Cubs Rookie Hits Walk Off Slam

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Last night’s game against the Washington Nationals had all the makings of a classic. Two pitchers similar in age and style, going head to head in a duel. Cole Hamels and Max Scherzer matched each other in strikeouts throughout the game. In front of a televised sellout crowd at Wrigley Field, fans stuck to their seats with the Cubs down three runs in the bottom of the ninth, when something happened that only happens in Little League, playground parks and movies;

 David Bote.

The call up fill in for all star MVP, Rookie of The Year and World Series champion Kris Bryant, hits a grand slam. Final score: 4-3

“Today, I said, ‘You know what, I’m not going to get beat down there,'” he said. “The one that was down and away that he called a strike, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s what I’m looking for.’ It was a close pitch. I got that [2-2] pitch and I was like, ‘Just get it in the air. Hit it as hard as I can to center field.’ That was the approach and get underneath it.”

The whole game would have been a gem even if the Cubs lost but this was magic.

“He’s the kind of guy who gets overlooked, and even when he gets into an organization, based on his Draft status, he’s not talked about often until he does something spectacular,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Bote, an 18th-round pick in 2012. “He’s one of those guys who has to show it for people to believe it. He’s worked his way to this situation. Give him credit. It’s going to keep getting better.”

If the Cubs go on to October magic, this will be the moment their season will be categorized and Immortalized in those Life Magazine tributes. Even Cole Hamels Wrigley Field debut, although he didn’t get the win, would have given him his moral victory with nine strikeouts as well as the matchup against Mad Max

“It’s a great feeling. The teammates that we have on this team, the support, every single guy, we’re in it from Pitch 1 every single day. When you round those bases and you got the ‘W’ and I see my teammates at home plate jumping around, it’s magical. It’s incredible. It’s an unbelievable feeling. It couldn’t happen to a better team or a better group of people in that clubhouse. I’m so blessed to be part of it.”

Believe it

Rizzo Walks Off In Style

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It’s no secret that the Cubs rotation has suffered this season. Fans, Stats gurus and of course, Jed Hoyer have been scratching their heads since mid April. When the Cubs are good, they’re great, but when they’re bad, well that’s for another post. Yesterday, the Cubs beat the D-Backs on Wrigley soil 7-6. but it wasn’t just a win, it was a back to back home runs by David Bote and Anthony Rizzo with the walk off that sealed it for the Cubs.

“The (comeback) formula has been working for us, that’s for sure,” Rizzo said.

The last time the Cubs had back to back home runs was way back in 2004 to end the game.

“I think the best is yet to come for our starting rotation,” Rizzo said. “I like our guys and I like our chances every single time a guy goes out.”

It has been and David Bote has been the Tommy La Stella of 2018. The Cubs acquired Cole Hamels, the World Series MVP of 2008.

“He’d be pretty good,” Maddon said. “I’ve not liked him for a long time. He’s pitched some really big games against teams that I’ve been involved with and has done really well. He’s a great competitor. He’s got good stuff, but he competes and he knows what he’s doing out there. I’d have to rank him as a pretty competent Major League left-handed pitcher.”

He’s 34 and not exactly in the prime, but the Cubs need a band aid for their struggling and ailing rotation which hasn’t quite lived up to their lofty expectations that were set out at the beginning of the season. Did they sign him because he’ll be reunited with Yu Darvish or was that the only one they could grab? I’m glad they didn’t go for Machado because they needed pitching more. His record is 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA, doesn’t sound like appealing numbers but when you look at his ERA on the road, it’s decent at 2.93

The Cubs face the Cardinals again starting tonight with Mike Montgomery on the mound. There’s no real cushion for the Cubs anymore. They have to show their dominance for the remainder of the season if they want to go deep into the playoffs.

Believe it.

Cubs Have Tickle Fight With Marlins

Cubs 4, Marlins 3

 

It was all there last night in the Cubs 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins. Kris Bryant‘s running skills (even some tickling ) Victor Caratini and David Bote got into the game and did a great job, oh and then there was Ben Zobrist’s throw from the corner that kinda started the faux bench clearing scrum.

