Fly the W, Chatwood shining, roster moves, Zo's situation, standings, more


by - Columnist -
Jon Durr - USA Today Sports
Jon Durr - USA Today Sports

Next Game: Today, 1:20 PM CDT: Reds @ Cubs. RHP Tanner Roark (3-3, 3.51 ERA) vs LHP Jose Quintana (4-3, 3.30 ERA).

CUBS NEWS AND NOTES:

Saturday’s Game Recap: If you didn’t think Saturday's game was a good game, then you aren’t a real fan of the game. The Reds got off to a 2-0 start in the second, but the Cubs took over leading in the fourth, with neither team giving up. The Reds would tie it in the eighth on a two-run homer, but the Cubs would take it back in the bottom of the same frame. All told, there were six dingers hit (three from each team), with the Cubs’ blasts coming from Albert Almora, Jr., Addison Russell and Jason Heyward, while the Reds got homers from Tucker Barnhart, Yasiel Puig, and Derek Dietrich.

Yu Darvish put in his longest outing ever for the Cubs, going seven full innings, then starting the eighth, while Tyler Chatwood grabbed his first save as a Cub. There was plenty of other offense by the Cubs as well, who chalked up 11 hits while delivering stellar defense. Final score: Cubs-8; Reds-6.

Cubs/Astros Probable Pitchers: RHP Gerrit Cole (4-5, 4.11 ERA) vs LHP Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.38 ERA). TUESDAY: RHP Corbin Martin (1-1, ERA) vs LHP Jon Lester (3-3, 2.68 ERA). WEDNESDAY: LHP Wade Miley (4-2, 3.51 ERA) vs RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.34 ERA).

Chatwood closing? Brandon Morrow has failed at the job (due to perpetual injury), and so has Pedro Strop (injury and recent undependability). Steve Cishek let the team down in a crucial win situation on Friday night, and other than Brandon Kintzler and Tim Collins, about the only guy left with a ton of experience in the majors, is Tyler Chatwood. Joe Maddon gave Chatty his first shot at a save on Saturday, and although he made it a little interesting (aka nail-biting), he got the job done. Disregard the singles and (comparatively) random walks that Chatwood dishes out this year, they don’t mean a thing unless runners can score, and they usually don’t. Unless a starter goes down and Chatwood is needed in the rotation, at this point, it only makes sense to give him a shot.

Tyler Mahle on yesterday’s outing: “I made a lot of bad pitches with my fastball,” Mahle said. “Probably should have thrown a curveball or a splitter a little more. I can get groundballs on those. I'm sure the fastball will be fine. I was just missing right over the plate. I got hurt on it every time."

More roster moves: Before the start of yesterday’s game, the Cubs optioned OF Mark Zagunis and RHP James Norwood to Triple-A Iowa, then recalled LHP Tim Collins and RHP Dillon Maples from Iowa.

Maddon on Strop: Joe Maddon says Pedro Strop threw off the mound yesterday with another bullpen session scheduled for Monday. Maddon says the Cubs will know by the end of the week whether Strop is ready, or whether he’ll require a rehab start.

Not good: After learning of Ben Zobrist’s impending divorce a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned in one of my columns that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him call it quits and retire mid-season. Situations like what Ben is going through can weigh so heavily on the mind- especially to those who spend countless days away from home, that it can make it almost impossible to function at work. I know- been there, done that.

Yesterday morning, ESPN 1000 placed a survey on Twitter, pointing out that the Cubs would receive an additional $9M, presumably to be used for bullpen help, if Zo retires. I certainly wasn’t thinking about what the Cubs would “gain” in terms of money when I made my comments (I was thinking more of what Ben and his family are going through), but ESPN does raise a valid point with their question. You can weigh in here.

FYI: Happy Birthday today Zo!

Anniversaries: Yesterday marked 37 years (1982) since a Cub named Fergie Jenkins struck out his 3,000 batter, Gary Templeton, while on his way to the Hall of Fame. At that time, Fergie was only the seventh pitcher to record that many K’s. Yesterday also marked 35 years (1984) since the Cubs traded a first-baseman by the name of Bill Buckner to the Red Sox for Mike Bumley and one of the greatest relievers ever to become a Cub, Dennis Eckersley.

Condolences: The Cubs, Joe Maddon, the news media and several players from around the league sent their condolences to the family of sports journalist, Gerry Fraley, who passed away yesterday morning, following a long battle with cancer.

Cub Birthdays: Celebrating yesterday, were ex-Cubs Neil Ramírez (30), Brad Snyder (37), Scott Hairston (39), Randall Simon (44), Todd Walker (46), Ángel Echevarría (48), Jim Marshall (88), and posthumously, Bob Wicker (142).

NL CENTRAL SCHEDULE (May 19 – May 25, 2019)

(Wins are in green, losses in red)

NL CENTRAL SCOREBOARD/STANDINGS

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