It’s Cubs-Sox week as the annual City Series begins tonight at the Cell. The Cubs and White Sox will square off for the next four days in the Crosstown Classic with two games on the South Side and two at Wrigley Field.
Jake Arrieta gets the ball on Monday night and will not face Chris Sale. The White Sox ‘suspended’ Sale for five days. Sale served the first day of his suspension on Saturday and is eligible to pitch the finale of the four-game series on Thursday at Wrigley. Sale is expected to start Thursday. There is a zero chance that Jerry Reinsdorf will allow Robin Ventura to cut Sale out of the Sox rotation for this series.
Here are the probable starting pitchers for the four-game series:
- Monday, July 25 (7:10pm CDT) – RHP Jake Arrieta vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez at U.S. Cellular Field
- Tuesday, July 26 (6:10pm CDT) – RHP Kyle Hendricks vs. RHP James Shields at U.S. Cellular Field
- Wednesday, July 27 (7:05pm CDT) – RHP Jason Hammel vs. RHP Jacob Turner at Wrigley
- Thursday, July 28 (7:05pm CDT) – RHP John Lackey vs. LHP Chris Sale at Wrigley
The Sox retained the Crosstown Cup a year ago by splitting the six games with the Cubs.
Gordon Wittenmyer reported Sunday that the Cubs were having fun with the Chris Sale incident and suspension. According to Wittenmyer the joke in the Cubs’ clubhouse, “You know what the Sox did with all the other throwback jerseys that didn’t get cut, right? They put them on Sale.”
It should be an interesting series with everything that is going on with the Sox and the Aroldis Chapman watch for the Cubs.
Dexter Fowler returned from the DL over the weekend and made a major impact Friday. Fowler hit a home run to start the game and doubled in two runs in his second at-bat. Fowler scored the Cubs’ fourth run on a sac fly from Anthony Rizzo.
Fowler went 0-for-4 on Saturday with a couple of strikeouts and finished the weekend series 3-for-8 with a double, a home run, two walks, two runs scored and three RBI.
Fowler did not start Sunday just due to general soreness. Fowler did not re-aggravate the hamstring injury. Fowler pinch-hit in the ninth inning and worked a walk.
Joe Maddon said Fowler was just sore after playing in back-to-back games following an extended time on the DL and a short rehab stint in the minors.
Dexter Fowler is expected back in the lineup on Monday night for the opener of the four-game series with the White Sox.
Russell fouled a ball off his left foot during his first at-bat of Saturday’s game. The injury worsened Sunday and he was removed from the game in the fourth inning. The Cubs downplayed Russell leaving the game.
The Cubs did not provide any further updates. Joe Maddon may not start Russell on Monday to give him another day. Russell’s status is unknown for the series with the White Sox.
Joe Nathan made his Cubs debut in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game and he ended up picking up the ‘W’ after the five-run seventh inning.
Nathan was rather shaky with the first two batters he faced. Jonathan Villar tripled and Hernan Perez walked. After Perez stole second with Braun at the plate, Nathan found a groove after a visit from Chris Bosio and got out of the jam without allowing the Brewers to tack on to the 4-1 lead.
Nathan struck out Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Chris Carter to end the inning. According to Darren Willman, Nathan hit 94 mph with his fastball Sunday, the hardest pitch he’s thrown in over two years (July 9, 2014).
Nathan was activated from the 60-day DL before the game and admitted it felt like Opening Day to him. After the game he told the beat writers, “I almost needed a defibrillator for the run into the mound. I was just trying to calm myself down.”
Joe Nathan showed Sunday he still knows how to get batters out in the big leagues. Now he has to prove he can get outs on a regular basis when Joe Maddon calls his number.
Jorge Soler – Chris Coghlan
Jorge Soler and Chris Coghlan played Sunday for Double-A Tennessee as the two outfielders continued their rehab stint with the Smokies.
News, Notes and Rumors
• The Cubs retained the No. 2 spot in Buster Olney’s weekly power rankings. Olney’s top 10: Nationals, Cubs, Indians, Red Sox, Orioles, Giants, Dodgers, Astros, Marlins, Rangers
• Comcast SportsNet reported Joe Maddon trolls the White Sox and explained why trade rumors would bother Chris Sale. And according to the Sun-Times, when rumor angst arises it can ‘cut at the fabric’ of a team.
