What a first two months of the season it has been for the Chicago Cubs. With the team’s league leading sixth walk-off win of the season on Sunday, the Cubs finished May with a 14-14 record. After posting a 12-8 record in April this is the first time since 2008 the Cubs had back-to-back months with at least a .500 record.
The Cubs improved to 14-10 in 24 one-run games, five of the last eight games have been decided by a single run and 10 of the team’s 14 wins last month were in one-run games. Half of the 48 games the Cubs have played this year have been decided by one-run.
Joe Maddon said Sunday the Cubs have played better than the record indicates (26-22). Maddon thinks playing close games is great for the Cubs development. The Cubs don’t quit.
“Listen man, you have to love the fight. If you’re standing or sitting in the captain’s chair and you have a bunch of guys who can fight like that, what else could you possibly want? We’re not going to be perfect every night, we’re going to make mistakes, of course we are. But if you have that kind of fight, I’ll take it.”
Anthony Rizzo pointed out, “Everyone’s believing more. It’s nice. We stayed afloat through April and May, and now we can really take off and that’s what we want to do.”
Maddon believes in his guys and he really thinks the Cubs are playoff-caliber team. The Cubs are 18-12 versus teams with a .500 or better record this season.
The Cubs enter play on June 1 four games over .500, six back of the Cardinals in the division and in the mix for a playoff spot in the National League.
Based on the way the Cubs have played over the first two months, as Pat Hughes says, tighten those seatbelts and given them an extra tug …
100 Years Later
Talking about history repeating itself as both the Cubs and Royals wore throwback uniforms of the 1915 Federal League teams, the Whales and Packers on Sunday.
Kyle Schwarber finished May with his fourth straight two-hit game. Schwarber was 2-for-4 in the Smokies 5-1 loss to Mobile on Sunday.
After hitting .297/.443/.582 in 28 games in May with a 1.026 OPS, Schwarber is batting .327/.454/.633 in 45 games with seven doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, 36 walks and 39 strikeouts for a 1.087 OPS.
Javier Baez was 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and no strikeouts in Iowa’s 8-4 win over El Paso on Sunday. Baez is batting .306/.381/.495 in 30 games with six doubles, five home runs, 10 walks and 32 strikeouts for a .876 OPS.
Over his last 29 games, Baez hit .314/.392/.505 with five doubles, five home runs, 10 walks and 29 strikeouts for a .896 OPS. Baez played second base on Sunday.
Baez has played 15 games at second and 14 games at shortstop.
Carl Edwards Jr.
Carl Edwards Jr. made his Triple-A debut on Saturday night. And it did not go well. Edwards completed one inning and gave up two runs on one hit with three walks and no strikeouts.
News, Notes and Rumors
• After Sunday’s win, Jon Lester tweeted, “Wada you think about that?!?! Great way to close out the homestand! Pen was shut down and David Ross with the working man’s walk-off. NVRQT”
• The Cubs slipped out of Buster Olney’s top 10 for the week after going 2-3 on the homestand. Olney’s top 10: Cardinals, Astros, Royals, Giants, Dodgers, Nationals, Twins, Tigers, Pirates and Rangers.
• Joe Maddon embraces the loss of September off day according to Comcast SportsNet.
• According to the Sun-Times, Maddon preaches focusing on the moment to the promising Cubs.
• Chris De Luca reported Cubs’ starting pitchers are 8-0 with a 2.86 ERA in 22 games after a loss.
• Patience is key for the Cubs’ growing pains according to a report from ESPN Chicago.
And last, but not least, Bruce Miles asked Joe Maddon about the Cubs high strikeout rate and occasional poor defense prior to Sunday’s game, Maddon’s response, “The easiest way to fix that is wait two years.”
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs claimed Jose Asencio off waivers from the Indians
2005 – Derrek Lee raised his batting average to .380 with five hits, including a home run, in a 9-5 victory over the Dodgers
2001 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Jae Kuk Ryu
1995 – Cubs released Felix Jose
1995 – Cubs selected Kerry Wood with the fourth overall pick in the draft. Wood signed on July 28
1995 – Cubs selected Adam Everett in the fourth round of the draft
1993 – Cubs traded Heathcliff Slocumb to the Indians for Jose Hernandez
1992 – Cubs selected Derek Wallace with the 11th overall pick in the draft
1992 – Cubs selected Brant Brown in the third round of the draft
1988 – Cubs selected Kevin Roberson in the 16th round of the draft
1982 – Cubs signed free agent Jay Johnstone
1981 – Carlos Zambrano, born
1966 – Ron Santo would go on to establish a modern-day Cubs mark by hitting in 28 consecutive games, but he went hitless the day after the hitting streak began. Santo was walked four times and hit by a pitch, not having an official at bat, the hitless day would not count against his streak.
1942 – Randy Hundley, born
1942 – Cubs selected Jimmie Foxx off waivers from the Red Sox
1919 – Hippo Vaughn went 3-for-3 and drove in the winning run in the seventh inning of a 3-1 victory over the Cardinals in St. Louis