The Cubs went on an amazing run in August and September and it was a four-game sweep over the Giants at Wrigley that propelled Joe Maddon’s team into the lead for the second Wild Card. The Cubs went 42-18 over the last 60 games with an offense led by Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro.
On the mound, it was all about Jake Arrieta.
Jake Arrieta pitched his first no-hitter at Dodger Stadium on the final Sunday of August and went on to post an historic second half. Arrieta was the National League Pitcher of the Month for August and September.
Kris Bryant set Cubs’ rookie records for home runs and RBI. And Anthony Rizzo became the fourth 30-100 lefty in franchise history.
The Cubs finished the regular season with 97 wins, 32 games above .500. What a fun run it was for 60 games to close out the regular season.
- Record – 19-9
- Month in Review – August 2015
Aug. 2 – Cubs Hold On and Complete the Sweep in Milwaukee – Cubs 4, Brewers 3
Clayton Richard picked up his second win and doubled in a run in the fourth inning. Addison Russell homered and Kris Bryant drove in a run.
The Cubs improved to a season-high 10 games over .500 after completing the first four-game sweep in Milwaukee since 2008.
Aug. 4 – Arrieta Dominates, Cubs Shut Out the Bucs – Cubs 5, Pirates 0
By this point of the season, Jake Arrieta had become appointment television. Arrieta completed seven innings of shutout ball against the Pirates. Three of the Cubs five runs scored on two-out hits. Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler drove in runs. And Anthony Rizzo had four hits that included two doubles.
Aug. 7 – Cubs Activate Miguel Montero from DL
Miguel Montero returned from the disabled list ahead of schedule after spending a couple of days with the Tennessee Smokies on a rehab assignment.
With Montero back, Joe Maddon would soon be forced to make the change at shortstop.
Aug. 7-9 – Cubs Sweep Four from the Giants at Wrigley Field
The four games that changed the course of the Cubs season … Joe Maddon altered the way he managed the team over the four days and made the switch from Starlin Castro to Addison Russell at shortstop. Maddon’s abrupt change in how he was managing the games caught everyone’s attention. The Cubs entered the weekend series behind the Giants in the standings but by Sunday the Cubs had the lead for the second Wild Card.
- Game 1 – Schwarber and Soler Deliver Early, Cubs Take Opener from Giants – Cubs 5, Giants 4
- Game 2 – Cubs Five-Run Fifth Backs Lester in Win Over Giants – Cubs 7, Giants 3
- Game 3 – Cubs Offense Keeps Rolling – Cubs 8, Giants 6
- Game 4 – A Shut Out to Complete the Four-Game Sweep – Cubs 2, Giants 0
Aug. 11 – Cubs to Start Working Out Starlin Castro at Second and Third Base
Starlin Castro was benched during the weekend series with the Giants and lost his starting job to Addison Russell. Joe Maddon announced during his weekly spot on 670 The Score that Castro was reporting to Wrigley early to work with Gary Jones at second and third base. Castro had not played a single inning other than at short during his career. Maddon was confident Castro would pick up the position change quickly and help the Cubs win games.
Aug. 12 – A Miggy Mash Walks Off the Brewers in Extras – Cubs 3, Brewers 2
The Cubs improved to 12-1 in their last 13 games after Miguel Montero smacked the game winner leading off the 10th inning. Montero let the Brewers tie the game in the ninth on a pair of wild pitches from Hector Rondon. Montero was rather upset at himself for the defensive mistakes and took out his frustration on the baseball.
This game will be forever remembered for Anthony Rizzo’s sensational catch in which he climbed on the tarp in foul ground and caught the ball just before stepping in the stands.
Videos of Rizzo’s catch and Miggy’s walk-off are included.
Aug. 13 – Cubs Launch Five Longballs, Sweep the Brewers and Complete a Perfect Homestand – Cubs 9, Brewers 2
Dexter Fowler and Kyle Schwarber hit back-to-back jacks in the fifth inning. Anthony Rizzo hit a mammoth shot to center and Schwarber went yard for a second time in the seventh, a two-run homer to left center.
Jon Lester was the recipient of the run support as the Cubs completed the first 7-0 homestand since May 26-June 1, 2008. The Cubs won 13 of 14 at the time and ran their season-long winning streak to seven games.
Videos are included.
