The Rundown: Cubs Dominate Cardinals, Haren Has Best Outing So Far, Carl Edwards Makes MLB Debut, Schwarber Could Be Back Soon

Yesterday was a pretty good day for the Cubs.

For starters, any day the Cubs can beat the Cardinals 9-0 is a good day. As I hoped, Dan Haren indeed had his best outing so far as a Cub, tossing 7 shutout innings.

Dexter Fowler hit his 17th home run. Five months ago, if you had told me Fowler would have 17 homers this season, I would have said you were crazy. He has been an outstanding pickup for the Cubs.

Another guy having probably a better-than-expected showing of power so far is Addison Russell. He hit his 13th home run of his rookie season. Reminder: He’s only 21, and he plays an outstanding shortstop.

On top of the nice win for the Cubs, all of the teams in front and behind them lost; the Pirates, Giants, Nationals (and obviously Cardinals) all dropped their games on Monday. That puts the Cubs 2 games back from Pittsburgh and 7.5 behind St. Louis.

For the second wild card spot, they lead the Nationals by 8.5 and the Giants by 9 games.

At the moment, it definitely feels like the objective is to overtake the Pirates (or possibly the Cardinals?) as opposed to holding off the Giants or Nationals. Still plenty of time left, but I like where things are heading.

Edwards makes debut

Carl Edwards Jr. was called up Monday and made his big-league debut. After walking the first batter he faced, he was able to induce a double play and escape the inning with no damage.

Edwards, one of the main pieces of the Matt Garza trade with the Rangers in 2013, will be used as a reliever this year. I’m not sure what the future holds for him, but for now his home will be the bullpen.

He has swing-and-miss stuff for sure, but also struggles with control at times.

As a 48th-round pick by the Rangers, he’s certainly easy to root for. He has come a long way, and it’s neat to see him get his chance with the Cubs — in a playoff hunt, no less.

Schwarber itching to get back

Kyle Schwarber isn’t “ruling out” an appearance this series against the Cardinals, writes Patrick Mooney.

Schwarber has been out of the lineup since Sept. 2, when he was a late scratch due to rib soreness.

“I want to play right now,” Schwarber said. “This is going to be fun. That’s another reason I’m chomping at the bit to get back out here. It’s the Cardinals. Big series. Great stadium. Great fans.”

I’m sure the Cubs are going to be extra careful with the youngster. Especially since they’ve only lost one game since his absence. They need him back, for sure, but I could see the Cubs giving Schwarber a couple more days to rest to play it safe.

Other notes

* In addition to Carl Edwards Jr. being called up Monday, LHP Zac Rosscup has returned to the Cubs. He struck out the side the end yesterday’s game.

* Cubs catching prospect Willson Contreras recorded four hits yesterday to capture the Southern League’s batting title. It was a break-out year for Contreras, who finished the season with a .333 batting average. He’ll be representing the Cubs in the Arizona Fall league this year.

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