Addison Russell, the Cubs’ 22-year old All-Star shortstop, had a big day at the plate batting fifth in Joe Maddon’s lineup. Russell went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI. Tuesday was the second multi-homer game of his career.
Russell batted fifth for the first time on the season Monday. Russell told ESPN Chicago after the game he loved hitting fifth and that was the “most comfortable” he felt all season.
In two games, Russell is 4-for-9 with three home runs batting fifth in the lineup.
Russell is now hitting .295/.373/.557 in 35 games at Wrigley this season with seven doubles, two triples and seven home runs. In his last five games, Russell is 6-for-18 with three home runs (.333/.350/.833). And in his last 15 games, Russell is 15-for-49 with five home runs (.306/.397/.653).
Addison Russell was voted as the NL starting shortstop for the All-Star Game. Russell is the youngest shortstop to start an All-Star Game since Alex Rodriguez (1997) and is the youngest starting shortstop in National League history.
In 78 games this season, Addison Russell is hitting .242/.338/.416 with 10 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs for a .754 OPS.
Cubs Seven All-Stars
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, Dexter Fowler, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester are National League All-Stars and will represent the Cubs at PETCO Park on Tuesday.
The Cubs made history Tuesday when the team’s entire infield was voted in as starters for the National League in the All-Star Game. The Cubs are the first team since the ’63 St. Louis Cardinals to have its entire infield start the All-Star Game.
Multiple reports Tuesday night suggested the Cubs could have as many as six starters in the All-Star Game with Arrieta in consideration to be the first pitcher used by NL manager Terry Collins.
Questions were raised about the selection process for the All-Star Game, an exhibition that means home field advantage for the sport’s biggest series of the year.
The Cubs were the best team in baseball for a majority of the first half of the season and will be heavily represented in the Midsummer Classic. Tuesday will be a huge night for the organization.
Enjoy this Cubs fans. It has been a special season and there’s a lot of baseball left to be played.
Kris Bryant took over the Major League lead in home runs on Tuesday with another dinger off Reds’ pitching. Bryant is batting .278/.370/.578 with 19 doubles and 25 home runs for a .948 OPS in 81 games.
Think about this, Bryant is one home run shy of the 26 homers he hit last year. Bryant has 64 RBI after 81 games and leads the league in runs scored (68). And Bryant has done all this damage at the plate while playing six different positions (third base, first base, shortstop, left field, right field and center field). While he may not be the best third baseman in the NL or in baseball as the Rockies pointed out, he is an MVP candidate and one of the best players in the game that is far from overrated.
Bryant became the sixth player in Cubs’ history to hit 25 or more home runs before the All-Star break joining Derrek Lee (2005), Sammy Sosa (five times), Dave Kingman (1979), Billy Williams (1970) and Ernie Banks (1960). Once again, Bryant has put his name on a list that already included Mr. Williams and Mr. Banks.
Bryant confirmed before Tuesday’s game that if he’s asked he will decline the invitation to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.
Bryant told the Tribune, “I don’t want to do it. Too tiring. I really want to enjoy it. If I’m there, I’d love to watch it. Last year it took a couple days to recover. Swinging a bat doesn’t look like it’s tiring. But when you do it for five straight minutes, trying to hit a ball as far as you can, it gets tiring. Home run derbys are fun, but I’ll have to pass.”
Bryant was sore Tuesday following the collision with Albert Almora Jr. in Monday’s game. Bryant said it was a bruise on his left knee, not the lower leg as reported. Bryant said, “It was serious. Any time it’s with the knee and goes the way it’s not supposed to go, it’s scary. So sitting on the ground and looking at my leg, it looked straight to me. Maybe it’s not as bad. But the first thing that crossed my mind was what happened to Kyle.”
Bryant admitted he felt lucky after it happened.
Bryant and Almora Jr. had not played in the same outfield before Monday. Bryant said they learned from it and have worked out the communication issues.
Tommy La Stella and Adam Warren
The Cubs will make at least two roster moves prior to Wednesday’s game and there could be another pair of moves to activate Tommy La Stella from the DL.
Adam Warren will be recalled to make his first start of the season. The Cubs are expected to send out a pitcher to make room for him on the active roster.
Tommy La Stella completed his rehab assignment with the Iowa Cubs. Reports suggested the Cubs will activate him from the DL and option Jeimer Candelario down to Iowa.
Joe Nathan completed another scoreless outing Tuesday for Double-A Tennessee. Nathan struck out two of the three batters he faced.
Nathan has now appeared in five games and has allowed just one run on one hit (solo home run) in five innings. Nathan has not walked a batter and struck out six.
Nathan’s fastball was in the low-90s on Tuesday, the same as it has been during his rehab assignment with the Smokies. Nathan has thrown his fastball in the 91-92 mph range, slider in the high-80s and changeup in the low-80s
News, Notes and Rumors
• Cubs’ starting pitchers allowed five or more runs three times in the first 72 games. Over the last 11 games, the rotation has allowed five or more runs five times … that’s a 7.14 ERA during that span according to Christopher Kamka.
