What a weekend on the field for the Chicago Cubs. Joe Maddon’s team played the last series of the regular season at Wrigley Field and took two of three from the Cardinals. Two out of three is never bad but it’s just a little better when those wins are against the Cardinals.
The Cubs secured the best record in the National League and home field throughout the NL playoffs. Jake Arrieta dominated the Cardinals on Friday afternoon. Arrieta was paired with Miguel Montero again and he was lights out.
Jon Lester shut the Cardinals out for 6 2/3 innings on Sunday night in what will be known as The David Ross Game. Arrieta and Lester combined to shutout the Cardinals for 13 2/3 innings.
The Cubs posted their 99th win on the season Sunday night, the most wins for the franchise since the ’35 National League Champs went 100-54. And the Cubs set a new mark for the most wins in a single-season at Wrigley Field. For the first time, the Cubs have won 57 games (57-24) at Wrigley Field.
Jorge Soler returned to the starting lineup Saturday. Pedro Strop was activated from the DL and looked good in his inning of work on Friday.
The Cubs tweaked the rotation a couple of times. Maddon might have run out his NLDS game one lineup on Sunday.
And the Cubs honored David Ross prior to Friday’s game before he and Joe Maddon created two unforgettable moments in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals in the final game of the regular season at Wrigley Field.
Here are all the headlines from the last three-plus days to get you caught up before the start of a four-game series in Pittsburgh …
Cubs Shift Rotation, Lester and Hendricks Lined Up to Start First Two Game of NLDS
Joe Maddon tweaked his starting rotation, basically throughout the weekend, the first change was the most notable because it lined up Kyle Hendricks to start the second game of the NLDS.
The Cubs have not made it official but all signs, and reports, point to Jon Lester going in Game 1 of the NLDS (Oct. 7) and Kyle Hendricks starting Game 2 (Oct. 8) at Wrigley Field.
Cubs Instructional League Roster
There is baseball in Arizona right now involving more than 70 of the youngest players in the organization. Fall Instructs are underway and the prospect roster is really loaded with some of the top talent in the lower levels of the system.
Click on the link for the roster and to see which players are participating in the Advanced Instructional League games.
Anthony Rizzo Finalist for Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award
Anthony Rizzo is one of six finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.
The CCO’s Minor League Player of the Year for 2016 – Eloy Jimenez
Eloy Jimenez had an incredible season at the plate as he pounded his way through the Midwest League. Jimenez took home just about every award possible and due to a late promotion he was able to celebrate a Carolina League championship with High-A Myrtle Beach.
Jimenez was the best position player in the Cubs system this season … so we named him the Minor League Player of the Year.
Trevor Clifton was the Minor League Player of the Year. And Isaac Parades and Jose Paulino were the Cubs’ Short-Season Player and Pitcher of the Year.
The Daily CCO: Heyward Being Heyward Would Be Big for the Cubs and Other News and Notes
Jason Heyward was showing signs of finally getting on track offensively. But he was cooled off by his former team.
The Cubs signed Heyward to balance the lineup and provide contact and situational hitting. Heyward has not produced to anyone’s expectations this season. If he could hit to just his career averages in October, he would give Joe Maddon a much-needed presence from the left-side.
Len Kasper will be on Cubs Radio throughout the postseason run.
Pedro Strop was set to come off the DL.
Daily Report includes This Day in Cubs History and all of the news, notes and links before the Cubs resumed the season with the Cardinals.
From the Wire: Cubs Activate Pedro Strop from 15-Day DL
The Cubs activated RHP Pedro Strop from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday’s game. And Strop pitched a scoreless inning against the Cardinals later in the day.
Arrieta Dominates, Cubs Play a Complete Game and Shutout the Cardinals – Cubs 5, Cardinals 0
Jake Arrieta was tremendous pitching to Miguel Montero. The two were on the same page and Arrieta dominated the Redbirds for seven innings. Arrieta gave up just five singles and a walk while striking out 10.
