimenez went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored Tuesday night.
Jorge Soler was 0-for-3 with a RBI and a walk Tuesday night.
Mark Zagunis hit a triple Tuesday and is 5-for-13 in three games with Boise that includes a double, a triple, one walk and one strikeout.
C.J. Edwards threw a side session, 25 pitches, Tuesday and he said it felt good to be back on the mound.
News and Notes
Jason Hammel was the 12th best signing of the off-season according to Jon Heyman.
Jim Deshaies bought a River North condo.
Ken Rosenthal reported the Blue Jays are on Cole Hammel’s no-trade list.
Joel Pineiro began the season in the Cubs’ system after signing a minor league contract. After the Cubs released him, Pineiro signed a minor league contract with the Angels and was pitching in their system. The Angels released Pineiro Monday and not long after he was released, MLB announced Pineiro has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for Heptaminol, a banned stimulant by Minor League Baseball.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs traded Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop and cash
2013 – Cubs traded Carlos Marmol and cash to the Dodgers for Matt Guerrier
2009 – Cubs acquired Jeff Baker from the Rockies for Al Alburquerque
2009 – Derrek Lee drove in a career-high seven runs with a grand slam and a three-run homer in a 9-5 win over the Brewers
2007 – Yankees signed amateur free agent Arodys Vizcaino
2004 – Cubs traded Jimmy Anderson to the Red Sox for Andy Shipman
2003 – Matt Clement combined with three relievers on a one-hit shutout over the Phillies. The Cubs beat the Phillies 1-0 on a Sammy Sosa homer leading off the ninth inning against Turk Wendell. David Bell collected the Phillies only hit.
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Robinson Chirinos
1993 – Sammy Sosa collected six hits, one short of the NL record, in an 11-8 victory over the Rockies
1984 – Cubs traded Dickie Noles to the Rangers for players to be named later. The Cubs received Tim Henry and Jorge Gomez from the Rangers on Dec. 11, 1984 to complete the trade
1972 – The Cubs completed a triple play in the seventh inning at Three Rivers Stadium … Ron Santo to Glenn Beckert to Jim Hickman at first base.
1969 – So Taguchi, born
1967 – After the Cubs 4-1 victory over the Reds at Wrigley Field, many of the 40,464 fans at Wrigley stayed in the ballpark to wait for the final score of the Cardinals and Mets game. When the final score was posted with the Mets beating the Cardinals, the Cubs moved into a first place and the fans at Wrigley refused to leave until the flags were changed at the top of the scoreboard that showed the Cubs were a half game in front of the Cardinals. Ferguson Jenkins pitched the Cubs to their 17 win in 19 games at the time.
1957 – Lee Walls hit for the cycle, but the Cubs lost to the Reds 8-6 in 10 innings after Wally Post his a grand slam in the 10th inning at Wrigley Field
1950 – Andy Pafko drove in five runs with a double, a triple and a home run. Bill Serena hit a three-run homer and Hank Edwards collected four hits and three RBI as the Cubs beat the Reds 16-0 at Crosley Field.
1949 – Cubs selected Mickey Owen off waivers from the Brooklyn Dodgers
1937 – Gabby Harnett hit the 200th homer of his Cubs career, a two-run shot off the Pirates’ Red Lucas in the eighth inning at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won 8-7 on Augie Galen’s two-run homer in the ninth inning.
1891 – The Chicago National League Ballclub scored 11 runs in the third inning on the way to a 20-5 victory over Cleveland at West Side Park.