Tuesday’s game is one that will not soon be forgotten. The Cubs beat the Nationals 4-3 on a ninth inning double from Albert Almora Jr. that drove in Addison Russell. The two youngest players on the roster came through on the biggest stage on the road in a playoff atmosphere. And, oh yeah, it was ‘Grandpa Rossy’ that bunted Russell into scoring position to set the stage for Almora Jr.
Albert Almora Jr. celebrated his one week anniversary in Major League Baseball by having his hand in the outcome of a second game. Almora Jr. announced his arrival last Wednesday in Philly and drove in the game-winner on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.
At the plate, Albert Almora Jr. is 4-for-12 with two doubles, three runs scored and three RBI in seven games. And he’s shown over the first week in the field and at the plate that he belongs in the big leagues.
Post-Game Reports – Recap
The Cubs improved to 44-19 with Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Nationals. Joe Maddon’s team is 8-8 in one-run games. And the Cubs are 40-2 this season when scoring at least four runs.
John Lackey had another very good start Tuesday. The Sun-Times pointed out since the beginning of May (nine starts), Lackey has a 1.72 ERA in 62 2/3 innings. The Cubs are 6-3 over that span after winning each of the last four games Lackey has gotten the ball. Lackey’s 1.72 ERA is the third lowest in majors, according to ESPN, behind only Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw.
The Cubs starting rotation has allowed 113 runs, 105 earned runs, on 287 hits with 109 walks and 387 strikeouts for a 2.34 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 63 games. The Cubs starting staff ranks No. 1 in baseball in ERA (2.34), WHIP (0.98), Opponent’s batting average (.201), earned runs, hits allowed and home runs allowed (28).
Here are the post-game reports from Tuesday and a recap of what was a really good game between two of the best teams in baseball …
- CCO – Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good
- The Tribune – Cubs show playoff-like urgency in Tuesday’s win over Nationals
- The Tribune – Albert Almora Jr. doubles in ninth to knock in winning run for 4-3 victory
- Cubs.com – Hector Rondon records five outs, underused ‘pen delivers
- Comcast SportsNet – Albert Almora Jr. delivers for Cubs in win over Nationals
- The Sun-Times – Almora beat Nats with ninth inning double as Cubs keep eyes on arms
- ESPN Chicago – Another rookie, Albert Almora Jr., comes through for the Cubs
The Willson Watch
Willson Contreras played in game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Colorado Springs. Contreras extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a first inning single to center field. Contreras doubled into the left field corner and drove in John Andreoli in his second at-bat.
Contreras finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a RBI.
In 53 games, Willson Contreras is batting .354/.444/.601 with 16 doubles, three triples and nine home runs for a 1.045 OPS. And in his last nine games, Contreras is 15-for-32 with five doubles, a triple, a home run, five walks and six strikeouts … that’s a .469/.564/.781 line with a 1.345 OPS.
Javier Baez’s play at the end of Tuesday’s game was just ridiculous. According to Daren Willman, Javier Baez covered 22 feet, first step in 0.1 seconds, exchange in 0.9 seconds with a 64 mph, 100 foot throw.
Veteran reliever RHP Joel Peralta was added to Iowa’s roster Tuesday and made his organizational debut in game two of the doubleheader against Colorado Springs. Peralta entered the game in the sixth inning.
Peralta struck out the first batter he faced and retired the side in order (Josmil Pinto, Garin Cecchini, Michael Reed). Peralta made 11 pitches, six for strikes. The other two outs, one on the ground and one flyball.
News and Notes
• ESPN Chicago talked to Joe Nathan and he was scheduled to throw his third bullpen Tuesday at the Cubs’ facility. Jesse Rogers reported if everything goes as planned, Nathan would then pitch in a game Friday in Arizona. Rogers explained that if Nathan continues to make progress he would pitch again around June 20 after that the next step would be a rehab assignment.
• Jon Lester said pitching around Bryce Harper isn’t ‘wussing out’ according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• RHP Pierce Johnson was activated from the DL and pitched the second game of the twin bill Tuesday against Colorado Springs. Johnson allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Johnson made 79 pitches, 49 for strikes, in five innings. The I-Cubs split the doubleheader, winning game two 15-5.
• Kris Bryant plans to skip the Home Run Derby if he’s asked according to the Sun-Times. Anthony Rizzo hasn’t decided if he will participate or not.
• Tom Verducci asked is the NL Central race over? The Cubs have a chance to ‘bury’ the Cardinals and Pirates in the coming week.
• RHP Tyson Ross long-tossed at 150 feet on Tuesday and he could throw a bullpen session this weekend according to Dennis Lin.
• Jameson Taillon dominated the Mets on Tuesday night after being recalled from Triple-A. The Pirates placed Gerrit Cole on the 15-day DL. Taillon took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, allowed two hits and a walk while striking out five in eight shutout innings.
Jacob Hannemann made another excellent, web gem-worthy catch for Double-A Tennessee.
And last, but not least, MLB provided an update for the AL All-Star balloting … the NL update comes out Wednesday afternoon.
This Day in Cubstory
2011 – Cubs released Thomas Diamond
1998 – Sammy Sosa hit three home runs in 6-5 win over the Brewers. Sosa hit 15 home runs in a 16 game stretch. Kerry Wood picked up the victory
1997 – Cubs beat the Brewers 4-3 at Wrigley to win the Interleague series. Frank Castillo allowed five hits in 6 1/3 innings. The Cubs drew 112,690 fans for the three games, 7,638 shy of the Wrigley Field record of 120,328 for a three-game series set in 1994 against the Reds.
1996 – Cubs released Doug Jones
1991 – Bijan Rademacher, born
1978 – Cubs traded Joe Walls to the Indians for Mike Vail
1969 – En route to setting the NL record of playing in 1,117 consecutive games, Billy Williams, after fouling a pitch off his foot the day before, hobbled to the plate as a pinch hitter in the Cubs 7-6 loss to the Reds at Crosley Field. It was the first time Williams had not been in the starting lineup during the 878 games of the streak
1964 – Cubs traded outfielder Lou Brock and pitchers Jack Spring and Paul Toth to the Cardinals for pitchers Ernie Broglio and Bobby Shantz and outfielder Doug Clemens
1962 – Phillies signed amateur free agent Ferguson Jenkins
1960 – Cubs traded Walt Moryn to the Cardinals for Jim McKnight
1951 – Cubs traded outfielder Andy Pafko, pitcher Johnny Schmitz, infielder Wayne Terwilliger and catcher Rube Walker to the Dodgers for outfielders Gene Hermanski, pitcher Joe Hatten, infielder Eddie Miksis and catcher Bruce Edwards
1949 – Cubs traded outfielders Peanuts Lowrey and Harry Walker to the Reds for Hank Sauer and Frankie Baumholtz
1949 – Dusty Baker, born
1941 – Cubs purchased Babe Dahlgren from the Boston Braves
1941 – Braves purchased Al Montgomery from the Cubs
1938 – Billy Williams, born
1925 – Gene Baker, born
1912 – Babe Dahlgren, born