Remember when the Cubs were swept at Wrigley Field by the Phillies in late July? Sure seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?
Well the Cubs are working on returning the favor, as they took both games of a double-header last night in impressive fashion.
Jake Arrieta did his thing again — this time dominating even when he didn’t have his best stuff in Game 1. The Cubs ace lowered his ERA to 1.99 after going 8 innings and giving up one run.
Game 2 was the Kyle Schwarber Show. Back on Thursday, after Kyle Schwarber went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in his return to the lineup, I wrote:
“Nothing scientific, but I feel like often after Schwarber has had similar performances, he has gone out the next game with a vengeance. So if he hits a home run or two today, don’t be surprised.”
I would say that hitting two bombs, taking a walk, scoring three runs and knocking in three qualifies as coming out with a vengeance.
In games following efforts in which Schwarber has gone 0-for-4 with at least two strikeouts, he has homered six times. That includes two multi-homer games (last night and on Aug. 13).
After the double-header sweep last night, the Cubs find themselves 2 games behind the Pirates and 6 games in back of the Cardinals.
Dan Haren will try to build on his previous start and hopefully get on a roll here down the stretch.
Jorge on the trail back
Jorge Soler likely will rejoin the team next week in Pittsburgh, according to Jesse Rogers.
The rookie outfielder has missed 16 games with an oblique injury, but he played with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans last night on a rehab assignment. Soler batted third and played right field, and, most importantly, said he felt good after the game.
Having Soler back with the Cubs can only make this lineup more dangerous. The thing is though, the Cubs outfield is looking very crowded at the moment.
Austin Jackson has been a really nice addition; I especially like his defense — he is clearly a much better defender than Soler.
And with Javier Baez playing well, Kris Bryant has found himself in the outfield on occasion lately. So it’ll be interesting to see how much playing time Soler gets when he comes back.
* The Pelicans ended up winning their game, meaning they have advanced to the Mills Cup Championship Series. The first game will take place on Sunday. Good stuff.
* Kyle Schwarber was named MLB Pipeline’s top catching prospect of 2015. Considering that Schwarber cruised through two levels of the minors this year and is currently crushing baseballs in the majors, this seems like a no-brainer. Still cool, though.