The Cubs ended the weekend and the ‘first half’ of the season with a much-needed win against the Pirates, a 6-5 victory with Kris Bryant driving in Matt Szczur with the game winner. The Cubs righted the ship and snapped the five-game skid. The Cubs will spend the All-Star break seven games ahead of the second place Cardinals and 7 ½ up on the Pirates.
Joe Maddon’s team is 53-35 after the first 88 games of the season, that’s a .602 winning percentage. Even with the recent struggles, the Cubs have the second highest winning percentage in all of baseball. And the 53 wins, only the Giants (57), Rangers (54) and Nationals (54) have more W’s on the season.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, Dexter Fowler, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester will spend the next two days in San Diego for the All-Star Game.
The Cubs will make history Tuesday night when Rizzo, Bryant, Zobrist and Russell become the second infield to start an All-Star Game, joining the ’63 St. Louis Cardinals.
While the seven All-Stars enjoy their time in San Diego and hopefully help the Senior Circuit take care of the Junior Circuit, the rest of the Cubs, Joe Maddon and coaching staff will receive a much-needed break.
The Cubs resume the season Friday at Wrigley Field. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to start the first of three with the Rangers.
As would be expected with three weeks to go before the non-waiver trade deadline (Aug. 1), rumors picked up over the weekend and Theo Epstein addressed the front office’s search for pitching.
Here are all the headlines from the last three days with all of the news, notes and rumors to get you caught up before the All-Stars convene in San Diego …
Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 07/08/16
The weekend started with Tom providing recaps on the action from down on the farm. The South Bend Cubs stayed hot with help from Eddy Julio Martinez. Jonathan Martinez and Dylan Cease had good outings on the hill. And Dan Vogelbach kept hitting for Iowa.
The Daily CCO: A Big Series in Pittsburgh and Other Cubs News
The Cubs hit the road after a terrible ending to the homestand for a big series with the Pirates. Joe Maddon’s team needed a good end to the ‘first half’ in Pittsburgh. Simply did not get it.
The Daily Report includes updates on Clayton Richard, Duane Underwood Jr. and Thomas Hatch.
This Day in Cubs History, along with all of the news, notes, links and rumors are included in the daily update.
Gleyber Torres’ Four-Hit Night Includes Ninth Longball
Cubs’ top prospect, 19-year old Gleyber Torres has heated back up down in Myrtle Beach. Torres had a four-hit game that included his ninth home run of the season. Torres has adjusted very well to High-A ball and the Carolina League.
Report includes video of number nine.
Theo Epstein Says Cubs Looking for Pitching
The Cubs are not only looking for relief help but the front office would like to add at least one starting pitcher. Theo Epstein addressed the Cubs needs before the finale of the homestand.
Click on the report for all of the details from the Cubs President of Baseball Operations.
Andrew Miller Reportedly at Top of Cubs Reliever Wish List, Arodys Vizcaino Not Included
Jon Heyman provided an update on the Cubs search for a late-inning reliever. To no surprise, Heyman reported Andrew Miller tops the front office’s wish list. And according to Heyman, the Cubs are not interested in a reunion with Arodys Vizcaino.
Click on the link for the latest from the rumor mill.
Jake Arrieta Struggles, Sloppy Seventh Lead to Another Cubs Loss – Pirates 8, Cubs 4
Game one of the weekend series with the Pirates got away from the Cubs quickly in what was one of the ugliest half innings of the season. Anthony Rizzo broke a 3-3 tie with a solo homer in the top of the seventh. Jake Arrieta struggled in the bottom of the inning. Arrieta allowed the first two runners to reach. Joe Maddon went to the pen and the Cubs forgot how to play baseball.
Jake Arrieta had his best stuff in a month despite giving up a lot of hard contact and too many runs.
Cubs Announce Signing of Thomas Hatch, 20 Draft Picks
The Cubs made it official and announced signing third round pick RHP Thomas Hatch. With less than a week to go before the deadline, the Cubs have signed a total of 21 draft picks that includes each of the first eight.
The Daily CCO: Dexter Fowler’s Rehab, Jake Arrieta and Other Cubs News and Notes
Dexter Fowler played in his first, and what turned out to be his only rehab game with South Bend. Fowler walked twice in four plate appearances, struck out and rolled into a double play. The plan at the time was for Fowler to play again Saturday night. That plan changed later in the day.
Daily Report includes comments from Jake Arrieta following his start on Friday night. Clayton Richard made another rehab start. Joel Peralta was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. The Red Sox made a deal for a reliever.
Along with the news, notes, links and rumors, a look back at the day in Cubs history is included in report.
Dexter Fowler Will Not Play in the All-Star Game
Dexter Fowler decided to withdraw from the All-Star Game. Fowler will still attend the game but will not play. Fowler felt he was rushing the rehab process and decided it was best for him and the team that he did not play in the All-Star Game.
From the Wire: Cubs Recall Munenori Kawasaki, Option Jeimer Candelario to Triple-A Iowa
The Cubs made two roster moves before Saturday’s game. The Cubs recalled veteran infielder Munenori Kawasaki and sent 3B/1B Jeimer Candelario down to Triple-A Iowa.
Cubs Slide Continues, Drop Fifth Straight – Pirates 12, Cubs 6
Jon Lester had his second bad start in a row. Lester struggled with his command in the second inning, was rocked in the third and Maddon went to the bullpen for Adam Warren in the fourth inning. Warren could not slow down the Pirates. Warren served up back-to-back homers in the fifth, the first a pinch-hit Grand Slam by Pirates’ super rookie Josh Bell.
The Cubs offense could not keep up with the mistakes from the pitching staff. And the Cubs dropped their fifth game in a row as panic ensued among the fan base.
Report: Cubs Among Several Teams Scouting Josh Reddick
The Cubs have been linked to Josh Reddick since Kyle Schwarber was lost for the season. The Royals are very interested in acquiring Reddick, and the Cubs have scouted him. Reddick would give the Cubs another left-hander to help balance out the lineup and an outfielder that can provide excellent defense.
Click on the link for the latest on Josh Reddick.
The Daily CCO: Cubs News and Notes on the Last Day Before the Break
The Cubs worst week of the season led up the final day of the ‘first half’ of the year. The Cubs had lost five games in a row. And panic was set in as the media and fan base tried to figure out what was wrong with the Cubs. Joe Maddon kept his calm as the fan base started questioning his methods.
Jon Lester accepted full responsibility for his unacceptable outing. Dexter Fowler did something very cool for the South Bend Cubs. Joe Nathan got his work in and he prepares to make his Cubs debut.
Jorge Soler could be getting close to a minor league rehab assignment.
The Daily Report includes all of the news, notes, links and This Day in Cubs History.
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! – Cubs 6, Pirates 5
The Cubs snapped their five-game skid with a back-and-forth finale with the Pirates. The Cubs outlasted the Bucs with Kris Bryant driving in Matt Szczur with the eventual game winner in the eighth inning.
Addison Russell drove in two runs. Albert Almora Jr. launched a two-run homer. Anthony Rizzo had four more hits … and the Cubs went to the break with a win over the Pirates.