The Cubs became the first team to reach 80 wins on the season with the 5-3 victory over the Padres on Tuesday night. Joe Maddon’s team reached another goal … the Cubs are 35 games over .500. The Cubs increased the lead in the NL Central over the Cardinals to 13 ½ games. And the Cubs are a full seven games in front of the Nationals (73-52) for the best record in the National League.
The Cubs’ run differential on the season sits at plus-214, tops in the game and 77 runs better than the Nationals (137).
This is the first time since 1929 the Cubs have reached 80 wins within the first 125 games of a season.
Kris Bryant had another big day at the plate Tuesday. Bryant reached base three times, drove in two runs and hit his fifth home run in six days.
Bryant went yard for the 33rd time on the season, tied with Nolan Arenado for the most longballs in the National League. Bryant is hitting .300/.392/.574 with 29 doubles, a triple and 33 home runs for a .966 OPS. And in 122 games, Bryant has scored 102 runs and has 86 RBI.
Kris Bryant’s 33 home runs on the season are the most by a Cubs’ player since Derrek Lee hit 35 in 2009 according to ESPN.
Christopher Kamka pointed out that Bryant has an “unofficial four-game home run streak at PETCO Park.” Bryant homered on May 21, 2015, in the All-Star Game off Chris Sale and in the first two games of the current series with the Padres.
The Sun-Times reported that Bryant, who went to school at the University of San Diego, “had a huge contingent of USD coaches and alumni at Tuesday’s game.” Bryant said they were sitting somewhere in left field and he tried to hit the ball to them.
— MLB (@MLB) August 24, 2016
According to Buster Olney, Kris Bryant is on pace to finish the season with 184 hits, 76 walks, 82 extra basehits, 43 home runs, 132 runs scored and 111 RBI.
John Lackey played catch for the first time Tuesday since landing on the disabled list and he’s expected to again Wednesday. According to multiple reports if everything goes as planned he will throw a bullpen this weekend at Dodger Stadium.
Lackey told the beat writers he felt good Tuesday and “hopefully we’ll keep moving forward.”
Lackey is eligible to come off the DL on Aug. 30. Lackey should be ready to go around that time and the Cubs are expected to activate him once the roster expands on Sept. 1.
Tommy La Stella
Tommy La Stella batted cleanup and played third base for Iowa on Tuesday in the 3-2 win over the Redbirds. La Stella went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. In his last two games for the I-Cubs, La Stella is 3-for-8.
La Stella is expected to be recalled next week when the roster expands.
Dylan Cease started Tuesday for Short-Season Eugene and completed the first four innings of an eventual 3-1 loss to Everett. Cease allowed one run on one hit with two walks and seven strikeouts. Cease made a wild pitch that allowed a run to score. Cease threw 78 pitches, 45 for strikes. And according to the Emeralds, Cease’s fastball was constantly 98-plus on Tuesday.
In 10 starts this season (34 2/3 innings), Dylan Cease is 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.30 WHIP (13 runs, 11 earned, 24 hits, 21 walks, 48 strikeouts).
News and Notes
• Jake Arrieta shutout the Padres for eight innings, allowing just two hits on Tuesday night. According to The Sun-Times, Arrieta is making a push for a second straight NL Cy Young Award. Arrieta now leads the National League in wins with 16 on the season. Comcast SportsNet reported Jake Arrieta shut down the Padres and is making another Cy Young push.
• ESPN Chicago reported no one is doubting Addison Russell in San Diego this time. According to Comcast SportsNet, no doubt Addison Russell is becoming a star. And Addison Russell is proving All-Star critics wrong according to The Sun-Times.
• Joe Smith threw a bullpen session Tuesday and according to a report from Carrie Muskat, he is “making progress.”
• Hector Rondon played catch Tuesday and is expected to throw a bullpen session this weekend.
• Willson Contreras picked off Travis Jankowski from third base in the first inning of Tuesday’s game. With Jake Arrieta struggling with his command at the time, Contreras picked up his pitcher with a big play for an out. Daren Willman noted Contreras’ pop time was 1.5 seconds with a 0.77-second exchange. Kris Bryant caught Contreras’ 85.5 mph fastball and applied the tag for the out … just wow. Cubs catchers have picked off a league leading eight runners this season.
• Christopher Kamka reported the only Rookie of the Year and MVP in consecutive seasons are Cal Ripken Jr. (1982-83), Ryan Howard (2005-06) and Dustin Pedroia (2007-08).
• Comcast SportsNet reported Joe Maddon met Steve Kerr and sees similarities between Cubs and Warriors.
• Kris Bryant returns as Express brand ambassador for Fall/Winter 2016 according to Comcast SportsNet.
And last, but not least, The Sun-Times pointed out over the last four days that Mike Montgomery was “pissed,” Jon Lester was “not happy,” and Jake Arrieta was “mad” after Joe Maddon lifted them from their starts earlier than they thought should have been taken out of the game. All three pitchers know Maddon has the big picture in mind and that the team has its sights set on October.
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Cubs signed free agent Quintin Berry
2007 – Greg Maddux became the first pitcher to win at least 10 games in 20 straight seasons when the – Padres beat the Phillies at Citizen’s Bank Park.
1999 – Cubs acquired Micah Bowie, Ruben Quevedo and Joey Nation from the Braves for Jose Hernandez and Terry Mulholland
1996 – Kerry Wood combined on a no-hitter with the Daytona Cubs, his second no-hitter in the minors. The D-Cubs beat Vero Beach 3-0. Wood pitched eight innings.
1989 – Cubs acquired Paul Assenmacher from the Braves for two PTBNL. Cubs sent Kelly Mann and Pat Gomez to Atlanta on Sept. 1 to complete the trade.
1971 – Ernie Banks hit his 512th and last home run in a 5-4 victory over the Reds at Wrigley Field. Banks final longball was hit off Jim McGlothin in the first inning.
1947 – Eddie Waitkus hit an inside the park grand slam in the second of two with the Giants. The Cubs won 8-3.
1930 – Cubs purchased Jesse Petty from the Pirates
1927 – Hack Wilson went 4-for-5 with two home runs, a stolen base, five runs scored and four RBI in a Cubs 13-1 win over the Phillies in the second game of a doubleheader in Philadelphia. Spark Adams went 5-for-6 with three doubles, two in the first inning. Wilson homered in the first game, but the Phillies won 7-6.
1905 – Ed Reulbach pitched a complete game as the Cubs beat the Phillies 2-1 in 20 innings. Frank Chance singled in Jack McCarthy with the winning run. Phillies’ Tully Sparks pitched the entire 20 innings but was hung with a loss.
1886 – Cap Anson hit two home runs and scored six runs in 18-6 win over Boston at West Side Park.