The Cubs topped the Giants for the third time in as many days Saturday and improved to a season-high 13 games over .500 with a 61-48 record. The Cubs have won 10 of 12 and will enter play Sunday afternoon 2 ½ games ahead of the Giants for the second NL Wild Card. Joe Maddon’s team posted its 61st win of the season Saturday … the Cubs won 61 games during the 2012 season.
As Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper pointed out Saturday, the Cubs currently sit in third place in the National League Central. The Cubs would be tied with Yankees for the second best record in the American League.
Starlin Castro talked to the beat writers Saturday afternoon. Castro hit early in the cage and got his work in before answering questions.
Castro admitted he was frustrated, hurt and took it personally Friday when Joe Maddon explained to him the team was making a change at shortstop. Castro had a different perspective Saturday and wants to do what is best for the team to win games.
Joe Maddon said Saturday that he would prefer to have one shortstop and not a rotation at the position. Maddon added the Cubs have had internal discussions about Castro playing other positions but no one has talked to him yet.
Starlin Castro handled the situation in a professional manner. Castro wants to help the Cubs win games and said he would be ready to play when he’s called on.
- Full Report from Carrie Muskat
- Full Report from ESPN Chicago
- Full Report from Comcast SportsNet
- ESPN Audio – Starlin Castro
Javier Baez did not collect a hit in Iowa’s 4-1 win over Omaha, but Baez walked twice, scored a run and drove in a run in four plate appearances. Baez played shortstop and was 0-for-2 with two walks, a RBI and a run scored.
In 12 games since returning from the DL, Baez is 12-for-53 with four doubles, a triple, three home runs, five walks and 17 strikeouts (.226/.317/.509/.826).
Tommy La Stella
Tommy La Stella hit third at second base Saturday for the Smokies in the 14-1 win over the Jackson Generals.
La Stella played the entire game and was 1-for-5 with two runs scored. La Stella has played in back-to-back games two different times now. La Stella is 7-for-22 in six games on the current rehab assignment with two doubles.
The Cubs are supposed to re-evaluate La Stella on Sunday to determine what the next step in the process for him.
Tommy La Stella played in two games for a total of six at bats for the Cubs before he landed on the DL in April.
Pierce Johnson put together another impressive outing Saturday night in Double-A Tennessee’s 14-1 victory over Jackson. Johnson gave up one run on three hits and a walk in seven innings. Johnson struck out seven and the only run he allowed was a solo homer by Aderlin Rodriguez in the fourth inning. Johnson made 104 pitches, 68 for strikes.
Pierce Johnson is 6-0 in 11 starts this season with a 1.61 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. Johnson has allowed 11 runs on 46 hits with 23 walks and 49 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings.
News and Notes
• James Shields cleared waivers according to Buster Olney along with “lots of big-contract players.”
• Chase Utley hit two doubles and scored two runs in four at bats for the Phillies on Saturday night. Utley is 3-for-9 in two games back from the disabled list.
• From Christopher Kamka: Only five of Kris Bryant’s 15 longballs have been solo home runs. Kris Bryant has hit six two-run homers, two three-run homers and two grand slams. And the home run Bryant hit Saturday off Matt Cain was only the fourth time Cain has given up a longball on a 0-2 count in the 171 home runs he has allowed in his career.
• Kris Bryant is batting .278/.395/.574 with eight doubles, three triples and 12 home runs for a .969 OPS in 49 games at Wrigley this season.
• Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to six games Saturday and his 64 RBI leads the 2015 rookie class. And Joe Maddon said Bryant is “one of the better young baseball players” he’s had. Bryant is 6-for-21 in his last seven games with a double and a home run (.286/.464/.476).
• Kyle Schwarber also extended his hitting streak to six games Saturday. Schwarber has nine multi-hit games already in the big leagues.
• Addison Russell recorded his second three-hit game of the season Saturday. Russell is batting .289/.333/.421 in 21 games since the break with four doubles, two home runs and a .754 OPS.
• ESPN Chicago: Cubs take down Giants again as the rookies have their day.
• ESPN Chicago: Rookies rolling, Maddon on his game and time to believe in the Cubs.
• In a game he started at first base and ended at second base, Christian Villanueva smacked his 15th home run of the season for the I-Cubs. Villanueva hit a three-run shot in the seventh inning. Villanueva is batting .274/.330/.474 with 19 doubles, two triples and 15 home runs for a .803 OPS in 94 games for Iowa this season.
• The Cubs promoted 11th round pick, INF Matt Rose to Low-A South Bend. Rose batted .254/.288/.395 with seven doubles and three home runs for a .683 OPS in 31 games for Short-Season Eugene.
And last, but not least, after Saturday’s game Jesse Rogers reported the Cubs are the fourth highest scoring team in the National League since the break. The Cubs were ranked 11th in scoring in the first half.
This Day In Cubstory
2008 – Micah Hoffpauir tied a PCL record when he homered in each of his first four at bats in Iowa’s 15-3 win over Round Rock.
2005 – Cubs traded Mike Remlinger and cash to the Red Sox for Olivio Astacio
1988 – The first official night game was played at Wrigley Field with the Cubs beating the Mets 6-4.
1966 – Bob Scanlan, born
1951 – Steve Swisher, born
1950 – Junior Kennedy, born
1948 – Bill Campbell, born
1913 – Cubs acquired Hippo Vaughn from Kansas City of the American Association for Lew Richie
1906 – Jack Taylor beat the Dodgers 5-3 in Brooklyn and recorded his 187th straight complete game, a Major League record. Taylor’s streak of complete games began on June 20, 1901 and during his streak he also made 15 relief appearances. Taylor’s streak ended on Aug. 13 when he was replaced in the third inning of a game against the Dodgers.