The Rundown: Cubs Sweep Reds, Laura Ricketts Defends Murphy Acquisition, Rizzo Sings (Poorly)
Break out the brooms, all y’all. The Cubs swept the Reds this weekend, capping the festivities with a 9-0 win that was over before Reds starter Homer Bailey could record three outs. The death blow came when David Bote stepped up to the plate in the 3rd inning…and boom goes the dynamite!
Ed. note: We’ve got new #EveryBoteIn t-shirts with a pretty sweet design that you will want to order at least three of.
Lake Michigan is in the other direction. ⛵️#EverybodyIn pic.twitter.com/mz5jabgQKn
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 26, 2018
The Cubs offense has surely found itself again after a five game mini-slump, but lost in the schizophrenia that has been the team’s second-half run production is a sparkling ray of hope: The starting rotation’s ERA over the past 10 games is 1.67 and the staff may now be the strength the team had hoped it would be at the start of the season. I’m still concerned about Jose Quintana’s inability to throw strikes, but it seems the addition of Cole Hamels and the subtraction of Tyler Chatwood from the starting five has injected this staff with a renewed purpose.
The Mets come to town tonight as the Cubs hope to extend what is now a five-game winning streak. It’s Grateful Dead night in Wrigley and the Midwest’s biggest Grateful Dead fan will be in attendance to boot. New York enters the series having won four of their past six games and hopes to bounce back from Sunday’s lopsided 15-0 loss to the Nationals.
Keep an eye on Daniel Murphy this series. The infielder has tormented New York since leaving the team as a free agent before the 2016 season, batting .390 with 11 homers, 43 RBI and a whopping 1.162 OPS in 44 games against the Mets.
Cubs News & Notes
Laura Ricketts defended the Cubs’ acquisition of Murphy this weekend. The timing of Ricketts’ comments coincide with the 18th annual “Out At Wrigley” game, an event billed as the “Original MLB Gay Day” that draws thousands of fans each year. While Ricketts can’t speak for all Cubs fans, her voice is important as one of the only openly gay pro-sports owners in North America. Live and let live, love and let love. Life would be so much simpler if we’d all commit to that.
Murphy is batting .368 with two home runs since the Cubs acquired him and he looks to be a mainstay at the leadoff position.
Jason Heyward had his fourth four-hit game of the season yesterday.The Gold Glove outfielder is having his best offensive season since joining Chicago in 2016, slashing .278/.342/.405 with 63 runs scored across 439 plate appearances.
Anthony Rizzo appears to be locked in too. In the Cincinnati series, the 29-year-old first baseman was 6-for-13 with a home run, four RBI, and five runs scored. Good thing he can hit because the man can’t carry a tune.
When @ARizzo44 sings “Piano Man” at @Dempster46’s charity event. pic.twitter.com/kf0AiYpJVX
— Adam Amin (@adamamin) August 26, 2018
By winning five straight, the Cubs have gained ground on everybody in the National League.
- Cubs 76-53 .589
- Braves 73-57 .562
- Cardinals 73-58 .557
- Diamondbacks 72-58 .554
- Brewers 73-59 .553
- Rockies 71-59 .546
- Dodgers 70-61 .534
Without a day off until Sept. 13, the Cubs will use a six-man rotation for at least one turn. Mike Montgomery is expected to start Thursday in Atlanta. Alec Mills will start Wednesday against the Mets.
How About That!
Kendrys Morales is en fuego. The big guy has homered in seven straight games, the first switch-hitter in MLB history to accomplish that feat.
Entering play Sunday, the Twins had a team ERA of 4.48, which ranked No. 22 in major league baseball. If you’re looking to blame the starters more than the relievers or vice versa, you shouldn’t. Twins starters have a 4.48 ERA. So does the bullpen. And both rank No. 22 in MLB.
The A’s improved to 56-0 when leading after seven innings in yesterday’s victory over the Twins, and they remain the only team in the majors that has not lost when leading after seven.
The Nationals ended a 32-inning scoreless streak by destroying the Mets 15-0.
The Rays extended their winning streak to eight games in sweeping the Red Sox behind ace Blake Snell, who now has a 1.08 ERA in four outings against the Red Sox this year.
Michael Kopech allowed one run on seven hits while striking out four across six innings as he notched his first career victory Sunday in the White Sox 7-2 victory over the Tigers.
Sunday’s Three Stars
- Matt Carpenter – Carp went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. He also tied an MLB record with four doubles in a nine-inning game.
- Jason Kipnis – Dirtbag was also 4-for-5, including an inside-the-park home run in the Indians’ 12-3 victory over the Royals.
- Kyle Hendricks – The Professor went seven strong, holding the Reds to just two singles and a walk across seven shutout innings. Hendricks had five strikeouts in earning his 10th win of the season.
On Deck Circle
I will be at the game tonight, sitting in the left field bleachers with my crew. If you’ll be in attendance look for the guy wearing the Cubs #50 jersey. It has the name CANTER scrawled across the shoulders. I’ll probably be at Murphy’s Bleachers before and after the game, too.
Sometime over the next 10 days, the year-over-year dip in Major League Baseball attendance will exceed 3 million fans. By the end of the season, barring an uncharacteristic jump in September attendance, MLB will fail to crack the 70 million-fan threshold for the first time since 2003. Seven teams are drawing 5,000-plus fewer fans per game this season than last.
They Said It
- “Since several people have asked…yes, I was consulted prior to the Daniel Murphy trade. There were several thoughtful conversations among Cubs executives, my brothers and me, as well as with Billy Bean, MLB’s Ambassador for Inclusion and the subject of Daniel’s 2015 comments.” – Laura Ricketts
- “I know Billy [Bean] and have immense respect for him and his work with the league. Billy, who has since developed a friendship with Daniel, was very positive and encouraging. After these considered and thoughtful conversations, which took place precisely because of the Cubs’ sensitivities on the matter, I was on board with the trade.” – Laura Ricketts
Monday Walk Up Song
Bird Song by The Grateful Dead. For Sue. “All I know is something like a bird within her sang. All I know she sang a little while and then moved on….”