In case you haven’t noticed, the Cubs team is fun to watch. While Saturday’s walk-off win could have been avoided it was another game the Cubs would have lost in previous years. Instead the Cubs won their third game in the last seven days in the final at bat.
Kris Bryant was in the middle of the action in the 11th inning. His second hit of the game and hustle out of the box moved Anthony Rizzo to third base with one out. Rizzo scored the winning run on Starlin Castro’s single to left. Bryant looked a lot more comfortable at the plate, as expected, Saturday.
After a 0-for-4 debut with three strikeouts in his debut, Bryant walked three times and his first hit in the big leagues, a broken bat bloop single to center, tied the game at two in the fifth inning. Bryant went 2-for-3 with a RBI and three walks.
According to Matthew Pouliot using Baseball-Reference as the source, Kris Bryant is the 18th player since 1914 to reach base five times in one of his first two career games. And after two games, Bryant has walked (3) as many times as he’s struck out (3).
Shortly after the Cubs notched their sixth victory of the season, Kris Bryant tweeted that he’s excited to be with the Cubs with a video attached. Bryant not only has an endorsement deal with Adidas, he also has one with Red Bull.
Theo Epstein promised the Cubs would be must-see TV, and ten games into this season the roster he is responsible for has been just that.
Albert Almora Jr.
Albert Almora Jr. tied a career high with five hits on Saturday night in the Smokies 7-1 victory over Pensacola. Almora went 5-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored.
Saturday was the fourth time Almora collected five hits in the same game. Almora recorded four singles and a double. Almora is the first player for Double-A Tennessee since Steve Clevenger on Aug. 21, 2010 to have five hits in the same game.
After nine games, Albert Almora Jr. is 12-for-39 with three doubles, three walks and three strikeouts (.308/.357/.385) for a .742 OPS.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Saturday was the fifth time in his career that Miguel Montero hit two home runs in the same game. The last time Montero accomplished the feat was Aug. 14, 2010. Two of Montero’s five multi-homer games have been against the Padres. According to Corey Brock, Montero took Jake Peavy and Brett Tomko deep in the same game on Sept. 7, 2007.
• Miguel Montero tweeted after the game, “Woow nice win omg #wearegood.”
• And Joe Maddon was extremely complimentary of Montero. Maddon pointed out in his post-game press conference Saturday that Montero is “always into the game” and not everyone likes to play baseball like Miguel Montero according to a report from ESPN Chicago.
• Anthony Rizzo stole two bases Saturday, the second one in the 11th inning set up the winning run. Saturday was the first time in Rizzo’s big league career he swiped two bags in the same game.
• Starlin Castro and Mike Olt were impressed with Kris Bryant’s defense Friday.
• Kyle Hendricks was very good Saturday and really held the Padres in check, just one mistake over six innings … and his second start was very reminiscent to the way he pitched last season. Hendricks’ outing caught Jake Arrieta’s attention. Arrieta tweeted Saturday night, “The Professor lectured on the cut change this afternoon. #IvyLeagueStuff.”
• According to Paul Sullivan, the green tarp with The 1060 Project and sponsor logos in center field will be removed by the next homestand. The Cubs hit the road for seven games following Sunday’s finale with the Padres and return to Wrigley on April 27 for the first of three with the Pirates.
• Doug Padilla reported Joe Maddon is in his comfort zone amid Kris Bryant chaos.
• Dave Martinez found a ‘ball’ when he went searching through the vines on the right field wall.
• The Rays designated Grant Balfour for assignment Saturday after a rough outing. Balfour issued three walks, uncorked a wild pitch, hit a batter and served up a Grand Slam to Chris Young. Balfour re-signed with the Rays for two-years and $12 million prior to the 2014 season.
And last, but not least … FOX Sports announced Saturday the network hired Pete Rose. ‘Charlie Hustle’ is joining FOX Sports 1 as a special guest MLB analyst.”
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs released Jensen Lewis
2013 – Cubs selected Julio Borbon off waivers from the Rangers
1997 – At Shea Stadium, the Cubs lost their 13th consecutive game to tie the longest losing streak in franchise history. Turk Wendell, who wore No. 13, took the loss.
1980 – Behind 9-1 after 5 ½ innings, the Cubs rallied for four runs in the sixth inning and seven runs in the eighth inning to beat the Mets 12-9 at Wrigley Field. Dave Kingman drove in six runs with a two-run homer in the sixth and a Grand Slam in the eighth. Kingman’s slam came after the Mets intentionally walked Bill Buckner to face Kingman with the bases loaded. Carlos Lezcano collected his second big league hit and second home run.
1976 – Oakland selected Tim Hosley off waiver from the Cubs
1969 – Cubs traded Lee Elia to the Yankees for Nate Oliver
1946 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Bob Talbot
1890 – The largest Opening Day crowd in National League history of 6,311 at West Side Park watched the Colts beat the Reds 5-4. Wild Bill Hutchinson earned the first of his 41 wins of the season. Hutchinson completed 65 of the 66 starts he made and pitched 603 innings.