We Will Never Forget!
Rain in Philadelphia wiped away the opener with the Phillies. The Cubs will now play two on Friday with game one set for a 4:05pm CDT first pitch. The weather looks like it will cooperate on what will be a long night of Cubs baseball. The forecast for Saturday is another story.
The Cubs gained ground on the Pirates and Cardinals while the Giants and Nationals had the night off. The Pirates lost in 13 innings to the Brewers and the Reds thumped the Cardinals. The Cubs are seven games back of the Cardinals and 2 ½ games behind the Pirates. The Cubs lead the Giants by nine games, 10 in the loss column, for the second Wild Card.
The rainout forced Joe Maddon and Chris Bosio to change the starting rotation again. Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks will start Friday’s doubleheader. Arrieta gets the ball first, Hendricks in the nightcap. Dan Haren is still scheduled to start Saturday. Jason Hammel was pushed to Tuesday after the off day. Hammel and Jon Lester will start the day-night doubleheader at PNC Park. The Cubs will have a bullpen day Sunday in the finale with the Phillies, basically Johnny Wholestaff against Aaron Harang. Maddon did not say Thursday who will take the ball first.
Jake Arrieta is slated to start Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Arrieta will miss the Cardinals at Wrigley. Arrieta’s next three starts would be the Brewers (Sept. 21), Pirates (Sept. 26) and Reds (Oct. 1). If the Cubs are in the NL Wild Card game Oct. 7, Arrieta would pitch on extra rest.
Jorge Soler has hit off a tee and taken batting practice. Soler hit in the cage Thursday. Soler was expected to play a simulated game Friday because he cannot be sent out on a minor league rehab … the minor league season ended Monday. Soler has been on the DL since Aug. 24 with a left oblique strain.
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, rain in Philadelphia postponed a simulated game Thursday for Soler. Soler needs some playing time before he is activated. Maddon said Thursday, “You can’t throw him out in a pertinent game now … he might be okay. We’ll have to wait and see.” The Cubs could send Soler to fall instructs but that doesn’t begin until Sept. 21.
ESPN Chicago reported that Maddon “will have to wait a few days before penciling him in the lineup again.” Soler appears close but the Cubs would like to see him do more than hit in the cage before using him in a game.
Joe Maddon likes Kris Bryant in the outfield. And he really likes Javier Baez in the infield which could lead to even more time for Bryant in the outfield according to a report from ESPN Chicago. Maddon did not say Bryant is moving permanently to the outfield. Bryant will still see time at third base.
Cubs-Pirates Game Sept. 27
The Cubs announced Thursday the game on Sunday, Sept. 27 with the Pirates at Wrigley Field, originally listed as TBD, has been selected by ESPN and is scheduled to start at 7:08pm CDT.
The Cubs and Pirates kick off a three game series on Friday afternoon (1:20pm CDT) Sept. 25. The Cubs have not announced a start time for the Saturday, Sept. 26 game.
The game with the Pirates on Sept. 27 was originally scheduled to be the final regular season home game of the year. The Cubs and Royals make up the May 30 game that was postponed due to rain on Monday, Sept. 28 at 7:05pm CDT.
Former Cubs manager Rick Renteria could be a candidate for several of the managerial openings this off-season according to Nick Cafardo. Renteria has not talked publicly about the Cubs letting him go last fall to hire Joe Maddon. Renteria did a good job in his first, and only season, with the Cubs.
As Nick Cafardo pointed out, Renteria was a finalist for the Tigers’ job before Dave Dombrowski hired Brad Ausmus. Renteria could be a fit in Detroit if the Tigers make a change as was reported late Thursday or in Miami to replace Dan Jennings.
News and Notes
• Anthony Rizzo has played his way into the NL MVP conversation. The award is likely Bryce Harper’s to lose despite the fact the Nationals are the most disappointing and underachieving team of the year to this point of the season. Joel Sherman took a look at the incredible numbers Joey Votto has put up this season. Anthony Rizzo leads the majors in the advanced stat Win Probability Added according to ESPN.
• According to a report from the Tribune, Fernando Rodney could be a nice stopgap to spell and mentor Cubs’ young bullpen. Rodney explains in Paul Sullivan’s report why he wears his hat sideways.
• The Sun-Times asked if the Cubs’ success this season will help Dave Martinez land elusive, first managing job?
This Day In Cubstory
1998 – Sammy Sosa hit home run No. 59 in a 13-11 loss to the Brewers
1986 – Andrew Cashner, born
1973 – Oakland purchased Rico Carty from the Cubs
1971 – Juan Pizarro beat the Cardinals 7-0 at Wrigley Field. Paul Popovich hit the first grand slam of his career.
1969 – Cubs acquired Jimmie Hall from the Yankees for a PTBNL, Terry Bongiovanni and cash. The Cubs sent Rick Bladt to the Yankees on Jun. 6, 1970 to complete the trade.
1968 – Ferguson Jenkins lost 1-0 to the Mets at Wrigley Field. It was Jenkins fifth 1-0 loss of the 1968 season, tying a Major League record. Jenkins finished the year 20-15, and 20-6 in games the Cubs scored a run.
1965 – Cubs released Ellis Burton
1918 – Cubs lost 2-1 to the Red Sox in Game Six of the World Series. Each Sox player received $1,102 for winning the series, the Cubs players received $671 each … the smallest winning share for a World Series Champion in the history of the game. The Red Sox won the series four games to two and was Boston’s last World Series Championship until 2004.
1901 – Chicago purchased Davy Jones from Rockford.
1900 – Johnny Kling made his Major League debut in the second game of a doubleheader against the Giants. Kling went 3-for-4 in a game that was called due to darkness in the ninth inning.