Into the break: the Sunday loose-ends blog
One more to go before the all-star break. We have Cubs-Cardinals at Wrigley Field and ESPN Sunday night baseball. If the atmosphere out here is anything like last night, it’ll be another fun one. Last night’s scene was probably the best non-opening-day atmosphere in three or four years out here.
The Cubs made an expected roster move late this afternoon. They activated outfielder Cole Gillespie and designated reliever Henry Rodriguez for assignment. Gillespie was claimed off waivers yesterday from the Giants.
We’ll tie up a bunch of loose ends here and have Saturday’s minor-league roundup below.
Pitcher Scott Baker began his rehab assignment today for the Kane County Cougars, who lost 5-2 at West Michigan. Baker worked 3 innings, giving up 6 hits and 4 runs, all coming in the first inning. He walked one, struck out two and gave up a home run. Baker threw 56 pitches, 34 strikes.
Another pitcher, Jake Arrieta, looked to have enjoyed a good outing today for Class AAA Iowa. Arrieta came from Baltimore in the deal that sent Scott Feldman to the Orioles. Arrieta worked 6 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 run while walking one and striking out nine. He’s a possibility to join the rotation if the Cubs trade Matt Garza.
We had an interesting scoring change in last night’s game. The Cubs’ Darwin Barney reached base on apparent catcher’s interference in the second inning, when his bat struck the glove of Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz. Barney hit the ball to third base and eventually made it safely to first base after at first telling the umpire his bat made contact with the catcher’s glove. The initial ruling was catcher’s interference, Cruz being charged with an error but Barney not getting charged with an at-bat. However, after the game, the official scorer was informed that Barney made it to first safely, and thus, a hit was awarded.
Travis Wood starts for the Cubs tonight against Adam Wainwright. Wood is 6-6 with a 2.69 ERA, and Wainwright is 12-5 with a 2.30 ERA.
From the game notes: Wood’s 17 quality starts this season lead the majors, and he’s the fourth Cub in franchise history to have 17 quality starts before the all-star break, joining: Bill Hands (1969), Fergie Jenkins (1969) and Greg Maddux (1988). The last NL pitcher to have 18 quality starts before the break was Maddux with the Braves in 1994.
Alfonso Soriano leads the Cubs with 16 home runs and 10 stolen bases. The last Cub to lead the team in both homers and steals at the all-star break was Sammy Sosa with 33 homers and 10 steals in 1998. Soriano will be just the fifth Cub to enter the break with the team lead (or tied for the team lead) in both home runs and stolen bases, joining Augie Galan in 1937, George Altman in 1961, Ryne Sandberg in 1990 and Sosa in 1993, 1994 and 1998. The Cubs credit research historian Ed Hartig for that info.
Starlin Castro is hitting .306 (22-for-72) and has not committed an error in his last 17 games since June 26 after having the previous day off. That day off ended a streak of 269-straight games played since his previous off-day, August 22, 2011. Before to this 17-game stretch, Castro hit .140 (6-for-43) and committed 5 errors in 10 games, June 14-23.
On Saturday, Class AAA Iowa fell 9-7 to Albuquerque. Chris Rusin got no decision, but he was roughed up for 10 hits and 5 runs (3 earned) in 5 innings. Rusin will represent the I-Cubs in the Triple-A All-Star Game.
“It’s real cool,” Rusin told Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register. “It’s an honor. It’s my first time being on an all-star team in the minor leagues so it should be fun.”
Edgar Gonzalez was 3-for-5 with his first homer. Jae-Hoon Ha hit his second homer, going 1-for-3. Junior Lake continues to impress. He went 4-for-4 with 2 runs, a double, an RBI and 3 steals. He was at .300/.344/.467 entering Sunday’s action.
Class AA Tennessee beat Jackson 5-0 for a six-game winning streak. Kyle Hendricks, who came from Texas last July in the Ryan Dempster trade, improved to 9-3 with a 2.03 ERA. He pitched 5 innings and gave up 1 hit while walking none and striking out four. Javier Baez hit his third homer. Christian Villanueva hit his 12th, and John Andreoli hit his first.
Daytona (A) swept a doubleheader from Jupiter, 8-0 and 2-0. Ivan Pineyro, who came over from Washington in the Hairston trade, got his first win in the Cubs organization. He worked 5 innings of 5-hit ball, walking one and striking out three. Wes Darvill was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI.
In the second game, Matt Loosen tossed a 7-inning complete game, giving up 4 hits. He’s 4-2 with a 1.88 ERA. He was coming off a no-hitter. Loosen has pitched 27 straight scoreless innings and is 4-0 with an 0.26 ERA in his last 5 starts. Chadd Krist hit his second homer
The Kane County Cougars lost 9-1 at West Michigan. They’ve now lost seven in a row, counting Sunday. Tayler Scott gave up 8 hits and 6 runs (1 earned) in 4 innings. Dan Vogelbach hit his 14th homer.
Boise (A) beat Vancouver 5-4. Dae-Eun Rhee had an encouraging outing as he worked 5 shutout innings, giving up 2 hits while walking none and striking out five. Jacob Rogers was 3-for-5 with 2 doubles. Jordan Hankins was 3-for-4 with a double.