Results tagged ‘ Chicago Cubs ’
Daytona split a doubleheader, Kane County secured a win with a pair of late runs, and Mesa pitched a shutout Tuesday. Iowa, Tennessee and Boise were all on the losing end of the ledger. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (67-65)
3rd Place (-3.0)
A two-run homer by Manny Ramirez was not enough to top visiting Salt Lake. The Bees came back to beat Iowa, 4-2.
- Ramirez (.206) launched his third homer and knocked in both Iowa runs (10).
- After going 0-for-4 in his first game with Iowa this season, CF Junior Lake (.444) singled four times to record his first four-hit game at any level since August 2, 2013, with Chicago.
- 3B Kris Bryant (.307) doubled (14) and walked in his return to the Iowa lineup. His first-inning walk was his third walk in three consecutive plate appearances spanning three separate games.
Tennessee Smokies (31-27)
1st Place (+3.0)
After an Addison Russell grand slam, Tennessee’s bullpen could not hold a four-run lead in the ninth, as the team fell at Montgomery, 7-6, on a walk-off, three-run homer from Biscuits RF Taylor Motter.
- RHP C.J. Edwards pitched five innings of scoreless ball, fanning seven.
- SS Addison Russell (.301) hit his second homer in as many games, a two-out grand slam in the seventh, and knocked in five runs (29) in his fifth-straight game with at least one RBI. He added his ninth double to finish 2-for-5. Russell has 12 total bases and seven RBI in the last two games.
- CF Albert Almora (.234, 5 2B) and 1B Lars Anderson (.338, 8 2B) tallied one double apiece.
- RHPs Matt Loosen (5.74, 1 H) and Zach Cates (5.25, 4 H) each recorded a hold before RHP Frank Batista (4-1, 1.09) surrendered the lead, suffering his first loss and allowing four unearned runs.
Daytona Cubs (32-24)
1st Place (+3.0)
GAME 1: Daytona needed extra frames to take the first half of a home doubleheader vs. Clearwater, 4-3. C Kyle Schwarber tied the contest with a two-out homer in the seventh before the Cubs won on a walk-off error in the bottom of the eighth.
- Schwarber (.270) finished 2-for-4 with the game-tying solo shot and his sixth double. His six total bases were the most he has had in one game since July 29 vs. Bradenton.
- CF Jacob Hannemann (.255) doubled twice (7) to snap a three-game hitless skid (0-for-12). It marked his first multidouble game since June 4 with Kane County.
- SS Marco Hernandez (.266) recorded his seventh triple, tied for fifth in the league.
- RHP Stephen Perakslis (4-0, 4.02) earned his fourth win with three hitless innings of relief.
GAME 2: Daytona could not complete the doubleheader sweep, dropping the second game to visiting Clearwater, 5-2, despite outhitting the Threshers, 10-8.
- LF Kyle Schwarber (.278) extended his hitting streak to six games (.417/10-for-24), including four-consecutive two-hit efforts.
- DH Dan Vogelbach (.272) and SS Marco Hernandez (.269) each tallied two of Daytona’s eight singles.
Kane County Cougars (37-20)
1st Place (+1.0)
Kane County scored twice in the eighth to top visiting Burlington, 4-3, for the Cougars’ ninth-straight win.
- RHP Paul Blackburn gave up one earned run over five innings.
- After hitting four homers in his first 191 minor league games, CF Trey Martin (.243) hit his third in the last five games, setting a new career high with four on the season.
- 1B Jacob Rogers (.265) finished 1-for-3 with a double (24) and two RBI, bringing his total to a team-leading 61.
- RHP Zak Hermans (3-3, 4.00) earned the win with three innings of one-run relief.
- RHP Francisco Carrillo (2.25) recorded his fourth save, tossing a scoreless ninth inning.
Boise Hawks (12-14)
T-3rd Place (-4.5)
Boise was blanked by host Vancouver despite recording eight hits. The Hawks fell, 2-0.
