It wasn’t pretty Saturday night but the Cubs won for the ninth time in nine games. Nine times? Nine times. And the Cubs are 15-1 in their last 16 games.
The Cubs are in the middle of a very good run and are to the point where the players expect to win every game. The Cubs own the fourth best record in baseball and have won more road games than any other team in the National League (33-24). The winning streak has come at the right time. The Cubs have maintained their lead over the Giants for the second NL Wild Card (4 ½ games) and have kept pace with the Pirates (1 ½ games back) and the Cardinals in the NL Central.
The Cardinals, Pirates and Giants were all victorious on Saturday.
While Saturday was an ugly victory, a win is a win and they all count the same. Joe Maddon has said with a young team every night is not going to be an oil painting. After the mistake-filled win on the South Side, Maddon said Saturday was more like paint by numbers.
Kris Bryant reached base three times Saturday and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Bryant was 2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and two strikeouts. And his hot streak coincided with the Cubs returning to Wrigley.
Due to his struggles in July, the general perception has been that he is not producing at the plate. And that could not be the furthest thing from what is actually happening.
Bryant has been rather consistent at Wrigley this season. In 53 home games, Bryant is batting .279/.394/.574 with nine doubles, three triples and 13 home runs for a .967 OPS. His road numbers (.238/.338/.342 with 10 doubles, one triple and three home runs) are what have contributed to a .257/.365/.452 slash line with a .817 OPS in 106 games.
Kris Bryant has three of the Cubs six hitting streaks of 10 or more games this season. Bryant has hit safely in 12 games twice and his season-long hitting streak is 14 games.
Addison Russell has gone from non-roster invitee in the spring to the I-Cubs Opening Day shortstop to a starting second baseman in the big leagues and now he back at his natural position. Russell is the everyday shortstop in the majors for a team that has their sights set on the post-season.
Russell has handled all of the changes this year and he has really turned things around at the plate.
Since the break, the 21-year old shortstop is batting .277/.324/.404 with six doubles, two home runs and a .728 OPS. Russell has six walks and 18 strikeouts in 94 at bats.
Russell told Comcast SportsNet he was not expecting to be in the big leagues this season. Russell is trying to take advantage of the opportunity he has been given and is working every day to get better.
Kyle Hendricks spent time with Chris Bosio on Saturday working on correcting flaws in his mechanics that have not been right all season. Bosio and Hendricks found, what Hendricks called obvious issues, in his mechanics when the two reviewed tape from starts he made at the Double-A level.
Hendricks said he has gotten into a lot of bad habits this season. He is looking forward to working on the corrections in the bullpen sessions this week leading up to his next start. Hendricks has struggled with his mechanics all year and sounded excited about the changes he and Bosio started working on Saturday.
There is a new Cubs book available on Amazon written by Gary Koca. And whenever it comes to the team’s history, we always make sure to pass on the information.
Great Chicago Cub Baseball Players Since 1876
“The Chicago Cubs are undoubtedly one of major league baseball’s most storied and historic franchises. Despite their complete lack of success since last appearing in a World Series in 1945, they remain one of baseball’s most popular teams, with millions of fans throughout the United Stated and all over the world. The Cubs are one of baseball’s longest continually running major league baseball teams, tracing their origins to the beginning of the National League in 1876. While the National Association – founded in 1871 – included the Boston (Atlanta) Braves, both teams have been in existence since the official beginning of the National League in 1876. However, the Cubs are the longest continually-running franchise in the same city in the history of baseball, since the Braves have played in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.
Despite their overall lack of success since 1945, the Chicago Cubs have fielded some of the best baseball players in the history of major league baseball. Players like A.G. Spalding, Cap Anson, Mordecai Brown, and Tinker to Evers to Chance are featured in this book along with the more recent Cub greats that include Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and Ryne Sandberg. This book will cover those specific players rather than the team as a whole, focusing of course on their years as a member of the Chicago Cubs.”
- Click Here to Purchase Great Chicago Cub Baseball Players Since 1876 on Amazon
News and Notes
• Joe Maddon said Saturday that Kyle Schwarber will probably not start behind the plate for Sunday’s finale against the Sox. With Chris Sale on the mound, it is unclear if Schwarber will get the day off or be in the starting lineup in either left field or DH. Based on Miguel Montero’s comments Saturday night, he will be behind the plate catching Dan Haren on Sunday.
• RHP Ryan Williams did something Saturday night that he had not done all season. Williams gave up a home run. The Lookouts’ Max Kepler took Williams deep in the first inning of Double-A Tennessee’s 4-1 victory over Chattanooga. Williams completed 117 innings over two minor league levels before allowing a longball. Williams is 8-2 in 13 games, 12 starts, for Double-A Tennessee with a 2.60 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. In 22 games, 20 starts, between Low-A South Bend and Double-A Tennessee, Williams is 12-3 with a 1.98 ERA and 0.87 WHIP (33 runs, 27 earned, on 92 hits with 15 walks and 89 strikeouts in 123 innings).
• After striking out a career-high eight batters Saturday night, over his last four starts RHP Jake Stinnett has 24 strikeouts with three walks in 25 2/3 innings.
• ESPN Chicago posted numbers from the Cubs’ current nine-game winning streak.
• Paul Sullivan reported the Cubs’ 15th win in 16 games was a cause for celebration.
• According to Nick Cafardo, RHP Daniel Bard is still in the Cubs’ organization and has been working out at the team’s facility in Arizona trying to fix his control problems. Bard has not appeared in an official game this season.
And last, but not least, the Sun-Times asked if Kyle Schwarber is a stretch for Rookie of the Year.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Ryne Sandberg was named interim manager of the Phillies
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Horacio Ramirez
1997 – The Cubs acquired Frisco Parotte from the Yankees for Rey Sanchez
1992 – Greg Maddux gave up four hits in the Cubs 1-0 victory over the Astros
1988 – Justin Grimm, born
1973 – Damian Jackson, born
1956 – Dee Fondy homered and Sam Jones struck out 13 batters as the Cubs beat the Braves at Wrigley Field.
1932 – It was Charlie Grimm Day at Wrigley Field. The Cubs rallied in front of 32,000 and beat the Braves 4-3.
1930 – The Cubs beat the Phillies 10-9 in the first game of a doubleheader and the second game of the twinbill was suspended in the 11th inning due to darkness with the game tied at three. Gabby Harnett drove in the winning run in game one and Hack Wilson hit his 41st homer of the season.
1911 – Frank Schulte set a record that would be broken in 1955 by Ernie Banks, when he hit his fourth grand slam of the season. The Cubs beat the Braves 13-6 in Boston