It’s probably safe to say that Albert Almora Jr. had very good week, his first in the big leagues. Almora Jr. drove in the winning run on Tuesday, scored the go-ahead run in extra innings on Wednesday and a big hand in the outcome of the game in Philly on June 8 in his first start in the big leagues. And the Cubs went 5-4 (4-4 in his eight games) on the nine-game, three-city road trip through Philadelphia, Atlanta and Washington DC.
Almora Jr. recorded the first multi-hit game of his career Wednesday. Almora Jr. was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. In eight games, Almora Jr. is 6-for-17 with three doubles, four runs scored and three RBI. And the raw emotion he’s shown has simply been fun to see from the youngest player on the team.
Albert Almora Jr. will make his Wrigley Field debut on Friday.
Len Kasper posted a reminder about Almora Jr. He added the ‘Jr.’ to his name as a way to honor his father. It’s important to Albert and why Kasper includes ‘Jr.’ as much as possible when discussing him.
Albert Almora Jr. has fit right in with the best team in baseball. And if he keeps performing the way he has at the plate, he’s going to make it hard for the front office to send him down when players come back from the disabled list.
According to multiple reports, the Cubs have not discussed the ‘what if’ when it comes to Almora Jr. Joe Maddon told the beat writers Wednesday he hasn’t thought about it. But ESPN Chicago reported that Maddon admitted, “A guy like Almora, you want some opportunity to give him some playing time. You don’t want him to sit. At the end of the day it’s about him and what’s best for him.”
The Cubs have to make sure he receives regular playing time. ESPN Chicago reported that with the way Almora Jr. has played, even if he’s sent down to Iowa as other players get healthy, he will not be there very long.
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from The Tribune
- Report from The Tribune
- Report from The Sun-Times
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
Wednesday’s finale of the three-game series with the Nationals was a tough loss for the Cubs. Joe Maddon’s team had the right attitude about the game afterwards and the Cubs’ skipper kept the series in the right perspective.
Yes, the Cubs lost a series at Nationals Park (1-2). The Cubs also swept the same Nationals team at Wrigley last month. While many are focused on the Cubs losing their 20th game of the season (40-3 in games scoring at least four runs) to slip to 44-20 after 64 games, every team in the NL Central lost on Wednesday. The Cubs did not lose a single game in the standings.
“There’s nothing to cry about,” Maddon said. “They beat us. That happens sometimes. And you can’t try to dissect it any further than that. It was a great game of baseball. [Fans should] be proud of your group. They were outstanding today.”
Here are the post-game reports and recap …
- CCO – Free Passes Prove Costly for the Cubs
- Comcast SportsNet – Cubs want another shot at Nationals in October after playoff preview lives up to hype
- The Tribune – Jason Hammel excels in Cubs’ loss
- The Tribune – Cubs lose in playoff-like atmosphere as Nationals win 5-4 in 12 innings
- The Sun-Times – Cubs seek October rematch after losing series to Nats on walkoff
- ESPN Chicago – Cubs find no shame in dropping ‘playoff’ series to Nationals
In case you haven’t noticed, there is another Cubs’ prospect at the Triple-A level producing rather well at the plate … Jeimer Candelario (and Mark Zagunis is also making a good transition)
A day after hitting his first longball at the Triple-A level, Candelario went 3-for-3 with a triple, a run scored and a RBI in Iowa’s 6-5 win over Colorado Springs. Candelario played the entire game at third base.
Candelario went 5-for-8 with a triple and a home run in a two-game stretch and now has nine hits at the Triple-A level in seven games.
Jeimer Candelario is 9-for-25 with three doubles, a triple and a home run with four walks and seven strikeouts … that five extra basehits in seven games and a .360/.500/.680 slash line with a 1.180 OPS.
Cubs-Pirates Probable Pitchers
The Cubs begin a six-game homestand Friday afternoon (1:20pm CDT) with the first of three against the Pirates. The Cardinals make their way to Wrigley for a three-game series that starts Monday. The Cubs have a chance over the next week to add to the lead in the NL Central.
- The Cubs and Pirates posted the probable starters for the three-game series.
- Friday, June 17 (1:20pm CDT) – RHP Jake Arrieta vs. LHP Francisco Liriano
- Saturday, June 18 (7:15pm CDT) – LHP Jon Lester vs. LHP Jonathan Niese
- Sunday, June 19 (7:08pm CDT) – RHP Jameson Taillon vs. RHP Kyle Hendricks
The Cubs have John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Jake Arrieta lined up for the series against the Cardinals.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Yankees becoming sellers? According to Comcast SportsNet, Cubs will believe it when they see it.
• According to Ken Rosenthal, D-Backs’ GM Dave Stewart said teams are calling about potential free agent relievers Brad Ziegler and Daniel Hudson. The D-Backs “will consider extensions for both before the deadline.” There are whispers that the Cubs are one of the teams that have shown interest in Ziegler.
• For those that watch minor league game on MiLB.TV. The Eugene Emeralds announced Wednesday the team’s home games will be available on MiLB.TV this season.
• Joe Maddon’s starting lineup Wednesday had four players 24 or younger … Kris Bryant (24), Javier Baez (23), Addison Russell (22) and Albert Almora Jr. (22).
And last, but not least, Anthony Rizzo’s two-run shot in the ninth inning Wednesday was the first time in his career he hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning or later with his team trailing according to ESPN.
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Kyle Schwarber made his Major League debut versus the Indians at Wrigley Field
1995 – Cardinals traded Todd Zeile and cash to the Cubs for Francisco Morales, Paul Torres and Mike Morgan
1993 – Cubs signed free agent Brendan Donnelly
1993 – The 100th anniversary of Cracker Jack was celebrated at Wrigley Field. Cracker Jack was introduced at the Chicago World Fair in 1893
1981 – William Wrigley announced the sale of the Cubs to the Tribune Company for $20.5 million, ending 66-year ownership by the Wrigley family
1977 – Kerry Wood, born
1958 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Dick Ellsworth
1958 – Dick Ellsworth made his Cubs debut by pitching the Cubs to a 1-0 win over the White Sox at the Boys Benefit game at Comiskey Park
1954 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Dick Drott
1927 – Cubs won their 12th consecutive game by beating the Phillies 7-2 behind Hal Carlson at Wrigley Field. The Phillies traded Carlson to the Cubs nine days earlier for infielder Jimmy Cooney
1884 – Due to inflammation in his right index finger, Larry Corcoran pitched both left-handed and right-handed in a game against the Bisons. The right-hander threw four innings alternating throwing arms before finishing the game at shortstop. The White Stockings (Cubs) lost 20-9.