Addison Russell had another big night offensively Sunday in the Cubs 9-5 win over the Astros. In between making all of the plays in the field, Russell went 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored and two RBI. It was Russell’s second three-hit game in seven days.
Russell hit a titanic blast in the fourth inning, a two-run homer to left that landed on top of the train tracks at Minute Maid Park. Russell went yard for the 20th time on the season and reached the 90 RBI mark all with one swing.
Russell is the second youngest player in Cubs history to reach 20 home runs in a single season. Ron Santo was 21 years old in 1961 when he hit his 20th homer. Santo went on to hit 23 home runs that season.
Russell is one of only four shortstops in Cubs history to hit 20 or more home runs in a single season, joining Ernie Banks, Roy Smalley and Alex Gonzalez.
Addison Russell and Ernie Banks are the only two shortstops in franchise history with 20 or more home runs and 90 or more RBI in the same season.
“It’s pretty cool hitting 20 home runs and having 90 RBI but the season’s not over. We still have some work to do.” Russell said to ESPN Chicago.
And Russell told the Tribune, “My body feels great. I’m getting my reps at shortstop and seeing the ball well. I think Joe is managing a lot of the players very well.”
In his first full season in the big leagues, Addison Russell is hitting .247/.330/.433 with 21 doubles, three triples and 20 home runs for a .763 OPS Russell has 90 RBI and 60 runs scored in 133 games. In the second half, Russell has hit .264/.332/.483 with 10 doubles, a triple and nine home runs for a .815 OPS.
The Cubs are the third team in the National League with three infielders (Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell) with 20 or more home runs and 90 or more RBI this season.
Jake Arrieta was sharp Sunday night for five innings against the Astros. Arrieta gave up one run, a solo homer by Jose Altuve, and two hits through the first five innings. Arrieta lost his command in the sixth inning, hit a batter, threw two wild pitches and was lifted after recording one out. Arrieta allowed three runs on four hits with two walks, a HBP and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Arrieta worked well with David Ross and he praised the veteran catcher after the game. Maddon wanted to pair Arrieta with Ross again just in case the two need to work together during the postseason.
As it turns out, Arrieta was sick and dealing with the flu. Arrieta told the beat writers after the game he had “no energy at all.”
According to ESPN Chicago, Arrieta may have caught the bug that Justin Grimm had last week that forced Maddon to take him out of a game after facing just one batter. Maddon did not want Grimm to soil himself on the mound. Arrieta admitted to ESPN Chicago, “I gave Grimm a hard time for getting a bug and I seemed to have gotten it yesterday.”
With as sick as it sounds Arrieta was on Sunday night his performance in the sixth inning should be viewed differently and not as concerning as it first appeared.
Congratulations to Dan Vogelbach.
Vogelbach received The Call and the Mariners will officially add him to the active roster Monday. Vogelbach should have a good career with the Mariners hitting in the American League.
Vogelbach hit .240/.404/.422 with seven doubles and seven home runs for a .826 OPS in 44 games with Tacoma after the Cubs traded him to the Mariners.
Dan Vogelbach had an excellent season in the PCL. Vogelbach batted .292/.417/.505 with 25 doubles, two triples and 23 home runs for a .923 OPS. Vogelbach drove in 96 runs with 97 walks and 101 strikeouts in 133 games between the I-Cubs and Rainiers.
News and Notes
• According to the Sun-Times, Cubs’ fight stems in part from 2014 night when Anthony Rizzo saw red.
• The Sun-Times reported the Cubs are looking to clinch the division at Busch Stadium this week. And for the Cubs to reach the goal they will have to sweep the Cardinals. According to Comcast SportsNet the Cubs will keep their foot on the gas pedal with a chance to clinch in St. Louis. Comcast SportsNet reported Cubs move closer to clinching NL Central with win over Astros. And the Tribune reported the Cubs are eager for the playoffs and could clinch division this week in St. Louis.
• An infield … and defense … for the ages propels the Cubs according to ESPN Chicago.
• The Cubs finished Interleague play this season 15-5, the most wins in franchise history for a single-season in Interleague play. The Cubs posted the second lowest ERA in Interleague play just behind the 2011 Mariners (1.80). The Cubs had a 1.90 ERA against the AL this season. The 2013 Tigers had a 2.06 ERA according to Christopher Kamka.
• Bench coach Dave Martinez delivers the bad news for Joe Maddon according to ESPN Chicago.
• The Brewers announced Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson, Zach Davies and Wily Peralta will start the four games against the Cubs at Wrigley (Sept. 15-18). Tom Haudricourt pointed out that over the last 20 games, the Brewers’ starting pitchers have a 2.83 ERA, which is tops in the majors.
• The Cardinals activated Aledmys Diaz from the 15-day DL on Sunday.
• John Perrotto asked five scouts who cover the NL on a regular basis over the weekend who would win the National League pennant this year … and all five said the Cubs.
• The Cubs run differential is plus-226 after 142 games.
— ESPN_Beisbol (@ESPN_Beisbol) September 12, 2016
This Day in Cubstory
2001 – The Rockies selected Ross Gload off waivers from the Cubs
2000 – Kerry Wood pitched the second complete game of his career in a 2-1 victory over the Reds.
1998 – Sammy Sosa hit home run No. 60, a three-run shot in the seventh inning off Milwaukee’s Valerio de los Santos in a 15-12 victory over the Brewers at Wrigley Field. Sosa became the fourth player in Major League history to his 60 home runs in a single season, joining Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Mark McGwire
1998 – Cubs purchased Chris Haney from the Royals
1983 – Clayton Richard, born
1982 – Carmen Pignatiello, born
1975 – Mark Johnson, born
1967 – Pat Listach, born
1919 – Cubs completed a triple play in the sixth inning of the first game against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field, shortstop Charlie Hollocher to first baseman Fred Merkle. The Cubs won 3-1 on Merkle’s seventh inning home run through the fence in the left field corner. The Cubs dropped the second game 5-4.