The Cubs improved to a Major League best 11-3 on Tuesday night with the 2-1 victory in St. Louis. Joe Maddon’s team won a game behind a solid start and a two-out knock from Jason Hammel. And Jason Heyward proved that a player can help his team win without getting on base.
With the Cubs leading 2-1 in the fourth, Heyward threw out Matt Holliday at the plate to end the inning. It was the play of the game. The Cubs are winning games with Dexter Fowler the only player consistently producing at the plate.
Outside of one game, the Cubs have shown a lot of improvement in the field. Jason Heyward was the difference in the first two games in St. Louis. Without Heyward in right field the outcomes might have been different.
The Cubs pitching staff has performed extremely well through the first 14 games.
After Tuesday’s games, the Cubs pitching staff ranked second in the National League in ERA (2.15), first in WHIP (0.93), tied with the Nationals for the fewest hits allowed (89), second to the Nationals in runs allowed (32), first in walks (28) allowed, tied with the Mets for second in strikeouts (125), first in opponents’ batting average (.199).
The Cubs’ starting five leads the National League in ERA (2.14), WHIP (0.93) and innings pitched (92.2), tied with Mets for fewest walks (19) and second to the Phillies in strikeouts (86).
For the first time since 1910, Cubs’ starting pitchers have completed at least six innings in each of the team’s first 14 games. It’s the longest streak to start a season for a Cubs’ staff since the 1905 team began the season with the starting pitchers completing at least six innings in the first 20 games.
The Cubs’ relievers are second in the National League in ERA (2.18), first in WHIP (0.85), tied for first in walks (9), tied for 10th in strikeouts (39) and as a group have completed the second fewest innings (33.0).
Tuesday’s Post-Game Reports
- CCO Recap – Hammel, Heyward Knock Off the Cardinals
- The Sun-Times – Cubs ascension makes Cub-Cards no longer rivalry in name only
- Comcast SportsNet – After another win over Cardinals, Cubs out to change balance of power in rivalry
- ESPN Chicago – Jason Hammel pitches, hits Cubs to second straight win over Cardinals
- ESPN Chicago – Jason Heyward proving that defense matters
- ESPN Chicago – Is there anything the Cubs’ starting staff can’t do?
- The Tribune – Jason Hammel hits and pitches Cubs to 2-1 victory over Cardinals
Kyle Schwarber had surgery Tuesday in Dallas to reconstruct his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and repair the LCL (lateral collateral ligament) in his left knee. Dr. Daniel Cooper, the team physician of the Dallas Cowboys, performed the operation.
The Cubs said the surgery went well and according to multiple reports did not reveal any nerve damage.
Schwarber is expected back in Chicago by Thursday and will begin his rehab at Wrigley Field. Schwarber will work with physical therapist Ryan Mertz.
Jed Hoyer talked to the beat writers Tuesday afternoon. Schwarber will “start his rehab right away.” Hoyer pointed out they “want him around the club.” And Joe Maddon said he is looking forward to having him back around the team.
The Cubs hope he will be ready for Spring Training.
Ben Zobrist received his World Series ring Tuesday.
According to Rustin Dodd, Moore “made it a goal to present all World Series rings in person, if possible.” Moore left Kansas City for St. Louis on Monday, met with Zobrist on Tuesday morning and gave him the ring. Moore also presented Zobrist with “one of the specially made Royals’ jerseys with gold lettering” the team wore on Opening Day according to Gordon Wittenmyer. The Sun-Times tweeted a photo of Zobrist holding his World Series ring.
Bob Nightengale asked Zobrist about the reaction from his teammates when they saw his ring. Zobrist said, “It made them hungry.”
News and Notes
• Carrie Muskat explained why Dexter Fowler runs to straightaway center field before games.
• Tom Verducci shared his thoughts on Jason Heyward’s swing. Verducci noted the changes he’s made over the years and the adjustment Jason Heyward has made this season with John Mallee.
• The Iowa Cubs activated LHP Giovanni Soto from the temporarily inactive list.
This Day in Cubstory
2009 – Cubs released Angel Castro
1997 – In the second game of a doubleheader, the Cubs stopped its 14-game slide to start the season with a 4-3 victory over the Mets. In losing the first game of the twin bill, the Cubs set a National League record for the most consecutive losses to start a season (0-14). The Baltimore Orioles own the big league record. The O’s dropped the first 21 games of the 1988 season.
1988 – Kyler Burke, born
1986 – Cubs and Pirates played to an 8-8 tie in 13 innings. The game was suspended due to darkness and completed on August 11. The Cubs lost the game 10-8 in 17 innings.
1977 – Cubs acquired Pete Broberg from the Mariners for a PTBNL. The Cubs sent Jim Todd to the Mariners on October 25, 1977 to complete the trade.
1973 – Todd Hollandsworth, born
1972 – Cubs purchased Tom Phoebus from the Padres.
1950 – Willie Prall, born
1950 – Milt Wilcox, born
1946 – White Sox selected Whitey Platt off waivers from the Cubs.
1926 – Hack Wilson hit the first home run of his career in a Cubs’ uniform. Wilson smacked a solo blast in the sixth inning off Wit Reinhart of the Cardinals. The Cubs, behind Wilbur Cooper beat the Cardinals 7-0 in St. Louis
1923 – Cubs beat the Pirates 12-11 on a Gabby Harnett homer in the ninth inning at Wrigley Field. Hartnett and Barney Friberg hit two homers each and both Arnold Statz and Cliff Heathcote hit one longball. Charlie Grimm also homered for the Cubs, who hit 12 homers in a two-day span.
1923 – Preston Gomez, born
1916 – Cubs played its first game at the corner of Clark and Addison in what is now known as Wrigley Field. The Cubs beat the Reds 7-6 in 11 innings. The Cubs scored two runs in the eighth inning and one in the ninth to force extra innings. Vic Saier delivered the game winning, a RBI single in the 11th inning. 20,000 fans showed up to see the Cubs in their new ballpark, Weeghman Park that was later renamed Cubs Park before it was named Wrigley Field in 1926.
1904 – Pirates purchased Bobby Lowe from the Cubs.
1888 – Jimmy Ryan hit the first leadoff home run of his career as the Chicago National League Ball Club topped Indianapolis 5-4. Ryan hit 22 leadoff homers over the course of his career, 20 for the Chicago National League Ball Club.
1880 – Charlie Smith, born