Exactly one year ago today, Kris Bryant made his Major League debut on a Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. It was the most anticipated Cubs debut in at least 13 years and possibly ever.
Bryant batted fourth behind Anthony Rizzo in Joe Maddon’s lineup and was 0-for-4 at the plate with three strikeouts against James Shields in a 5-4 loss to the Padres. Bryant was 2-for-3 with three walks and a RBI the next day.
Kris Bryant went on to set Cubs rookie records for home runs (26) and RBI (99) passing marks set by Billy Williams in 1961. Bryant hit .275/.369/.488 with 31 doubles, five triples and 26 home runs for a .858 OPS. And Bryant was the BBWAA’s unanimous choice for NL Rookie of the Year.
Bryant played his 162nd big league game Saturday, the day before the one-year anniversary of his Major League debut. Bryant has put together a .274/.367/.486 line with 34 doubles, five triples and 28 home runs for a .853 OPS in what amounts to a full season in the majors.
Kris Bryant has played exactly 81 games at Wrigley Field and has hit .309/.406/.628 with 14 doubles, four triples and 23 home runs for a 1.034 OPS in front of the home crowd.
It’s was a very good first year in the big leagues for Kris Bryant. Maybe his first full-season in the majors will end with the Cubs reaching its ultimate goal.
The Cubs bounced back Saturday behind Jake Arrieta and became the first team in the majors to reach nine wins on the young season. Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler hit back-to-back jacks and Dexter Fowler smacked a three-run homer. The Cubs played their game Saturday while Arrieta continued his dominance on the mound at Wrigley.
Jake Arrieta is in the middle of another historic stretch, one that started after a loss to the Phillies last July 25 at Wrigley Field in which The Streak came to an end.
Arrieta gave up three runs on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts in six innings to the Phillies. All three runs scored on one swing of the bat, a Ryan Howard three-run homer in the third inning. The Cubs were no-hit by Cole Hamels and lost 5-0.
Those were the last runs Arrieta has given up at Wrigley Field.
• With eight shutout innings on Saturday, Arrieta ran his scoreless innings streak at Wrigley to 48 2/3 innings … the longest such streak in the history of Wrigley Field. Arrieta surpassed Bob Gibson’s record last season.
• According to ESPN, Arrieta’s streak is the longest such home streak since Ray Herbert of the White Sox completed 54 scoreless innings between 1962 and 1963.
• ESPN reported Jake Arrieta is the first pitcher in the modern era to throw six consecutive scoreless starts at home.
• In his last 36 starts with the Cubs, Arrieta has allowed 165 hits, 12 home runs, with 256 strikeouts and 50 walks in 251 innings (1.72 ERA).
• The Cubs have outscored their opponents 81-20 over Arrieta’s last 16 regular season starts.
• Jake Arrieta’s next start will be Thursday night at Great American Ball Park in the first of four with the Reds. Arrieta is scheduled to start April 27 in game two of the Brewers’ series at Wrigley.
Saturday’s Post-Game Reports
- CCO Recap – Arrieta Tosses Eight Scoreless, Cubs Launch Three Homers
- The Tribune – Restful victory for Cubs as Joe Maddon sits three regulars
- The Sun-Times – With Arrieta on mound, impressive Cubs rebound vs. Rockies
- The Sun-Times – Arrieta throws eight scoreless innings as Cubs beat Rockies
- Comcast SportsNet – Cubs rebound behind another dominant outing from Jake Arrieta
- ESPN Chicago – Cubs Jake Arrieta picks up right where he left off at Wrigley Field
- Bruce Levine – Jake Arrieta Same Dominant Dude
Javier Baez played in his first big league game of the season on Saturday. Baez started at second base in place of Ben Zobrist. Baez was 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two strikeouts.
Before the game, Joe Maddon reiterated the plan for Baez is to start two or three games a week. Baez could be used in every game, same as Matt Szczur, as a defensive replacement or a pinch-runner.
Baez is expected to start Sunday at shortstop to give Addison Russell a breather prior to the seven-game road trip that begins Monday in St. Louis.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta latest endorsement deals include breakfast cereal and men’s clothing.
Anthony Rizzo is featured in several commercials pushing the game, most notably the partnership with Kris Bryant for MLB’s #This spot. ‘The Bryzzo Souvenir Company’ has been a hit with Cubs and baseball fans as it features two of the young stars of the game.
Rizzo announced his new cereal ‘RizzO’s’ last week and called having his own cereal a dream come true. Rizzo said he eats the cereal every morning. As of Thursday, more than 80,000 boxes had been sold.
Jake Arrieta was named the new face of SAXX Underwear. The announcement was made Thursday reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is part of SAXX’s commercial brand campaign “Free to Move.”
Kris Bryant has a number of endorsement deals, the latest with Express Men’s Clothing. Bryant is featured on a billboard across the street from Wrigley Field.
News and Notes
• Miguel Montero is scheduled to start all three games in St. Louis.
• According to Comcast SportsNet, Joe Maddon sees Matt Szczur playing tension-free baseball with Cubs.
• Cody Stavenhagen reported Matt Szczur’s success mitigating Schwarber’s loss
• Will Leitch reported the Cubs finally seem to have upper had on Cardinals, but still …
• The Rockies placed catcher Nick Hundley on the 7-day concussion DL prior to Saturday’s game and recalled RHP David Hale from Triple-A Albuquerque. Hale pitched in Saturday’s game and Dexter Fowler took him downtown for a three-run homer.
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Kris Bryant made his Major League debut.
1976 – Mike Schmidt hit four consecutive home runs, including the game winner as the Phillies overcame a 13-2 deficit to beat the Cubs 18-16 in 10 innings at Wrigley Field. Schmidt was hitting .167 going in the game. Rick and Paul Reuschel and Mark German served up the longballs to the future Hall of Famer.
1974 – George Mitterwald hit three homers, including a Grand Slam, and drove in eight runs as the Cubs beat the Pirates 18-9 at Wrigley Field.
1968 – Cubs released John Stephenson
1962 – Ken Hubbs collected five hits, a double and four singles, and scored two runs. But the Cubs lost 10-6 to the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
1954 – Cubs beat the Cardinals 23-13 after scoring 10 runs in the fifth inning. Randy Jackson had four hits. One a long homer that hit a building across the street on Waveland Ave.
On this day in 1951, Sam Snead hit a golf ball off the Wrigley Field scoreboard during a pre-game ceremony #Cubs
For more from This Day in #Cubs History
1951 – Sam Sneed hit a golf ball off the Wrigley Field scoreboard during a pre-game ceremony. Sneed teed off from home plate. The Cubs topped the Reds in the opener 8-3. Sneed is the only person to ever hit a ball that hit the iconic center field scoreboard.
1948 – Cubs selected Larry Miggins off waivers from the Cardinals
1945 – Cubs beat the Cardinals 3-2 in the opener at Wrigley Field. Don Johnson delivered the game winner, a single in the ninth inning. Bill Nicholson beat the throw of rookie left field Red Schoendienst to the plate. Schoendienst made his big league debut that afternoon.
1937 – Roberto Pena, born
1934 – Lon Warneke struck out 13 in a one-hit shutout over the Reds. The only hit surrendered by Warneke in the 6-0 victory over the Reds came with one out in the ninth inning.
1909 – Boston Doves purchased Jimmy Slagle from the Cubs.
1892 – Morrie Schick, born
1891 – Scott Perry, born
1852 – Cap Anson, born