Cubs Give Warm Welcome To Edwin Jackson

Chicago Cubs

I feel bad for Edwin Jackson, I really do. He struggled playing with the Cubs and yesterday, he struggled against the Cubs. The guy can’t catch a break. The Cubs  handed Edwin a parting gift of back to back home runs from Miguel Montero and Jorge Soler as they went on to defeat the Atlanta Braves 9-7.

If the Cubs make it to the World Series, it’s because of their ability to bounce back in games and seize that momentum. They’ll jump all over a mistake. The fell behind 7-3 in the fifth, but clawed and scratched their way back.

“That was a really good win for us,” said Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. “When we go down like that [in the fifth], we just needed a run or two to scratch away.”

Addison Russel connected with a solo shot that went under review after it was thought that there was fan interference. A problem that at Wrigley Field this year. Remember Keith Hartley?

“I thought I had a pretty good shot, and watching Maybin go back, I thought he might have had a chance at it,” Addison Russell said. “I thought maybe it might be in the basket, maybe it might not be, but I’m glad it was ruled that it went out.”

Do we need to worry about Dan Haren yet? Again, is there a strong case for bringing Travis Wood back to the rotation? It could have came down to two things in the short outing.; Either it wouldn’t have mattered what was being thrown over the plate because the wind was a certain factor and batters were hitting everything that was coming across the plate or like Kyle Hendricks yesterday, these two games have exposed the Cubs’ flaws.

“Obviously, I’d like to do better, be out there longer and stuff like that,” Haren said. “When it comes down to it, when we’ve got 40 or 50 games left, whatever we’ve got left, it’s just about winning games. I think everybody has to just put their self… wanting to do good for themselves behind them and just go out and just do the best they can for the team because that’s what it’s about at this point in the year.”

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Cubs Have Moxy In Win Over Braves

Chicago Cubs

If this were any other year, fans of the Chicago Cubs would say that the team has Moxy. Why? Because they’re young, not as experienced as the other clubs and well, we’re all just glad that they’re doing well.

Yesterday, the Cubs walloped the Atlanta Braves by a score of 5-3. A lot of people talk about that, Don’t quit” mentality that the Cubs have, but is it that they don’t quit or is it that suddenly this season, the Cubs are just too damn good?

“It exemplifies, typifies that we do not quit,” said manager Joe Maddon. “You had to fight through a lot of little adverse baseball moments there, and we did.”

Get over it Joe, the team has been doing it all season long. Finally, the club is a well balanced machine capable of beating opponents at any part of the game.

Except pitching. Yes, the Cubs are struggling a little bit there. Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks need to get back the form they’ve misplaced recently or I’m afraid along with the many Cubs fans out there that it could be October 2016 when the post season arrives.

Yesterday Kyle Hendricks last 5 innings giving up 3 runs. I feel bad for the kid. Something’s gotten into his head this year and believe me, if there’s any pitcher out there that is working hard to right his own ship, it’s the “Professor” Maybe they have to stick Travis Wood in there until things go right, I don’t know.

“I felt a big improvement, that’s why it’s still a little frustrating giving up three runs there, but in the end, I am happy,” Hendricks said. “It felt 100 times better. My arm felt more free, more on line and I made a lot more good pitches. I wasn’t expecting it to be 100 percent in the first start after what we’ve been working on, but hopefully we can turn it around quick.”

Two key players that the Cubs have is Miguel Montero and Chris Coghlan.

Coghlan homered to lift his totals to a career high of 15 while Miguel Montero continues to put up decent numbers while providing leadership to the younger guys.

“We know that if we’re down in the score we’re going to come back at some point, and that’s part of the confidence, part of the winning attitude,” said Miguel Montero.”It feels great.”

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Cubs Win And Arrieta First To 15

Chicago Cubs

I hate the Atlanta Braves. There’s something about them that bugs me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not their pedigree of players that have come through their system but I just can’t put my finger on it. That’s why it was extra special seeing the Chicago Cubs demolish them on home turf 7-1. To witness the awesomeness of Mike Foltynewicz getting chased from the game, well that just says it all right there now, doesn’t it?

The hero of the game was Jake Arrieta. I can’t say enough about the guy and now he leads the Majors with 15 victories.

