The Cubs had a good 11-game road trip through St. Louis, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The Cubs went 7-4 in the 11 games and had either a lead or were tied in the seventh inning or later in the four games Joe Maddon’s team lost.
By winning three of four games against the Pirates, the Cubs are two games behind the Pirates in the standings. And the Cubs picked up a half game over the idled Giants for the second Wild Card in the National League. San Francisco is a full eight games back of the Cubs.
The goal remains to catch the Cardinals. The Cubs enter play against the Redbirds on Friday afternoon seven games behind the Cardinals with 16 games left on the schedule.
Anthony Rizzo went yard for the 30th time on the season Thursday afternoon. And Rizzo’s two-run shot turned a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead for the Cubs in the fifth inning. The homer was No. 100 for Rizzo with the Cubs.
Anthony Rizzo is the second left-handed hitter in franchise history with multiple 30-plus home run seasons. Rizzo joined Hall of Famer Sweet Swingin’ Billy Williams as the only two lefties in Cubs history with 30 or more homers in multiple seasons. Billy Williams hit 30-plus homers five times (1964, 1965, 1968, 1970 and 1972).
Anthony Rizzo had hits in the last three games in Pittsburgh and seems to be coming out of the mini-slump he was in.
Kris Bryant had a huge road trip at the plate while playing very good defense at third base and in right field. Bryant had hits in nine of the 11 games, reached base in 10 of 11 and had three, three-hit games. Seven of the 14 hits went for extra bases (six doubles, one home run).
Bryant set the Cubs single-season rookie record for RBI and single-season strikeout mark during the trip.
Over his last 42 games, Bryant is batting .338/.404/.613 with 10 home runs and 33 RBI.
For the season, Bryant is hitting .274/.368/.492 with 28 doubles, five triples and 24 home runs for a .860 OPS. Bryant is seven short of driving in 100 runs for the season.
With runners in scoring position, Kris Bryant is 39-for-123 for a .317/.437/.537 slash line with a .973 OPS. And with runners in scoring position and two outs, Bryant has hit .389/.515/.630 with a 1.144 OPS.
Jung Ho Kang
Pirates’ infielder Jung Ho Kang underwent surgery Thursday night in Pittsburgh on a displaced lateral tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscal repair. The Pirates announced Kang will miss six to eight months.
Kang suffered the injury in the first inning of Thursday’s game when Chris Coghlan slid into him trying to break up a double play.
Jung Ho Kang’s agent Alan Nero released the following statement on his client’s behalf: “It is unfortunate that what would be considered heads up baseball would cause such a serious injury. That said, Coghlan was playing the game the way it should be played. I’m confident he meant me no harm. I appreciate everyone’s support.”
Chris Coghlan has not talked to the media since the news hit that Kang would miss the rest of the season. Coghlan reached out to Kang according to Mark Gonzales. Coghlan feels terrible about what happened.
Chris Coghlan and the Cubs will be asked about Jung Ho Kang prior to Friday’s game with the Cardinals.
News and Notes
• Joe Maddon has not announced which one of his relievers will start ‘Bullpen Day’ in game two against the Cardinals. According to Carrie Muskat, either Clayton Richard or Trevor Cahill will start the game.
• Miguel Montero believes the Cubs have what it takes to win big in October according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• According to a report from the Tribune, Starlin Castro is getting more comfortable at second base.
• Comcast SportsNet reported Jake Arrieta will keep being a perfectionist.
• The Cubs have six games left with the Brewers this season (Sept. 21-23, Oct. 2-4) and will not face Matt Garza. The Brewers recently shut Garza down for the season after he refused to pitch out of the bullpen. Garza left the team to be with his wife at their home in California. Garza’s wife is expecting twins imminently according to Adam McCalvy. Craig Counsel “had a long chat with Garza before he left” and he left the team “on good terms.” Garza is in the Brewers plans for 2016.
• The Cubs have used 27 pitchers this season and according to Dan Hirsch, only Dallas Beeler and James Russell began their professional career in the organization.
This Day In Cubstory
1999 – Sammy Sosa hit home run No. 60 and became the first player in Major League history to hit 60 home runs in two different seasons.
1984 – Donnie Veal, born
1983 – Brent Lillibridge, born
1977 – Jody Gerut, born
1970 – The Cubs swept a doubleheader with the Expos. Ferguson Jenkins posted his 20th win of the season in the first game and Billy Williams cranked his 40th homer of the year. ‘The Vulture’ Phil Regan picked up the victory in game two.
1970 – Ozzie Timmons, born
1965 – Larry Jackson beat the Mets 4-3 for his 11th straight victory over the Metropolitans.
1960 – Ron Santo, Don Zimmer and George Altman homered in the sixth inning and Ernie Banks was intentionally walked for the 27th time in a Cubs 5-2 victory over the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
1959 – Ryne Sandberg, born
1950 – Ron Northey hit a pinch-hit Grand Slam to lead the Cubs to a 9-7 victory over the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. It was Northey established a Major League record with his third pinch-hit Grand Slam of the season. Northey hit the first two in a Cardinals’ uniform.
1935 – In front of 30,000 at Wrigley Field, the Cubs collected 20 hits in a 15-3 victory over the Giants. Charlie Root was the beneficiary of the run support in the Cubs 15th straight win.
1929 – The Cubs clinched the National League Pennant despite losing 7-3 to Carl Hubbell and the New York Giants at Wrigley Field. The Pirates lost 5-4 to the Braves in the first game of a doubleheader giving the Cubs the pennant.
1928 – Cubs and Braves turned a combined NL record eight double plays in a Cubs 8-3 victory behind Sheriff Blake.
1904 – Jack McCarthy drove in both runs behind Buttons Briggs complete game in a 2-1 victory in 17 innings against the Reds at West Side Grounds