The Cubs scored four runs in the first inning and never really looked back on their way to win No. 98 on the season. Ben Zobrist, Anthony Rizzo and Chris Coghlan drove in the runs and Arrieta took care of the rest.
Cubs Honored David Ross with Pregame Ceremony
The Cubs surprised David Ross with an on-field pregame ceremony Friday. The Cubs showed highlights of his career on the video boards. Ross was given a No. 3 from the scoreboard, a framed No. 3 jersey and the homeplate from Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter.
Report includes lots of must-see video.
Cubs Clinch Best Record in National League, Home Field Advantage throughout NL Playoffs
The Cubs clinched the best record in the National League and home field advantage throughout the NL playoffs late Friday night when the Nationals lost to the Pirates.
The Cubs did their part earlier in the day with the 5-0 win over the Cardinals. And before the clock struck midnight in the central time zone, the Cubs reached another team goal.
Cubs Charities Awards More Than $860,000 to 2016 Diamond Project Grantees
Cubs Charities gave more than $860,000 to Diamond Project Grantees, the team’s signature program helps to grow youth baseball and softball across 14 Chicago neighborhoods.
Just Not the Cubs Day – Cardinals 10, Cubs 4
The Cubs had a bad day on the mound and helped out young Alex Reyes while at the same time becoming the first team in the majors to get to him.
Jason Hammel gave up four runs in the first and the bullpen could not keep the Cardinals from turning the game into a blowout.
Dexter Fowler had a really good day at the plate, just a homer shy of the cycle.
An Early Estimate on What Dexter Fowler Could Receive in Free Agency
Dexter Fowler signed a one-year contract with the Cubs in late-February that includes a mutual option for next season. Fowler has had a very good season. However, many thought he would decline his part of the option in the spring when he signed the contract.
Jon Heyman included Fowler in his guesses of what the top 30 free agents could sign for in the off-season.
The Daily CCO: Cubs Tweak Rotation Again and Other News and Notes
Joe Maddon tweaked his rotation again. The scheduled bullpen day in Pittsburgh was moved from Tuesday to Thursday. The Cubs announced John Lackey and Jake Arrieta will follow Kyle Hendricks in the rotation for the series at PNC Park.
Miguel Montero had an excellent game behind the plate catching Jake Arrieta on Friday. And from all indications, he will catch Arrieta from here on out … including the postseason.
Pedro Strop felt good the day after returning to the mound.
The Daily Report includes info on the excellent season the Cubs had at Wrigley … and all of the news, notes and links, plus two days worth of This Day in Cubstory.
Dylan Cease Makes MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospect List
Dylan Cease cracked MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospect list initially at No. 100 and then to No. 98. Cease is generally considered the Cubs’ top pitching prospect. Cease has dynamic stuff and projects as a top of the rotation starter in the big leagues.
Cubs Wrap Up Wrigley with an Incredible Night and a Win Over the Cardinals – Cubs 3, Cardinals 1
Ross received standing ovations before each of his three plate appearances. Ross’ second at bat will not soon be forgotten. After receiving a second standing ovation, Ross launched a solo home run that broke up a scoreless game.
Joe Maddon lifted Ross from the game with two outs in the seventh. Ross received a thunderous ovation from the Wrigley Faithful as he walked off the field.
Addison Russell doubled in a run. Willson Contreras singled in a run and the Cubs took two of three from the Cardinals. And not only won the series but edged out the Cardinals 10-9 in the season series as well.
David Ross Launches Home Run, Walks Off in Style
David Ross played his final regular season game at Wrigley on Sunday night.
And he provided a storybook moment in the fifth inning.
Ross had a night at Wrigley that many ballplayers only dream of. Ross delivered the game winner in grand fashion after his second standing ovation. And he was lifted in the seventh so the Wrigley Faithful could recognize properly how much he’s meant to this for the last two seasons.