- LF Kevin Brown (.287) went 3-for-4 with his 10th double of the season. He has four extra-base hits in his last three games.
- RF Charcer Burks (.325) finished 2-for-4 with his fifth double. He has seven hits and three RBI in his last three games (.583/7-for-12).
- RHP Ryan Williams (1-1, 1.59) surrendered two unearned runs over four innings while fanning six. He recorded his first loss of the year in the relief effort.
Mesa Cubs (7-12)
5th Place (-6.5)
Mesa shut out the visiting AZL Giants, 7-0.
- 2B-SS Varonex Cuevas (.313) finished 3-for-5 with his first triple and an RBI (4), his first since July 28 vs. the AZL D-backs.
- RF Eloy Jimenez (.246) singled and drove in his 22nd run, good for second on the team (Gleyber Torres, 26).
- LHP Carson Sands (3-0, 0.56) tossed three scoreless frames to earn his third win, tying him for the team lead. Sands has allowed just one earned run in 16 innings pitched over eight games.
Tennessee scored a bunch of runs late, and Kane County was victorious on an extra-inning, walk-off single Monday. Iowa, Boise and Mesa were all handed losses, and Daytona was rained out. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (67-64)
3rd Place (-3.0)
Iowa fell to third place with the club’s fourth-straight setback, surrendering a 4-1 lead to lose to visiting Salt Lake, 7-5.
- 2B Logan Watkins (.257) doubled twice (20) for the only Iowa extra-base hits. He also knocked in three runs (37) for the third time this season.
- LF Ryan Kalish (.238) tallied three singles, a run and an RBI (25). He has seven hits in his last four games (.500/7-for-14), and has posted a .333 average (11-for-33) in 12 August games.
- C Rafael Lopez (.273) recorded his third multihit game in his last six, going 2-for-4 and scoring a run.
Tennessee Smokies (31-26)
1st Place (+3.0)
Tennessee scored five runs in the eighth inning to secure a 7-1 win at Montgomery. It was the Smokies’ sixth-straight win.
- RHP Corey Black gave up one run over five innings, striking out four to pick up the win.
- SS Addison Russell (.297) hit his ninth homer in 38 games since joining Tennessee and recorded at least one RBI for the fourth-straight game. He finished 2-for-5 with two runs, a double (8) and two RBI (24).
- CF Albert Almora (.236) went 2-for-5 with a double (4). He has six hits in his last three games (.400/6-for-15).
- 1B Lars Anderson (.338), 3B Christian Villanueva (.246) and DH Charles Cutler (.308) all tallied two hits apiece. Both of Villanueva’s base hits were doubles (15).
- RHP P.J. Francescon (3.62, 6 H), LHP Hunter Cervenka (3.04, 13 H) and RHP Blake Cooper (1.69, 4 H) combined for three frames of scoreless relief, each earning a hold.
Kane County Cougars (36-20)
1st Place (+1.0)
It took Kane County an extra frame to win the team’s eighth-straight contest on a walk-off single from LF Shawon Dunston in the bottom of the 10th. The Cougars topped visiting Burlington, 2-1.
- Dunston (.284) finished 2-for-3 with a run, a walk and the club’s only RBI (33). It was his second consecutive multihit game and his seventh in 16 games this month.
- 1B Jacob Rogers (.264) singled twice.
- RHP Jen-Ho Tseng spun his seventh quality start in 16 tries with Kane County, going six innings and giving up one earned run. He has allowed more than two earned runs just three times all season.
- RHP Jasvir Rakkar (2-0, 0.00) made his seventh appearance without allowing a run (12.2 IP). He tossed 1.2 hitless frames to earn his second win.
Boise Hawks (12-13)
3rd Place (-4.0)
Boise surrendered a three-run lead to fall 7-3 at Salem-Keizer.
- LF Kevin Brown (.265) hit his second homer in as many days, a two-run shot in the third inning.
- RF Charcer Burks (.316) tripled (2) for the second-straight night, going 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI (11). He has five hits and three RBI in his last two games (.675/5-for-8).
