The Rundown: Cubs Sweep Fish, Rizz Drives in Five, Crosstown Classic Starts Friday, Ricketts Invests in Professional Soccer Team

Break out the brooms! It is so nice seeing the Cubs manhandle a team they are superior to on paper, and they scored 31 runs in the the three-game series in doing so. Miami came into town with a little swagger, having won four consecutive series, and left more than a little deflated, just as any last place team should after playing one of the best teams in baseball. The Cubs had that championship type of confidence all series, something that has been missing almost all season.

The White Sox come to Wrigley for a three-game series beginning tomorrow. The Crosstown Classic has really lost a lot of its luster over the years, but always expect the unexpected when the two Chicago teams get together. The White Sox appear to have replaced the Cubs as Chicago’s lovable losers and have a super-stacked farm system that includes former Cubs prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.

But despite hopes that they might get cranking on their own return to competitiveness a little early, the Sox are on pace to lose nearly 120 games this season. Meanwhile, the Cubs are starting to roll as they seek their fourth consecutive NLCS berth.

On the bump this weekend:

  • Friday: Tyler Chatwood vs. Carson Fulmer
  • Saturday: Jon Lester vs. Hector Santiago
  • Sunday: Kyle Hendricks vs. James Shields

Cubs News & Notes

Kris Bryant hit his 100th career home run yesterday and did it faster than any other Cubs’ player in history.

Anthony Rizzo is heating up. For the month of May, Rizzo has four home runs and 10 RBI and is batting .355. The All-Star first baseman went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, two runs scored, and five RBI in yesterday’s 13-4 win over the Marlins.

Rizzo and some of his teammates played celebrity bartenders in last night’s sixth annual Cook-Off for Cancer mixer and charity auction at Morgan Manufacturing in the Fulton Market neighborhood.

Theo Epstein sort of predicted a Cubs sweep just the other day.

Iowa’s Alec Mills scattered seven hits and walked two while striking out seven in his second straight quality start and third in his past four outings as the Cubs AAA team beat the Omaha Storm Chasers 4-2.

Sterling Bay, a real estate company building a new soccer stadium in Chicago’s Lincoln Yards area, announced Wednesday that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts will take a majority ownership position in a proposed Chicago professional soccer team. The team will play in the United Soccer League, a second-division league. It will compete for fans and media attention with the first-division Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer.

How About That!

On April 20, the Red Sox led the Yankees by 7 1/2 games. After yesterday’s 9-6 loss, they’re now a game behind, as the Yankees won their 17th game in their last 18 contests.

The Pirates scored four runs off of White Sox closer Nate Jones in the 9th inning yesterday to defeat Chicago 6-5. The ChiSox enter the Crosstown Classic with a record of 9-25.

The Mets batted out of order in the 1st inning of yesterday’s loss to the Reds, and it cost the team a chance to score. They ended up losing 2-1 in extra innings, so, yes, the mistake may very well have cost them the game.

With 46 strikeouts in 22 innings, Brewers pitcher Josh Hader is averaging an eye-popping 18.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Hader was acquired from the Astros along with outfielders Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana, and pitcher Adrian Houser for outfielder Carlos Gomez and starter Mike Fiers in what now looks like highway robbery. Milwaukee has baseball’s best bullpen right now.

Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas was 10th in the National League with a 2.70 ERA after Tuesday’s games. The former Nova Southeastern University pitcher has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts and has walked only two batters in 40 innings of work.

Padres closer Brad Hand picked up his 10th save, joining Colorado’s Wade Davis (14), Arizona’s Brad Boxberger (11) and New York’s Jeurys Familia (10) with double-digit save totals so far. Hand owns a brilliant 14.8 K/9 in 17.2 innings in 2018.

Red Sox No. 2 prospect Jason Groome will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his season.

Wednesday’s Three Stars

  1. Carlos Carrasco – The Indians starter struck out 14 Brewers in his second complete game start of the season and drove in a run with a single as Cleveland defeated Milwaukee 6-2.
  2. Anthony Rizzo – The Cubs first baseman had two doubles, a home run, and five RBI on a 3-for-5 day, leading the Cubs to their 13-4 victory over the Marlins.
  3. Carlos Santana – The Phillies first baseman was also 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBI in Philadelphia’s 11-3 stomping of the Giants. The Phillies are 20-11 after opening the season with four losses in five games.

Hot Takes & Syrup

They Said It

  • “I couldn’t have scripted it any better today. We did exactly what we wanted to do, got to the back end of the game. We had the guy we wanted to close it out, and we didn’t. That’s it. We played a really good ballgame, I thought.” – Rick Renteria
  • “If I throw ball four, there’s a 100 percent chance that guy’s going to be on first base.” – Milos Mikolas
  • “I sat down with a chemical engineer two years ago to discuss exactly how the surface of a ball would interact with skin and how to create more friction. I mixed non-Newtonian fluids, I’ve tested slippery stuff, I’ve tested sticky stuff, all sorts of pine tar sticks, firm grip[s].” – Trevor Bauer

Thursday Walk Up Song

This Beat Goes On/Switching To Glide by the Kings. A big hit on the old LOOP-FM back in 1979.

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