It was an excellent holiday weekend for the Cubs both on and off the field. The Cubs took three of the four games from the Giants at Wrigley. Each game was decided by one run and went down to the final out. It was fitting that the series finale on Sunday afternoon took 13 innings to decide.
Jason Heyward had his best offensive game of the season. Addison Russell continued to be ‘Mr. Clutch’ for these Cubs. Jon Lester pitched a complete-game gem on Friday. And the Cubs bullpen shut down the Giants in the other three games with Carl Edwards Jr. picking up his first save after an electric performance.
The Cubs reinstated John Lackey, Chris Coghlan and Joe Smith from the DL and added Jake Buchanan to the roster. Lackey pitched five strong innings in his return. Smith pitched to expectations against the Giants and Brewers. Coghlan drove in the game-winner on Monday. And Buchanan made his Cubs debut.
Joe Maddon announced the Cubs will stay with a six-man rotation, at least for now, and Mike Montgomery will start Wednesday and possibly one of the games in St. Louis.
Hector Rondon is expected to be activated from the DL on Tuesday and added to the mix in the bullpen.
Kyle Hendricks and Kris Bryant received player and pitcher of the awards from Major League Baseball. Bryant also made a start at first base as part of Joe Maddon’s plan to keep his players fresh for the next two months.
And the Cubs reached a rather impressive number over the weekend. By winning four of the five games, the Cubs are 89-48 on the season, 41 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the ’45 season.
Here are all the headlines from the four-plus days to get you caught up on all the news you can use on the best team in baseball …
Bullpen Steps Up, Addy Delivers Again in Cubs Comeback Win Over Giants – Cubs 5, Giants 4
The bullpen stepped up after Mike Montgomery struggled and was lights out. Joe Smith made an immediate impact in his return from the DL. And Carl Edwards Jr. was electric in the ninth in route to his first career save.
Recap includes video.
Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 09/02/16
Tom recapped all of the action down on the farm going into the last weekend of the regular season in the minors.
Dylan Cease, Manuel Rondon, Jose Paulino, Preston Morrison and Jeremy Null turned in excellent outings on the mound.
And Chesny Young started his push for the Southern League Batting Crown.
The Daily CCO: Addison Russell, 88 Runs Batted In and Cubs News and Notes
Addison Russell continues to drive in the big runs when his team needs them the most. Russell is approaching a rather rare mark for a shortstop. Russell has become ‘Mr. Clutch’ for the Cubs since Maddon put him in a spot in the lineup that he had chances to impact a game.
Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak that would end the next day. Bryant’s numbers are just off the charts.
John Lackey prepared for his return from the DL. Hector Rondon also got closer to being activated from the disabled list. But his bullpen-mate, Pedro Strop suffered a setback in his rehab.
The Daily Report also includes all of the news, notes, links and This Day in Cubstory.
Jon Lester Goes All the Way, A Complete Gem – Cubs 2, Giants 1
Jon Lester arguably had his best game with the Cubs. Lester took a no-hitter into the seventh that was broken up with a two-out homer by Hunter Pence. Lester tossed a three-hit gem and made only 102 pitches in nine innings.
Jon Lester dominated a Giants team that had to at least split the four-game series with the Cubs.
David Ross and Dexter Fowler drove in the runs in the Cubs second straight win over the Giants.
Cubs Month in Review – August 2016
Chris provided an excellent look back at the incredible month the Cubs put together in August.
For those that missed it, this is a must read recap of the month that was for the best team in baseball.
The Daily CCO: Forty Over, Jon Lester and Cubs News and Notes
The Cubs improved to 40 games over .500 with wins in the first two games against the Giants. Joe Maddon’s team continues playing good baseball, with a clunker mixed in every now and then.
No matter how you cut it, a team reaching 40 games over .500 before Labor Day is just amazing.
Jon Lester talked about completing his second game of the season. Lester is firmly in the mix, along with Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks, for the NL Cy Young Award.
The Cubs talked about possible changes to the rotation once John Lackey returned.
The Daily Report includes an update on Albert Almora Jr. and all of the news, notes and links, plus This Day in Cubs History.
Mistakes Cost Cubs in Sloppy Loss – Giants 3, Cubs 2
The Cubs had a bad day in the field and on the bases on Saturday afternoon in the park. The Cubs gave the game to the Giants with numerous mental and physical mistakes.
Jake Arrieta had a better outing than his line indicates. Arrieta and Willson Contreras struggled again to the point one must wonder how much longer the Cubs will continue to pair the two.
At the end of the day, this was one of those games a team should just throw away and forget about.
Kyle Hendricks and Kris Bryant
The Cubs had an unforgettable August, one of the best in franchise history. Two of the bigger contributors to the 22 team wins were Kyle Hendricks and Kris Bryant. And on Saturday, Major League Baseball recognized the individual performances.
- Kyle Hendricks Named National League Pitcher of the Month for August
- Kris Bryant Named National League Player of the Month for August
The Daily CCO: Hector Rondon, Jeimer Candelario and Other Cubs News
Hector Rondon got his work in at Wrigley Field and the Cubs announced he would not be going out on a rehab assignment. Rondon said he would be ready to come off the DL on Monday, the Cubs are waiting until Tuesday before he is reinstated.
Jeimer Candelario continues to put up great numbers for Iowa. It appears he will be part of Tuesday’s call-ups.
The Daily Report includes Joe Nathan and all of the news, notes and links … plus the very popular This Day in Cubs History.
Say J-Hey! Heyward, Cubs Walk-Off Giants in Extras – Cubs 3, Giants 2
Jason Heyward drove in all three Cubs runs in the series finale with the Giants. Heyward tied the game with a single in the fourth, tied it again in the ninth with a single that plated Addison Russell. And Heyward singled in Anthony Rizzo for the second time with the game-winner in the 13th inning.
John Lackey had a good start in his return from the DL. The bullpen shut down the Giants for the eight innings after Lackey left the game.
The Cubs moved back to 40 games over .500 with Sunday’s comeback win over the Giants.
Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 09/05/16
Tom recapped the games down on the farm on the final day of the minor league season. John Andreoli has run his way into a possible stolen base title for Iowa. Chesny Young put himself in line for a second straight batting title. And Yasiel Balaguert set a RBI record.
The Daily CCO: Cubs Moving Forward with Six-Man Rotation and Other Labor Day News
Joe Maddon announced Sunday the team’s plans to move forward with a six-man rotation. The Cubs have not totally committed to it for the remainder of the season, but from all indications Maddon and Chris Bosio are leaning heavily toward using six starting pitchers for the next month.
Mike Montgomery has been added to Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel … and Monty will start Wednesday’s finale in Miller Park.
The Daily Report includes more on Jason Heyward’s big day, Albert Almora Jr. stats and video, Hector Rondon and the bullpen and info on the Cubs-Brewers series … plus This Day in Cubs History and all of the news, notes and links.
Cubs Depth Manufactures a Win Behind Kyle Hendricks – Cubs 7, Brewers 2
Kyle Hendricks allowed one run, a solo homer by Chris Carter, in six innings and the bullpen gave the Brewers a run in the ninth. Hendricks and the pen held the Brewers in check while the offense figured out Zach Davies and blew the game open late.
Chris Coghlan, Miguel Montero, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and Tommy La Stella drove in runs and the Cubs scored seven runs with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo going hitless on the afternoon. The Cubs depth was the difference on Labor Day in the opener of the three-game series at Miller Park.