The Rundown: Hammel Sparkles as Cubs Win Another Walk-Off in Extras, Fowler Avoids DL for Now, Schwarber and Olt Make Iowa Debut, Phillies and Rangers Discussing Hamels Trade
Two games in a row against an ace starting pitcher, and it’s two huge wins in a row for the Cubs.
This team never stops battling, and it is so fun to watch. The Cubs won for the ninth time in walk-off fashion last night. That leads the league.
The story of Tuesday night was Jason Hamel, who was back to his old self, pounding the zone and mowing down Dodgers hitters. He went 7.2 scoreless innings and gave up only two hits.
It was just what the bullpen needed after going 7+ innings on Monday. Luckily the Cubs were able to end the game in the 10th and didn’t have to burn any more of the relievers.
This season is starting to really take shape: the Cubs aren’t simply a nice story. They’re one of the best teams in the league.
And just think, they won this game with a starting outfield of Chris Coghlan, Matt Szczur and Mike Baxter.
Dexter Fowler didn’t start last night after leaving Monday’s game with an ankle injury, but he’s still being listed as day to day. He pinch-hit in the bottom of the 10th and drew a walk (after “eschewing” a bunt), although he didn’t look very comfortable. Travis Wood pinch-ran for Fowler after the walk, so clearly the ankle isn’t 100 percent. So this will be worth monitoring, but hopefully he can heal up quickly without having to go on the disabled list. I’d like to see an outfield of Chris Coghlan, Matt Szczur and Mike Baxter as little as possible going forward.
As for Tsuyoshi Wada, who also exited Monday night’ game, the Cubs are hopeful he can make his next start, which would be Saturday.
But what if Wada can’t go? It doesn’t sound like Travis Wood would be the next man up because Joe Maddon really likes what Wood has done out of the bullpen. So I suppose that means Edwin Jackson or maybe even someone from Triple-A.
Schwarber, Olt debut at Iowa
Kyle Schwarber and Mike Olt batted third and fourth for Triple-A Iowa last night. It wasn’t the best of outcomes, as the two combined to go 0-for-7 with three strikeouts. Arismendy Alcantara also had a rough night, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
In the field, Schwarber had a passed ball while catching his first game for Iowa. Olt had an error while playing third base.
Rangers discussing Hamels trade
The Rangers and Phillies are having an “ongoing dialogue” regarding LHP Cole Hamels, according to Jon Morosi.
Morosi later reported that the Phillies had a high-level scout watching the Rangers, and then clarified that a trade is not close, but there is a dialogue between the two teams.
MLB.com’s TR Sullivan tweets that, according to a Rangers source, a trade for Hamels is “not on the board.”
The Rangers are an interesting new name in the Hamels sweepstakes. They have actually been playing some decent ball lately, and currently sit 3 games behind the Astros for first place in the American League West.
It’ll be interesting to see where Hamels finally ends up being traded, whether or not it’s to the Rangers. I really don’t see the Cubs going after him due to the Phillies’ high demands. It just makes more sense to try for another top pitcher through free agency.
Both the Cardinals and Pirates were trailing 3-0 in their respective games last night, but of course both came back to win. The Cubs remain a half-game behind the Buccos and an annoying 6.5 games back from the Cardinals.
However, if the season ended today, the Cubs would own one of the wildcard spots. They are a season-high nine games over .500.
* Second-round pick Donnie Dewees has signed for $1.7 million, according to Jonathan Mayo. That’s a little overslot, but many people thought Dewees could have been a first-rounder. He should join first-rounder Ian Happ in short-season A-ball Eugene shortly.