The weekend at Coors Field and the nine-game road trip did not get off to a good start for the Cubs. After rain delayed the game for over two hours, the Cubs played sloppy defense, the bullpen had another bad night and Joe Maddon’s team lost a game in which the final run scored on an error.
Kyle Hendricks did his part for six innings and will be the owner of the best ERA in all of baseball on Saturday when the Dodgers’ game becomes official. Hendricks held the Rockies to one run and turned the game over to the bullpen with a 5-1 lead.
The Cubs will regroup and look to get back on track behind Mike Montgomery and Trevor Cahill on Saturday night (7:10pm CDT). Even with the loss and slipping to 33 games over .500 with a 77-44 record, the Cubs have a 12-game lead in the division over the Cardinals.
Joe Maddon announced before Friday’s game that Jason Heyward would not start any of the three games in Colorado. With the Cubs facing left-handed starters in two of the three games at Coors (Friday and Sunday), Maddon felt this was the right time to give Heyward an extended break in order to try to get him on track. Heyward did not start Thursday so he will end up with a four-game break if all goes according to plan.
Heyward is hitting .225/.304/.313 with 19 doubles, a triple and five home runs for a .617 OPS on the season. Since the break, Heyward has only five extra basehits (four double, one home run) and a slash line of .170/.215/.240 with a .455 OPS.
Even with Heyward’s offensive struggles this season, the Cubs are 68-40 with him in the lineup and 63-38 in games he starts. And the Cubs missed his defense Friday night. Two plays that impacted the game might have turned out differently with Heyward in right instead of sitting on the bench.
Ben Zobrist replaced Jorge Soler in right field on Friday night.
Joe Maddon said Heyward would play this weekend “in emergency only” and he would be back in the lineup Monday for the first of three with the Padres.
Cubs Roster and Rotation
The Cubs made six roster moves Friday and shifted the rotation again after placing John Lackey on the 15-day DL.
The Cubs lost two key pitchers from the Major League staff on Friday for at least two weeks. Lackey was placed on the DL with a right shoulder strain. Hector Rondon ended up on the disabled list two weeks after he should have been shut down in the first place. Rondon landed on the DL with right triceps strain. According to the Tribune, Rondon will not throw for five to six days.
The Cubs said placing Lackey and Rondon on the DL was “more precautionary than imperative” according to the Sun-Times.
The Cubs called up LHP Rob Zastryzny and RHP Felix Pena from Triple-A Iowa. Zastryzny and Pena made their big league debuts on Friday night, both completed a scoreless inning.
To make room on the 40-man for Zastryzny and Pena, RHP Dallas Beeler and RHP Aaron Brooks were transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day DL. The Cubs still have an open spot on the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 39 players.
Mike Montgomery and Trevor Cahill are scheduled to pitch Saturday and Jason Hammel is scheduled to pitch the finale at Coors on Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs plan for Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks to start the three games in San Diego. Arrieta and Hendricks will pitch on regular rest, just moved up a day with Lackey no longer available. The Cubs have not decided how they will lineup the rotation for the three-game series at Dodger Stadium that begins next Friday (Aug. 26).
- Report from The Sun-Times
- Report from The Tribune
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
Tommy La Stella
Tommy La Stella’s return to baseball hasn’t exactly gone the way the Cubs would have hoped.
Tommy La Stella finally ended his holdout and reported to Double-A Tennessee on Wednesday. La Stella singled in his first at-bat but was hit in the foot in his second plate appearance. La Stella stayed in the game before eventually leaving. La Stella has not played since.
The Cubs have not provided an update on his status.
Jeimer Candelario extended two streaks Friday night.
Over his last 10 games, Candelario is 17-for-43 with three walks. And in 61 games with the I-Cubs this season, Candelario is batting .314/.408/.527 with 14 doubles, three triples and eight home runs for a .935 OPS.
News, Notes and Rumors
• According to ESPN Chicago, the Summer of David Ross continues on a final West Coast trip.
• Comcast SportsNet explained how Miguel Montero is handling the rise of Willson Contreras.
• According to FanGraphs, Willson Contreras has developed into an Everyday Catcher.
• Kris Bryant may be the best All-Around player in the National League according to FanGraphs.
• Jerry Crasnick posted an update on Jonathan Papelbon early Friday afternoon. Crasnick reported that it appeared Tuesday he would sign quickly and within 24 hours, or at some point Wednesday. Crasnick indicated Friday that “not necessarily the case now.” Papelbon was not close to signing with a team on Friday. Peter Gammons and Bruce Levine reported on Friday that the Cubs are still in the mix for Papelbon.
• Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, James Shields and Scott Kazmir cleared waivers according to Nick Cafardo.
• According to the Tribune, the Cubs’ second-half surge has caught the eye of Giants executive Brian Sabean.
• Lefty Rob Zastryzny and righty Felix Pena made their Major League debuts Friday. According to Christopher Kamka, Zastryzny and Pena were the first pair of Cubs’ pitchers to make their debut in the same game since Daniel Garibay and Scott Downs 16 years ago (April 9, 2000).
• Cubs’ catchers have picked off seven runners this season, the most in baseball according to ESPN.
.@KrisBryant_23 is hitting pretty much everything in sight.
Eight hits in two days raise KB's average to .300!https://t.co/kU8ze39m3L
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 20, 2016
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 20, 2016
This Day in Cubstory
2014 – Major League Baseball upheld a protest filed by the Giants over the rain-shortened 2-0 loss to the Cubs on Aug. 19. What was labeled ‘Tarp-Gate’ prevented the field from being covered and the field took in too much water for play to continue once it stopped raining. The game was resumed in the fifth inning on Aug. 21 with the Cubs holding on for a 2-1 win.
2006 – Cubs traded Neifi Perez to the Tigers for Chris Robinson
1996 – In an 8-1 win over the Marlins, Sammy Sosa recorded the 100th RBI of his season when he was hit by Mark Hutton in the first inning with the bases loaded. The pitch broke Sosa’s wrist and he missed the rest of the season … and his injury ended his streak of 304 consecutive games played.
1985 – Blake DeWitt, born
1967 – Mets purchased Bill Connors from the Cubs
1963 – Kal Daniels, born
1961 – The Cubs and Pirates tied a National League record by playing their third straight extra-innings game. The Cubs won 1-0 and won two of the three games.
1958 – With Sammy Taylor out for a pinch-hitter, Moe Thacker in the hospital and Cal Neeman having been ejected, Dale Long became the first left handed catcher in Cubs history. Long wore his first baseman’s glove behind the plate in the first game of a doubleheader with the Pirates. Cubs lost the first game, 4-2, won the second game, 5-1 at Wrigley Field.