The news out of Des Moines on Friday night was very positive. The I-Cubs won a baseball game and the comments Javier Baez made to the Des Moines Register were encouraging.
Javier Baez was 3-for-4 with two RBI, two stolen bases and a strikeout on Friday night in Iowa’s 6-5 win over the Nashville Sounds. Baez stole second and third in the sixth inning.
Following Friday’s game, Javier Baez told Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register, “I think I found my swing. Well, I don’t think, I know I found my swing. I’m feeling what I was feeling when I was doing good. When I was in Double-A. I haven’t felt like this since I’ve been here.”
In 16 games, Baez is batting .311/.382/.443 with two doubles, two home runs, five walks and 17 strikeouts for a .825 OPS. Baez has stolen five bases.
Taking out his first game of the season in which he was 1-for-6 with a double and three strikeouts, Baez is hitting .327/.403/.455 with a double, two home runs, five walks and 14 strikeouts for a .858 OPS in 15 games.
David Ross is expected in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the Pirates to catch Jon Lester. Ross talked to the media prior to Friday’s game and said he felt fine a day after leaving the game with abdominal tightness. Ross did not think what he felt Thursday was oblique related.
Ross said that Joe Maddon thought it was best that he bunt with two strikes instead of risking further injury.
It was unclear before Friday’s game how much of what Ross said to the media was a smokescreen in order to not tip off to the Pirates the Cubs would be playing with a short bench. When Maddon lifted Welington Castillo for Miguel Montero in the sixth inning, it signaled Ross was indeed okay to play. Maddon would not have taken Castillo out of the game and risk injury to Montero without Ross being available. Ross was on deck in the 10th to hit after Matt Szczur before the Pirates turned a double play to end the inning.
Tommy La Stella
INF Tommy La Stella started his rehab assignment with Double-A Tennessee on Friday. La Stella hit leadoff and played second base. La Stella was 0-for-4 on the night. Ryan Dent replaced La Stella in the eighth inning.
Albert Almora Jr.
Albert Almora Jr. had a big night in the Smokies’ 9-4 win over the Biscuits. Almora Jr. went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, a walk, two runs scored and a RBI.
Almora Jr. is now batting .284/.324/.347 in 24 games with four doubles and a triple. Almora Jr. has walked seven times with nine strikeouts in 95 at bats.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Joe Maddon told the beat writers he thinks batting practice is “the most overrated thing we do.” The Cubs did not take batting practice Friday and with the game taking five hours and 12 innings to complete, the Cubs will not take BP prior to Saturday’s game.
• Follow Friday’s game, Maddon said his team played a good game. The Cubs did not pitch well, but the Cubs “played really well.” Maddon was happy with everything he saw with the exception of the pitching. And he pointed out the game should have been put away before it was.
• James Russell tied Willie Hernandez for the most appearances by a left-handed pitcher in franchise history. Russell pitched in his 323rd game for the Cubs on Friday and did an excellent job keeping the Pirates off the board for two innings.
• Kerry Wood is hosting a home run derby at Wrigley Field on Thursday, June 18 to raise money for the Wood Family Foundation and Cubs Charities … Kerry Wood and Friends Battle of the Bats.
• Milton Bradley was ordered to begin serving the 32-month jail sentence he received following a conviction on multiple counts of domestic violence and abuse.
• Joe Maddon is adjusting to Friday nights in the city according to a report from the Tribune.
• Cubs’ winning is something to believe in, if you can forget the losing according to Rick Telander.
• Former Cubs’ closer RHP Jose Veras re-signed with the Houston Astros on a minor league deal.
• Jason Hammel met one of his heroes.
• The Padres are targeting Tuesday’s opener against the Cubs for Wil Myers’ to return to the lineup.
And last, but not least, Cubs fans of a certain vintage really dislike the Mets almost as much as the Cardinals. It is unlikely that any Cubs fan couldn’t stand the Mets as much as Ron Santo. Santo obviously had his reasons that Paul Sullivan highlighted in the Tribune. It always gave Santo great joy when the Cubs beat the Mets. Santo would really like this version of the Cubs, especially after they swept four from the New Yorkers in his house.
This Day In Cubstory
2005 – Cubs sent Mike Moriarty to the Orioles as part of a conditional deal
2001 – Sammy Sosa became the 33rd player all-time to hit 400 home runs. Sosa went deep at Wrigley against the Astros’ Shane Reynolds for the historic homer.
2001 – Cubs released Damon Buford
1997 – Cubs collected 21 hits in a 16-7 win over the Padres. Brian McRae had four hits and Sammy Sosa went 4-for-4 with a career-high six RBI.
1996 – In a 13-1 win over the Astros, Sammy Sosa became the first player in Cubs history to hit two homers in the same inning. Sosa went deep twice in the seventh inning once off Jeff Tabaka (solo) and the other off Jim Dougherty (two-run).
1994 – Cubs released Willie Wilson
1972 – Rick Monday hit three home runs in support of Burt Hooton in an 8-1 victory in Philadelphia.
1966 – Cubs signed free agent Rick Bladt
1959 – Bob Patterson, born
1959 – Mitch Webster, born
1954 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Bob Will
1949 – Cubs traded Hank Schenz to the Brooklyn Dodgers for Bob Ramazzotti
1949 – Rick Reuschel, born
1939 – Cardinals purchased Woody English from the Cubs
1926 – Rube Walker, born
1924 – Brooklyn Robins purchased Tiny Osborne from the Cubs
1902 – Howard Fitzgerald, born