The Cubs posted their fourth straight win Wednesday night with the 9-2 victory over the Reds. And the offense put on a clinic on how to work an at-bat.
The Cubs finished the game with more walks (10) than hits (8), forced Reds’ manager Bryan Price to go to his bullpen in the first inning and two pitchers (Alfredo Simon, Dan Straily) to throw a combined 57 pitches to record three outs. Price used six different pitchers that had to make a total of 188 pitches to complete eight innings.
The Cubs have shown a lot of patience throughout the first eight games of the young season. And Joe Maddon believes his team is capable of maintaining the approach.
According to ESPN Chicago, Cubs are seeing 3.92 pitches per plate appearance, which is less than last season (3.98). The Cubs have forced two starters (Garrett Richards, Alfredo Simon) to throw 40 or more pitches in a single inning this season.
The Sun-Times reported Wednesday was the second time the Cubs walked 10 times in eight games. And it was the fourth game in which the Cubs have walked at least seven times this season. The Cubs are averaging six walks per game even without walking one time in the 6-1 victory over the Angels on April 5.
According to ESPN Chicago, the 48 walks in eight games are the most for a Cubs’ team since 1974 (50). The Cubs lead all of baseball with a .381 on-base percentage.
The Cubs not only lead the majors in walks but the pitching staff has issued only 13 free passes, the fewest in the big leagues. The Cubs have scored 56 runs and allowed 20 runs. And the +36 run differential is the best in franchise history through eight games since 1885 (+42, 70-28) according to Christopher Kamka.
Before Wednesday’s win over the Reds, FanGraphs reported this Cubs lineup might be the most disciplined lineup ever.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have talked about creating an American League lineup in the National League. Through eight games, the Cubs relentless lineup has produced a lot of runs and seven victories.
Wednesday’s Post-Game Reports
- CCO Recap – Cubs Walk Away with a Win
- The Tribune – Patience a virtue that’s paying off offensively for Cubs in early going
- The Tribune – Cubs’ Kris Bryant happy first home run arrives
- The Tribune – Cubs starter John Lackey relishes run support
- Comcast SportsNet – With this offense, Cubs don’t need John Lackey’s edge (yet)
- ESPN Chicago – Cubs’ buy-in offense is vaulting them to the top
- ESPN Chicago – Cubs walk their way to another win (again)
- The Sun-Times – More time for baseball, beer the way ‘relentless’ Cubs playing
Stephen Fife could be out for at least the next month after leaving Wednesday’s game with a rib cage injury according to the Des Moines Register.
Fife made his second start of the season Wednesday and was reportedly having a good outing. 17 of Fife’s first 22 pitches went for strikes. Fife retired the first six batters he faced with six groundouts. After throwing a pitch, Fife called Tim Federowicz to the mound. Fife left the game with one out in the fifth inning and went to the clubhouse with the trainer.
The Cubs signed Stephen Fife to a minor league contract in the off-season that included a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Fife had a good spring with the big league club before he was reassigned to minor league camp.
Tommy Bahama Announces 2016 Baseball Collection
Tommy Bahama is back with its highly successful line of officially licensed Major League Baseball apparel for the 2016 MLB season. The rollout of product includes the exclusive 2016 “Collector’s Edition” Series shirt featuring David Ortiz and a collection of premium sportswear for fans of all 30 MLB teams.
“Collector’s Edition” Series: Tommy Bahama honors one of baseball’s most celebrated players with the release of the 2016 “Collector’s Edition” Series shirt featuring David Ortiz. The shirt pays tribute to the three-time World Series Champion and nine-time All-Star ahead of the final season of his career. A classic image of Big Papi hitting a home run against the backdrop of Fenway Park’s iconic Green Monster is showcased on a finely detailed 100% silk print shirt. The Red Sox logo, Ortiz’s signature, the number 34 and his silhouette are all embroidered on the back of the shirt, along with his career highlights and awards. A woven label inside the collar shows the classic pose he strikes after each home run he hits. The shirt comes in a custom designed garment bag to be treasured as a fine collectible for the true baseball fan. Only a limited number of shirts will be produced and each one is numbered. The 2016 “Collector’s Edition” Series shirt featuring David Ortiz is available exclusively at Tommy Bahama stores and online at tommybahama.com. Retail: $250
The Tommy Bahama MLB collection of premium apparel for 2016 offers a variety of options for true baseball fans, as well as Tommy Bahama enthusiasts. The collection includes:
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Paradise Sliders: Slide headfirst into comfort (figuratively, of course) with this ballpark-friendly camp shirt. Detailed artwork is embroidered on the back and team logo on the left sleeve. Available in all 30 MLB teams. Retail $158
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The Tommy Bahama 2016 MLB collection of premium, collectible apparel for the true baseball fan is available at Tommy Bahama stores, online at tommybahama.com and at select specialty retailers across the country.