“I think still at this point in time, we don’t intend to be a Wild Card,” Arrieta said. “We still think we can win our division. … We’re still in a position here where we can jump some guys if we can get hot and have some good fortune with the teams ahead of us.”

On a day where the Cubs have started selling playoff tickets, the pieces are quietly coming together for the Northside heroes.

Anthony Rizzo belted a three run beauty yesterday  raising his home run totals(as well as my Fantasy stats) to 24 with Addison Russell knocking one out for good measure.

The Cubs have gotten back in the game after a couple of losses to the Detroit Tigers. Although Arrieta was pulled in the sixth but I think that was the right choice. Joe madden wants his pitchers healthy for the playoffs and I don’t blame him. Arrieta  is a definite contender for the Cy Young and I’m sure that he would trade any Cy Young award for that ultimate prize in baseball.

With American Legion week, the Cubs are taking it easy and keeping things loose. I don’t know Joe Maddon but I love his style. He’s fun but calculating and from what I see of the man; he’s exactly what the Cubs need right now.

“Just come and play some baseball like we did — like we all did when you used to show up after work in the summertime,” Maddon said. “You’d show up for your game at 4:30, 5 o’clock, and play at 6, and you did just fine. … You did not have to be here all day long. It’s a tribute to playing baseball the old fashioned way as well as to our veterans.”

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Cubs Learn The Facts of Life

Chicago Cubs

There’s a theme song from an 80’s television show that goes like this:

“You take the good,you take the bad, you take them both and there you have, the Facts of Life” The Cubs learned this the hard way.

Interleague play can be cruel. The Cubs fell to the Tigers, 15-8. What can be crueler is the wind factor at Wrigley Field. When the ball travels, it travels very far. Jason Hammel saw the home runs leave Wrigley Field and last night it was Jon Lester’s turn.

“They’ve obviously been a thorn in my side for a long time,” Lester said. “That being said, I’ve still got to figure out a way to get deeper in that game, especially with how things transpired last night.”

Then there’s Kris Bryant who had a tremendous game, hitting everything that came his way. A home run, two RBI’s and a triple. Baseball’s funny that way.

“I’m just really happy it wasn’t a three-game series,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “They hit the ball. Everything they hit was hard, far. We played pretty good offense ourselves.”

Now, it might seem that I’m getting harsh on the Cubs but these losses are coming at a great time for the club. They face the Atlanta Braves who are struggling with a three game losing streak. The Cubs need this series after Detroit because come the playoffs, they’re going to be facing a lot of great teams.

Pittsburgh on the other hand, is going into a series against the always dangerous Giants.

So even though the Cubs are hitting a tough patch, their offence is springing to life at the right time. Between Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler, the Cubs bats are alive. Can the pitching find its rhythm?

“During the course of the year, guys are always going to go through struggles,” Maddon said. “I think Jason is very fixable, I think Kyle is very fixable. I’ve used the word competing, and Danny Haren competes very well. I really think we can work through the issues of Jason and Kyle.”

The Facts of Life

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Cubs Fall Short After Rain Delay

Kyle Schwarber

“It was a @!#$ ball” those words mouthed by Anthony Rizzo after a really terrible call.  It pretty much sums up a rain drenched game that the Cubs ended up losing 10-8 against the Detroit Tigers.

Starting pitcher Jason Hammel struggled to find his groove. Three home runs were hit off the hurler including a near home run by Miguel Cabrera in which fan interference was involved. A young fan reached over the netting to snag the ball. After the play went under review, it was determined that interference was the call.

“Effort-wise, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different and I’m not trying to overthrow,” Jason Hammel said. “Sometimes less is more. It’s disappointing to go out there and have good stuff like I did tonight and just get hit around the yard. It was one of those nights where it seemed like they knew what was coming.”

I think the problem is that the Cubs are playing a two game series against a very tough Detroit Tigers, no matter where they are in the standings.

The Cubs bounced back to tie the game in the sixth after a two hour rain delay. By the way, I love watching the ground crew pull out the tarps. They do an amazing job. It’s an art seeing the efficiency and speed that goes into that.

Kyle Schwarber continued his torrid pace since being called up this summer. He smacked his ninth home run.

