The Cubs have had more good days than bad this season. Unfortunately, Tuesday was not one of them. The Cubs had a rough day before the team took the field on the South Side and were shut out for the first time in almost two months.
Even with dropping two in a row to the Sox, the Cubs are 19 games over .500 and the 59-40 record after 99 games is still the best in baseball. The Cubs and Giants are the only two teams with 59 wins on the season.
The Cardinals and Mets split Tuesday’s doubleheader and the Mariners beat the Pirates at PNC Park.
Entering play Wednesday, the Cubs have a 6 ½ game lead on the Cardinals and a full eight-game advantage over the Pirates in the division. While the front office has slapped World Series or bust expectations on the team, the first goal is to win the NL Central.
The Cubs have a lot of work to do on and off the field. And the Cubs open an eight-game homestand on Wednesday night where Joe Maddon’s team is 30-16 this season.
Aroldis Chapman joined the Cubs on the South Side on Tuesday afternoon. But he did not pitch because the Cubs were blanked by the Sox and there wasn’t an opportunity for him to save the game.
Aroldis Chapman met with the Chicago media at the Cell and it is suffice to say it did not go well. The Cubs went into damage control after what Chapman said through MLB certified translator Henry Blanco was misunderstood and/or lost in translation. Joe Maddon had to address the situation and Theo Epstein even jumped on ESPN 1000 to explain what happened.
Here are the reports from Tuesday:
- The Athletic – Transcripts from Aroldis Chapman’s conversations with Chicago media and ESPN’s Pedro Gomez
- Comcast SportsNet – It’s World Series or bust for Cubs while carrying Aroldis Chapman’s baggage
- Bruce Levine – Aroldis Chapman confident he can meet Cubs’ expectations on, off the field
- The Tribune – Video of Theo Epstein explaining phone call with Aroldis Chapman
- The Tribune – Video of Joe Maddon talking about Aroldis Chapman
- The Tribune – Video of Aroldis Chapman and Henry Blanco talking to Chicago Media
- The Tribune – Lost in translation: Aroldis Chapman doesn’t seem to get it
- Cubs.com – Aroldis Chapman arrives in Chicago with focus on wins
- Carrie Muskat – Aroldis Chapman on joining the Cubs
- Fox Sports – Joe Maddon on Aroldis Chapman: ‘We’ve all been less than perfect’
- ESPN Chicago – Aroldis Chapman was needed only to address media as Cubs’ hitting woes continued
- Hardball Talk – Chapman has trouble remembering conversation with Cubs management about off-field behavior
- The Sun-Times – Did Chapman get Ricketts’ message? Will it translate by October?
- ESPN (Pedro Gomez) – New Cub Aroldis Chapman clarifies comments from ‘nervous’ presser
- Comcast SportsNet – Cubs go into damage-control mode after introducing Aroldis Chapman to Chicago
Tom Ricketts joined Mully and Hanley (670 The Score) on Tuesday morning to discuss the Cubs acquiring Aroldis Chapman long before what transpired at the Cell.
Ricketts said that during the conference call with Chapman the team “stressed when you become a Cub you’re going to do your best on and off the field for the organization.” Ricketts said he was “more involved with this trade for Chapman more than any other due to the background.”
Ricketts was satisfied with Chapman’s answers and pointed out adding him is “a good decision for the Cubs.”
Joe Maddon said Soler is getting close and likely needs at least nine or 10 more at-bats before the Cubs activate him from the DL. Maddon pointed out during his weekly spot on MLB Network Radio that having Soler back “could be a great August addition.”
Soler hit second and played left field Tuesday for Double-A Tennessee. Soler was 0-for-4 with a sac fly RBI and a strikeout.
In five games with Triple-A Iowa and Double-A Tennessee, Jorge Soler is 2-for-17 with two walks and nine strikeouts.
Chris Coghlan continued his rehab with Double-A Tennessee on Tuesday. Coghlan played right field and hit leadoff for the Smokies.
Coghlan went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, two runs scored and two RBI. Coghlan is 5-for-12 in four games with two doubles, four walks and a strikeout during his rehab assignment.
Josh Reddick had another good game at the plate Tuesday and he made a sensational catch to end the A’s 6-3 victory over the Rangers.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 27, 2016
Reddick went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. And since the break, Josh Reddick is hitting .306/.390,528 with two doubles and two home runs for a .918 OPS.
Pierce Johnson made his first relief appearance of the season Tuesday in Iowa’s 9-5 loss to New Orleans.
Johnson replaced Jake Buchanan for the fifth and completed two innings. Johnson allowed three runs on five hits as his season-long struggles continued. Johnson served up a two-run homer to Tomas Telis and struck out two. Johnson did not issue any free passes and made 41 pitches, 26 for strikes.