• Ben Zobrist told the Sun-Times he didn’t feel snubbed when he did not receive an invite to visit the White House with the Kansas City Royals.
• Jason Heyward and Addison Russell received shoes Sunday to honor the newest Hall of Famer, Ken Griffey Jr.
• The Des Moines Register reported RHP Pierce Johnson is not among the starting pitching probables on the I-Cubs schedule and that Johnson could be moved to the bullpen.
• RHP Jordan Pries is scheduled to make his organizational debut on Monday night with the Iowa Cubs.
• Congratulations to Buddy Bailey on winning his 1,900th career game.
• The Giants are casting a wide net for relief pitchers after appearing to miss out on Aroldis Chapman. According to John Shea, Jeanmar Gomez (Phillies), Jeremy Jeffress (Brewers), Will Smith (Brewers), Huston Street (Angels) and Andrew Cashner (Padres) are among the Giants possible targets.
• The Mets are doubtful they can land Jonathan Lucroy according to Mike Puma and are “still prioritizing a reliever” as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches.
• The Phillies are scouting the Marlins Gulf Coast League affiliate according to Ken Rosenthal for a possible Jeremy Hellickson deal. And the Marlins have been looking at Matt Moore (Rays) and Andrew Cashner (Padres) according to Jon Heyman.
• Athletics’ skipper Bob Melvin is hoping Josh Reddick is able to return to the lineup Monday.
• Arismendy Alcantara was optioned back to Triple-A Nashville on Sunday. Alcantara was 1-for-5 during his latest call-up with the A’s and is 3-for-13 in five games for Oakland this season.
• The Diamondbacks have let teams know Shelby Miller is available in a trade according to Jeff Passan. And it will not cost a team nearly what the D-Backs paid the Braves to acquire him.
• The Blue Jays designated RHP Drew Storen for assignment. Storen had a horrible season for Toronto (1-3, 6.21 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 5.00 FIP) but is a name to keep an eye on if he becomes a free agent. The Cubs were linked to Drew Storen on a regular basis while he was with the Nationals.
• The Pirates are interested in LHP Matt Moore and RHP Jake Odorizzi according to Buster Olney and are among the teams evaluating the Rays pitchers. The Pirates placed RHP Tyler Glasnow on the 15-day DL with right shoulder discomfort.
• Aroldis Chapman recently changed agents and is now represented by Scott Boras.
And last but not least, Redbirds’ beat writer Jenifer Langosch reported it was worth noting that the Cardinals have not scored a run off Aroldis Chapman since 2011 (25 games).
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – The Streak ended at Wrigley Field in a 5-0 loss to Cole Hamels and the Phillies.
2010 – Andre Dawson was inducted into the Hall of Fame
1988 – Cubs tested their new $5 million lighting system at Wrigley Field with the first scheduled night game (August 8) two weeks away. Six banks of lights on 33-foot steel towers along the first base and third base lines illuminated the field during a charity even in which the players took batting practice and participated in a home run derby.
1980 – Joey Amalfitano replaced Preston Gomez as Cubs manager
1965 – Cubs executed a triple play in the fourth inning of game two of a double header at Wrigley Field. Bob Clemente of the Pirates hit a ball to Glenn Beckert to shortstop Don Kessinger to first baseman Ernie Banks. The Cubs beat the Pirates 5-0 in the second game after losing the first game 3-2.
1964 – Jose Bautista, born
1948 – Bill Nicholson hit the 200th homer of his career in the seventh inning and Eddie Waitkus hit a three-run inside-the-park home run in the fourth as the Cubs topped the Giants 6-3 at Wrigley Field
1947 – Mick Kelleher, born
1936 – Cubs pounded out 19 hits and beat the Phillies 17-4. The Cubs extended their lead over the Cardinals in the National League to three games. Augie Galen and Ethan Allen hit home runs.
1894 – George Decker hit a 520-foot home run and Jimmy Ryan scored six runs as the Chicago National League Ball Club beat the Pirates 24-6 at West Side Grounds
1876 – The Chicago National League Ball Club collected 26 hits, six by Cal McVey, in a 23-3 victory over the Reds behind Albert Spalding at 23rd Street Grounds