The Rundown: Cubs Winning Streak Ends with Rough Strop Outing, Rizzo Notches 200th Career Home Run
What a disappointing way for a winning streak to end.
One bullpen implosion was all it took for the Cubs seven-game winning streak to bite the dust. Pedro Strop couldn’t retire a single batter after entering to close out a 4-3 lead in the 9th. And then Kyle Ryan let an insurance run score due to a mental gaffe that turned out to be the difference in a 6-5 Marlins’ win.
Cubs’ batters walked ten times yesterday but four Miami double plays prevented Chicago from parlaying those free passes into a big inning or two. And though Cole Hamels was average at best, at least compared to the Wrigley Field domination we are used to seeing from the veteran, he still had a chance to escape with a win after a 7th inning rally gave the Cubs a late lead. Hamels lost the decision after Strop struggled with his command in the ninth, allowing the Marlins to push home the deciding runs.
A ninth inning home run by Kris Bryant provided a little hope for a last-minute rally, but Sergio Romo got two big strike outs to end the game after surrendering a single to Anthony Rizzo. The Cubs will have to put the loss behind them and hope to start a new streak tonight.
Miami also knocked the Cubs out of first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals, Brewers, and Reds all won last night, and the Cubs now trail St. Louis by half a game.
On a side note, Starlin Castro sure looks miserable playing for Miami. Hopefully he will get traded to a contending team so that he can have an opportunity to play for a championship.
Cubs News & Notes
- Before the game, the Cubs recalled RHP Carl Edwards Jr. from Triple-A Iowa and optioned RHP Dillon Maples to their top farm team. The Cubs also announced that backup catcher Victor Caratini will begin a rehab assignment. Edwards pitched a perfect seventh yesterday.
- Edwards said he didn’t want to discuss the investigation into racist messages he received on social media last month, other than to say he had not heard from the commissioner’s office.
- Rizzo homered for the fifth time in eight games and for the 199th time with the Cubs, moving him past Hank Sauer into ninth place in franchise history. It was his 200th career dinger. Rizzo is the third-fastest player to 200 home runs in team history. Only Ron Santo and Ernie Banks reached that milestone quicker.
The cold never bothered me, anyway. #TeamRizzo #EverybodyIn pic.twitter.com/h1DS5PQoiI
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 7, 2019
- The Cubs’ veteran first baseman has been incredibly streaky at the plate in 2019, but he is quietly having one of his best seasons in three years. Per MLB’s Statcast, only 26 batters have seen shifts more than Rizzo this season. Of his 135 plate appearances, 93 of them have come against the shift, which amounts to a whopping 68 percent.
- Joe Maddon deserves praise for never making his status as a lame-duck manager an issue or distraction, and with the way the Cubs have been playing recently, it may be time to talk about an extension.
- Can the Cubs swing a deal for a closer and what would it take? What about trading Yu Darvish? Mark Gonzales of the Tribune provides some answers in this week’s Cubs Q&A.
- Jon Lester faces Caleb Smith in game two of the four game set with the Marlins this evening. The Cubs are now 10-5 at home this season. Chicago leads the season series 3-1 after last night’s loss.
- On Sunday evening, Javier Báez told ESPN announcer Alex Rodriguez that he would like to remain with the Cubs for his entire career.
- Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game against the Astros. Jon Strong takes a look back at the greatest pitching performance in the history of the Cubs franchise.
How About That!
The best pitchers duel of the young season took place Monday night in San Diego when rookie Chris Paddack squared off against reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.
Not long ago a Felix Hernandez vs. CC Sabathia matchup was considered a game of thrones. Now it’s a battle of (relative) old-timers. Last night the Yankees jumped all over Seattle’s former ace, scoring seven runs on three home runs in the first three innings. The Mariners lost the game 7-3.
Craziest game ever? Reds’ batters tied the MLB record (set in 1893) for most batters hit by a pitch in an inning with four. All four got plunked in the sixth, two with the bases loaded in yesterday’s afternoon tilt with the Giants. The game was delayed for 18 minutes due to a swarm of bees occupying the outfield. Giant’s third baseman Pablo Sandoval pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Kung Fu Panda also hit a home run and stole a base.
Reds closer Raisel Iglesias is not happy he is being used in tie games (and taking losses).
Red Sox pitcher David Price was sent to the 10-day injured list with left elbow tendinitis on Monday.
Braves’ pitcher Kevin Gausman was suspended for five games for throwing at Marlins’ pitcher José Ureña.
Monday’s Three Stars
- Blake Snell – The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner was nearly perfect yesterday, allowing just a single hit with nine punch outs across six innings. The rays destroyed the Diamondbacks 12-1 and Snell evened his record at 3-3.
- Nick Senzel – The rookie outfielder had his first career two-homer game in leading the Reds past the Giants 12-4.
- Chris Paddack – The Padres’ rookie picked up his third win of the season in Monday’s 4-0 victory over the Mets, scattering four hits and a walk over 7.2 scoreless innings while striking out a career-high 11.
Several breast cancer patients and survivors were gathered at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Center in Park Ridge for a cancer awareness week event Monday when they were treated to an early Mother’s Day gift: a surprise visit from Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr.
Almora walked in to stunned looks, then gave out gifts, signed T-shirts and baseballs and exchanged hugs.
“This hits home for me, with my dad being a survivor of prostate cancer,” Almora said. “This is bigger than baseball, man.”
Chicago @Cubs outfielder @albertalmora brought the magic of Wrigley Field to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Center by surprising breast cancer patients and survivors. pic.twitter.com/nt82ce8GLV
— Advocate Health Care (@advocatehealth) May 6, 2019
They Said It
- “I think we’ve all thought for years that Pablo Sandoval’s baseball double has always been Christy Mathewson.” – Trey Wingo
- “A couple years ago I wanted [Edwards Jr.] on Bryce Harper in the seventh and eighth inning of a playoff game. I wanted him badly in that situation, and he’s still that guy.” – Joe Maddon
- “You can see the other closers, they don’t pitch in tie games. I’m the only one who comes in [to] tie games and I’ve given up homers and I’m losing some games. I feel really bad. I already have five losses, something that hasn’t happened [to anyone else] in the big leagues. Five losses in the first month of ball. That shouldn’t be like that. [The Reds] are using me horribly wrong.” – Rasiel Iglesias
Tuesday Walk Up Song
Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson. The parody flick Not Another Teen Movie offers plenty of covers of 1980’s songs but this remake of the Soft Cell hit is by far the best in my opinion. Mason skews his arrangement just enough to give it a darker, more sinister feel. I’m not a big fan of the performer, but this is great stuff.