The National League Division Series resumes Monday night (8:38pm CDT) in San Francisco. Jake Arrieta takes on Madison Bumgarner in Game 3 with the Cubs leading 2-0 in the best-of-five series.
The Cubs look to become the first team to knock the Giants out of postseason play under Bruce Bochy. The Giants have won nine consecutive postseason elimination games.
Joe Maddon said Sunday he is contemplating changes to his lineup with Bumgarner on the hill. Maddon basically used the same lineup for the first two games. The only difference in the lineup from Game 1 to Game 2 was his pitcher-catcher battery. It was Jon Lester and David Ross in Game 1 and Kyle Hendricks and Willson Contreras in Game 2.
Miguel Montero is expected to catch Jake Arrieta on Monday night, even with Bumgarner starting for the Giants. As of Saturday night, Maddon had not decided which of his three catchers would be behind the plate for Arrieta. But that appears to have changed. The Cubs would rather sacrifice a little offensively with Montero against the southpaw to ensure Arrieta is as comfortable as possible with his catcher.
Ben Zobrist, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras reportedly got extra work in the outfield with Dave Martinez on Sunday.
Maddon said he had not decided his lineup for Game 3 but apparently he is keeping his options open for the outfield. Maddon said before Game 2 that defense is part of the Cubs DNA, it is hard to see him not playing Jason Heyward in right field at AT&T Park, especially with Albert Almora Jr. having zero experience in that outfield.
“Definitely contemplating. Haven’t decided yet,” Maddon said to the beat writers Sunday. “And I’ve been talking to different guys, getting varied opinions. It’s one of those things where I don’t want to take pencil to paper yet. I have feelings both ways, and I’m still looking for that thought that pushes you in a different direction. But I definitely have strong opinions about tomorrow, and I have been talking to different folks. So you may see something slightly altered.”
Kyle Hendricks completed 3 2/3 innings Saturday night in Game 2 of the NLDS before leaving the game with a bruise on his right forearm. Hendricks allowed two runs on four hits with no walks and zero strikeouts. At the plate, Hendricks was 1-for-1 with two RBI and according to Mark Gonzales he became the first pitcher with at least two RBI in a playoff game since Brett Myers drove in three runs for the Phillies in Game 2 of the 2008 NLCS against the Dodgers.
Joe Maddon provided an update Sunday on Kyle Hendricks and he told the assembled media there was “nothing new” with his right-hander.
Hendricks had to leave Saturday’s game in the fourth inning after taking a line drive in his right forearm. Maddon said Hendricks was sore Sunday but according to multiple reports the Cubs are not concerned.
Kyle Hendricks said Saturday that he did not think he would miss his next start.
“Kyle, yesterday, he said he felt fine,” Maddon said. “So, I don’t anticipate anything really negative.”
Cubs TV Ratings
Game 2 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Giants scored big ratings and set a new record for the MLB Network.
Saturday’s game posted an 18.1 Chicago market rating according to Jeff Nuich with a peak audience of over 744,000 homes.
According to multiple reports, including one from Eric Fisher, Game 2 of the Cubs-Giants series set a new viewership record for the MLB Network.
4.6 million viewers turned on the MLB Network to watch Game 2 of the NLDS. And the game peaked with 5.2 million viewers, the most in the network’s nearly eight-year history.
Bennie and the Cubs
Ben Zobrist had a new walkup song Saturday night at Wrigley. And it received the stamp of approval from legend Elton John.
Zobrist’s wife, Julianna recorded a version of the Elton John classic, Bennie and the Jets, for him with a Cubs twist. The Zobrists sent the song to Elton John to get his approval before using it at Wrigley before Zobrist’s plate appearances.
Saturday was the first time the song was used.
- Report from the Mercury News
- Report from ESPN
- Report from MLB.com
- Click Here for Sample of Bennie and the Cubs
News and Notes
• ESPN Chicago reported sometimes October does go according to plan (for the most part).
