Happy Father’s Day!
Switch-hitting outfielder Ian Happ crossed another first off his list Saturday night. In his second game with Short-Season Eugene, Ian Happ launched his first home run. A solo shot over the wall in right field off rehabbing Hisashi Iwakuma in the fourth inning.
Happ started in center field and batted third for the Emeralds in a 10-4 loss to Everett.
Ian Happ was 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk Saturday and is 2-for-9 with a home run, a walk and two strikeouts in his first 10 plate appearances.
Mike Olt made his second straight start for the Smokies on Saturday night. Olt hit clean-up and played third base for Double-A Tennessee. Olt was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and two runs scored with two strikeouts.
Mike Olt is 3-for-6 with a double, a triple, a walk, two strikeouts and three runs scored after two rehab games.
OF Billy McKinney is on fire right now. After going a combined 5-for-5 in the two games Friday, McKinney came out swinging Saturday night. McKinney doubled in his first at bat, which ran his on-base streak to eight straight at bats (single, walk, single, double, single, walk, single, double).
McKinney smacked a two-run homer in his second at bat and drove in Mike Olt with a single in his third at bat. McKinney reached base in 10 straight plate appearances (single, walk, single, double, single, walk, single, double, home run, single). McKinney snapped his string in the seventh inning when he flied out to left.
McKinney went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and three RBI on Saturday night.
Since his promotion to Double-A Tennessee, the 20-year old McKinney is batting .303/.350/.468 with 10 doubles, a triple and two home runs for a .818 OPS. Billy McKinney has nine walks and 16 strikeouts in 33 games.
The Cubs are getting closer to sending OF Jorge Soler out on a rehab assignment. Soler took batting practice Friday. And he did some light running prior to Saturday’s game as part of his workout.
Jorge Soler is out of the walking boot.
Joe Maddon said Soler was improving and hinted to him getting back on the field soon.
Prior to Saturday’s game in which Starlin Castro drove in the winning runs in the 10th inning, Joe Maddon told the beat writers he talked to him about Friday’s mental error. Castro was still thinking about Friday when he reported to the park Saturday according to Maddon.
Maddon said, “He needs our support right now, he doesn’t need our anger or dissent or whatever.”
The Cubs have not discussed moving Castro off shortstop. Maddon said, “I feel our responsibility is to get him better and eradicate the mental mistakes.” According to ESPN Chicago, Maddon “is firmly in Castro’s corner.”
Starlin Castro put Friday behind him and he stepped up big in extra innings and really throughout Saturday’s game in the field. And Maddon was really happy for his shortstop.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Jon Lester said Saturday he will never second-guess his manager. Lester was not happy when Maddon removed him from the game in the seventh inning. But Lester explained he never wants to leave a game, he’s a competitor. Maddon did not have any problems with Lester’s reaction and he would rather have a player react the way Lester did than no reaction at all.
• RHP Corey Black struggled Saturday night. Black gave up two runs on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts in two innings. The walks are very concerning. In 11 1/3 innings out of the Smokies’ pen, Black has now walked nine batters while giving up nine hits with 11 strikeouts (4.76 ERA, 1.59 WHIP).
• Junior Lake played first base again for the Iowa Cubs on Saturday night.
• RHP Jae-Hoon Ha pitched an inning Saturday night for Short-Season Eugene. Ha gave up two runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts in an inning of work.
• After 17 games for Low-A South Bend, OF Kevin Encarnacion is batting .255/.345/.373 with a double, a triple and a home run for a .717 OPS.
• According to Bob Elliott, the Blue Jays are eyeing Brewers’ closer Francisco Rodriguez. The Brewers are looking for help at first, third and center field. Toronto has also shown interest in Tyler Clippard, Ryan Madson and Jason Frasor according to the report.
• OF Mark Zagunis is hitting .354/.446/.595/1.041 over his last 21 games with five doubles, a triple and four home runs. Zagunis has walked 10 times with 11 strikeouts.
• Joe Maddon talked about his father with the Sun-Times.
This Day In Cubstory
2008 – The Cubs beat the White Sox behind a nine-run fourth inning that included a three-run homer by Aramis Ramirez, a solo shot by Mike Fontenot and two home runs by Jim Edmonds
1981 – Jeff Baker, born
1976 – The Giants signed amateur free agent Bob Brenly
1960 – Richie Ashburn played his first game in Philadelphia since being traded to Cubs in the off-season
1956 – Rick Sutcliffe, born
1942 – Dom Dallesandro hit a pinch-hit grand slam with two outs in the ninth that helped the Cubs beat the Giants 7-2 at the Polo Grounds
1936 – The Cubs won their 15th straight game with a 7-2 victory over the Dodgers in the first game of a doubleheader at Ebbets Field. The Dodgers snapped the Cubs winning streak with a 6-4 win in game two.
1928 – The Cubs split a doubleheader with the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the first game 2-1 and lost the second 4-1. After grounding out in the bottom of the ninth in the second game, Hack Wilson climbed into the stands and attacked Edward Young, a milkman who had been drinking more than milk. Young was insulting Wilson during the game. Gabby Hartnett and Joe Kelly broke up the fight after which Riggs Stephenson popped out for the final out. National League President John Heydler fined Wilson $100 and Judge Francis P. Allegretti fined Young $1.
1907 – Mordecai Brown won his tenth consecutive game when the Cubs beat the Cardinals 2-0 at West Side Grounds. Catcher Johnny Kling threw out four runners trying to steal second base.