“It was rather entertaining,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “There was no reason for it. I was surprised. There was no animosity. It wasn’t a dirty play, it was nothing. [Dietrich] is out by 52 feet, [Caratini] has got the ball. [Dietrich] bumps into him, play over. It was kind of surprising. I don’t think there was anyone who got heated. it probably required more tickling than punches.”

Ah baseball!

The Cubs have strung two in a row. Should we dust off the parade gear? Um, I’m going to wait until they do it against the Washington Nationals or St Louis Cardinals. No offence to Marlins fans but winning back to back games against them amounts to nothing. The Cubs should’t have a problem with them.

Bryant had the go ahead run in the eighth and man, is it good to see him back in business.

“He’s a great base-runner, he’s probably one of the best in the league,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “He shows that time and time again. It gets overshadowed because of everything else he does. But his base-running is something every young player should look at.”

For a tall guy, he moves real quickly.

So now the Cubs have got their hands full. Jason Heyward is on the concussion list and Bryant could see time out on the field. This is what’s going to test the Cubs patience and skills. Heyward is huge in the lineup (not his plate skills). We’ll see just how well the Cubs can weather the storm while he’s out.

“He popped it on that fly ball the other day in St. Louis on the home run by Dexter,” Maddon said. “I knew he was not feeling 100 percent. We just have to go through protocol and take our time with it.”

Jose Quintana gets the ball today. Here’s hoping the Cubs can sweep the Marlins. Right now, they’re 1.5 games out of first but yet it feels a lot more.

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Cubs’ Darvish Was Good But Meltdown’s Continue

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There’s logic and science when a team wins one and loses the next game. At the end of the season, the record will always be .500. Numbers don’t lie. The good news in the Cubs 5-2 loss to the Rockies is Yu Darvish regained some of his game. The Cubs and Darvish looked good through the fifth inning.

“I treat every pitch every batter the same, regardless of how many outs I have,” Darvish said through translator Daichi Sekizaki. “Every game, it’s after the fifth inning when I get out of rhythm. I think that could be solved by using more off-speed pitches. In the last couple of games, I’ve been using fastball, slider, fastball, slider, so maybe more of the slower pitches such as the curveball to maybe overcome that problem.”

Because he’s my favourite player, Darvish should study Kyle Hendricks. They should travel together, hang out and study each other really well. Did the Cubs get a lemon of a deal with Darvish? His meltdowns have become common practice and in a game where pitchers are expected to get at least six innings of work in, Darvish has yet to make an impact this season.

“I expect him to pitch more deeply into games,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I wanted to give him a chance to pitch through that [the jam in the fifth], but the command escaped him. Command of his fastball was not what it needs to be.”

The Cubs signed Darvish to be their ace. He needs to improve if the Cubs want to be there in the fall.

Because baseball is like the comfort food of sports, yesterday’s game also featured an, “Aw shucks” moment when David Bote, a Denver native played his first big league game. Sure, he didn’t suit up for his hometown Rockies but he did receive applause when he hit a double.

“I was born two days before their Opening Day here in Colorado, so I grew up watching Dante Bichette, Andres Galarraga, Troy Tulowitzki, Brad Hawpe, Todd Helton, all those guys,” Bote said. “It’s the same stadium, but it’s fun knowing you belong there, you’re going to work there, instead of going there for entertainment.”

If he’s going to get some more playing time, then he’s got Ben Zobrist‘s big shoes to fill.

“Because of his bat, he can play all over the place,” manager Joe Maddon said before the game. “He’s a second baseman by trade, but he played some really good third base for us in Spring Training. You can throw him at shortstop if you want, and outfield. Here’s the thing with a guy like him. We have a nice team, but if his bat’s ready and there’s a need, you want to be able to say, ‘Bring him on up.”

If my number’s are correct, then the Cubs are going to win today with Jose Quintana set to take the ball. They have a good team but they also can’t continue to win/lose every game. Good weather’s coming.

Believe it