Johnson has allowed 39 runs, 38 earned, on 52 hits with 30 walks and 42 strikeouts in 12 games, 11 starts (42 2/3 innings, 8.02 ERA, 1.92 WHIP).
When he’s not been on the DL this season, Pierce Johnson seems to have taken several steps back in his development. At this point, the Cubs probably should send him down to Double-A in order to give him a chance to finish the year on a positive note.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Comcast SportsNet reported there was no late magic as the Cubs were shut out by the White Sox.
• Joe Maddon used Kris Bryant as the Cubs’ designated hitter on Tuesday. Maddon thought it was a good opportunity to give Bryant “a half-day off” after he hit his head on Tyler Saladino’s knee sliding into second base Monday. Bryant struggled mightily against James Shields again (0-for-4, three strikeouts). Bryant told Comcast SportsNet before the game he looked forward to the opportunity to DH.
• Comcast SportsNet explained how Joe Maddon helped inspire James Shields’ gem over the Cubs.
• According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs might not be done with almost a week until the trade deadline.
• Anyone that watches, or listens, to the Cubs on a daily basis knows one of the many issues the team is dealing with is the amount of free passes being issued by the pitching staff, especially the starting rotation. It seems like just about every time a Cubs’ pitcher walks a batter he comes around to score. ESPN Chicago asked if walks are becoming a problem for the Cubs.
• The Tribune reported Joe Maddon relished chat with predecessor Rick Renteria.
• The Cubs’ farm system is not barren after Aroldis Chapman trade according to the Tribune.
• The Marlins make their annual trip to Wrigley on Monday. And Don Mattingly will have his leadoff man back. Dee Gordon returns Thursday from his 80-game suspension for PEDs.
• Adam Warren is excited to be back home with the Yankees.
• Rich Hill might pitch this weekend according to Susan Slusser.
• The Reds are talking to at least for teams about Jay Bruce. The Redlegs are looking for a top prospect in return for Bruce according to Jerry Crasnick.
• The Nationals are looking for bullpen help but are “balking at including Lucas Giolito, Trea Turner or Reynaldo Lopez in any deals” according to Jayson Stark. Jonathan Papelbon blew the save Tuesday.
• The Cardinals placed Trevor Rosenthal on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation.
• The Mariners and Blue Jays made a deal late Tuesday. The Mariners acquired RHP Drew Storen and cash from the Jays for RHP Joaquin Benoit.
• Scott Miller’s starting nine includes notes on the Cubs.
• Just an interesting fact from Christopher Kamka … Aroldis Chapman is wearing his No. 54 with the Cubs, the same number Goose Gossage wore with the Cubs in 1988. Chapman and Gossage both wore No. 54 with the Yankees.
• An MLB executive told Jerry Crasnick in regards to the trade deadline there is “a lot of posturing going on right now” and the exec does not think “teams will get aggressive until the weekend.”
• Mark Gonzales noted Tuesday that Willson Contreras reached base safely in each of his previous 18 games, the longest such stretch by a Cubs’ rookie since Kosuke Fukudome reached base in 19 straight games eight years ago. (June 7-30, 2008).
• Cubs have five players with at least 10 home runs: Kris Bryant (25), Anthony Rizzo (24), Ben Zobrist (13), Addison Russell (11) and Javier Baez (10).
And last, but not least, David Ross is living the dream during his #YearLongRetirementParty.
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Cubs released Edwin Jackson
2014 – Greg Maddux was inducted in the Hall of Fame
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Jeff Frazier
2005 – Cubs released Enrique Wilson
2001 – Cubs acquired Fred McGriff from the Devil Rays for Manny Aybar and a PTBNL. Cubs sent Jason Smith to Tampa to complete the trade on Aug. 6
1998 – Sammy Sosa hit the first grand slam of his career. Sosa established the mark of the most career home runs (246) before hitting a grand slam.
1992 – In his first start at Wrigley since announcing he would be leaving the Cubs at the end of the season, Greg Maddux beat the Pirates 3-2 and received a standing ovation as he walked off the field in the eighth inning.
1988 – Yoervis Medina, born
1988 – Micah Gibbs, born
1986 – Ryan Flaherty, born
1979 – Cubs beat the Mets 4-2 at Shea Stadium behind a pair of home runs by Dave Kingman
1973 – Enrique Wilson, born
1969 – Manager Leo Durocher went AWOL, visiting his stepson at Camp Objiwa at Eagle River, Wisconsin and created a furor that simmered all summer
1968 – Tom Goodwin, born
1952 – Bump Wills, born
1945 – Larry Bittner, born
1945 – Cubs purchased Hank Borowy from the Yankees for $97,500. Borowy went 11-2, with three wins against the Cardinals, down the stretch and helped lead the Cubs to the National League Pennant.
1905 – Leo Durocher, born
1885 – John Clarkson pitched a no-hitter against Providence
1880 – Joe Tinker, born