The Cubs return to the corner of Clark and Addison to open a seven-game homestand Friday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Cubs played good ball in Los Angeles and Denver and posted a 4-2 record in the six games. And on the 26th Anniversary of the lights being turned on at Wrigley Field, all eyes will be on Javier Baez when he makes his debut Friday afternoon at the old ballyard.
Javier Baez created quite the buzz in three games at Coors Field. Baez launched the three home runs and is coming off a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two home runs and four RBI. All four of Javier Baez’s hits in the big leagues have produced runs … three homers and a single. Baez was solid defensively as he continues to learn second base.
Javier Baez is one of three players in big league history with three homers in his first three games … Joe Cunningham (1954), Charlie Reilly (1889). And the last five Cubs with five RBI in his first three big league games: Javier Baez (2014), Starlin Castro (2010), Roberto Pena (1965), Ron Santo (1960) and Ernie Banks (1953).
While Baez was busy creating the buzz at the big league level, the latest episode of Home Run Mania aired Thursday night down on the farm. Kyle Schwarber, Dan Vogelbach, Rock Shoulders, Manny Ramirez, Kris Bryant and Mark Zagunis all went deep.
News and Notes
Starlin Castro is 11-for-25 in six games this month with two doubles and a home run (.440/.462/.640). Since the break, Castro is batting .286/.341/.377 with four doubles, a home run and a .718 OPS.
The Cubs have played a Major League high 10 games of 12 innings or more this season.
Minor News and Notes
Kris Bryant went 1-for-2 with a home run, two RBI and two walks Thursday night. Bryant has hit 15 home runs in the PCL since his promotion on June 19, tops in the league over that span. Bryant is tied for the minor league lead in home runs with 37 and over his last 10 games, Bryant is batting .406/.578/.875 with three doubles, four home runs, 10 walks, 10 strikeouts and a 1.453 OPS.
Billy McKinney is quietly batting .406/.475/.469 with two doubles, six walks, five strikeouts and a .944 OPS over his last 10 games.
Dan Vogelbach hit home run No. 13 Thursday night and is hitting .277/.371/.469 with 10 doubles, eight home runs, 27 walks, 27 strikeouts and a .840 OPS in 47 games since the All-Star break.
Duane Underwood had another good outing Thursday. Underwood allowed one run on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six innings. Underwood is 5-4 in 19 games, 18 starts, this year with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. In 85 1/3 innings, Underwood has given up 73 hits with 29 walks and 72 strikeouts.
Victor Caratini tripled Thursday (1-for-4 with a triple) and he is 5-for-19 with a triple, two walks and three strikeouts in five games since the trade.
This Day In Cubstory
1997 – Cubs traded Brian McRae, Mel Rojas and Turk Wendell to the Mets for Lance Johnson and two PTBNL. Mets sent Matt Clark (Aug. 11) and Manny Alexander (Aug. 14) to the Cubs to complete the trade.
1989 – Anthony Rizzo, born
1988 – The Cubs and Phillies played the first night game in the history of Wrigley Field. 91-year old Cubs fan Harry Grossman flipped the switch on the lights at Wrigley. Rick Sutcliffe started the game, Ryne Sandberg homered and the game was rained out in the third inning. The Cubs and Mets completed the first full night game at Wrigley Field the next day.
1984 – Cubs completed the four-game sweep over the Mets with a 7-6 victory at Wrigley Field. Keith Moreland collected three hits, drove in four runs.
1965 – Pinch-hitter Ed Bailey was walked twice as the Cubs rallied for six runs in the ninth inning to beat the Mets 14-10 in the second game of a doubleheader at Shea Stadium. Cubs won the opener 7-6.
1947 – Shortstop Lennie Merullo and first baseman Eddie Waitkus combined on a triple play in the seventh inning (Merullo grabbed a liner, stepped on second and threw to first) and Bill Nicholson hit a home run in the 11th inning as the Cubs nipped the Reds 2-1 at Wrigley Field
1929 – Rogers Hornsby cracked a fourth-inning home run, one of four hits, in a Cubs 1-0 victory over the Reds at Wrigley Field. Charlie Root picked up the win after allowing seven hits