The Cubs created another memorable night at the old ballyard. Down 3-0 with two-outs in the seventh inning, the Cubs scored five times on Jason Heyward’s two-run single in the seventh and Addison Russell’s majestic three-run homer in the eighth. And the Cubs beat the Reds 5-3 on Opening Night at Wrigley Field.
Addison Russell became the youngest player in Cubs’ history to hit a home run in a Wrigley Field opener.
The Cubs are 6-1 after seven games and have outscored their opponents 47-18.
The Cubs were able to use the brand new party room for the first time to celebrate Monday’s comeback victory over the Reds.
Tuesday is a scheduled day off. The season resumes Wednesday with the second of three games with the Reds.
Monday’s Post-Game Reports
Joe Maddon likes to use the word “relentless” with the Cubs offensive group. After seven games, that is the best way to describe the offense. Here are a few of the post-game reports:
- CCO Recap – Addy Rocks Wrigley
- Comcast SportsNet – Late Cubs fireworks turn one-time no-hitter into wild comeback win
- Comcast SportNet – Before and after: What a difference for red-hot Cubs at Wrigley Field
- The Sun-Times – Cubs’ 12 month firework show still bursting in air after Russell’s game-winning home run
- ESPN Chicago – Cubs grind until late home run by Addison Russell sets party in motion
Theo Epstein answered questions about his contract before the home opener.
Tom Ricketts and Epstein have not talked a lot about his contract over the last week since Opening Day and there was “nothing new” on his extension. Epstein reiterated they are on the same page. According to multiple reports, Epstein said “the talks have been amicable and productive and moving direction.”
Patrick Mooney reported that Epstein “expects to pick up negotiations again after the Cubs get into the rhythm of the season.”
Theo Epstein is expected to sign a five year extension in the $40-50 million range.
Kyle Schwarber was introduced during pre-game ceremonies Monday.
Schwarber was brought out at the end of the introductions after a highlight video was shown on the big boards at Wrigley. Schwarber received a standing ovation as he used a crutch to make his way up the dugout stairs and on the field.
Schwarber was in full uniform and stood next to Joe Maddon for the remainder of the pre-game festivities.
Schwarber tweeted Monday night, “Thanks to the fans and the Cubs for making the pre-game introductions really special for my first home opener! THANK YOU ALL!” And “on another note … How about that win tonight?!?! Addison Russell and Jason Heyward bringing the steaks!”
The Schwarber Ball
According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs have returned the ball Kyle Schwarber hit during the NLDS against the Cardinals to the top of the video board, or ‘Schwarboard,’ in right field.
Crane Kenney told Mully and Hanley the ball is back atop of the board.
Anthony Rizzo walked to the plate Monday at Wrigley Field for the first time to Starlin Castro’s walk-up music from last year, Ando En La Versace by Omega. Rizzo’s teammates and the fans clapped along just like last season. No one knew about Rizzo’s plan to pay tribute to Castro.
Before his second at bat, Rizzo walked up to a different song.
Rizzo said after the game that he was honoring Castro and it was meant for one time and one time only. Rizzo added he might have to “reevaluate that because Wrigley went so crazy” but he will probably just use it the one time out of respect for Castro. Rizzo mentioned he could do a poll on Twitter to get the fans input on if he should use the song.
Rizzo explained to the Tribune that Castro being traded was “tough” for a lot of the players.
Javier Baez reported to Triple-A Iowa on Monday to begin a rehab stint. The original lineup had Baez hitting third and playing left field. Baez ended up starting and playing third base instead. Reports after the game indicated Baez will play left field Tuesday.
Joe Maddon told the beat writers before Monday’s game that the plan is for Baez to get 20-25 at-bats before he is activated from the disabled list.
Baez was 1-for-3 with a home run on Monday night and hit Iowa’s first home run of the season.
Reports from Randy Wehofer and Tommy Birch indicated Baez had a good night in the field, worked the counts and produced great at-bats.
RHP Pierce Johnson made his Triple-A debut and put together a solid outing Monday. Johnson completed three innings, gave up two hits and walked three with five strikeouts. Johnson made 61 pitches, 41 for strikes.
Johnson was hit by a comebacker in the right elbow according to the Des Moines Register. Johnson stayed in the game, completed the third inning and did not go back out for the fourth.
After the game, Marty Pevey said Johnson has a bruise on his arm. Johnson will have X-rays Tuesday.
Pevey indicated the team will know more after the X-rays. He’s hoping he can make his next start.
• Report from the Des Moines Register
News and Notes
• Comcast SportsNet reported Joe Maddon doesn’t think new Wrigley clubhouse will turn Cubs soft.
• Cubs prospect RHP Jen-Ho Tseng was hit in the leg by a batted ball during Monday’s game according to Mick Gillispie and had to be helped off the field. The Smokies did not provide any further updates on Tseng. The Cubs should update his status when more information is available.
• Dan Vogelbach went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, a run scored and a RBI on Monday and extended his hitting streak to five games.
• According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs offense can be suffocating.
• The Angels signed former Cubs’ farmhand Jordan Hankins to a minor league contract.
• The Braves called up LHP Hunter Cervenka and he was in the Braves’ bullpen on Monday.
• The A’s announced Monday that LHP Felix Doubront will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.
• The Cubs are not right sans Kyle Schwarber according to Joel Sherman.
• According to the Des Moines Register, Matt Murton “did some running” on Monday and took batting practice. Murton is on the disabled list with turf toe.
And last, but not least, the Cubs traded for a pitcher prior to Monday’s home opener … LHP Giovanni Soto.
This Day in Cubs History
2011 – Cubs signed free agent Doug Davis
2010 – Cubs beat the Brewers 9-5 in the home opener at Wrigley Field, the first win at Wrigley under Ricketts family ownership. Aramis Ramirez, Xavier Nady and Jeff Baker homered for the Cubs.
2004 – Cubs signed free agent Trent Hubbard
1982 – Justin Ruggiano, born
1977 – P.K. Wrigley passed away at age 82.
1970 – Cubs released Jesus Hernaiz
1940 – Woodie Fryman, born
1932 – Stan Hack made his Major League debut in the opener in Cincinnati. Hack collected a double and scored a run in five at bats. The Reds rallied for four runs in the ninth and beat the Cubs 5-4.
1926 – Walt Moryn, born
1912 – Joe Tinker, Joe Evers and Frank Chance were in the Cubs Opening Day lineup for the last time.
1899 – Trader Horne, born
1888 – Charlie Pick, born