Aug. 14 – Coghlan and Rizzo Out Slug the Sox, Cubs Win Eighth in a Row – Cubs 6, White Sox 5
Clayton Richard beat Jeff Samardzija as Chris Coghlan and Anthony Rizzo wore out their former teammate. Samardzija faced the Cubs for the first time and served up three longballs. Richard picked up the struggling Kyle Hendricks and kept the Sox off the board.
Pedro Strop upset the White Sox with his antics after getting out of the jam in the eighth inning. The Cubs honored Ernie Banks with throwback road jerseys and the Sox paid tribute to Minnie Minoso.
Videos are included. The Cubs took two out of three on the South Side, but lost the Crosstown Cup.
Aug. 18 – Cubs Sign RHP Trevor Cahill to a Minor League Contract
The Cubs took a flier on Trevor Cahill and he helped win games in September and October while pitching his way onto the Wild Card roster. Cahill gave Maddon another arm after Chris Bosio corrected a few small mechanical issues the Cubs found.
Aug. 20 – Jake Being Jake – Cubs 7, Braves 1
Jake Arrieta picked up win No. 15 with six scoreless innings. Anthony Rizzo went yard. Chris Coghlan drove in a pair of runs. And Addison Russell hit a solo homer. Arrieta recorded his 12th straight quality start and got the Cubs back on track after a rough series against the Tigers.
Aug. 23 – Cubs Hammel and Sweep the Braves – Cubs 9, Braves 3
The Cubs improved to a season-high 20 games over .500 with the four-game sweep of the Braves. It was the Cubs fourth, four-game sweep of the season the first for the franchise since 1945.
Jason Hammel had a good afternoon on the mound. The Cubs hit five home runs on that Sunday afternoon in late-August. Kris Bryant went deep twice. Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero and Kyle Schwarber all hit longballs.
Home run videos included.
Aug. 24-31 – Daily Roster Moves and Additions
The Cubs made what seemed like a roster move a day over the last week in August. Jorge Soler landed on the DL, along with Jason Motte. Tommy La Stella and Zac Rosscup were recalled from Iowa. The Cubs signed OF Quintin Berry to a minor league contract. Fernando Rodney was acquired from the Mariners. And the Cubs worked another deal with Seattle for Austin Jackson prior to the waiver trade deadline.
- Cubs Place Jorge Soler and Jason Motte on 15-Day DL, Recall Tommy La Stella and Zac Rosscup from Iowa
- Cubs Sign Quintin Berry to Minor League Contract
- Cubs Acquire Fernando Rodney from the Mariners
- Cubs Acquire Austin Jackson from Seattle
Aug. 24 – Bryant Goes Boom and Walks Off the Indians – Cubs 2, Indians 1
In a make-up game with Cleveland on a Monday in late August, the Cubs improved to a season-high 21 games over .500 when Kris Bryant lifted the first pitch he saw from Zach McAllister into the bleachers in right field with two outs in the ninth. Bryant’s second walk off homer provided yet another memorable ending to a game at Wrigley Field this season.
Includes video of Bryant’s oppo homer with Pedro Strop running alongside of him for the last 90 feet of his trip around the bases.
Aug. 30 – Amazing Jake! Arrieta No Hits the Dodgers – Cubs 2, Dodgers 0
Jake Arrieta no-hit the Dodgers on Sunday Night Baseball in what was one of the most dominating performances in franchise history. Arrieta flirted with a no-no before the last Sunday in August. Arrieta finished it off by striking out the side in the ninth. Arrieta faced two over the minimum and struck out 12 batters on 116 pitches, 80 for strikes.
Video highlights are included.
The Cubs ended August with a 74-56 record, 10 ½ back of the Cardinals in third place in the NL Central and 5 ½ games behind the Pirates.
- Record – 23-9
- Month in Review – September/October 2015
Sept. 1 – Cubs Call-Up Javier Baez, Activate Austin Jackson, David Ross, Trevor Cahill and Quintin Berry
The month started with a series of roster moves that paid dividends for the Cubs down the stretch. Javier Baez was recalled from Triple-A Iowa, along with Tsuyoshi Wada. While Wada never pitched, Baez showed a major improvement at the plate and gave Joe Maddon options in the field at third base, second base and shortstop.
The Cubs made a very good pick up with Austin Jackson in a deal that was overlooked at the time. Trevor Cahill had a good month pitching out of the pen and should benefit from his time with the Cubs in the off-season.
