The Cubs’ six game winning streak came to an end with a thud last night. They also lost their narrow half-game lead on the Giants for the second wild card spot.
Cue the Debbie Downer music.
Making his Cubs debut, newly acquired Dan Haren got off to an inauspicious start, as he surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced last night. His outing wasn’t awful (four runs on seven hits, in five innings), but it wasn’t great either. And the defense definitely didn’t help much behind him.
Despite the loss, it was good to see the Cubs fight back from a 4-1 deficit. I love that I can never count this team out.
Another huge series begins today, as the Cubs head back to Wrigley to face the Giants for four games. Should be some entertaining games.
Soriano to DL, Richard returns
RHP Rafael Soriano has been placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Whether this is a legit DL stint or one with quotation marks around it, I’ll be glad to not have to watch Soriano come in from the bullpen.
Things haven’t gone very smoothly for Soriano since being signed as a free agent in June on a flyer. He has given up four runs and eight hits in 5.2 innings and has looked extremely hittable.
Taking his place is LHP Clayton Richard, who was just designated for assignment a few days ago. Richard had elected free agency and the Cubs re-signed him.
Richard has pitched well for the Cubs in three starts, filling the fifth spot of the rotation, but now he’ll come out of the bullpen. It’s interesting that the Cubs decided to go with another long man out of the bullpen to go along with Travis Wood.
* South Bend outfielder Jeffrey Baez and Myrtle Beach RHP Brad Markey have been named the Cubs’ minor-league player and pitcher of the month for July, respectively. The Other Baez hit .333/.347/.573 with six home runs in 24 games in July. Markey allowed four runs in 28.2 innings pitched in July, between South Bend and Myrtle Beach. He allowed one or no runs in four of his five outings.
* Yesterday I wrote about the possibility of Jorge Soler possibly seeing more time on the bench once Miguel Montero returns to the Cubs (due to the need to get Kyle Schwarber into the lineup). Well, sitting down Starlin Castro might be an option as well, writes Patrick Mooney. With Schwarber playing left field, Chris Coghlan could play some third or second base (as well as right field in place of Soler), and have Addison Russell shift to shortstop for Castro. With Castro’s struggles, this sounds plausible. He has looked a little better since the trade deadline, so we’ll see what happens. I still think we’ll see Joe Maddon switch things up a lot from game to game, and not necessarily bench one of his struggling players for an extended amount of time.