- DH Justin Marra (.287) singled twice in his 14th multihit game of the year.
Mesa Cubs (6-12)
5th Place (-7.5)
Mesa managed just one run on four hits off the host AZL White Sox, dropping the decision, 4-1.
- 3B Adonis Paula (.265) recorded the lone Mesa multihit game, singling, doubling (6) and knocking in his 15th run.
- RF Eloy Jimenez (.238) and LF Ricardo Marcano (.269) recorded the remaining two Mesa hits, both singles.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The following story can be found in the August issue of Vine Line.
Of course Anthony Rizzo has seen the video. Like so many others who saw it happen live or viewed the highlight replay with mouths agape, Rizzo has watched the home run he hit off the Reds’ Alfredo Simon on June 23.
The blast (pictured on our August cover) was ridiculous—and nearly impossible. Simon threw Rizzo a high, hanging breaking ball that was so far off the plate the Cubs’ first baseman almost needed the proverbial 10-foot pole to reach it. But he did more than just reach it. He hit it well out over the left-field wall at Wrigley Field.
If Rizzo was impressed with himself, it wasn’t for the reasons you might think. Sure, it was a home run, but more important for the slugger, it was a piece of hitting that summed up how things have been going for him this season.
“The biggest thing is if I was trying to hit a home run there, I would have rolled over to the second baseman,” he said. “I just saw the pitch and went with it. That’s really all I need to do is just put a good swing on the ball. Good things have been happening. Fortunately enough, it was lifted in the air.
“I saw the ball well. I saw it up, out.”
At this point, bells should go off, heads should nod, and hallelujahs should be sung to the rafters, for therein lies the key to Rizzo’s success. Despite the fact that he is one of the Cubs’ veteran players, he just turned 25 years old this month, which means he’s still learning to be a major league hitter. And this season, it seems like he’s taken a big developmental step forward. Though he hasn’t necessarily altered his approach, the results have changed dramatically for the better.
As Monday’s 4-1 win over the Mets—one where he ripped a go-ahead home run—Rizzo’s on-base percentage was nearly 40 points above his career norm. His .376 OBP ranks ninth in the NL.
Through his first 122 games, Rizzo had a hitting line of .276/.376/.507 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 28 home runs, 67 RBI, 64 walks and 100 strikeouts. If you extrapolate those numbers over an entire season, they’re pretty darn good, which is why some are now grouping the 2014 All-Star in with the elite first basemen in the game.
But before you start talking about him having a bounceback season after “struggling” in 2013, know this: Anthony Rizzo carries a quiet defiance about the kind of season he had last year, when he hit .233/.323/.419 with 23 home runs and 80 RBI.
“I think last year was a good year,” he said. “I drove in a lot of runs. I walked a good amount (76 times). I had a lot of doubles (40). But the average obviously wasn’t there, and some people look at average. Some people don’t. In my opinion, it wasn’t a bad year. It wasn’t a great year, but it was kind of a baseline year.”
That said, this year has felt completely different from last year for both Rizzo and shortstop Starlin Castro. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, the spotlight has been laser focused on the Cubs’ young cornerstone players. If the team plans to contend soon, it needs both—each signed to team-friendly, long-term contracts—to show better than what they did last year.
To help that along, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer hired new manager Rick Renteria to surround the Cubs’ young players with an aura of positivity and encouragement. Along with the new manager came a new hitting coach in Bill Mueller. While Renteria and Mueller knew all about Rizzo, they arrived with fresh perspectives and no preconceived notions.
“Coming in, you just go on what you’ve seen from video watching or from when they came in and played the Dodgers, seeing a glimpse,” said Mueller, who was with Los Angeles’ front office last year. “So there was nothing I had really built up until getting here and getting to know the guys personally and then seeing them before that relationship [started] to grow.
“He’s a very talented player, first off. I think with the new breath of fresh air with Ricky and the staff, that’s been a nice complement to come into the season. The whole staff has handled this group in a very positive way. That type of atmosphere has led some of these guys to have good starts.”
