The Cubs improved to a Major League best 42-18 on Saturday with the 8-2 victory over the Braves. The Cubs’ run differential stands at plus-151 on the season after the team’s 22nd win by five or more runs. As Christopher Kamka pointed out, the Cubs have more wins (22) by five or more runs this season than total losses (18).
Jake Arrieta had a good outing on the mound. Arrieta allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings. And Arrieta went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored. For the season, Arrieta is hitting .276/.344/.414 (8-for-29) with a double and a home run for a .758 OPS.
Madison Bumgarner said last week he would like to be in the Home Run Derby. After collecting two more hits Saturday, Arrieta was asked about participating in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game next month.
Arrieta said, “If he’s in it, I need to be in it, that’s for sure. He can hit the ball a long way, but I can, too.” According to the Tribune, Arrieta asked “the Chicago media to lobby for his inclusion in the derby.”
Jake Arrieta has hit one home run this year, the titanic shot at Chase Field in Phoenix during his second start of the season. Arrieta has hit three home runs in 172 career at bats.
The Giants are not going to let Madison Bumgarner participate, even though the team hasn’t officially said that. And neither will the Cubs with Jake Arrieta. It would be fun for a night in mid-July to watch the pitchers slug it out, but their day jobs are more important to their respective teams.
- Report from the Tribune
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from the Sun-Times
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
Anthony Rizzo returned to the lineup Saturday after a stiff back forced him to miss the opener of the three-game series. Rizzo told the Sun-Times he did not know why or what led to his back tightening up overnight. Rizzo said it might have been the bed he slept in. Rizzo said he was fine. And he went out and proved it.
Rizzo went 1-for-5 with a home run, his 14th of the season gave his team a 2-0 lead in the four inning.
For the season, Rizzo is batting .257/.384/.524 with 12 doubles, a triple and 14 home runs for a .908 OPS. No. 44 has 44 RBI and 35 walks with 32 strikeouts in 59 games (210 at-bats).
Saturday was the seventh time Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, aka Bryzzo, homered in the same game.
The Willson Watch
Willson Contreras doubled in the first inning of Saturday night’s game at Principal Park and extended his hitting streak to a career-best 17 games. Contreras went 2-for-4 with a double, a HBP and two runs scored. Iowa lost to Round Rock 14-9.
Contreras is batting, after 51 games, .353/.444/.595 with 15 doubles, two triples and nine home runs for a 1.039 OPS. Contreras has 27 walks and 30 strikeouts in 190 at bats.
Contreras is producing at the plate while working on his defense and receiving skills. Contreras told the Des Moines Register “he’s watching Chicago’s game closely, watching how pitchers are attacking hitters.” Contreras said he “wants to be ready when called.”
News and Notes
• The Sun-Times reported Cubs reject Rahm’s Wrigley Plaza deal, and negotiations are over.
• Joe Maddon sees new clubhouse leaders, or ‘Lead Bulls’ as the skipper calls them, emerging for Cubs after David Ross according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• CBS Chicago reported that David Ross is ‘not here for anything but that ring.’
• Bunt on Jon Lester to beat him? The Sun-Times reported the Cubs said go ahead and try.
• The Cubs have not given a timeframe on when they expect Jorge Soler to return from the left hamstring injury that landed him on the DL. Maddon was asked about what the Cubs plans are for Albert Almora Jr. when Soler returns. According to Carrie Muskat, Maddon said Soler will play “but Almora Jr. can make our decision difficult.”
• RHP Aaron Brooks made his organizational debut Saturday in the slugfest between the I-Cubs and Round Rock. Iowa lost 14-9. Brooks is on a Major League rehab with the I-Cubs and started Saturday. Brooks pitched the first three innings and allowed four runs on four hits (one home run) with three walks and four strikeouts. Brooks made 57 pitches, 33 for strikes.
• Saturday marked the second time (May 13 vs. Pirates) this season all nine players in Joe Maddon’s starting lineup had at least one hit.
• The recently signed Joel Peralta reported to the I-Cubs on Saturday. Peralta was not placed on Iowa’s roster. According to the Des Moines Register, Peralta will throw “a bullpen or two first.” Peralta still has to take a physical but is expected to be activated and added to the I-Cubs’ roster early this week.
• Joel Sherman took a look at the second base dominoes that fell in the off-season, which teams benefited (Cubs, Nationals) and which team maybe did not, at least as it approaches the middle of June.
• The Pirates placed C Francisco Cervelli on the 15-day DL on Saturday with a broken hamate bone in his left hand. Cervelli had surgery Saturday. The Pirates estimated he will be able to return in four to six weeks. The Pirates added catcher Erik Kratz. And they may have lost Gerrit Cole for a little while. Cole was forced to leave his last start early with what the Pirates called ‘right triceps tightness.’
• Bryce Harper paid tribute to Muhammad Ali.
The Cubs pointed out it was a good day for the middle of the lineup.
— #VoteCubs (@Cubs) June 12, 2016
And last, but not least, as the Cubs get ready to take on the Nationals, Paul Sullivan took a look at Joe Maddon, Dusty Baker and the pressure of managing the Cubs. Round Two of Joe vs. Dusty is just around the corner.
This Day in Cubstory
2014 – Cubs signed free agent Yorvit Torrealba
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Ben Broussard
1989 – Dallas Beeler, born
1981 – Cubs trade Rick Reuschel to the Yankees for Doug Bird and $400,000. The Cubs received Mike Griffin from the Yankees to compete the trade
1967 – Cubs traded Bob Hendley to the Mets for Rob Gardner and a PTBNL. The Mets sent John Stephenson to the Cubs on June 17 to complete the trade
1955 – Harry Chiti, Randy Jackson and Dee Fondy homered as the Cubs beat Don Newcombe and the Dodgers 9-5 in the first of two (doubleheader) at Ebbets Field. The Cubs pulled off a triple play in the seventh inning of the second game, third baseman Jackson to catcher Chiti to first baseman Fondy and back to Chiti, but the Cubs lost 6-2 in game two.
1955 – Cubs purchased Owen Friend from the Red Sox
1953 – Cubs traded Fred Baczewski and Bob Kelly to the Reds for Bubba Church
1949 – Frankie Frisch named Cubs manager, replaced Charlie Grimm
1935 – After receiving a clubhouse “tongue-lashing” from skipper Charlie Grimm, who imposed a ban on poker games), the Cubs beat the Phillies 15-0 behind Larry French in Philadelphia. Phil Cavarretta recorded a single, a double, a home run and four RBI while Chuck Klein hit a three-run homer.
1923 – Hack Miller drove in seven runs with two homers and a single as the Cubs beat the Braves 12-11 at Wrigley Field. Miller’s hit a Grand Slam in the fifth that tied the game at seven and his two-run homer in the six gave the Cubs a temporary lead.
This Day In Baseball History
1839 – Due to an erroneous eye-witness account, Abner Doubleday is given credit for establishing the first baseball game is played in America. The Hall of Fame, which opens a century later in Cooperstown, celebrates the origin of our National Pastime in this small upstate New York town although it is doubtful the West Point cadet was ever there or ever watched a baseball game.
1939 – The Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated in Cooperstown, NY.
1981 – Major League Baseball experienced its first in-season work stoppage. The 50-day strike ended on July 31.
1997 – The first Interleague game was played between the Giants and Rangers in Texas. The Rangers beat the Giants 4-3 and the former Cubs slugger, Glenallen Hill became the first designated hitter used by a National League team in a regular season game