Sept. 4 – Russell and Rizzo and Baez, Oh My! – Cubs 14, Diamondbacks 5
The Cubs played longball on a day with the wind blowing in at Wrigley … and walked a season-high eight times. Addison Russell went deep twice, Anthony Rizzo launched the second Grand Slam of his career and Javier Baez hit a two-run shot.
Jon Lester was the beneficiary of the home run parade.
Video highlights included.
Sept. 5-7 – Cubs Lose Mike Olt to the White Sox, Call-Up Carl Edwards Jr.
Three other roster moves took place within the first week of September. Mike Olt was claimed off waivers by the White Sox after he was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Austin Jackson.
The Cubs called up Carl Edwards Jr. and he showed promise in limited appearances out of the bullpen in September.
- White Sox Claim INF Mike Olt off Waiver from the Cubs
- Cubs Recall RHP Carl Edwards Jr. and LHP Zac Rosscup from Triple-A Iowa
Sept. 6 – A Bryant Blast, A Miggy Slam and A Cubs Sweep – Cubs 6, Diamondbacks 4
Kris Bryant hit the longest home run in the majors during the regular season as the Cubs completed the three-game sweep over the Diamondbacks at Wrigley. Miguel Montero hit a Grand Slam off his former team that broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth. And Jonathan Herrera hit a pinch-hit homer, took a fake curtain call and helped keep it loose in the dugout.
Includes videos of Bryant’s massive home run.
Sept. 7 – Fowler, Russell Ignite Cubs Offense, Haren Shuts Out the Cardinals – Cubs 9, Cardinals 0
The Cubs jumped on Lance Lynn in the first inning and quickly got him out of the game. The Cubs scored eight of the nine runs in the first three innings and Dan Haren took care of the rest.
Dexter Fowler led off the game with a homer. Addison Russell smacked a three-run shot.
Dan Haren set the tone for the pitching staff at the start of a long, important road trip.
Sept. 11 – Doubleheader Sweep in Philadelphia
Rain forced a traditional doubleheader and the Cubs swept the twin bill against a team they struggled with in the two series. Jake Arrieta was lights out in the opener. Kyle Schwarber hit two homers and Kris Bryant went deep in the night cap.
Videos included in the recap of Game 2.
- Game 1 – Extra Basehits Back Jake Arrieta in Game One of Twin Bill – Cubs 5, Phillies 1
- Game 2 – Schwarber and Bryant Smash Three Homers, Cubs Sweep Doubleheader – Cubs 7, Phillies 3
Sept. 15 – A Gem from Lester, A Win for the Cubs – Cubs 2, Pirates 1
Jon Lester shut down the Pirates in game two of the day-night doubleheader at PNC Park. Lester pitched his first and only complete game of the season when the Cubs needed him to stop a three-game skid.
Anthony Rizzo and Dexter Fowler drove in the two runs and the Cubs beat J.A. Happ for the second time.
Sept. 17 – Cubs Ride Six-Run Fifth to a Series Win in Pittsburgh – Cubs 9, Pirates 6
The Cubs got on a roll after Lester’s complete game two days before. After winning the third game, the Cubs had a chance to win the series in Pittsburgh and have a happy flight back to Chicago.
The Cubs scored six runs in the fifth inning. Anthony Rizzo launched a two-run homer that gave the Cubs the lead. Clayton Richard stepped in for Kyle Hendricks again and not only delivered on the mound but he also drove in two runs with an unexpected double in the fifth.
The game was marred on the hard slide at second base from Chris Coghlan that ended Jung Ho Kang’s season. Coghlan made a hard, legal slide and took out Kang. Chris Coghlan became Public Enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh and the Pirates fans and media focused on just beating the Cubs from that point forward.
The Cubs finished the 11-game road trip (St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh) with a 7-4 record and the victory on that Thursday afternoon clinched the season-series against the Pirates.
Sept. 18 – The Starlin Castro Game – Cubs 8, Cardinals 3
The biggest series to that point of the season started on a Friday afternoon at Wrigley against the Cardinals. The Cubs were hot on the Redbirds heels and with a sweep had a shot of catching them for the division title. The Cubs won the first two games but came up short in the finale. The old rivalry stepped it up a notch that weekend due to the Cardinals’ retaliation rules.
Starlin Castro turned in a career day in the opener. Castro drove in six of the eight runs with two home runs and a single. Castro made the first curtain call of his career.