Renteria said he noticed the positive vibes emanating from Rizzo from the beginning of Spring Training. The new skipper also had time to visit with his first baseman during the Cubs Caravan and the Cubs Convention in January.
“He came into this season—to the spring, actually—with an idea that he wanted to improve on using a little bit more of the field, having better at-bats, not chasing pitches in off the plate,” Renteria said. “He’s done a really nice job of adjusting to doing that. I think he made a very big, conscious effort of working on his approach.
“When you have guys that are learning how to hit and have power, I think your approaches can pay big dividends because when you start squaring up the ball, the strength, in and of itself, gives you an opportunity to drive the ball out of the ballpark. That’s been really, really good. We’re really happy with the way he’s progressing, and hopefully it continues.”
Unlike the Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto—a player many compare Rizzo’s abilities to—who is willing to talk swing mechanics and hitting all day long, Rizzo is generally content to let others analyze his approach. In fact, he doesn’t really appear to like talking about himself when it comes to hitting.
“I kind of have the same mindset every year,” Rizzo said. “I work pretty hard in the offseason with my trainer. Really, it was no different this past year. [It was] the same things we’ve done the last five or six years in the offseason. It was getting ready for the season. At the same time, I didn’t hit more or less. I just stayed with it. I came to spring and wanted to get confident again.”
The comparisons between Rizzo’s combination of power and patience and Votto’s might be more apt than people realize. This winter, Rizzo was able to spend some quality batting-cage time with the 2010 NL MVP while the pair, along with Padres pitcher Casey Kelly, worked out together in Florida.
Like Rizzo, the Reds’ standout is a left-handed batter—and if there’s anyone a young player should want to emulate, it’s stat geek darling Votto, who gets on base at a dizzying rate. Given Major League Baseball’s grinding schedule and a rash of injuries, Votto hasn’t been able to watch much of Rizzo in 2014, but he likes what he has seen.
“I haven’t been able to see him enough, but I definitely see improvement in performance—more home runs, obviously, and a guy who seems to be walking a little bit more,” Votto said. “He’s a cool guy. He’s a nice guy. He’s a very, very easy guy to get along with. I can see why he’s having the type of success he’s having. He’s very talented.”
It can be difficult at times for left-handed hitters to hit left-handed pitchers, but that’s been another marked improvement for Rizzo this year. After going .189/.282/.342 with just seven of his 23 homers against left-handed pitchers a year ago, Rizzo put up a .302/.407/.516 with eight homers against lefties.
“For me, it’s just seeing the ball,” he said. “It’s never comfortable facing left-handers, especially the relievers who are just nasty. I just focus on seeing the ball. I feel if I see it, my hands will be good enough to put the bat on it.”
Generally, when left-handed hitters have success against left-handed pitchers, it’s because they try to go with the pitch, and by doing so, they “see” it longer on its path to the plate. But for a hitter as naturally gifted as Rizzo, it also has a lot to do with confidence.
“The general key might be that you have a lot of confidence in yourself right against left, and when you have things in your mind that you can attach your confidence to when you get in that box, those things sometimes translate,” Mueller said. “I think that’s what’s happening to Riz. He’s very confident in spots, and those translations are happening whether it’s a lefty or a righty, whether it’s a starter or a reliever. He’s putting together some really good approaches and some good at-bats. Sometimes when things are really starting off on the right foot, that carries over a little bit. You can gain some momentum with that.”
Given the preponderance of advanced stats and information available these days to even the casual fan, it’s easy to analyze—and overanalyze—a player’s performance. Whether or not you think Rizzo had a down year last year, whether or not you think his new approach is here to stay, whether or not you think he’s on pace to become a perennial All-Star, it’s important to remember failure is a big part of the sport, and the best players are able to learn from their struggles. Ultimately, baseball is a game, and it should be fun.
