The Cubs started the 2016 season with an impressive win behind Jake Arrieta on Monday night. While Jake was being Jake, the Cubs offense grinded out at bats and scored nine runs with only one ball, a two run homer by Miguel Montero, leaving the yard.
The Cubs looked very comfortable despite all of the hype and expectations leading into the season opener.
Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Miguel Montero and Matt Szczur drove in runs. Dexter Fowler scored three times and nine of the 10 position players Joe Maddon used Monday night reached base at least one time.
On the mound, Jake Arrieta was outstanding. Arrieta pitched deep into the game and three of his six strikeouts were Mike Trout (twice) and Albert Pujols.
As would be the case if the final score did not favor the Cubs, one game does not make a season. The Cubs have another opener to play through on Monday at Wrigley Field then the players will be able to get into the routine of the season … and settle in for the journey.
It was a fun start to a season and a good way for the Cubs to begin the new year.
Dexter Fowler was the last player on the Opening Day roster in camp and he was the first player to the plate Monday night in the opener. Fowler reached base four times and went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and three runs scored in five at-bats.
Fowler set the tone in the first inning with a leadoff double. Fowler scored the first run of the season on an Anthony Rizzo two-out single to center.
‘You go. We go’
Manny Ramirez was back in the Cubs clubhouse on Monday night in time for the season opener.
It wasn’t reported during Spring Training that Ramirez was with the team at any point during camp. Ramirez was still believed to be part of the organization despite his absence.
Manny Ramirez was in uniform waiting for the players when they arrived at Angel Stadium.
Cubs Minor League Rosters
Three of the Cubs four minor league affiliates that begin the season Thursday released their Opening Day rosters on Monday. Iowa is expected to release its first roster of the season by Wednesday morning.
Here are the Opening Day rosters for Low-A South Bend, High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee:
Here are the links from various outlets about the Cubs performance against the Angels on Opening Night:
- ESPN Chicago – Cubs work game plan to perfection in Opening Night win
- ESPN Chicago – Joe Maddon had the best seat in the house in Cubs’ Opening Night win
- Comcast SportsNet – Is this season a failure if Cubs don’t win the World Series?
- The Tribune – Efficient Jake Arrieta, balanced offense lead to Cubs 9-0 opening win
- The Tribune – Villanova’s Matt Szczur gets double the pleasure
- The Tribune – Joe Maddon has loose, exuberant Cubs embracing lofty expectations
- The Sun-Times – Rizzo: Cubs lineup’s opening salvo ‘sign of good things to come’
- Yahoo Sports – Joe Maddon’s mantra for World Series favorite Cubs: ‘Try not to suck’
- Bruce Levine – Sights On Championship, Cubs Will Embrace the Journey
News and Notes
• Anthony Rizzo may be the most important piece to the Cubs’ World Series puzzle according to Paul Sullivan.
• Cubs’ lineup no issue to Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward according to the Tribune.
• Tom Ricketts said Monday that Wrigley will be ready for the home opener … The Tribune reported workers race to prepare Wrigley Field for home opener.
• According to Mike DiGiovanna, the Cubs fouled off 16 pitches from Garrett Richards on Monday night. And the Cubs led the majors in strikeouts last season. As Alden Gonzalez pointed out, they also led baseball in pitches seen per plate appearances.
• Mark Gonzales reported the Cubs post-game celebration could be heard in the hallway outside the clubhouse.
• Jake Arrieta has gone 17 straight starts without allowing more hits than innings pitched according to Mike DiGiovanna.
• From the great Christopher Kamka: Cubs shutout wins in opener: 1876: 4-0; 1933: 3-0; 1934: 6-0; 1944: 3-0; 1958: 4-0; 1974: 2-0; 2016: 9-0
• Mike DiGiovanna reported season opener in Angel Stadium is homecoming night for Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon.
• The hot new trend of 2016 is batting the pitcher eighth according to Hardball Talk.
• The Diamondbacks are looking for an answer outside the organization (Michael Bourn, Will Venable) for a centerfielder as well as internal options according to Jon Paul Morosi. A.J. Pollock is scheduled for surgery Tuesday with Dr. Don Sheridan according to Nick Piecoro. The D-Backs have not provided a timetable on when Pollock could return. He is hoping to be back this year.
• According to Jon Heyman, LHP James Russell’s contract with the Phillies calls for a $1.5 million base salary and includes an incentives package.
This Day in Cubstory
2012 – Rays selected John Gaub off waivers from the Cubs
2009 – Cubs released Chad Gaudin
2004 – Cubs signed free agents Giovanni Carrara and Benji Gil
2004 – Cubs signed free agent Glendon Rusch
1995 – Cubs traded Geno Morones and Derek Wallace to the Royals for Brian McRae
1993 – On Opening Day, Greg Maddux faced the Cubs for the first time and pitched 8 1/3 innings of shutout ball at Wrigley Field. Mike Stanton recorded the final two outs in a 1-0 Braves victory over the Cubs.
1986 – Steve Clevenger, born
1985 – Cubs released Tom Veryzer
1985 – Ian Stewart, born
1976 – Ross Gload, born
1967 – Greg Smith, born
1953 – Andy MacPhail, born
1938 – Cubs signed free agent Jack Russell
1938 – Don Prince, born
1936 – Jimmie Schaffer, born
1911 – St. Paul of the American Association purchased Harry Steinfeldt from the Cubs
1865 – Chuck Lauer, born