It was a good weekend for the North Side Nine at Wrigley Field that had a disappointing ending. The Cubs beat the Cardinals on Friday and Saturday as the rivalry kicked back into high gear after Anthony Rizzo was thrown at late in Friday’s game.
The Cubs took two of three from the Cardinals, the second straight series win over the Redbirds. While the Cardinals spent a majority of the three days chirping, the Cubs played good ball and finished the week with a 5-2 record against the Pirates and Cardinals.
The loss Sunday really put a serious dent into the Cubs goal of winning the division. Time is running out. With the Cardinals and Pirates winning Sunday, the Cubs are two games behind the Pirates in the standings and six back of St. Louis with 13 games left on the schedule.
Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant cemented their names in the Cubs’ history book while Starlin Castro had the opportunity to do something at Wrigley he had never done before Friday. And Addison Russell turned in one of the best defensive plays one will ever see to end a ballgame.
Along with a few videos and Joe Maddon setting the record straight, here are the headlines from the last three days.
Rambling about the Cubs with a Playoff Game that You Can Taste
From the Wire: Cubs Activate OF Jorge Soler from Disabled List
Jorge Soler rejoined the Cubs in Pittsburgh after being activated from the DL. Soler spent time with Myrtle Beach in the Mills Cup Championship Series and his return to the lineup paid dividends for the Cubs on Saturday afternoon.
MLB Pipeline Names Ryan Williams, Kyle Schwarber the Cubs Pitching and Hitting Prospects of the Year
MLB Pipeline tabbed Kyle Schwarber its Position Player Prospect of the Year, so it was a foregone conclusion Schwarber would be the Cubs top hitting prospect for 2015.
RHP Ryan Williams had an excellent season that started with Low-A South Bend. Williams skipped Myrtle Beach and finished the year with Double-A Tennessee. Williams is viewed as the favorite to be the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
- MLB Pipeline Names Ryan Williams, Kyle Schwarber the Cubs Pitching and Hitting Prospects of the Year
The Daily CCO: Thirty Homers for Rizzo and Other Cubs News and Notes
The Cubs finished the 11-game road trip with a 7-4 record. And during the finale in Pittsburgh, Anthony Rizzo joined Billy Williams as the only two lefties in franchise history with multiple 30-plus home runs seasons.
Kris Bryant had a huge road trip. The report includes all of the news, notes and links … plus This Day in Cubs History.
The Starlin Castro Game – Cubs 8, Cardinals 3
Starlin Castro broke the 3-3 tie with a two-run homer in the fifth and added a three-run shot in the sixth. Castro tied a career-high with six RBI, the same amount of runs he drove in during his big league debut more than five years ago.
The Cubs pen did an excellent job after Tommy Hunter picked up a huge final out in the fifth inning.
Starlin Castro Makes a Long Overdue Curtain Call
Starlin Castro has responded in a positive way to his role change with the Cubs. Castro was once viewed as a savior of the franchise but since making his debut as a 20-year old in 2010, Castro has become a lightning rod for the media and fan base.
In a season filled with memorable games and moments, Starlin Castro added to the list on Friday. Castro made his first ever curtain call at Wrigley Field.
The Daily CCO: Maddon Sends a Message, Don’t Mess with These Cubs
The Cardinals threw at Anthony Rizzo in Friday’s game and Joe Maddon did not hold back in his post-game press conference. Maddon called the Cardinals out for the classless act and let the rest of baseball know that these aren’t the same old Cubs.
Maddon questioned the Cardinals Way. And in the process gained more respect from the rest of baseball while getting under the Cardinals skin. Even their play-by-play guys were taking shots at Maddon on Saturday.
Report includes all of the links and news, plus This Day in Cubs History.
Bryant and Soler Lead Offense on Bullpen Day, Russell’s Defense Saves the Game – Cubs 5, Cardinals 4
Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler scored the Cubs first two runs. And the two went back-to-back in the fifth with solo blasts. Tommy La Stella delivered a pinch-hit single that plated Chris Denorfia and ended up being the difference in the game.
After the Cardinals leaned into a pitch in the ninth and Hector Rondon was ejected, the Cardinals pounced on Zac Rosscup. Pedro Strop recorded two outs as the Cardinals cut the Cubs lead from 5-1 to 5-4.
Addison Russell made an incredible diving stop and flipped to Javier Baez to end the game.
- Bryant and Soler Lead Offense on Bullpen Day, Russell’s Defense Saves the Game – Cubs 5, Cardinals 4
How the Cubs Picks in Rounds 11-40 of the 2015 Draft Class Performed
The Cubs drafted several intriguing arms and position players in the later rounds of the draft. And many of those players will participate in fall instructs.
Here are the numbers, along with a link for how the first 10 picks of the draft performed during their pro debuts.
The Daily CCO: Kris Bryant Ties Cubs All-Time Rookie Home Run Record and Other News
Kris Bryant passed Billy Williams’ mark for RBI by a Cubs rookie on the road trip and Saturday he equaled the Sweet Swingin’ Hall of Famer’s 25 home runs in 1961. Bryant is closing in on 100 RBI for the season and a NL Rookie of the Year award.
Report includes the news, notes and links. Plus a StatCast look at Addison Russell’s play and This Day in Cubs History.
Cubs Fall Short in Finale, Take Two of Three from Cardinals – Cardinals 4, Cubs 3
Jon Lester gave up two home runs in the first inning that allowed the Cardinals to jump out to a 3-0 lead. By the time the Cubs had their first hit, a one-out single by Jon Lester in the third inning, the Cardinals were up by four runs.
Anthony Rizzo singled in two runs with two outs in the third and made it a 4-2 game. After Tommy La Stella walked with the bases loaded and forced in Chris Coghlan, Rizzo was thrown out at the plate trying to score from third on a flyout to right center.
The Cubs kept the pressure on in the ninth before coming up a run short to the Cardinals.