It was an excellent first full-season for the Bryzzo Souvenir Co. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit a combined 71 dingers on the season.
Bryant and Rizzo produced similar slash lines and finished in the top 10 in most offensive categories in the National League.
Kris Bryant batted .292/.385/.554 with 35 doubles, three triples and 39 home runs for a .939 OPS. Anthony Rizzo hit .292/.385/.544 with 43 doubles, four triples and 32 home runs for a .928 OPS. Bryant became just the second player in Cubs history, joining Ernie Banks, to hit 39 or more home runs during his age-24 season. Mr. Cub hit 44 home runs at the age of 24 in 1955.
Rizzo tied for second in doubles (43), finished eighth in home runs (32), second in RBI (109), tied for ninth in OBP (.385), seventh in slugging percentage (.544) and seventh in OPS (.928).
And Bryant was 11th in the National League in walks (75) with Rizzo right behind him, tied for 12th in free passes (74) in the NL.
By winning Sunday on the final day of the regular season, the Cubs posted the 103rd victory of the year. That means the Cubs have won 200 games in the last two seasons combined under Joe Maddon.
Players doused Joe Maddon with cold water during the post-game celebration Sunday.
The NL Central Division Champs finished the season 103-58-1 and last year’s third place Cubs went 97-65. The Cubs are 200-123-1 under Maddon.
This is the first time the Cubs have posted 200 or more wins over a two-season span since 1909-10 (208 wins).
Joe Maddon is expected to announce the NLDS rotation Tuesday.
The Cubs have lined up Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks to start games one and two of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. The Cubs will be on in primetime Friday (8:15pm CDT) and Saturday (7:08pm CDT) against either the Mets or Giants.
Jake Arrieta and John Lackey are expected to follow Lester and Hendricks in the rotation.
The Cubs do not have to announce the 25-man NLDS roster until Friday morning. By all accounts, the Cubs plan to wait until Friday to officially announce the roster.
The Cubs get back to work today. The team has a simulated game scheduled at Wrigley Field (it is closed to the public).
Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Jason Hammel and several of the relievers are scheduled to throw during the simulated sessions.
The Cubs have workouts at Wrigley scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.
NLDS on MLB Network
Major League Baseball announced Monday that Game 1 of the NLDS will be carried on FS1. The Cubs will be on the MLB Network for Game 2 of the NLDS.
According to Maury Brown, a free preview of MLB Network will be offered for its exclusive NLDS game telecasts. Brown explained “free MLB Network offered to video customers of AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, DISH Network, Frontier, RCN and Verizon FiOS from Oct. 6-11.”
Bob Costas, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal will have the call of Game 2 of the NLDS on the MLB Network.
NLDS Game 2, Saturday on MLB Network. pic.twitter.com/yVbDzKIspT
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) October 4, 2016
According to ESPN Chicago, Todd Tichenor will be the home plate umpire in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday.
Major League Baseball announced the umpiring crews for the first round of the playoffs.
John Hirschbeck is the crew chief for the Cubs’ series.
Jon Lester is 1-3 with a 5.82 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in four games with Tichenor behind the plate calling balls and strikes.
The White Sox made it official Monday and named Rick Renteria the 40th manager in franchise history.
Renteria was introduced Monday as the successor to Robin Ventura.
Rick Renteria is the third person to manage for both the Cubs and White Sox, joining Johnny Evers and Frank Chance. Due to poor health, Chance never actually managed the Sox after he was hired.
News and Notes
• Comcast SportsNet reported Joe Maddon’s message to Cubs before playoff pressure turns up is to try to keep things simple.
• ESPN Chicago asked who makes the Cubs’ NLDS roster.
• The Cubs have the best defensive team in baseball, not just according to scouts, but based on defensive metrics as well, according to Jim Bowden.
• Travis Wood delivers for the Cubs, on the mound and even in the outfield according to the Tribune.
• Kyle Schwarber is still a big part of Cubs’ 2016 playoff team according to the Sun-Times.
• The Tribune explained how the Cubs pulled off season-changing surprise by bringing back Dexter Fowler.
• John Lackey’s playoff experience is the perfect fit for Cubs’ playoff run according to the Tribune.
