The Rundown: Idle Cubs Gain Ground on Pirates and Giants, Arrieta and Bryant Win Pitcher and Rookie of the Month, Carl Edwards Jr. Off the DL
Yesterday was quiet on the news front, with the Cubs and most teams having the day off.
The Giants and Pirates were both in action, however, and the results were surprisingly good — for the Cubs.
The Pirates dropped a game to the Brewers, 5-3. Andrew McCutchen was out of the lineup with a sore Achilles. It sounds like he’s going to play tonight, however, as the Pirates and Cardinals begin a weekend series.
Carlos Gonzalez helped the Rockies take down the Giants last night. So without even playing a game yesterday, the Cubs improved their position on the two teams directly above and below them in the wild card race.
They’re only 4 back from the Pirates, and hold a 7-game lead on the Giants. Things are looking pretty good right now.
The Cubs kick off a series at Wrigley Field with the Diamondbacks today at 1:20. On the mound is former Cubs prospect Zack Godley, who was included in the trade for Miguel Montero.
Godley has been pretty good for the Diamondbacks, posting a 1.90 ERA (3.64 FIP) in 23.2 innings. That includes three starts. When the Cubs traded Godley away, he was mostly viewed as a reliever long-term, so his success as a starter is somewhat surprising.
Hopefully the Cubs can give him a warm welcome to Wrigley Field.
Not much was revealed yesterday on the severity of Kyle Schwarber’s rib injury. David Kaplan tweeted that Schwarber might miss a few days but the injury wasn’t serious.
However, no other concrete reports surfaced. We should hear more today about Schwarber’s status. With any luck, he’ll be in the starting lineup this afternoon and we can all exhale.
Awards all around
If you have been thinking to yourself that Jake Arrieta and Kris Bryant had a really good month of August, well you’d be right. Apparently everyone else thinks so too.
The two were named MLB Pitcher and Rookie of the Month, respectively. Arrieta went 6-0, while giving up only two (!) earned runs in 42.1 innings. He struck out 43. Don’t slow down anytime soon, Jake.
As for Bryant, he slashed .330/.422/.620 and hit seven home runs. Sparkle has been ridiculously good all year, rookie or no rookie. It’s a little scary to think about how good he can become.
The Cubs also named their organizational minor-league player and pitcher of the month: Tennessee Smokies outfielder Albert Almora and Eugene Emerald RHP Oscar De La Cruz.
* Carl Edwards Jr. has been activated off the disabled list after suffering a blister. He hasn’t been called up to Chicago as of now, but it’s possible at some point. Edwards, one of the Cubs’ top pitching prospects, would come out of the bullpen — likely in low-pressure situations at first.
* James Russell has been optioned to Triple-A after being designated for assignment earlier this week.