One hundred and three wins. Let that sink in for a minute. 103 wins. Okay, let’s say it one more time. 103 wins. What an incredible season for the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs put a bow on the 2016 season in Cincinnati with one last serving of Meat Loaf. Joe Maddon’s team took two of three from the Reds with a come from behind win on Sunday afternoon. And the ninth inning rally with two outs was sparked by a two-out walk from rookie outfielder Albert Almora Jr.
It was a season-long, total-team effort that led the Cubs to posting the fourth highest win total in franchise history. And Sunday’s comeback win proved once again how deep the Cubs roster is and that they were the best team in baseball for 162 games.
The National League Central Division Champions finished the regular season 103-58-1. The Cubs were 57-24 at Wrigley Field and 46-34 on the road. That’s 45 games over .500 with a run differential of plus-252. The Cubs not only won 103 games this season, they avoided 60 losses for the first time in franchise history since MLB went to a 162-game schedule.
The Cubs have four days off before hosting the winner of the NL Wild Card Game. The Mets and Giants square off at Citi Field on Wednesday. The Cubs will take on either the Mets or the Giants in the NLDS. Game 1 is Friday at Wrigley Field.
As would be expected, it was a rather busy three-plus days for the Cubs.
The Cubs announced the extensions for Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod. Jake Arrieta and Miguel Montero spoke up and Maddon responded. Maddon likely previewed his Game 1 lineup again. Jon Lester struggled then told it how it is. And Jorge Soler returned to the starting lineup.
Kris Bryant, Kyle Hendricks and Anthony Rizzo received recognition from their peers.
And, oh yeah … the Cubs won 103 games this season.
Here are the headlines packed with all the news, notes, game recaps and video to get you caught up from the last weekend of the regular season …
Four Cubs Land in Baseball America’s Northwest League Top 20 Prospects List
The Cubs Short-Season team won the Northwest League Championship this past season. And four players that spent their summer with the Eugene Emeralds made Baseball America’s Top 20 Prospects List for the NWL.
RHP Dylan Cease, OF D.J. Wilson, 1B/OF Chris Pieters and 3B Wladimir Galindo were recognized by Baseball America as four of the 20 best players in the league.
The Daily CCO: Joe Maddon Says Players are Aware of Cubs Plans
Joe Maddon was forced to address comments made by Jake Arrieta and Miguel Montero following Wednesday’s game at PNC Park. Maddon did not back down and explained to the beat writers the Cubs plans for the final week and weekend of the regular season.
Maddon provided an update on Jorge Soler and pointed out it wasn’t necessary for him to play against the Reds this weekend to be included on the NLDS roster.
The Daily Report includes all of the news, notes and links, This Day in Cubs History and an awesome hype video from Boys of Spring.
Cubs Extend Contracts of Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod
Two days after announcing a five-year contract extension for Theo Epstein, the Cubs made it official and announced Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod inked their new deals.
Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod are all under contract through the 2021 season. Hoyer also received a five-year extension and McLeod added three years to his contract.
Cubs Turn It On Late, Top the Reds – Cubs 7, Reds 3
Ben Zobrist collected the Cubs first hit, a solo home run. Zobrist smacked a two-run homer and Anthony Rizzo drove in a pair of runs.
The offense waited a little while to get going … at the end of the night, it was win No. 102 on the season.
MLBPA Players Choice Awards – Kris Bryant, Kyle Hendricks, Anthony Rizzo
The MLBPA announced the finalists for the 25th Players Choice Awards on Friday. And three Cubs are up for two top awards in the NL and the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.
Kyle Hendricks is up against Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer for the Outstanding Pitcher Award in the National League.
Kris Bryant is one of three finalists in the NL for Outstanding Player of the Year. Bryant, Nolan Arenado and Daniel Murphy are top three players in the Senior Circuit this season according to their peers.
Anthony Rizzo is now just one of three finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Adam Jones won it last year and it is between Rizzo, Justin Turner and Curtis Granderson this season.
- Kyle Hendricks Finalist for Players Choice Outstanding Pitcher Award
- Kris Bryant Finalist for Players Choice Award for Outstanding Player in the National League
- Anthony Rizzo One of Three Finalists for Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award
The Daily CCO: Welcome to October, Ben Zobrist Getting Locked In? And Other Cubs News
The calendar flipped to October, the month all Cubs fans have been looking forward to the entire season. The Cubs wrapped up September with a 17-10 record after posting win No. 102 on the last day of the month.
Ben Zobrist caught fire at the plate over the last 10 days as he and the Cubs prepared for the postseason.
Updates on Jorge Soler, Cubs playoff rotation and all of the news, notes and links, plus This Day in Cubs History and several videos are includes in the Daily Report.
Lester Labors, Cubs Lose in Cincinnati – Reds 7, Cubs 4
Jon Lester struggled with his command as he went for win No. 20 on the season. Lester did not have it and lasted only five innings.
The Cubs tried to make a game of it on run scoring hits by Jason Heyward and Javier Baez. The Cubs could not dig out of an early hole and lost for just the second time all season to the Reds in Cincinnati.
White Sox Reportedly Set to Replace Manager Robin Ventura with Rick Renteria
Robin Ventura announced Sunday after the final game of the season that he would not be returning as manager of the White Sox. The Sox have decided, according to the Sun-Times, to hire former Cubs’ manager Rick Renteria to replace him.
Renteria was Ventura’s bench coach this past season. And Renteria’s contract with the Cubs also expired at season’s end, so he will not get a check from the team on the North Side of Chicago while he’s calling the shots on the South Side.
The Daily CCO: Game 162 and Cubs News for the Final Day of the Regular Season
The Cubs played Game 162 of the season Sunday in Cincinnati. Joe Maddon did not waiver from the team’s post-clinching plans and continued to prepare the players for the tournament.
Jon Lester was not happy with his outing. And pointed out the Cubs have not won anything yet.
Maddon has the rotation for the NLDS figured out but he hasn’t made anything official. Maddon pointed to Saturday’s lineup as the direction he could go for Game 1.
The Daily Report includes updates on John Lackey, Jason Hammel, the sim game … and of course, all of the news, notes, videos and links, plus This Day in Cubstory.
Cubs Backups Comeback and Win the Season Finale – Cubs 7, Reds 4
Kyle Hendricks surrendered four runs in five innings. By the time Joe Maddon started emptying his bench in the fifth inning, the Cubs were down 4-2. Willson Contreras homered in the eighth. And the Cubs scored four in the ninth, all with two-outs.
Albert Almora Jr. sparked the four-run rally with a walk and scored the tying run ahead of Munenori Kawasaki on a double from Matt Szczur. Miguel Montero launched a two-run homer to cap the scoring.
The bullpen did its job and the Cubs took two of three from the Reds to wrap up the season.