Something I always enjoy happened this weekend: A sweep over the Reds.
It only consisted of two games, with Saturday’s rain-induced cancellation, but I’ll take it.
Jake Arrieta was solid once again yesterday (two runs in six innings and six strikeouts), and was able to battle through a couple tight innings after retiring the first 11 hitters in the game.
Addison Russell came through with a huge three-run double in the fourth inning. Russell has looked a bit overmatched at the plate in his first week in the majors, but the great thing is that the Cubs don’t need to him to carry the team right now.
Some key hits like Sunday’s double — and sound defense at second base — are really all they need from him. Anything else he provides is gravy.
Miguel Montero had a nice game at the plate as well, going 2-for-4 with a solo shot and an RBI single.
The middle of the Cubs’ order was relatively quiet, with Soler, Rizzo and Bryant going 0-for-11. It’s awesome that the Cubs can rack up some wins even when the big thumpers aren’t firing.
It was also nice to see the bullpen lock things down with Arrieta only going six innings. Pedro Strop, who was unavailable on Friday because of a sore foot, pitched a scoreless inning in the eighth.
Overall it was a nice road trip. A couple of frustrating losses in Pittsburgh, but those are going to happen. Here’s hoping the Cubs can keep it going as they return home tonight.
Cardinals take a hit
The Cubs are 10-7 and in second place in the National League Central behind the Cardinals (who are 12-5).
I never root for injuries, but the Cardinals may have sustained two injuries that could seriously impact on their ability to hold off the other members of the division.
On Saturday Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright left the game after popping up a pitch while batting. He came up limping with an apparent foot injury.
The Cardinals’ worst fears were confirmed yesterday, as they were forced to place Wainwright on the disabled list with an Achilles tendon injury. It’s possible that he could miss the remainder of the season.
This is obviously a huge blow to the first-place Cardinals. It’s certainly not a sure thing that the Cardinals can’t win the division anymore, but it definitely helps the Cubs’ chances.
Cardinals outfielder Jason Heyward was removed from yesterday’s game with a sore groin. For now, he is being considered day-to-day, but will be something to monitor. Even though Heyward has gotten off to a relatively slow start (Opening Night, aside), he’s still a major part of their team.
* The Cubs have tweaked their starting rotation a bit due to Saturday’s rain-out. Jason Hammel will be moved up to pitch tonight against the Pirates to keep him on regular rest. Travis Wood and Kyle Hendricks will be up next, with Jon Lester pitching Friday to open a series with the Brewers.
* Double-A Tennessee improved to 10-5 on the year yesterday, with Albert Almora (2-for-4, one run, one RBI), Kyle Schwarber (1-for-4, one run, one RBI) and Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4, one RBI) all contributing in a 5-2 win over Chattanooga.
* The South Bend Cubs got a 3-for-4 performance from 18-year-old shortstop Gleber Torres in a 7-1 win over Fort Wayne. Torres is now hitting .305/.414/.322.