“That kid can play baseball,” Hammel said of Schwarber. “Being in college last year, and all of a sudden in the show and hitting laser beams all over the yard, he’s pretty impressive to watch. He’s got a good attitude, too. He’s keeping it level and taking it in in stride.”

The Cubs have now lost two in a row, they fought back last night after the delay. They didn’t let themselves get down after an unfortunate start to the game and some bad calls. They’re going to need that kind of moxy in October.

“They got the power, they got the speed
To be the best in the National League
Well this is the year and the Cubs are real
So come on down to Wrigley Field”

Somewhere, Steve is smiling.

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Cubs Were On Sale Against White Sox

Chicago Cubs

As the saying goes, “All Good Things Must End” it was a fun ride but as the Cubs were defeated by Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox 3-1, I couldn’t help but think that maybe, just maybe this might have been the best thing to happen to the Cubs.

Here’s what’s going to happen should the Cubs make the post season.

They are going to face some amazing pitching. So, it’s a good thing that they faced Chris Sale’s 15 strikeout tour de force.

“You’re not going to win them all, man,” Joe Maddon said. “That doesn’t happen. We’ve been playing really well. We continue to play really well. Today we just ran into a good pitcher and that was the difference in the game.”

Considering the Cubs had the bases loaded in the sixth inning and somehow, Sale got out of that, well, that’s good pitching and the Cubs needed to face that.

Another player who needed to see that is Kyle Hendricks. He’s been struggling lately and I know he was watching carefully at how Sale was doing.

“Everybody has different mechanics,” Hendricks said. “Some guys are rotational. For me, being rotational is not good at all. I have to be on line, my shoulders square, then I can get to the bottom of the zone.”

The Cubs have a much needed day off today so Joe Maddon can wash his socks before taking on the Detroit Tigers tomorrow at Wrigley Field.

“The team’s been doing great and swinging the bats great,” said Cubs starter Dan Haren. “Today wasn’t the best day, but the bats have been there for the two weeks I’ve been here. I don’t think anyone is really going to hang their heads — just come out Tuesday and get back home and start winning again.”

Apparently, Joe has only washed his socks once since June 29th. Now, either he’s been sleeping in Cousin Eddie (In reference to his RV) or his wife is a pretty understanding person because I know win streak or not, my wife would not tolerate a pair of stinky old socks.

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Cubs Not Feeling Any Pressure

Jake Arrieta

The Cubs are continuing to claw their way to the top. Last night, they defeated the White Sox 6-3 to boost their winning streak to 9 games. Again, Kyle Schwarber came through showing that he fits right in with the majors. In the fifth inning with Dexter Fowler on first, Kyle gets a hit and drives Addison Russell home.

“I was trying to get a good at-bat and control what I could control,” Schwarber said of his at-bat. “I didn’t have two good at-bats before then. Those things, you just have to throw to the side and go on to the next at-bat, the next pitch. I just got to two strikes and was battling and able to put the ball in play.”

If anyone ever thought that Kyle Schwarber wasn’t ready for the big leagues, all though I don’t think anyone ever thought that in the first place.

It’s also nice to see others picking up on my “Sultan of Schwarb” comparison to Babe Ruth. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers nicknames him, “Kyle Ruth”

But while everyone is chatting it up or throwing bottles at Kyle Schwarber(Yes, some fan did that), let’s talk about the outstanding work by Jake Arrieta. He’s won 11 in a row and the first Cubs pitcher to do that in over twenty years.

Are you kidding me?

“We know we’re on a good run,” Arrieta said. “We don’t necessarily know how many in a row it is, we just know we’re winning. We’re not going to win them all but when we keep playing the way we are, we’ll win a lot.”

So, nine in a row. They’re fourth overall and a potential Cy Young candidate in Arrieta and a possible ROY in Kyle Schwarber. I’d say that’s some improvement over last year.

I’m going to throw something out here; Do the Cubs really need Javier Baez? Should they call him up in September or risk messing with the chemistry the Cubs currently have?

“I think when we come to the ballpark, you get to the point that you expect to win, regardless of who you’re playing,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s not to denigrate the other side whatsoever — it could be the ’27 Yankees. When you’re playing with that kind of confidence, you feel like something good is going to happen somehow, someway. You’re going to ride that wave as long as you can.”

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