These Cubs are fun to watch and Joe Maddon has his team playing good ball right now.
The Cubs posted their fourth straight win Tuesday night behind five two-out run scoring hits. The Cubs have scored all 10 runs in the first two games of the Pirates series on hits with two outs. The Cubs are five games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2009 season and off to the organization’s best start to a season in seven years (2008).
Joe Maddon stressed the importance of baserunning in Spring Training, going first to third and taking the extra base when the defense gave it to them. Maddon told the beat writers following Tuesday’s game that at some point this season he will call for a Don Zimmer, a hit and run with the bases loaded. But these Cubs are stealing bases and lead the National League with 25 stolen bases.
The Cubs swiped five bags in the same game for the first time since May 30, 2011 Tuesday night. The Cubs pulled of a double steal twice in the fourth inning. And Tuesday was the first time the Cubs stole four bases in the same inning since Aug. 23 1997 in Montreal.
Anthony Rizzo and Dexter Fowler are tied for the team lead (6) in stolen bases. Rizzo and Fowler have swiped six bags this season. Rizzo has already tied a career-high in stolen bases and is pretty sure he will set a new career mark.
Joe Maddon was asked about the Cubs posting the first winning April since 2008. Maddon said, “My big thing is that we’re trying to win every month. You try to win the day, you try to win the week, you try to win the month. At the end of the seasons, it looks pretty good, normally. For the most part, we’ve been playing well.”
Orioles and White Sox
Due to the events taking place in Baltimore, the Orioles and White Sox will play a game Wednesday at Camden Yards that will be closed to the public. For the first time in Major League history fans will not be allowed to attend a baseball game.
The game will be televised with media and scouts allowed to cover the game.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Albert Almora Jr. was placed on the 7-day minor league DL on Tuesday. The Cubs did not sound concerned about Almora Jr. according to Patrick Mooney. The Cubs “followed the concussion protocol after Almora hit his head against the wall trying to make a catch during Monday’s game.”
• David Ross is keeping the team focused and the new vibe from old guys has pushed the Cubs to a strong start according to the Sun-Times.
• Starlin Castro passed Dee Fondy for 50th place on the Cubs’ All-Time hits list. Castro went 3-for-5 on Tuesday night. The 25-year old shortstop has 873 hits in his career.
• And this is what Starlin Castro has been waiting for with the Cubs according to Comcast SportsNet.
• Cubs’ pitching has retired the leadoff hitter in each of the 18 innings of the first two games of the Pirates’ series.
• OF Chris Denorfia is not 100 percent right now and is dealing with a hamstring issue. According to the Sun-Times, Denorfia might be “confined to a bench role for at least a few more days because of lingering hamstring soreness.”
• According to Jesse Rogers, Cubs’ pitchers have issues 36 walks, fewest in baseball. The Cubs did not walk a batter in the first two games of the Pirates series, first time since 2004 the Cubs did not issue a free pass in consecutive games.
• Kris Bryant isn’t worried about not hitting a home run yet. According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Bryant went 16 games without a home run in college. Bryant knows the longballs will come, right now he’s showing that he’s more than just a home run hitter.
• The day after Jarrod Saltalamacchia was designated for assignment the media tried to figure out where he might land. According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Angels are not involved in trade talks for Salty. But the Mariners have discussed Saltalamacchia according to Morosi. Jon Heyman reported the Rays, Diamondbacks and Royals are three of the six teams interested in Saltalamacchia. The Red Sox are not one of the six clubs. And according to Heyman, the Orioles are not interested in Saltalamacchia despite contacting the Blue Jays about Dioner Navarro in the spring.
• Joe Maddon likes National League rules and doesn’t want to see the National League adopt the designated hitter.
• Arismendy Alcantara had a good Tuesday. Alcantara was 3-for-7 in the two games Iowa played with a triple, two home runs and three runs scored.
And last, but not least, the Cubs starting lineup Tuesday night included five position players born in the 90’s for the first time … Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Starlin Castro and Junior Lake.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs released Edgar Gonzalez
2005 – Greg Maddux beat Roger Clemens in a match-up of 300-game winners. The Cubs topped the Astros 3-2 at Minute Maid Park. It was the first time a pair of 300-game winners faced one another since 1987 when the Angels’ Don Sutton beat the Twins’ Steve Carlton.
2005 – Cubs signed free agent Phil Norton
2004 – Cubs traded Felix Sanchez to the Tigers for Jon Connolly and a PTBNL. Cubs acquired Eric Eckenstahler from the Tigers on Aug. 13, 2004 to complete the trade.
1991 – Jacob Hannemann, born
1987 – Andre Dawson hit for the cycle in an 8-4 win over the Giants at Wrigley Field. Dawson collected five hits and completed the cycle with a triple in the sixth inning.
1984 – Billy Petrick, born
1983 – Manager Lee Elia launched into an obscenity-laced tirade following a 7-2 loss to the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Elia voiced his frustration with Cubs fans and stated that 85 percent of the world works while the other 15 percent show up to Wrigley Field. Click Here for Lee Elia’s infamous rant, note contains adult language.
1979 – Trailing 5-0 with two out and two on in the ninth, the Cubs beat the Braves 6-5 in Atlanta. Bobby Murcer capped the scoring for the Cubs with a three-run homer.
1935 – Cubs scored 10 runs in the eighth inning to beat the Pirates 12-11 in Pittsburgh. Kiki Cuyler collected two hits in the eighth, including the game winner. Phil Cavarretta drove in four runs with a double and a home run.
1933 – Cubs selected Taylor Douhit off waivers from the Reds
1924 – Freddy Rodriguez, born
1913 – The Reds played a game at West Side Grounds against the Cubs in White Sox uniforms. The Reds’ trainer left the team’s uniforms in St. Louis. The Cubs beat the Reds 7-2.
1898 – Frank Chance made his debut for the Chicago National League Ball Club in a 16-2 win over Louisville at West Side Grounds.
1856 – Frank Hankinson, born