• The Sun-Times asked how good is Jake Arrieta and reported Madison Bumgarner test will reveal a lot. Another moment of truth arrives for Jake Arrieta according to the Tribune. Like rest of Cubs, Jake Arrieta will judge his year in October according to Comcast SportsNet. And Ken Rosenthal explained why Madison Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta are more similar than you may think.
• The Cubs are waiting for the bats to heat up as Madison Bumgarner stands in their way according to a report from the Tribune. Bruce Levine reported Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner stands in the way of the Cubs advancing. And the embrace-the-target Cubs can feel the pressure shifting onto the Giants and Madison Bumgarner according to Comcast SportsNet.
• Aroldis Chapman recorded the highest perceived velocity of any pitch in the postseason during the Statcast era on Saturday night … 104.3 mph. Comcast SportsNet reported the Cubs are witnessing Aroldis Chapman’s unique impact against the Giants.
• And speaking of the Cubs bullpen, Ken Rosenthal reported Sunday the Giants have not scored a run off the Cubs pen this year, either in the regular season or the first two games of the NLDS … that’s a combined 32 1/3 innings with 12 hits, 33 strikeouts and five walks.
• The Tribune reported Pedro Strop packed his goggles for San Francisco … just in case.
• For the first time in franchise history, Cubs pitchers have gone back-to-back postseason games without walking a batter according to Chris De Luca.
• According to the Tribune, the Giants are an example to the Cubs of what you can do with core of good, young players.
• Kyle Schwarber played catch during the Cubs workout Sunday at AT&T Park … and the Tribune posted video to prove it, click here.
• Joel Sherman spoke with Steve Kerr and he offered advice to the Cubs about being the team that must win a title.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 9, 2016
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Cubs evened the NLDS against the Cardinals with a 6-3 win in St. Louis. Cubs scored five runs against Jaime Garcia in the second on a throwing error, back-to-back squeeze bunts by Kyle Hendricks and Addison Russell and a two-run homer by Jorge Soler.
2013 – Cubs granted free agency to J.C. Boscan
2003 – With six hits in six consecutive at bats, Kenny Lofton set an NLCS record and tied the ALCS mark.
2003 – Cubs took a 2-1 lead in the NLCS against the Marlins with an extra inning victory at Pro Player Stadium. The Cubs won 5-4 after Doug Glanville tripled in the top of the 11th and plated Kenny Lofton.
2001 – Cubs granted free agency to Joe Borowski
2001 – Cubs selected Jose Fernandez off waivers from the Angels
2000 – Cubs granted free agency to Brant Brown
1987 – Adrian Cardenas, born
1972 – Ramon Martinez, born
1961 – Houston Colt .45’s selected Dick Drott in the Rule 5 Draft from the Cubs
1961 – Mets selected Sammy Drake from the Cubs in the expansion draft
1961 – Mets selected Don Zimmer from the Cubs in the expansion draft
1960 – Cubs released Grady Hatton
1960 – Cubs released El Tappe
1950 – Cubs traded Hank Edwards and cash to the Brooklyn Dodgers for Chuck Connors and Dee Fondy
1947 – Roger Metzger, born
1945 – Cubs lost the seventh game of the World Series to the Tigers, 9-3, at Wrigley Field.
1908 – Cubs took game one of the World Series after scoring five runs in the ninth inning. Mordecai Brown was the winning pitcher in the 10-6 victory over the Tigers.
1907 – Cubs beat the Tigers 5-1 in game three of the World Series behind Ed Reulbach at West Side Grounds.
1906 – Cubs evened the series with the White Sox with a 7-1 win behind Ed Reulbach at South Side Grounds. Reulbach allowed only one hit, a seventh inning single, and the lone run the Sox scored was on an error and a wild pitch in the sixth inning. There was not another one-hitter thrown in the World Series until the Cubs’ Claude Passeau in 1945.