“I always tell myself, even now when I struggle, that it’s a process,” Rizzo said. “You look at guys throughout the year who have progressed every year and have gotten better, and that’s all you really want to do is just get better every year. The more at-bats you get, the more you feel like you’re going to learn in this league. It’s just a process.
“It was fun last year. It was. What’s fun about it is you put all this work in and when you do get results, it’s nice and rewarding. But it’s still fun. It sounds weird, but when you struggle, you appreciate the game too because it’s so hard. You have to have fun here. It’s too long of a season not to have fun whether you’re going good or bad. It’s about staying even-keeled whether you’re going good or bad. You have to come in and be the same person.”
—Bruce Miles, Daily Herald
Tennessee continued its winning streak, Kane County claimed both games in its doubleheader, some late runs were enough for Boise and Mesa managed a doubleheader split Sunday. However, Iowa and Daytona both fell. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (67-63)
T-2nd Place (-2.0)
Iowa dropped its third-straight contest, falling at home to Salt Lake, 3-2.
- LF Josh Vitters (.218) and C Eli Whiteside (.199) had two hits apiece.
- RHP’s Marcos Mateo (3.86) and Armando Rivero (1.78) combined to toss three scoreless innings of relief.
- Iowa hitters went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Tennessee Smokies (30-26)
1st Place (+3.0)
Tennessee extended its winning streak to five games with a 7-3 victory at Montgomery.
- RHP Felix Pena gave up two earned runs over 6.1 innings, fanning four to get the win.
- RF Jae-Hoon Ha (.229) went 3-for-4 with a fourth-inning, two-run homer.
- DH Taylor Davis (.355) and CF Albert Almora (.226) had three hits apiece. Almora drove in one (7).
- LF Pin-Chieh Chen (.221) went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI (7).
- 2B Stephen Bruno (.277) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and his 26th double of the season.
Daytona Cubs (31-23)
1st Place (+2.0)
Daytona could not take advantage of five Tampa errors, as the D-Cubs fell on the road, 8-7.
- C Willson Contreras (.233) homered for the second-straight game, going 2-for-4 with an eighth-inning, three-run blast.
- RF Bijan Rademacher (.269) went 1-for-3 with a seventh-inning, solo shot.
- LF Kyle Schwarber (.262) went 2-for-5 with a double (5) and his first triple of the season.
- RHP Zack Godley (3.79) tossed two scoreless innings of relief
Kane County Cougars (35-20)
1st Place (+1.0)
GM 1: Kane County held host Wisconsin to just two hits in a 9-0 victory.
- RHP Daury Torrez gave up one hit over five innings, striking out three to earn his 11th win of the season.
- CF Jeffrey Baez (.273) went 1-for-2 with a seventh-inning, solo home run.
- C Victor Cartini (.256) went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a game-high three RBI (12).
- RF Yasiel Balaguert (.246) and SS Carlos Penalver (.209) had two hits apiece.
- RHP David Garner (3.12) tossed two scoreless frames to earn his first save of the year.
GM 2: Kane County completed the doubleheader sweep with a 2-0 victory at Wisconsin.
- RHP Ben Wells pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits to pick up the win.
- RF Jeffrey Baez (.275) went 1-for-3 while homering for the second time on the day.
- SS Carlos Penalver (.212) was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a double (16).
- RHP Francisco Carrillo (2.57) struck out the side in the seventh for his third save of the year.
Boise Hawks (12-12)
3rd Place (-3.0)
Boise scored all seven of its runs in the last three innings, beating host Salem-Keizer, 7-6.
- 3B Jesse Hodges (.269) went 2-for-4 with an eighth-inning, solo blast.
- LF Kevin Brown (.266) went 2-for-5 with a ninth-inning, two-run shot.
- CF Rashad Crawford (.278), RF Charcer Burks (.293) and 1B Dan Canela (.301) had two hits apiece.
- RHP Daniel Lewis (1-0, 1.29) earned his first win while RHP Corbin Hoffner (3.86) earned his first save.
