Cubs News and Notes: Fly the Schwar-bombs, Trade rumors, Ben Zobrist's heart, more


by - Columnist -
Michael Mcloone - USA Today Sports
Michael Mcloone - USA Today Sports

Next Game: Tuesday, 7:15 PM (NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network {out of market}): Cubs @ Cards. RHP Yu Darvish (3-4, 4.54 ERA) vs RHP Adam Wainwright (7-7, 4.63 ERA).

Sunday's Game Recap:

Flying on a wing and a prayer at this point, Joe Maddon sent Jose Quintana to the hill yesterday to do battle with the Brewers and Zach Davies. Forget first place; the Cubs were fighting not to wind up in third. When I wrote my series preview, I counted on this as being the one game in the series that the Cubs would win.

Welcome to MLB, Robel Garcia

The Cubs would strike fast and hard in the second. Back-to-back singles by Javier Baez and Jayson Heyward were followed by Ian Happ’s walk to load the bases. Hello, Kyle Schwarber. Monstrous (473 foot), grand-slam Schwar-bomb to right, to put the Cubs up 4-0.

Um, I hate to sound repetitive, but Bam-Bam did it again in the fourth, this time with two men on- this time clearing the left-field wall. Cubs up 7-0 and Kyle Schwarber now has 7 RBI in this game alone. By the way, his grand-slam marked the longest homer at Miller Park this season, as well as the longest home run by a Cub, so far, in 2019.

Meanwhile, Jose Quintana was brilliant until the fifth, but got himself into some trouble, allowing three runs to score. With two-away, Maddon pulled him in favor of Brad Brach, who would retire Ryan Braun on a groundball to end the frame. Cubs up 7-3.

Ian Happ would draw his third walk of the day to start a two-out rally for the Cubs in the sixth. Next, Kyle Schwarber would go 3 for 3, although I’m sorry to report that he didn’t homer this time; but, (pinch-hitting for Brad Brach) Victor Caratini did…

Kyle Ryan was brilliant, but you know Joe and his matchups; after replacing Ryan with Brandon Kintzler, the Brewers tacked on another run. 10-4 Cubs after seven.

The Cubs would discover an exciting concept in the ninth: scoring runs without hitting a dinger. Kyle Schwarber scored on a fielder’s choice, as Willson Contreras beat out a throw on a would-be double play. This was the Cubs first run out of their last 21 scored (four games), which did not come as the result of a homer.

Derek Holland would come on in the ninth to close it out. Cubs win (finally) 11-4 and move back into a tie for first with St. Louis. Off-day Monday, then action from Busch Stadium, Tuesday at 7:15 PM.

CUBS NEWS AND NOTES

Cubs/Cardinals Probable Pitchers: Wednesday, 7:15 PM (NBC Sports Chicago): RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-8, 3.41 ERA) vs RHP Mile Mikolas (7-10, 4.19 ERA). Thursday, 7:15 PM NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network {out of market}): LHP Jon Lester (9-6, 3.87 ERA) vs Jack Flaherty (4-6, 4.24 ERA).

Maddon's lineup: I initially liked the lineup that Joe Maddon used on Friday, even though it netted only three runs on six hits in 10 innings. Maddon used the same lineup yesterday and explained why.

Is it just me, or does Joe Maddon talk a lot like Dale Earnhardt, Junior? Seems like he starts talking about something, then switches topics before ever completing a thought… My wife asked me to explain what all he’d just said but after careful review… I got nothin’.

Russell scratched: Slated to start in Iowa yesterday, Addison Russell became a late scratch- generally indicative of a trade during this time of the year.

Then again, maybe not, according to Tommy Birch (beat writer for the Brewers):

There were rumors that Russell was scratched because “his equipment didn’t show up in Iowa,” but I’m not buying it. (1) They do have what’s called overnight shipping, and (2) The I-Cubs manager (Peavey) certainly would have known this morning that Russell had no equipment and would not have scheduled him to start. A trade could be imminent.

Eric Sogard was scratched at the same time, but the ray of hope diminished, as Sogard was dealt to Tampa.

By the way, Cole Hamels, also scheduled for a (rehab) start in Iowa yesterday, still pitched- so at least there’s that… but he had a 23 pitch first inning.

Rizzo on losses: “It’s tough to be on this end,” Anthony Rizzo said. “We’re playing well. We got the guys out there that we want. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. It seems like when it doesn’t go your way; it pours on you at times in the season. It’s one of those stretches. You just gotta keep fighting and stay above it.”

Maldonado moving? I think the bigger part of the Cubs’ deal to acquire Martin Maldonado, was to provide an outlet for Mike Montgomery, who struggled this year and became discontent in his relief role. Maldonado has shown little in the way of being an asset to Chicago and has only appeared a few times since being acquired. Despite what Theo said about carrying three catchers, I figured the Cubs would attempt to move him, as there are just so many “ankle injuries” (reference to Daniel Descalso) to hand out at once.

Bumgarner sweepstakes: As per Jon Morosi (MLB Network), the Cubs, Yanks, Phillies, and Braves all had scouts at Petco Park yesterday, scouting Madison Bumgarner.

Temper, temper: Trevor Bauer was apparently not happy about being pulled yesterday.

Zo’s heart: A friend of mine, speaking on the condition of anonymity, knows Ben Zobrist’s family, as they’re from the same small town in Illinois where Ben grew up. This was offered to me so that I could share it with you.

“I felt strongly Ben would return. From what I know about that family, they are not quitters, and I know that Ben is a very unique individual—if he didn’t think he could contribute to the Cubs still, he would not try it. He thinks he’s got something to give, and his heart belongs to baseball. He’s not doing it for fame or money. He’s not driven by money; He’s driven by purpose. I’m sure he feels God wants him to continue and has given him this direction.”

Magic Number: This number sure isn’t going down as fast as it should be…

Baseball Quotes: “Hitting the ball was easy. Running around the bases was the tough part.” -Mickey Mantle

Cubs Birthdays: Celebrating yesterday, was ex-Cubs outfielder Carmelo Martínez (59).

THIS WEEK’S NL CENTRAL SCEHEDULE:

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Tags: Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana, Robel Garcia, Javier Baez, Ian Happ, Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras, Victor Caratini, Kyle Ryan, Brandon Kintzler, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Addison Russell, Cole Hamels, Anthony Rizzo, Mike Montgomery, Daniel Descalso, Ben Zobrist, Joe Maddon
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