Monday’s game in Pittsburgh was washed out after two long rain delays that totaled three hours and 29 minutes. The Cubs and Pirates played only four innings that were erased by the postponement. And the two teams will make up the game, likely in September.
As the Cubs waited out the rain the team moved ahead of the Giants by a half game for the second NL Wild Card when the Braves walked off with a 9-8 win over the Giants in 12 innings.
After the game was finally called, Jon Lester talked about the Cubs being in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs. And with several players going through the experience for the first time, Lester would like to see the Cubs “play stupid.”
Lester explained, “This is going to sound really bad, but I’ve always been a big believer in playing stupid. Being naïve. I saw it with the Rays in 2008. They were naïve to the situation. They had nothing to lose. We have nothing to lose. We’re not supposed to win. We’re supposedly still in the rebuilding stages. If we make the playoffs, that’s just an added bonus. I like that. I like we’re not really the underdog, but we’re not really expected to do anything.”
Lester said he lobbied with Joe Maddon to go back out after the first delay but that is “like arguing with your dad, you’re not going to change his mind.”
The Cubs could shift the rotation and have Jon Lester start against the Giants on Thursday instead of Saturday. Maddon said he would talk with Lester and Chris Bosio about altering the rotation in the wake of the postponement.
Jake Arrieta is starting Tuesday with Dan Haren scheduled to make his Cubs’ debut Wednesday. The Cubs had Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta lined up for the four-game series at Wrigley with the Giants.
Javier Baez was busy raking in Colorado Springs while the Cubs were dealing with the rain in Pittsburgh.
Iowa scored 10 runs in their final two at bats Monday night, six in the eighth and four in the ninth, and beat the Sky Sox 12-10. John Andreoli cleared the bases with a triple in the eighth and Javier Baez delivered a bases clearing double with two outs in the ninth with Iowa down 10-9 that ended up being the game winner.
Baez went 3-for-6 and was a home run shy of a cycle. Baez doubled, tripled and drove in three runs with a strikeout on the night.
Since returning to the I-Cubs, Javier Baez is 11-for-33 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, three walks and 13 strikeouts in seven games (.333/.421/.697).
Kris Bryant was in the starting lineup Monday after leaving Sunday’s game in the fifth inning when he was tagged in the head sliding headfirst in second base. Bryant met with the beat writers and told them he is “pretty much done with headfirst slides.”
The Cubs’ rookie third baseman, according to the Sun-Times, said “he plans to change the way he slides, wants to go feet first from now on, assuming he can control the instinct to dive.”
Joe Maddon and the coaching staff “encourage players to slide feet first” according to ESPN Chicago.
Miguel Montero and Tommy La Stella
Miguel Montero and Tommy La Stella were in the lineup for Double-A Tennessee in the Smokies 4-2 loss to the Barons on Monday night.
La Stella played second base and was 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Stephen Bruno replaced him in the seventh inning. Montero went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as the Smokies’ designated hitter.
Joe Maddon shifted the timetable on when Montero will be activated from the disabled list. After saying Sunday that Montero should not need more than three rehab games and he should return Thursday, Maddon told the beat writers Monday that Montero should be activated at some point during the weekend series against the Giants.
The Cubs were rather busy when the 2015-16 International signing period began last month (July 2). The Cubs reportedly agreed to terms with six prospects at the time and well exceeded the signing bonus pool.
The Cubs agreed to terms with the following players on or before July 2: SS Yonathan Perlaza – $1.3 million; OF Yonathan Sierra Estiwal – $2.5 million; SS Aramis Ademan – $2 million; C Miguel Amaya – $1 million; RHP Yunior Perez – $600,000; 3B Christopher Martinez – $1 million.
According to Jesse Sanchez, the Cubs finalized the contract with C Miguel Amaya. And his signing bonus is for $1 million, not the $1.25 million that was reported. Amaya received a $250,000 scholarship as part of signing with the Cubs.
RHP Ben Rowen was claimed Monday off waivers by the Blue Jays. Rowen was added to Toronto’s 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
The Cubs designated Rowen for assignment Friday to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Dan Haren.
Ben Rowen signed a minor league contract July 5 and he made eight appearances for the Iowa Cubs. The submariner was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Rowen’s contract was purchased on July 29 and he was added to the active roster. Rowen did not pitch in a game for the Cubs.
News and Notes
• The Cubs checked in at No. 10 on ESPN’s weekly power rankings.
• According to the Tribune, the Cubs’ starting staff feels strong and confident they’ll finish strong.
• The Cubs are hoping Clayton Richard will stay in the organization.
This Day In Cubstory
2011 – Cubs completed a three-game sweep over the Pirates with a 7-6 win. James McDonald started the game in which Carlos Pena, Geovany Soto and Blake DeWitt homered.
1997 – Kevin Tapani made his Cubs debut after signing with the team in the off-season and missing time following surgery to remove scar tissue in his right index finger. Tapani beat the Braves 3-1.
1991 – Corey Black, born
1987 – Cubs released Ron Davis
1982 – Cubs released Hector Cruz
1973 – Bobby Howry, born
1969 – Glenn Beckert collected five hits and Ferguson Jenkins struck out 12 batters in the Cubs 9-3 win over the Astros in Houston
1969 – Troy O’Leary, born
1968 – Pinch hitter Lee Elia singled in the winning run as the Cubs beat the Cardinals 6-5 in 13 innings at Busch Stadium. 47,443 were on hand for the unveiling of the Stan Musial statue
1961 – Cubs beat the Dodgers 4-1 with Bob Anderson outpitching Sandy Koufax. George Altman hit two homers off Koufax, the first time anyone hit two homers off Koufax in a single game.
1960 – The Reds Billy Martin broke Jim Brewer’s checkbone after he threw his bat toward the mound. Martin claimed that Brewer was throwing at his head. Ernie Banks homered in the Cubs 5-3 win at Wrigley
1955 – Ernie Banks hit three home runs in an 11-0 victory over the Pirates at Wrigley Field. The first time Banks hit three homers in the same game.
1949 – Cubs acquired Bobby Rhawn and cash from the White Sox for Johnny Ostrowski
1948 – Filling in for Red Barber, Ernie Harwell called his first big league game, the Cubs and Dodgers from Ebbets Field
1944 – Rich Nye, born
1934 – Dallas Green, born
1931 – Cubs purchased Billy Herman from Louisville (American Association) for $50,000