• ESPN Chicago reported David Ross doesn’t want Cubs fans thinking, ‘Who is this guy? Brett Farve?’
• The Sun-Times – Moments and momentum from a 103-victory season
• ESPN Chicago asked if the 2016 squad is the best Cubs playoff team ever.
• FOX Sports posted 11 bold predictions for the MLB Playoffs.
• Jayson Stark picked the Red Sox to win the World Series … and that’s a good thing for the Cubs.
• Ken Rosenthal asked six questions as we await the start of the postseason.
• Jonah Keri ranked all 10 playoff teams and a player to watch for each team … Keri has the Cubs at No. 1 on his list and said to keep an eye on Javier Baez.
• According to Jake Arrieta, the playoff target on the Cubs isn’t as large as others see it.
• The Hardball Times explained the physics of October Baseball at Wrigley Field.
• Jeff Passan posted his MLB Award winners … NL MVP – Kris Bryant; NL Cy Young – Max Scherzer; NL Manager of the Year – Joe Maddon
• The Sun-Times posted the major 2016 Cubs awards.
• Jeff Passan reported on 25 things you didn’t know about baseball … and his report includes lots of Cubs stuff.
• Clayton Richard was 3-3 in 11 games, nine starts, for the Padres with a 2.52 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and 4.19 FIP. There is mutual interest in Richard returning to San Diego according to Dennis Lin.
• The Red Sox are sending Rick Porcello to the hill in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Indians. David Price will go in Game 2.
• The Twins made it official and hired Derek Falvey as Executive VP, Chief Baseball Officer.
• The Diamondbacks fired GM Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale. According to multiple reports, the D-Backs are still deciding what role, if any, Tony LaRussa will have with the team. LaRussa will not be involved in the decision making, or hiring process, for the new GM or field manager.
• The Marlins fired hitting coach Barry Bonds.
• Bud Black and Ron Washington will both interview for the Braves’ managerial job.
— MLB (@MLB) October 4, 2016
And last, but not least, as part of end of the season procedural moves, the Cubs recalled 3B Jeimer Candelario, LHP Gerardo Concepcion, RHP Pierce Johnson and LHP Giovanni Soto from Triple-A Iowa and RHP Andury Acevedo from Double-A Tennessee.
This Day in Cubstory
2012 – Cubs granted Blake DeWitt free agency
2012 – Cubs granted Alex Hinshaw free agency
2012 – Cubs granted Randy Wells free agency
2008 – The Cubs dropped the third and final game of the NLDS to the Dodgers 3-1.
2003 – Cubs won their first post-season series since the 1908 World Series with a 5-1 victory over the Braves at Turner Field. The Cubs won the fifth and deciding game to take the series three games to two.
1989 – Cubs lost game one of the NLCS to the Giants 11-3 behind a huge game from Will Clark.
1986 – Stephen Fife, born
1977 – Bobby Scales, born
1960 – Billy Hatcher, born
1951 – Cubs traded Bob Borkowski and Smoky Burgess to the Reds for Johnny Pramesa and Bob Usher
1948 – Cubs traded Bill Nicholson to the Phillies for Harry Walker
1944 – Tony LaRussa, born (Tony LaRussa played in one game for the Cubs in 1973. LaRussa pinch ran for Ron Santo on April 6 in a 3-2 victory over the Expos on Opening Day)
1939 – Bill Nicholson hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth in front of a packed house at Comiskey Park (42,267) and tied the first game of the City Series 9-9. The Cubs won the game in 10 innings after Augie Galan drove in Stan Hack.
1925 – For the first time in the 50 year history of the franchise, the Cubs finished the season in last place. The Cubs went 68-86 and ended up 27 ½ games behind the Pirates in the National League.
1908 – Cubs beat the Pirates 5-2 in front of 30,247 at West Side Grounds behind Mordecai Brown and clinched a tie for the National League Pennant.
1906 – Jack Pfiester shutout the Pirates 4-0 in Pittsburgh for his 20th victory of the season and the Cubs record setting 116th win of the year. Pitcher Carl Lundgren played the entire game at second base. The Cubs finished the season with a .763 winning percentage.