The Rundown: Haren Solid in Possible Final Career Start, Scoreless Streak Ends at 29 Innings, Rizzo Joins Rare 30/30 Club
After waiting through a 2.5-hour rain delay, the Cubs won easily against an abysmal-looking Reds team last night. The Reds have lost 10 in a row. Can’t say I’m upset to be writing that.
After going through the past couple years of repeated losses to Cincinnati, it’s good to see the Cubs take care of business against an inferior team.
Dan Haren pitched very well, lasting 7.1 scoreless and giving up only three hits. He struck out six and walked no one. It’s likely the final start of Haren’s season — and career (unless he gets a start in the playoffs).
Going back over a couple games and for a while through Tuesday, the Cubs had pitched 29 scoreless innings in a row. Unfortunately they gave up a run in the top of the 9th last night — although it was unearned, as Austin Jackson completely misplayed an easy fly ball. Still a very impressive stretch by Cubs pitching.
With the win, the Cubs picked up a half-game on the Pirates (and Cardinals, although that’s irrelevant now), who were rained out last night.
* Dexter Fowler scored his 100th run of the season last night. His previous career high was 84, so that’s a very nice increase. Fowler, who has been kind of streaky at the plate for the Cubs, is a huge part of the offense when he’s going right.
* Kris Bryant in center field on a regular basis next year? It’s a possibility, writes Patrick Mooney. It will be interesting to see what the Cubs do regarding free-agent-to-be Dexter Fowler. If they don’t re-sign him, or if they sign another veteran center fielder such as Denard Span, could they really plug Bryant in there every day? He seems to be comfortable in CF, but it would be unconventional for sure. Prospect Albert Almora won’t be ready at the start of 2016, and the Cubs don’t have any other clear-cut youngsters close to the majors that can play the position.
* Jake Arrieta is your NL Player of the Week from last week. Shocker, I know. All he did was give up four hits in 16 scoreless innings, striking out 20 and walking only one. No big deal. I had the misfortune of going against Arrieta in my fantasy baseball playoffs last week (you care), and it single-handedly knocked me out. Hard to be too upset about it, though.
* Last night Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch for the 30th time this season. He joins Don Baylor as the only players to hit 30 home runs and have 30 HBP.
* The Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright has been cleared to pitch and will be available out of the bullpen starting today, according to Derrick Goold. He won’t be in the starting rotation, but I’m sure Wainwright will be able to provide a boost.
* More good news for the Cardinals: outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who suffered a nasty collision in the outfield on Monday night, could return before the end of the regular season. That’s pretty remarkable considering how bad the injury looked the other night.