Tuesday night’s game will not soon be forgotten. Addison Russell delivered the game winner, a two-out double in the ninth that gave the Cubs their fifth walk-off win of the season, tops in baseball. And with Tuesday’s 3-2 victory, the Cubs improved to 13-10 in 23 one-run games this season.
Even with Russell coming through with the winning hit, the buzz after the game was about the blast Kris Bryant hit off the left field video board in the eighth inning that tied the game at two.
According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, one player called Bryant’s home run the “shot heard ‘round the world and joked the organization should put a little marker on the video board where the ball connected.”
MLB measured the homer at 477 feet and ESPN’s tracker indicated the ball would have traveled 463 feet had it not hit the left field board.
Kris Bryant is batting .281/.396/.489 with five doubles, a triple and seven home runs for a .885 OPS. And in 18 games at Wrigley, Bryant is hitting .317/.455/.617 with a double, a triple and five home runs for a 1.071 OPS.
As long as the kids keep on the same path and stay healthy, there should be more memorable wins on the horizon for the Chicago Cubs.
Starlin Castro is struggling at the plate, but Joe Maddon does not plan on moving him out of the clean-up spot in the lineup anytime soon.
Castro hit .325/.349/.410 in his first 20 games of the season with a .758 OPS. Castro had only three extra basehits in his first 83 at bats. Over his last 25 games, Castro is batting .216/.250/.275 with a .525 OPS and four extra basehits. And he’s rolling over just about every ball he is putting in place and grounding out to the left side of the infield. The coaches are working with Castro to get him to stop rolling over and go with the pitch instead.
According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, Castro does not fit in the two-hole of a lineup because his “low walk totals make it tough to put him there on a regular basis.” Maddon addressed why he has decided to stick with Castro in the fourth spot in his lineup prior to Tuesday’s game.
“You gotta break it down and you also have to look at the alternatives … what would you like to do differently? And then, how do you protect [Kris] Bryant if you move him back down? It’s always about putting the whole puzzle together. I really think Starlin Castro is doing better than people want to give him credit for.”
Castro is hitting .234/.275/.250 with a .525 OPS in 16 games out of the clean-up spot with one extra basehit.
Maddon does not want to bat Anthony Rizzo and Miguel Montero back-to-back in the lineup because of the late game match-ups with lefty relievers. And Jorge Soler “is trying too hard with runners in scoring position, getting anxious and expanding the zone.”
For now, it appears Starlin Castro will be hitting behind Bryant and Rizzo in the lineup.
RHP Pierce Johnson pitched in an extended Spring Training game Tuesday. According to Bill Mitchell, Johnson threw two scoreless innings with a fastball that sat in the 92-94 mph range.
Jason McLeod addressed Johnson’s progress prior to Tuesday’s game. McLeod said the Cubs plan for Johnson to report to Double-A Tennessee and make a start sometime in the first week June. Johnson has been on the DL since the beginning of the season with back a back injury.
The Cubs released LHP Phil Coke according to the transactions page on Cubs.com. The Cubs designed Coke for assignment May 18.
According to a report from Chris Cotillo, six teams have shown interest in Coke.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Jason McLeod did not provide an update on Dan Vogelbach Tuesday while talking to the beat writers. Vogelbach appeared to suffer a hamstring injury going from first to second on double in Monday game. According to Bruce Miles, the Cubs have no plans to move Dan Vogelbach to the outfield.
• Bruce Levine asked Jason McLeod if Javier Baez’s future is in the outfield. McLeod did not rule out Javier Baez seeing time in the outfield, but there are currently no plans to move him out of the infield.
• Addison Russell comes of age in Cubs’ win according to ESPN Chicago.
• Jon Lester and Max Scherzer square off in the series finale at Wrigley on Wednesday night. The Sun-Times talked about the money matchup and the $365 million combined the two starters received in the off-season. And Comcast SportsNet also looked at the upcoming money showdown between the Cubs and Nationals.
• OF Chris Denorfia played in an extended Spring Training game Tuesday. Maddon said Denorfia is getting closer to a return.
• INF Tommy La Stella suffered a setback on a rehab assignment with Double-A Tennessee and was expected to be out at least another month at the time. According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Maddon said “don’t expect to see La Stella anytime soon.”
• Kris Bryant has homered in each of Kyle Hendricks’ last three starts.
• The Cubs have homered in a season-high six straight games … and the Cubs are currently behind the Nationals (32) and Brewers (32) and ahead of the Dodgers (29) for the most home runs in the National League this month. The Cubs have hit 30 home runs in May.
• All nine of the runs the Cubs scored before Addison Russell’s walk-off double were on six home runs dating back to Anthony Rizzo’s three run homer on Saturday night at Chase Field.
• Addison Russell has hit safely in 11 of the 14 games he’s played at Wrigley Field.
• Comcast SportsNet is going to televise 15 minor league games … starting with Triple-A Iowa taking on Triple-A El Paso on Sunday (May 31). Former Cubs’ Keith Moreland and Brian McRae will be part of the broadcasts that feature two games with Cubs’ affiliates.
And last, but not least, RHP Johnny Cueto had an MRI on Tuesday that showed no structural damage.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs selected Alex Burnett off waivers from the Orioles
2005 – Cubs signed Cody Ransom
2005 – Mark Prior left the game against the Rockies in the fourth inning after a line drive off the bat of Brad Hawpe hit him in the right elbow. An MRI revealed a fracture in the elbow and he would be out indefinitely. Prior returned a month later. Todd Wellemeyer took over for Prior, Derrek Lee hit two home runs and both Neifi Perez and Corey Patterson went deep in the Cubs 10-3 victory over the Rockies.
1997 – Royals selected Larry Casian off waivers from the Cubs
1984 – Cincinnati’s Mario Soto is ejected from the game when he shoved third base umpire Steve Rippley for calling Ron Cey’s foul ball down the left field line a home run. Although the decision was reversed, Soto also attacked Cubs coach Don Zimmer. National League President, Chub Feeney suspended Soto for five games, the first of two suspensions that season for Soto.
1972 – Cubs purchased Ron Dunn from the Orioles
1969 – Todd Hundley, born
1963 – Cubs purchased Tom Baker from the Orioles and Ellis Burton from the Indians
1935 – Jerry Kendall, born
1884 – Fred Goldsmith became the first Cubs pitcher to hit two home runs in one game. Goldsmith led the Chicago National League Ball Club to a 14-6 victory over Buffalo.