Kyle Schwarber had a night he will not forget Wednesday at Progressive Field in front of 40 or so family members and friends. Schwarber officially joined the Cubs’ 25 and Under Club with his four-hit performance.
Schwarber went 4-for-5 with a triple, three runs scored and two RBI. And his first hit, a triple in the second inning, drove in Chris Coghlan with the first of the Cubs’ 17 runs on the night. Schwarber admitted after the game he is just trying to take advantage of the opportunity he has right now.
Schwarber will be in the starting lineup for the next four games, one in Cleveland and three in Minneapolis. And for one night, he helped lengthen a lineup that hasn’t exactly been hitting the cover off the baseball.
Miguel Montero and Kyle Schwarber
Miguel Montero was in Joe Maddon’s original lineup for Wednesday’s game in Cleveland. Montero was scratched with back stiffness and David Ross was inserted in the lineup.
The first question that was asked, how would an injury to Montero impact Schwarber’s stay with the big league team? Maddon’s response, “I can’t answer that for sure, but I would bet no.”
Montero is not expected to miss any time. His injury was described as “not serious” but if he is not able to catch this week, David Ross will. Schwarber will not start behind the plate this week. Maddon said that if it was September, Montero would have played.
Tsuyoshi Wada clearly had his best outing of the season Wednesday night. Wada completed seven innings for the second time in his big league career (July 28, 2014) and just threw strikes after he was given a lead.
Joe Maddon talked to Wada following Wednesday’s start before he met with the media. And Wada led off the post-game press conference by telling the reporters, “I am a badass.”
Wada admitted he was sure what it meant, but he kept saying it due to the reaction he was getting.
Maddon said Tuesday that he thought Wada would be better Wednesday because of the conversation the two had. Wada pitched with a lot of confidence Wednesday after the Cubs put a six-spot on the board in the second inning.
Tsuyoshi Wada will obviously be making his next start.
RHP Neil Ramirez reported Wednesday to Double-A Tennessee and officially began his rehab assignment.
Ramirez retired all three batters he faced in the sixth inning, with a little help from Bijan Rademacher. Ramirez threw 12 pitches, seven for strikes.
Theo Epstein said Tuesday the Cubs planned to be cautious with Ramirez. The Cubs have not indicated when his next appearance will be, but at least Neil Ramirez is on a mound and working his way back to the big leagues.
RHP Pierce Johnson made his second start of the season Wednesday night and picked up the win. Johnson did not allow a run over five innings. He struck out four, walked a batter and surrendered three hits. Johnson made 65 pitches, 46 for strikes.
In two starts, Johnson is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP (no runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts in eight innings).
RHP Corey Black had a good outing Wednesday in the Smokies 8-0 win over the Mississippi Braves. Black wrapped up the shut out with two scoreless innings. Black gave up a hit without a walk and he struck out a batter.
In six relief appearances, Corey Black has allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits with six walks and nine strikeouts (3.86 ERA, 1.39 WHIP).
The St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals released a statement Wednesday regarding the investigation into the team’s involvement in hacking the Astros’ database.
The Cardinals have hired an attorney to conduct an internal inquiry. And as expected Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak said they are “committed to getting to the bottom of this matter.” Mozeliak said “the alleged conduct has no place in our game.” The Cardinals hold themselves to the highest standards and if the allegations are proven to be accurate they will “take appropriate action against anyone involved.”
Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak explained to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that he does not think the FBI investigation should take away from the Cardinals past or future success.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Addison Russell has labeled his ability to make a diving stop, get to his feet and throw the man out as “pop-up time.”
• MLB announced Tony Perez and Ken Griffey Sr. will be the managers for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
• The Cubs’ 17-run margin of victory Wednesday night was the largest in a shutout win since May 13, 1969, a 19-0 victory over the Padres. Wednesday also marked the Cubs’ largest ever shutout win in Interleague play.
• Jesse Rogers posted five storylines to follow on ESPN Chicago.
• Ruben Amaro Jr. addressed the state of the Phillies and the front office. Amaro Jr. is not worried about his job and Ryne Sandberg has his full support according to a report from Comcast SportsNet Philly.
And last, but not least, Kyle Schwarber became just the fourth Cubs’ designated hitter to hit a triple Wednesday night. Schwarber joined Moises Alou, Todd Hollandsworth and Jeff Baker as the only four players in franchise history to hit a three-bagger as the Cubs’ DH.
This Day In Cubstory
2002 – In the first big league game to feature four players with at least 400 home runs, the Cubs beat the Rangers 4-3 on an Alex Gonzalez walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth. Sammy Sosa (475), Fred McGriff (459), Juan Gonzalez (401) and Rafael Palmeiro (460) played in the game.
1996 – Brant Brown hit his first three big league home runs, all in the same day. Brown took Chan Ho Park deep in the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter. The Cubs lost the first of two 9-6. Brown hit two homers in the nightcap to help lead the Cubs over the Dodgers 7-4.
1985 – Chris Coghlan, born
1939 – Lou Brock, born
1929 – Hack Wilson drove in six runs with a Grand Slam and a two-run homer in a Cubs 13-6 victory over the Cardinals, behind Guy Bush, at Wrigley Field
This Day In Baseball History
1972 – By a 5-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court confirms lower court rulings in the Curt Flood case, upholding baseball’s exemption from antitrust laws and the legitimacy of its reserve clause. Its decision is narrowly construed, however, and leaves the way open for legislation of collective bargaining to undercut the reserve system. By the year’s end the Major League owners would destroy it themselves by agreeing to salary arbitration.