Friday salutations to all. Hopefully the Cubs can get back to winning baseball against the Cardinals this weekend. St. Louis is third in the NL in ERA (3.32) while the Cubs are fifth (3.48). Pitching matchups for the weekend series are:
- Jose Quintana (3-1) vs. Miles Mikolas (3-0) tonight
- Tyler Chatwood (2-3) vs. Luke Weaver (2-2) tomorrow
- Jon Lester (2-1) vs. Michael Wacha (4-1) Sunday evening
The second-place Cardinals are a half-game ahead of the Cubs in the standings but their 17-12 overall record is heavily skewed by a 9-0 record versus the Reds and White Sox.
Both teams hope to gain ground on the he first-place Brewers, who play the Pirates in Milwaukee this weekend. St. Louis enters the series sitting at 25th in MLB in hitting (.235), 19th in slugging percentage (.394), and 15th in runs scored (132). Perhaps the Cubs can expose those weak bats.
The Cubs offense has delivered in spurts, with third baseman Kris Bryant (.945 OPS), outfielder Kyle Schwarber (.972 OPS), and infielder Javier Baez (.955 OPS) standing out.
Ian Happ and Addison Russell are really struggling right now and the team hopes that a reversal of fortune for both is in the cards this weekend. After the St. Louis series, the Cubs return home for three games against both the Marlins and White Sox and a makeup game against the red-hot Atlanta Braves.
Cubs News & Notes
Joe Maddon isn’t worried about the Cubs’ position in the standings or the team’s current two-game losing streak. “I don’t get too wound up on anything,” said Maddon, pointing to the early date on the baseball calendar. “I’m just happy we’re in the position we’re in right now.”
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN gives the Cubs’ acquisition of Yu Darvish a grade of D+. Darvish has really struggled in the 5th innings of games, where his ERA sits at 31.50 after six starts, and has failed to complete five innings in four of his six starts this year.
The Cubs wives will play the Brewers wives in a charity softball game on June 12 at Helfaer Field in Milwaukee. The match will benefit both teams’ Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) youth programs. The Cubs play next door at Miller Park that night, the second of a three-game series.
Willson Contreras took advantage of Thursday’s day off to get married:
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) May 3, 2018
How About That!
White Sox OF Trayce Thompson hit a walk-off home run to lead Chicago past the Twins 6-5 yesterday.
Royals OF Jorge Soler has been quietly productive this season. The former Cubs prospect is hitting .312 with a .435 on-base percentage and .538 slugging percentage. Royals manager Ned Yost said Soler reminds him of Adam Dunn and Carlos Santana.
Albert Pujols collected career hit number 2,999 as the Angels blasted the Orioles 12-3.
Ichiro Suzuki has retired as a baseball player and will join the Mariners front office. Ichiro and Pujols both made their MLB debuts on April 2, 2001.
The Braves completed a three-game sweep of the Mets with an 11-0 victory yesterday, and Atlanta now leads the NL East by a game and a half with a 19-11 record.
Indians SS Francisco Lindor homered from both sides of the plate in yesterday’s 13-11 loss to the Blue Jays.
Manny Ramirez, Jr. will make his professional debut for the New Britain Bees in the independent Atlantic League.
Thursday’s Three Stars
- Yangervis Solarte – The Blue Jays infielder went 5-for-6 with a walk, a double, a grand slam, and six RBI in two games against the Indians yesterday. On the season, Solarte’s now batting .270/.359/.532 while seeing time at three different positions.
- Julio Teheran – The Braves starting pitcher typically owns the Mets and yesterday was no different. Teheran didn’t allow a hit for 6 2/3 innings and ended up surrendering just two hits and two walks in seven innings with six strikeouts. His career ERA against the Mets across 136 innings is 2.32.
- Nomar Mazara – The Rangers OF was 2-for-5 with a home run and 5 RBI as Texas crushed the Red Sox 11-5.
Hot Takes & Syrup
- Major League Baseball intends to announce next week that the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will play two games at London’s Olympic Stadium on June 29-30 next year, a person familiar with the planning told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because no public comments had been authorized.
- The Portland Diamond Project has fueled a frenzy of activity and discussion over its desire to bring a Major League Baseball team to the city.
- ESPN’s Radical Idea Series penned by former BP author Sam Miller suggests that teams should be allowed to sell hosting privileges so that their opponents can bid for additional home games each season.
They Said It
- “I know I’m biased and people may not agree, but this team has a chance to be one of the best ones I’ve played on in St. Louis, and that’s saying a lot.” – Matt Carpenter
- “I think everyone’s a little nervous when there’s any change — on a lot of levels. First of all, Wrigley was everyone’s happy place and they accepted all the little things that didn’t go right because it was just a great place. So when someone says they’re going to fix it, then people get nervous. I don’t think there’s a fan out there who thinks the field has gotten worse. Hopefully, people trust us by now. [Wrigley Field] will be like the Coliseum. People in 2,000 years will walk through and go, ‘Wow.’ ” – Tom Ricketts
Friday Walk Up Song
Coming Home by Leon Bridges. Bridges is fantastic and really captures the old Motown and Stax Soul sound.