We Will Never Forget!
The Cubs were not able to gain any ground on the Cardinals in the standings. The Cubs dropped a one-run game in Houston and the Redbirds took care of business against the Brewers. The Cubs lead in the division is 15 games with 21 left to play. And the magic number remained at seven after play Saturday.
The Cubs have a primetime matchup with the Astros on Sunday night (7:05pm CDT) to wrap up the series in Houston before flying to St. Louis for three with the Cardinals beginning Monday.
Joe Maddon’s team hasn’t played a complete game in while. The Cubs have won games but not one in which all three phases clicked on the same day.
According to the Sun-Times, Maddon said Friday that “players were ticked at losing the last two games of the Milwaukee series.” Maddon maintains his team is not complacent or just going through the motions.
The Cubs would like to wrap up the division before beginning the last homestand of the regular season Thursday. In order to reach the goal, the Cubs are going to have to play better ball than they have over the first five games of this trip.
Miguel Montero told the Sun-Times, “We’re probably anxious to clinch as soon as possible. So that gives you the extra excitement to just try to do too much, to try to win games and get the lead even bigger and clinch, on this road trip.”
Montero admitted to the Sun-Times he thinks the Cubs goal is to clinch the NL Central Division title in St. Louis.
The Cubs would have to win all three games against the Cardinals to win the division at Busch Stadium. The Cubs would ease a lot of concerns if that was to happen and at the same time put a big dent in the Cardinals plans to make the postseason tournament.
Cubs-Cardinals Probable Starting Pitchers
The Cubs and Cardinals posted their starting pitchers for the upcoming series. As expected Kyle Hendricks, Jason Hammel and Mike Montgomery will start the series in St. Louis.
- Monday, Sept. 12 (7:15pm CDT) – RHP Kyle Hendricks vs. RHP Mike Leake
- Tuesday, Sept. 13 (7:15pm CDT) – RHP Jason Hammel vs. LHP Jaime Garcia
- Wednesday, Sept. 14 (12:45pm CDT) – LHP Mike Montgomery vs. RHP Carlos Martinez
If the Cubs do not make any changes, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks will start the four games against the Brewers (Sept. 15-18).
Javier Baez – Willson Contreras
No words … just watch
The Rangers claimed RHP R.J. Alvarez off waivers from the Cubs.
The Cubs designated Alvarez for assignment last Tuesday (Sept. 6) to make room on the 40-man roster for catcher Tim Federowicz.
Alvarez spent his time in the organization with Double-A Tennessee after the Cubs claimed him off waivers from the A’s on June 12.
The 25-year old right-hander appeared in 20 games for the Smokies, all in relief, and posted a 0-1 record with a 7.71 ERA and 1.97 WHIP. Alvarez allowed 20 runs, all earned, on 34 hits with 12 walks and 30 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings.
News and Notes
• As stakes rise for the Cubs, so does resurgent Miguel Montero’s value. According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs will carry three catchers on their playoff roster.
• According to ESPN Chicago, Cubs come up short in critical moments that may prove pivotal in October. Jesse Rogers asked Jorge Soler about his approach in the ninth inning with no outs and the tying run on second base. Soler said through an interpreter, “It’s doesn’t really matter if there is a man on base or if there isn’t a man on base I’m going to try and attack the ball and try to get a hit no matter what.”
• The Sun-Times reported that John Lackey is back and returned to full-strength cranky after 2-1 loss to the Astros. According to the Tribune, Cubs wasted strong John Lackey outing with poor hitting in the clutch.
• Comcast SportsNet reported the Cubs were held to a season-low two hits in loss at Astros.
• The Cubs and Astros are linked by more than Kris Bryant according to ESPN Chicago.
• Kyle Hendricks an ace? Cubdom might not see him that way, but he does according to the Sun-Times.
• Jake Arrieta has added incentive Sunday night against the Astros according to the Tribune.
• Dusty Baker (Nationals), Dave Roberts (Dodgers) and Joe Maddon are the leading candidates for NL Manager of the Year according to FOX Sports.
• Joel Sherman posted his thoughts on what it would mean if the Astros, Mariners, Marlins and Pirates miss the playoffs.
• Yankees’ deadline trades with the Indians, Rangers, Pirates and Cubs are working for all involved according to Joel Sherman.
• Jim Bowden thinks Chris Sale, Jose Fernandez, Zack Greinke, Andrew McCutchen, Ryan Braun, Joey Votto, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Quintana, Jake Odorizzi and Todd Frazier are among the players that could be traded this off-season.
• Andrew Cashner is a free agent this off-season. And the Cubs former first round pick only wants to sign with a team that will allow him to grow a beard. Cashner had to shave his beard when he was traded from the Padres to the Marlins. And this is a big deal for Cashner, at least that’s what he told the Miami Herald. Keith Law thinks the Marlins’ rule about no facial hair “is pointless and stupid” and Dan Haren agreed while calling it “an absolute joke.”
• With the Bears kicking off their season in Houston against the Texans, Joe Maddon was asked which of his players could play football. ESPN Chicago provided his answers.
• Ken Rosenthal pointed out three Cubs starters are among the top four in the majors in opponent’s OPS: Jake Arrieta .556, Kyle Hendricks .586, Max Scherzer .596 and Jon Lester .612.
• Carrie Muskat provided more info on the Cubs being the first team to reach 90 wins on the season … this is the first time since 1945 the Cubs reached 90 wins before any other team … also reached 90 wins first in 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1935.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) September 10, 2016
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 10, 2016
This Day in Cubstory
1998 – Sammy Sosa hit home run No. 59 in a 13-11 loss to the Brewers
1986 – Andrew Cashner, born
1973 – Oakland purchased Rico Carty from the Cubs
1971 – Juan Pizarro beat the Cardinals 7-0 at Wrigley Field. Paul Popovich hit the first grand slam of his career.
1969 – Cubs acquired Jimmie Hall from the Yankees for a PTBNL, Terry Bongiovanni and cash. The Cubs sent Rick Bladt to the Yankees on Jun. 6, 1970 to complete the trade.
1968 – Ferguson Jenkins lost 1-0 to the Mets at Wrigley Field. It was Jenkins fifth 1-0 loss of the 1968 season, tying a Major League record. Jenkins finished the year 20-15, and 20-6 in games the Cubs scored a run.
1965 – Cubs released Ellis Burton
1918 – Cubs lost 2-1 to the Red Sox in Game Six of the World Series. Each Sox player received $1,102 for winning the series, the Cubs players received $671 each … the smallest winning share for a World Series Champion in the history of the game. The Red Sox won the series four games to two and was Boston’s last World Series Championship until 2004.
1901 – Chicago purchased Davy Jones from Rockford.
1900 – Johnny Kling made his Major League debut in the second game of a doubleheader against the Giants. Kling went 3-for-4 in a game that was called due to darkness in the ninth inning.