The game should be remembered for Castro’s huge day. But the Cardinals Way ruined his day. After Dan Haren hit Matt Holliday, the Cardinals threw at Anthony Rizzo and Joe Maddon stuck up for his players after the game. Maddon called out the Cardinals Way, sentiments that many teams throughout the league agreed with at the time.
The Cardinals may have won the most games in baseball during the regular season but they are far from the best organization in baseball.
- The Starlin Castro Game – Cubs 8, Cardinals 3
- Maddon Sends a Message, Don’t Mess with These Cubs
- Bryant and Soler Lead Offense on a Bullpen Day, Russell’s Defense Saves the Game – Cubs 5, Cardinals 4
Sept. 22 – Twenty Wins for Jake Arrieta – Cubs 4, Brewers 0
Jake Arrieta pitched his fourth complete game shutout of the season. And this one put him in the Cubs’ record books again. Arrieta became the Cubs’ first 20-game winner since Jon Lieber in 2001. Arrieta gave up only three hits and faced four over the minimum.
Kris Bryant broke Billy Williams’ rookie record for the most home runs in franchise history in the win as the Cubs improved to a season-high 27 games over .500.
- Twenty Wins for Jake Arrieta – Cubs 4, Brewers 0
- Kris Bryant Sets Cubs All-Time Rookie Home Run Record (Includes Video)
Sept. 26 – Cubs Clinch a Spot in the Post-Season
While most of the players slept, the A’s beat the Giants and the Cubs were post-season bound for the first time in seven years. The Cubs celebrated at Wrigley the next day and took a lot of heat for doing so after a loss.
The Cubs earned a big celebration and got back to work the very next day. The Cubs did not lose another game for the remainder of the regular season (8-0).
Sept. 27 – Jake Dominates and Rakes, Cubs Shutout the Pirates – Cubs 4, Pirates 0
Jake Arrieta took a perfect game into the seventh inning on the last Sunday Night game of the season. Arrieta allowed just one hit and he hit an opposite field homer off A.J. Burnett. Kris Bryant drove in a run. Starlin Castro added a two-run double and Arrieta posted win No. 21.
Sept. 28 – Cubs Walk-Off Wrigley with an Extra Innings Win – Cubs 1, Royals 0
The Cubs wrapped up the home schedule the only way this group of players could … with a walk-off win. Kyle Hendricks and Yordano Ventura locked in a pitcher’s duel and the game was decided in extra innings when pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia launched the first pitch he saw into the left field bleachers.
Includes video of Chris Denorfia’s historic homer.
Sept. 30 – Jackson, Castro Drive the Action Behind Big Night from Lester – Cubs 10, Reds 3
Jon Lester had a very good outing in Cincinnati to wrap up his first season with the Cubs. Lester started two rallies and scored two runs with a walk and a single. On the mound, Lester retired the last 20 batters he faced on the night.
Austin Jackson drove in a career-high five runs. Starlin Castro homered and doubled in a run.
Jon Lester passed Ken Holtzman for the most strikeouts in a single-season by a lefty in Cubs’ history.
Oct. 2 – Twenty-Two Wins for Arrieta, Thirty Over for the Cubs – Cubs 6, Brewers 1
Jake Arrieta completed his historic second half with his 22nd win of the season. Arrieta pitched six scoreless innings while facing three over the minimum. Anthony Rizzo launched No. 31. Starlin Castro and Addison Russell each had two doubles.
The Cubs improved to the unthinkable 95-65 on the season, 30 games over .500.
- Twenty-Two Wins for Arrieta, Thirty Over for the Cubs – Cubs 6, Brewers 1
- Jake Arrieta’s Ridiculously Good, Historic Season
Oct. 4 – Ninety-Seven Wins – Cubs 3, Brewers 1
The Cubs scored three runs in the first inning, two on an Anthony Rizzo single with the bases loaded. Dan Haren picked up the win in what could have been his last appearance on a big league mound.
The Cubs ended the regular season with their 97th win of the season. No one, no one, not even the most optimistic of Cubs’ fan predicted the team would win 97 games this season.
It was an excellent end to an incredible regular season.
The Cubs ended the season 97-65, 32 games above .500 and in third place in the NL Central, three games back of the first place Cardinals and a game behind the Pirates in the standings.
Cubs 2015 Regular Season Highlights