• David Ross reached on a bunt single to start the sixth inning Tuesday. Ross topped out at 18.3 mph running to first base.
• Addison Russell, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant hit homers Tuesday which was the first time the Cubs starting shortstop, second baseman and third baseman hit home runs in the same game since May 28, 2012 (Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, Ian Stewart). Tuesday marked the first time since last August 13 that the Cubs hit three homers in the same inning.
• The Cubs are leaning on help from unexpected rookies at midpoint of season according to the Sun-Times.
• John Lackey and the Cubs were sloppy in rare loss to the Reds according to Comcast SportsNet.
• Joe Maddon was tossed from Tuesday’s game in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes. It was Maddon’s second ejection of the season. Maddon was thrown out five times last year. The Cubs are 0-2 in games Maddon has been asked to leave early this season, 3-2 in the five a year ago. Dave Martinez took over for Maddon and he called for Javier Baez to bunt in the sixth inning, which seemed to take away the Cubs momentum. Maddon made the most of his ‘free time.’ Maddon said in his post-game press conference he had a steam bath, a workout and some buttered raisin bread while his team finished the game against the Reds.
• Sports Illustrated picked the most memorable moments from the first half of the baseball season … from Arrieta’s no-hitter to Ichiro.
• The Tribune reported Pirates’ infielder Jung Ho Kang is being investigated by Chicago police following a sexual allegation charge that was filed against him. The incident allegedly took place last month when the Pirates were in Chicago playing the Cubs. The Pirates released a statement. Kang has not been charged. Click here for the full report from The Tribune.
• Duane Underwood Jr. left Tuesday night’s game in the fourth inning with an apparent injury. Underwood Jr. completed three innings and allowed two runs on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Underwood Jr. made 56 pitches, 29 for strikes. Underwood Jr. was not favoring anything according to Justin Rocke but he left with the trainer. Updates were not provided after the game.
• The Des Moines Register reported RHP Dallas Beeler was not with the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday and when asked, Marty Pevey “wouldn’t say where or why” he left the team. Beeler was on a minor league rehab (started June 3) with Iowa and has not pitched in a game since June 27 when he left the game with an undisclosed injury.
• Dan Vogelbach declined the invitation to participate in the Triple-A Home Run Derby according to the Des Moines Register.
• Reds’ centerfielder Billy Hamilton loves playing against the Cubs and is allowed to impact the games too much. Hamilton has a .307/.375/.489 career slash line against the Cubs in 156 plate appearances … versus the rest of baseball, .235/.277/.316 in 1,177 plate appearances.
• Teams that Jim Duquette has talked to about right-hander Julio Teheran have gotten the feeling the Braves are not going to trade him.
This Day in Cubstory
2012 – Cubs released Hung-Chih Kuo
2009 – Royals purchased Ryan Freel from the Cubs
2001 – Playing in the 101st different park in franchise history (1876), the Cubs beat the Tigers 15-8 at Comerica Park. It was the Cubs first win in Detroit in 56 years, dating back to game three of the 1945 World Series when Claude Passeau tossed a 3-0 shutout in Briggs Stadium. Cubs DH Roosevelt Brown collected five hits that included a double and a home run.
1998 – Cubs selected Glenallen Hill off waivers from the Mariners
1995 – Cubs released Steve Buechele
1980 – The Cubs played the longest game at the time in franchise history (topped last summer by the John Baker Game), five hours and 31 minutes but lost 5-4 in 20 innings to the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium. The Cubs’ pen pitched 12 1/3 inning of hitless ball from the eighth to the 20th inning. Dave Kingman went 0-for-9.
1973 – Ferguson Jenkins beat the Padres 8-5 for his 13th straight win over San Diego. Jenkins streak against the Friars began on May 12, 1969.
1972 – Cubs signed free agent Tommy Davis
1970 – Cubs released Hank Aguirre
1970 – Ron Santo drove in 10 runs in a doubleheader sweep over the Expos (3-2, 14-2) at Wrigley. Santo hit a two-run homer in game one and both a two-run homer and a Grand Slam in game two.
1967 – Cubs released Joey Amalfitano and Felix Mantilla
1963 – Lance Johnson, born
1932 – Shortstop Billy Jurges was shot in the left side and left hand by a 21-year old dancer Violet Popovich Valli, who shot herself. Jurges returned to the field several weeks later after recovering from the superficial wounds and Violet later appeared on a local stage under the name, Violet ‘I Did It For Love’ Popovich.
1930 – Bill Veeck Sr.’s Ladies Day promotion at Wrigley Field reached a new height when 30,000 female fans attended a doubleheader against the Reds. An over-capacity crowd packed Wrigley with thousands of other fans, including late-arriving paying patrons, were unable to get into the park.
1929 – Cubs selected Zack Taylor off waivers from the Braves
1925 – Rabbit Maranville replaced Bill Killefer as Cubs manager and led the team to a 10-5 victory over the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. Maranville celebrated after the game and was arrested for getting into a fight with a taxi cab driver.
1914 – Cubs purchased Casey Hageman from the Cardinals