Tommy Bahama’s highly successful line of officially licensed MLB apparel was introduced in 2009 with the launch of the first “Collector’s Edition” shirt to celebrate the World Series, followed by the launch of the first collection of shirts for the 2010 Major League Baseball season. This complements an established array of Tommy Bahama lifestyle products, which include apparel, footwear, accessories, home furnishings, restaurants & bars, and retail stores. Tommy Bahama’s Major League Baseball collection epitomizes the natural affinity that exists between these two brands. Baseball players and fans alike embrace Tommy Bahama products as well as the company philosophy to “Make Life One Long Weekend™.”
News and Notes
• The Cubs played Ando En La Versace after Kyle Fuller led the crowd Wednesday in signing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame.’ Anthony Rizzo said he would not use the song as his walk up music again. It was a one-time tribute to Starlin Castro. Joe Maddon liked the way the crowd got into the song Monday. It will be interesting to see if the team plays the song Thursday.
• Daren Williams reported the exit velocity on Kris Bryant’s home run was 112.6 mph, the hardest hit ball by a Cubs’ player this season.
• Dexter Fowler has reached base safely in all eight games this season.
• During Wednesday night’s game, Christopher Kamka pointed out the Cubs saw four pitches from Brandon Finnegan in the first inning of Monday’s home opener. Wednesday, the Cubs forced Alfredo Simon and Dan Straily to throw 57 pitches in the first inning to record three outs.
• Bruce Levine reported hitting concepts key to Cubs’ early success.
• Joe Maddon is digging the new clubhouse culture at Wrigley according to Patrick Mooney.
• The Pirates designated Michael Morse for assignment Wednesday. The Pirates owe Morse about $5 million of his $8 million salary for the season according to Bill Brink. The Pirates plan to use David Freese at first base when Jung-Ho Kang returns. With John Jaso and Freese at first base, Brink reported Morse became somewhat expendable.
• Ruben Tejada could be back in the Cardinals lineup in time for the series with the Cubs. According to Jenifer Langosch, Tejada will begin a rehab assignment Thursday with Double-A Springfield and could rejoin the Cardinals as soon as Sunday.
• Cardinals’ left-hander Marco Gonzales will have Tommy John surgery and is out for the season.
• According to Jeff Passan, the Pablo Sandoval-Red Sox marriage could be coming to an end.
And last, but not least, Miguel Montero tweeted Wednesday, “That’s the beauty of the Cubs #anybodyanytime.”
This Day in Cubstory
2014 – Cubs released Casey Coleman
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Kevin Gregg
2013 – Cubs selected Kameron Loe off waivers from the Mariners
2000 – Cubs traded Ray King to the Brewers for Doug Johns
1988 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Pedro Castellano
1978 – A record Opening Day crowd of 45,777 at Wrigley Field saw the Cubs edge the Pirates 5-4 on Larry Biittner’s ninth inning home run.
1976 – Kyle Farnsworth, born
1972 – Cubs signed free agent Art Shamsky
1966 – Greg Maddux, born
1966 – Ty Cline collected five hits and two RBI as the Cubs beat the Giants 9-4 in San Francisco.
1936 – Billy Herman set a Major League Opening Day record with a single, three doubles and a home run as the Cubs and Lon Warneke topped Dizzy Dean and the Cardinals 12-7 in St. Louis. Frank Demaree hit two home runs, and both Chuck Klein and Gabby Harnett also went deep in the win.
1934 – Marty Keough, born
1926 – Charlie Root made his Cubs debut in a complete game victory over the Reds, 9-2, in Cincinnati. The Cubs scored seven runs in the fifth inning and turned four double plays.
1925 – The first regular season Cubs game was broadcast on the radio. Quin Ryan called the game on WGN from the grandstand roof as the Cubs beat the Pirates 8-2 before 38,000 at the season opener at Wrigley Field. Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched a complete game and collected a single, a double and a home run at the plate.
1922 – Cap Anson passed away in Chicago at St. Luke’s Hospital at the age of 70.
1899 – The Chicago National League Ball Club beat Louisville on Opening Day 15-1 behind seven doubles. Bill Lange and Jimmy Ryan both hit two doubles and Clark Griffith pitched a complete game.
1893 – Ben Tincup, born