With manic Monday out of the way, it’s a new day. And the Cubs have date Tuesday night with the Mets at the old ballyard.
The Cubs were all on the same page during Monday’s workout at Wrigley. From the players to Joe Maddon to the coaching staff and front office no one is panicking about the must-win game on Tuesday. The Cubs are happy to be home and playing in conditions that figure to be more hitter friendly than the first two games at Citi Field. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the high 60’s at game time with a 45 percent chance of rain later in the night.
Maddon has said all season it is one game, one day at a time and talked about the importance of one-game winning streaks. Maddon reiterated Monday the Cubs are focused on Tuesday.
“I mean it sincerely, one-game winning streaks. We’ve talked about it before. Let’s play Tuesday and see what happens, and we’ll move on from there.”
Theo Epstein told the beat writers, “Look, tomorrow’s Tuesday for us. We’ve responded all year. Usually, actually, with winning streaks after we go through a little losing streak. So we hope to do that again.”
Epstein pointed to the Cubs facing really good pitching in Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard in New York as the reason for losing the first two games, plus the baseball gods were against the Cubs a little bit. The Cubs smoked some balls that didn’t fall in. Epstein admitted the Cubs were outplayed and did not make any excuses.
A win on Tuesday and the Cubs are one victory away from tying the series.
The Cubs were 17-9 on Tuesdays in the regular season and won Game 4 of the NLDS last Tuesday.
Chris Bosio, Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs Rotation
Kyle Hendricks makes his second postseason start Tuesday night in a must-win game for the Cubs. While it is Game 3 of a best of seven series, only one team has comeback from a 0-3 hole in LCS play. Hendricks welcomes the pressure associated with Game 3 according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. And Hendricks must find a way to slow down the Mets’ hottest hitter, Daniel Murphy, according to ESPN Chicago.
As of Monday afternoon, Jason Hammel will start Game 4. Hammel is expected to be available out of the bullpen for Tuesday’s game.
Chris Bosio joined David Kaplan on ESPN 1000 for a brief segment Monday. The Cubs pitching coach talked about Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and the plans for the rotation moving forward.
Bosio said Sunday night there was one big hit that was the difference in the game, Murphy’s two-run homer. And the Cubs thought he swung on the check swing, just didn’t get the call. Bosio pointed out sometimes you just have to give the other guy credit, tip your hat and move on. Arrieta gave up only three hard hit balls, struck out eight and could have had two more strikeouts. Bosio indicated Arrieta had trouble getting the spin on the breaking ball in the cold. Bosio did not use that as an excuse for Arrieta giving up three runs in the first inning.
Bosio is in constant communication with his guys and no one is injured, that includes Arrieta. With the way Arrieta has pitched this season Bosio said if he doesn’t throw a four-hit shutout every time out people will wonder what is wrong with him.
Jon Lester had a side session scheduled for Monday. The Cubs were supposed to talk about plans for the rotation moving forward prior to the workout. Bosio said Lester could be an option for Game 4, especially if the Cubs lose Game 3, but in order for him to come back on short rest Monday’s side would have to be adjusted. Bosio explained that if the Cubs are facing elimination in Game 4 that anything would be possible and that includes bringing back Arrieta on short rest.
Chris Bosio, like the rest of the team, is convinced Game 3 will be different with the Cubs playing at Wrigley and on their turf.
Theo Epstein explained to the beat writers following Monday’s workout, “Unless it’s extraordinary circumstances, we don’t really love the track record of pitchers pitching on short rest. Sometimes there are extraordinary circumstances where it makes sense. But as a rule, it’s not something we like to do.”
News and Notes
• Theo Epstein is excited about the Cubs’ present and future according to a report from Adam McCalvy.
• Jon Paul Morosi explained a return to Wrigley could bring Cubs’ homers back in Game 3.
• Dave Cameron posted an interesting report on FanGraphs about Jake Arrieta addressing concerns over his drop in velocity in Game 2 of the NLCS. Cameron detailed outings throughout the season in which Arrieta’s velocity fluxuated. According to Cameron the cold weather Sunday likely impacted Arrieta as it does with pitchers, including Noah Syndergaard. Cameron concluded that he is probably okay and there “isn’t enough reason to get really worried about Jake Arrieta.”
• Dusty Baker would like to manage again. Baker is part of the pre- and post-game on TBS for the NLCS. According to the Sun-Times, as he watches the young Cubs play, Baker eyes managerial openings.
• On the day news surfaced Matt Harvey’s arm had been insured by Scott Boras, the Mets addressed the swelling and soreness Matt Harvey is dealing with in his right shoulder two days after getting hit by a line drive off the bat of Dexter Fowler. Harvey played catch Monday and is expected to start Game 5. Terry Collins said Tuesday “is the critical day” because Harvey is set to throw off a mound in preparation for Thursday’s start. If Harvey cannot go, the Mets could turn to Bartolo Colon or Jon Niese.
• And the Mets reportedly are not interested in bringing back Daniel Murphy. Murphy will be a free agent after the World Series and he’s not in the Mets’ future plans. Comcast SportsNet examined Murphy’s numbers that prove he “might just have a deal with the devil.”
• The Mets are confident but won’t get too far ahead of themselves according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• Addison Russell hopes to be ready if the Cubs survive and advance to the World Series according to Comcast SportsNet. Russell is feeling better “and will push his rehab this week.” Russell has not started hitting yet according to Carrie Muskat.
• Ernie Banks’ High School in Dallas would like to honor Mr. Cub with a statue at his alma mater. Plans are still in the preliminary stage and funds must be raised to pay for it, but those connected with the project “are going to figure out a way to get it done” according to the Sun-Times.
• A scout Jon Heyman spoke to about Javier Baez thinks he is a second or third baseman in the majors, not a shortstop. Jason McLeod did not agree with the scout Heyman talked to about Baez’s ability at short. Baez has impressed the Cubs apparently with his defense at third base. McLeod compared the way Baez played at third during the Cardinals series to the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado. McLeod told Heyman that Baez is a “plus defender at three positions.”
• According to the Sporting News, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Starlin Castro, Kris Bryant and Kyle Hendricks need big games to restore Chicago’s hope in the NLCS.
• Joe Maddon, Cubs look to channel Rocky Balboa according to Joey Nowak.
• Bruce Levine reported Joe Maddon is still inspiring the Cubs with his antics.
• Manny Ramirez brings vast experience to young Cubs and he helps bridge the language and cultural gap between staff and Latin players according to a report from David Venn.
The Blue Jays claimed switch-pitcher Pat Venditte off waivers from the A’s. To make room on the 40-man roster, Toronto designated INF Darwin Barney for assignment.
• Even down 2-0, Jon Greenberg explained these young Cubs provide plenty to dream on.
This Day In Cubstory
2008 – The Cubs and Jim Hendry agreed to a four-year contract extension. Hendry was rewarded with an extension after back-to-back NL Central division titles and the best record in the NL in 2008.
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Josh Kroeger
1980 – Jose Veras, born
1980 – Cubs released Bill Landrum
1977 – Cubs granted free agency to George Mitterwald
1972 – Cubs traded Tom Phoebus to the Braves for Tony LaRussa
1886 – Chicago National League Ball Club beat St. Louis 11-4 and took a 2-1 lead in the Championship Series against the Browns. John Clarkson picked up the win and both King Kelly and George Gore homered at West Side Park.