Theo talks a little Wrigley on 100-eve

Theo talks a little Wrigley on 100-eve

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 18:40

We’re now at 100-Eve at Wrigley Field. Tomorrow, the Cubs will celebrate the 100th birthday of the old ballpark. Theo Epstein was on the field this evening (and it’s really cold here), and he was asked about 100 years and no world championships being celebrated here by the Cubs.

“I don’t think I really need that kind of reminder,” he said. “That’s not what I’m thinking about when I think about tomorrow. When it comes to the 100th anniversary, for me, I think of just Wrigley as the epicenter of fans’ connection to the Cubs represents something so important to this franchise and the fans that not only connects the fans to the team but also generations of fans to one another, fathers to sons, grandfathers to grandsons, mothers to daughters, mothers to sons.

“It really puts the epicenter of the fans’ connection to the team, and for a lot of families, it’s an important familial place because there is so much bonding and so many good times have gone on here despite the losing.”

We’ll have much more on Theo’s thoughts about this team in our take for tomorrow’s paper. Jason Hammel takes on right-hander Brando McCarthy of the Diamondbacks tonight. The Cubs go this way:

Valbuena, 2B
Ruggiano, CF
Rizzo, 1B
Schierholtz, RF
Castro, SS
Olt, 3B
Lake, LF
Baker, C
Hammel, P

We like to keep track of quality starts here. We’re still early, but there is an interesting pattern of how the quality starts have unfolded with the Cubs. It goes like this:

Samardzija
Hammel
Wood
Samardzija
Hammel
Wood
Samardzija
Hammel
Samardzija
Wood

The non-quality starts have gone like this:

Jackson
Villanueva
Jackson
Villanueva
Jackson
Wood
Jackson
Villanueva

There have been a few not-so-bad non-quality starts in the bunch. Overall, the Cubs are 4-6 when they get a quality start, and the starters’ ERA in those games is 2.18. When the Cubs don’t get a quality start, they are 2-6, and the starters ERA is 6.75 in those games.

Right-hander Jake Arrieta returned to the Cubs today after making his fourth rehab start last night for Daytona. He will make one more, shorter, rehab appearance before being activated and sending Carlos Villanueva back to the bullpen.

From the game notes: Pitcher Travis Wood now has two 4-RBI games as a Cub (also May 30, 2013 vs. White Sox), and is the first Chicago pitcher with multiple 4-RBI performances since Charlie Root in 1929.

It’s been exactly eight years and 11 months since McCarthy last started against the Cubs, on May 22, 2005, making his major league debut with the White Sox at Wrigley Field. While nearly nine years between starts against the Cubs is quite a while, it is not even close to the all-time record … Elias points out that Jamie Moyer went 15 years, 122 days between starts against the Cubs from April 22, 1991-Aug. 22, 2006.

The Cubs tonight aim to win consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 9-10 of last year in Cincinnati. The club last won consecutive games at home, Sept. 4-6 vs. Miami and Milwaukee.

MINOR-LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Class AAA Iowa got 6 scoreless innings from Kyle Hendricks and beat Round Rock 5-1. Hendricks gave up 2 hits while walking two and striking out six. Hendricks, of course, came to the Cubs from the Rangers organization in July 2012 in the Ryan Dempster trade. Round Rock is the Rangers’ top farm club.

"Honestly, it's been so long since the trade," Hendricks told the Des Moines Register. "I didn't think about anything, not revenge or anything like that really. It was just another game."

"He threw the ball great," Iowa catcher Eli Whiteside told the paper. "Kept those guys off balance. That's the best command I've seen him have."

Hendricks was up against Scott Baker, who spent most of last year rehabbing with the Cubs after elbow surgery. Baker gave up 2 runs in 7 innings.

Matt Szczur went3-for-4 with a run, a triple, 1 RBI and a stolen base for Iowa. Arismendy Alcantara went 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored and his first homer. Yoanner Negrin earned his first hold with a 1-2-3 seventh, and RHP Brian Schlitter earned his third save, allowing a run over 2 innings.

Class AA Tennessee beat Birmingham 10-5. Dae-Eun Rhee got the win, working 5 innings and giving u 4 hits and 2 runs. He walked five and struck out four in going to 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA.

Rubi Silva (.206) notched his second straight multi-RBI game going 2-for-5 with a first-inning home run and a game-high 3 RBI (6). Jae-Hoon Ha was 3-for-5 with 3 runs, a double, and a solo homer, his first of the year. John Andreoli went 2-for-6 with 2o runs, a triple (1), one RBI (5) and a stolen base (8).

Class A Daytona was the site of Jake Arrieta’s rehab start Monday night, and the Cubs beat Clearwater 6-5 in 11 innings. Arrieta made his fourth rehab start, and first with Daytona. Arrieta worked 5.2 innings and gave u 5 hits and 5 runs (3 earned) while walking two, striking out seven and giving up 3 home runs. He is recovering from a shoulder problem that plagued him since the beginning of spring training.

Jose Rosario took over in the seventh and threw 4 scoreless innings for the win. Arodys Vizcaino (1.50 ERA) earned his first save with a perfect 11th. Chadd Krist (3-for-5) doubled in the 11th to put two runners in scoring position. DH Dan scored later in the inning on a wild pitch to put the Cubs ahead. Jeimer Candelario went 2-for-4 with a run, 2 doubles (3) and 2 RBI.

The Kane County Cougars (A) dropped their third in a row, 5-3 to Beloit. Jen-Ho Tseng worked 5 innings, giving up 7 hits and 3 runs, 2 earned. He walked one and struck out three.

Josh Davis allowed 2 runs on 2 hits in the ninth to suffer the loss, his first. Yasiel Balaguert (.328) went 1-for-4 with 2 RBI. His 14 RBI are tied for second in the Midwest League.

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