The Cubs put together an impressive win Thursday night after a rough start from John Lackey. The Cubs scored 14 runs with a relentless offense that forced another pitching staff to make almost 200 pitches (195) to get through nine innings.
Anthony Rizzo drove in six of the 14 runs and the top of the Cubs’ lineup (Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist) were on base all night. The Cubs third victory of the season was overshadowed by the left leg injury Kyle Schwarber suffered in the second inning.
Kyle Schwarber was supposed to spend Friday preparing to catch Jason Hammel in the second of four games with the Diamondbacks. Instead, Schwarber will undergo an MRI on his left leg to determine the severity of the injury from the violent collision with Dexter Fowler.
Initial X-rays on Schwarber’s left ankle came back negative. The Cubs are concerned about his left knee. Schwarber is scheduled for an MRI on Friday that will take a look at the ankle and knee.
Schwarber was on crutches after the game and said his knee and ankle felt tight and sore.
The Cubs will find out Friday how long Schwarber will be out. Schwarber is expected to be placed on the DL, which will require the Cubs to make a roster move.
ESPN Chicago reported Jorge Soler will likely receive the bulk of the playing time in left field while Schwarber is out. Joe Maddon said Tommy La Stella could see his playing time increase at third base with Kris Bryant moving to left field, the alignment Maddon went with after Schwarber was carted off the field.
Maddon did not know after the game which player would be called up to take Schwarber’s spot on the active roster.
Javier Baez was doubtful for Monday’s home opener after his time in extended Spring Training was delayed when he was hit by a pitch on the brim of his helmet. Baez is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday.
For now, the Cubs are waiting and hoping for the best case from a scary accident.
Thursday’s Post-Game Reports
- CCO Recap – Anthony Rizzo Leads Relentless Offense in Wild Win over D-Backs (includes video)
- ESPN – Cubs destroy Arizona’s pitching but lose Kyle Schwarber to injury
- ESPN – Cubs continue offensive onslaught in another lopsided win
- Comcast SportsNet – A relentless Cubs lineup has John Lackey’s back
- Sun-Times – Lackey’s strong finish earns slugfest win in first start with Cubs
Cubs-Cardinals April 18 on ESPN
ESPN decided it was the right move to pick up the Cubs-Cardinals game on April 18 for Monday Night Baseball.
The Cubs and Cardinals first game of the season is Monday, April 18 in St. Louis. Not only will that be Jason Heyward’s first game against the Cardinals, according to Mark Gonzales, John Lackey is lined up to pitch the opener of the three-game series at Busch Stadium on April 18.
Matt Murton is having a hard time staying healthy this spring. Murton missed most of Spring Training following an appendectomy before the Cactus League game started. And Thursday, Murton landed on the 7-day DL.
Murton was placed on the disabled list prior to Iowa’s first game of the season with turf toe.
Starlin Castro had another big game in a Yankees win over the Astros. Castro hit eighth and went 2-for-4 with a long home run in the fourth inning off Mike Fiers.
Castro has eight RBI, two doubles and two homers in his first three games in the Bronx.
Joe Girardi told Ryan Hatch prior to Thursday’s game that he started calling Castro … “Starsky”
Anthony Rizzo’s cereal was a topic of conversation for the beat writers, and his teammates, prior to Thursday’s game.
News and Notes
• The Cubs have scored 29 runs in the first three games of the season (27 innings). According to Christopher Kamka that’s the most runs for a Cubs’ team through three games since 1954. The ’54 team scored 41 runs in three games (13-4, 5-11, 23-13). A 23-year old named Ernie Banks was at shortstop that season, his first full year in the majors.
• Joe Maddon had Pedro Strop bat for himself in the eighth inning of Thursday’s game, his first Major League at-bat. Strop pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Maddon had Strop hit. He grounded out to Paul Goldschmidt, stayed in for the home half, struck out Goldschmidt looking and was lifted from the game.
• Patrick Mooney reported Cubs will face some interesting decisions with Jorge Soler. According to the Tribune, the Cubs are hoping Manny Ramirez can help Jorge Soler again this year. And Maddon hopes early at-bats get Soler on track according to Carrie Muskat.
• Bill Shaikin noted Thursday that of the 30 Major League managers, more did not manage in the minors (16) than did (14).
And last, but not least, another reminder for those attending the Cubs’ first homestand of the season … get to Wrigley Field early.
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Cubs signed free agent James Russell
2010 – Randy Wells pitched six shutout innings in the Cubs 2-0 win over the Braves, the first victory of the season for the Cubs. Tyler Colvin and Marlon Byrd hit home runs in the win.
1996 – Cubs traded Matt Franco to the Mets for a PTBNL. Mets sent Chris DeWitt to the Cubs on June 11, 1996 to complete the trade.
1995 – Cubs signed free agents Tom Edens, Todd Pratt and Chris Nabholz
1989 – Lendy Castillo, born
1985 – Cubs signed free agent Chris Speier
1984 – Diory Hernandez, born
1983 – Eric Patterson, born
1976 – Cubs purchased Tim Ireland from the Brewers
1973 – Alex Gonzalez, born
1970 – Cubs released Ken Johnson
1969 – Willie Smith hit a two-run pinch hit homer in the 11th inning as the Cubs topped the Phillies in dramatic fashion 7-6 in the opener at Wrigley Field. Ernie Banks hit two home runs in one of the most memorable finishes in the history of Wrigley Field.
1960 – Cubs traded Lee Handley, Johnny Goryl, Ron Perranoski and $25,000 to the Dodgers for Don Zimmer.
1915 – Kirby Higbe, born
1866 – Henry Lynch, born
1850 – John Peters, born