Dexter Fowler received a warm welcome Friday in his return to Coors Field. And he responded by leading the Cubs to back-to-back wins Saturday and Sunday over the Rockies.
Fowler tripled twice Saturday. It was the second triple that drove in two runs that appeared to relax his teammates. Then Fowler delivered the game winner Sunday, a two-run homer in the ninth off good friend LaTroy Hawkins on a 0-2 pitch with two outs.
Dexter Fowler said Sunday was surreal because the two-run homer that lifted the Cubs over the Rockies came at Coors Field.
After going hitless in Friday’s game, Fowler finished the weekend series 4-for-13 with a home run, two triples, two walks, a stolen base, three runs scored and four RBI.
Over the first five games, Dexter Fowler is 5-for-21 with two walks. But four of the five hits have been for extra bases (one double, two triples and one home run). Fowler has a .238/.304/.619 slash line with a .923 OPS and 13 total bases.
Joe Maddon called Sunday’s win a total team effort and explained to the beat writers, “That’s the kind of stuff that galvanizes a group. I love when you win that kind of game, on the road, utilizing everybody. It’s really good for esprit de corps.”
Tommy La Stella
La Stella did not play in the Rockies series and told the beat writers Sunday that he was feeling better. La Stella has not swung a bat since feeling something in his side prior to Friday’s game.
The Cubs are expected to re-evaluate Tommy La Stella on Monday. And if he’s not any better soon, possibly by the middle of the homestand, the Cubs could be forced to make a roster move and place La Stella on the DL.
Chris Denorfia reported Sunday to Myrtle Beach and started his minor league rehab assignment.
Denorfia spent Saturday in Denver. Denorfia took batting practice with the team and was checked out by the Cubs’ medical staff before going out on the rehab assignment.
Hitting out of the two-hole of Mark Johnson’s lineup, Denorfia went 1-for-2 with a double and a strikeout. Shawon Dunston Jr. replaced Denorfia in left field.
Chris Denorfia was placed on the 15-day DL last Sunday, retroactive to April 2, with a strained left hamstring.
The Cubs have not provided a timeframe for his return. Denorfia can be on a minor league rehab assignment for 20 days.
News, Notes and Rumors
• With Tommy La Stella unavailable and Mike Olt’s status for Sunday’s game unknown at the time, the Cubs had Welington Castillo take grounders at third base. Castillo has apparently been working out at third base.
• Don’t be surprised to see Travis Wood in the outfield if the Cubs don’t make a roster move and place Tommy La Stella on the DL. Wood is not scheduled to pitch until Wednesday. Joe Maddon has stated publicly that he is not afraid to put Wood in the outfield. Maddon loves his athleticism.
• According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs lost all 79 games in which they trailed entering the ninth inning last season. And Kyle Hendricks admitted Sunday was a game he doesn’t think the Cubs win a year ago. Hendricks has noticed the veterans the front office brought in this winter know how to win ballgames.
• David Ross is scheduled to catch Jon Lester on Monday night.
• The Cubs walked 13 times in the three-game series in Denver.
• Albert Almora has four hits (4-for-17) in the first four games of the season, but more importantly Almora has walked three times with only two strikeouts (.235/.350/.294/.644).
• According to Comcast SportsNet, the Kris Bryant Watch can wait after Cubs complete dramatic comeback win.
• Miguel Montero is going to do it his way according to Comcast SportsNet.
• Rick Telander posted: Former Cubs’ outfielder Milton Bradley and the horror we’re only just realizing
And last, but not least, RHP Carlos Marmol is not ready to retire from baseball according to Jesse Sanchez. Marmol has a new arm slot and threw for scouts in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Sanchez was told Marmol threw his fastball in the mid-90s.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – The Cubs spoiled the Cardinals home opener with a 9-5 victory over St. Louis. Ian Stewart hit a three-run homer, Bryan LaHair smacked a Grand Slam and Jeff Samardzija picked up the win. The Cubs spoiled the Cardinals’ ring ceremony after rain delayed the start of the game.
2005 – Cubs released Jimmy Anderson
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Howard Johnson
1993 – Lee Smith passed Jeff Reardon and became the All-Time Saves Leader with No. 358 in a Cardinals 9-7 victory over the Dodgers.
1976 – Cubs purchased Randy Hundley from the Padres
1976 – A Rick Monday bloop single into center field in the ninth inning gave the Cubs a 5-4 victory over the Mets before an Opening Day crowd of 44,818 at Wrigley Field, a record setting attendance at the time. Jerry Morales hit two home runs in the game.
1969 – The Cubs rallied in the bottom of the ninth and scored three runs to beat the Expos. 27,000-plus fans spontaneously swarmed Wrigley Field in an early season frenzy.
1964 – Doug Strange, born
1964 – Cubs selected Don Young off waivers from the Cardinals
1941 – John Stephenson, born
1912 – Jake Mooty, born
1910 – Cubs acquired Harry McIntire from the Brooklyn Superbas for Bill Davidson, Happy Smith and Tony Smith
1893 – Roy Walker, born
1889 – Claude Hendrix, born