It’s a full day of post-season baseball, a quadruple header starting at 12:07pm CDT with Game 4 between the Astros and Royals. Houston leads the series 2-1 and will look to advance behind Lance McCullers. The Rangers are up 2 games to 1 over the Blue Jays and will look to close out the series with Derek Holland on the hill (3:07pm CDT).
It should be rather interesting at Citi Field on Monday night as the Mets and Dodgers square off in Game 3 starting at 7:37pm CDT. Matt Harvey faces Brett Anderson with the series tied at one.
The post-season is back at Wrigley Field for the first time in over seven years (Oct. 2, 2008). The Cubs and Cardinals start up at 5:07pm CDT in Game 3 of the NLDS.
The Cubs have been on the road for the last two weeks and return home for the first game at Wrigley since the make-up with the Royals on Sept. 28. The best of five series with the Cardinals is now a best of three series with the next two games at Wrigley.
The Cubs had breakfast at Wrigley on Sunday with a brief workout and the Bears game on the video board.
Joe Maddon, Jake Arrieta, Anthony Rizzo and several of the players spoke with the media Sunday.
Arrieta remains confident and likes his “chances to go out there and win a ball game.” And Rizzo wants it louder at Wrigley Field on Monday than it was in Pittsburgh. “I can’t wait to see how loud it is. I want to see if we can be louder than it was in Pittsburgh because that was unbelievable.”
Joe Maddon is not taking Arrieta’s success or anything for granted. It is playoff baseball and the Cardinals. Anything can happen. The Cubs appear to be a loose team focused on just winning Monday’s game.
Kris Bryant hasn’t collected a hit in the post-season yet. Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are both hitless in three games.
Bryant has put together good at bats, just hasn’t produced any hits. Joe Maddon doesn’t think Bryant is pressing but his timing may be off. Bryant is contributing defensively according to a report from Carrie Muskat.
Bryant has hit better at Wrigley Field all season than on the road. And he could benefit from being back at home for the next two days.
In 76 games at Wrigley Field, Bryant hit .311/.408/.629 with 14 doubles, four triples and 21 home runs for a 1.037 OPS. In 75 road games this year, Bryant batted .243/.333/.360 with 17 doubles, a triple and five home runs for a .693 OPS.
Jason Motte threw a simulated game Sunday at Wrigley. Motte continues to prepare in order to be ready if the Cubs advance past the Cardinals.
Motte said he felt fine after the sim game and is not sure what the next step is.
In 57 games with the Cubs during the season, Motte was 8-1 with six saves, 3.91 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Motte allowed 48 hits with 11 walks and 34 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings.
News and Notes
• Joe Maddon said Sunday he was not ready to name a starter for Game 4. According to Carrie Muskat, Maddon has an idea who he would like to start but has not talked to the pitcher yet.
• ESPN Chicago posted three observations from Game 1 and Game 2.
• Game 2 viewership of the Cubs-Cardinal NLDS: 4.6 million.
• Comcast SportsNet reported how the Cardinals will try to beat Jake Arrieta. The Cardinals beat the hottest pitcher in the game last post-season in Clayton Kershaw, plan on doing it again this year and take down Arrieta. And according to the Sun-Times, underestimating St. Louis against Arrieta could be a Cardinal sin.
• Chris Coghlan received death threats after his slide into Jung Ho Kang that ended his season.
And last, but not least, Chase Utley was suspended for games three and four of the NLDS for his slide on Saturday night into second base that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg. Utley is appealing the suspension and his appeal could be heard before Game 3.
This Day in Cubstory
2011 – The Cubs agreed on a five-year contract with Theo Epstein to be the President of Baseball Operations. The contract would not be made official for two weeks due to the Cubs and Red Sox not being able to agree on compensation for letting Epstein out of the last year of his contract in Boston.
2009 – Cubs filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The short-term move allowed the Tribune Co. to sell the team to the Ricketts family
2004 – Cubs granted free agency to Jimmy Anderson
1993 – Cubs released Steve Lake
1982 – Casey McGehee, born
1977 – Cubs released Randy Hundley
1970 – Cubs traded Roger Metzger to the Astros for Hector Torres
1969 – Derrick White, born
1940 – Glenn Beckert, born
1929 – The Cubs led the Athletics 8-0 in the fourth game of the World Series. The A’s scored 10 runs in the seventh inning and beat the Cubs 10-8 at Shibe Park. Centerfielder Hack Wilson lost a fly ball in the sun, the ball rolled to the fence and went for a three-run inside the park homer for Mule Haas that was the big play in the inning. Sportswriters began referring to Hack Wilson as ‘Sunny Boy’ after the misplayed ball.
1912 – Cubs released Mordecai Brown
1907 – Cubs won the 1907 World Series with a 2-0 victory over the Tigers at Bennett Park. Mordecai Brown picked up the win and the Cubs became the first team to sweep a World Series, even though a game ended in a tie after 12 innings.
1906 – Mordecai Brown pitched the first shutout for the Cubs in World Series play. The Cubs beat the White Sox 1-0 at West Side Grounds.