Mesa Cubs (6-12)
5th Place (-7.5)
GM 1: Mesa held the visiting AZL White Sox to just three hits in a 3-0 victory.
- LHP Jose Paulino fanned eight batters, giving up no runs over five innings in the win.
- 3B Adonis Paula (.257) went 1-for-3 with a fourth-inning, solo home run.
- RHP James Pugliese (0.00) struck out two over two scoreless innings of relief to earn his first save.
GM 2: The AZL White Sox defeated Mesa, 2-1, in a makeup game from July 13.
- SS Gleyber Torres (.279) and 2B Andrew Ely (.341) recorded both of Mesa’s hits.
- RHP Pedro Araujo (2.84) struck out four hitters while allowing an unearned run in two innings of relief.
The 1990s marked the arrival of Sammy Sosa, a stretch of continued excellence by Mark Grace, a dazzling performance by Kerry Wood and a Wild Card Tiebreaker win for the ages. Starting Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Cubs welcome the San Francisco Giants and Baltimore Orioles to town for a 1990s-themed celebration. Fans can relive the decade along with Chris Chelios, Gary Sinise and many more.
Here are the other guests and promotions you’ll find at the Friendly Confines during the six-game set.
1990s Homestand Recap, August 19-24
Tuesday, August 19, Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants, 7:05 p.m.
- Promotion: Cubs Floppy Hat presented by Pepsi and Jewel-Osco (first 10,000 fans)
- First pitch: Members of the WNBA Chicago Sky basketball team
- Seventh-inning stretch: Wayne Messmer, longtime Cubs national anthem singer
- Broadcast: CSN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, WRTO 1200-AM Spanish Radio, Cubs.com
Wednesday, August 20, Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants, 7:05 p.m.
- Special Event: Star Wars Night
- First pitch: Mark Duplass, actor from The League and The Mindy Project
- Seventh-inning stretch: Chris Chelios, former Blackhawks player
- Broadcast: WCIU-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, WRTO 1200-AM Spanish Radio, Cubs.com
Thursday, August 21, Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants, 7:05 p.m.
- Special Event: Social Media Night
- First pitch: Social Media Night winner
- Seventh-inning stretch: TBD
- Broadcast: CSN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com
Friday, August 22, Chicago Cubs vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1:20 p.m.
- Promotion: Kerry Wood 20-Strikeout Bobblehead presented by Budweiser (first 10,000 adults 21+)
- Seventh-inning stretch: Gary Sinise, actor, producer and director
- Broadcast: WGN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com
Saturday, August 23, Chicago Cubs vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1:20 p.m.
- Promotion: Wrigley Field Tote Bag presented by Starwood Preferred Guest (first 10,000 fans)
- First pitch and Seventh-inning stretch: John Groce, Fighting Illini basketball coach; Members of the band O.A.R.
- Broadcast: CSN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com
Sunday, August 24, Chicago Cubs vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1:20 p.m.
- Throwback uniforms: Retro 1994 alternate uniform
- Promotion: ’90s Throwback Gracie the Swan Beanie Baby (first 5,000 children)
- First pitch: TBD
- Seventh-inning stretch: TBD
- Broadcast: WGN-TV, WGN 720-AM Radio, Cubs.com
For more information on Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday celebration, please visit wrigleyfield100.com.
Mark Grace led the 1990s in both hits and doubles. (Getty Images)
The 1990s at Wrigley Field featured some of the most memorable moments in franchise history. Mark Grace was a hit machine, Sammy Sosa bashed his way into MLB history, and the young Kerry Wood made his heralded rookie debut during the decade. The Cubs will celebrate the 1990s at Wrigley Field when they host a six-game homestand against the Giants and Orioles from August 19-24. The team’s throwback uniform, promotional giveaways, specialty concessions and entertainment will all mirror the sights and sounds of the 1990s as part of the season-long celebration of the ballpark’s 100th birthday.
The Cubs’ promotional schedule includes four giveaway items: a Cubs Floppy Hat, a Kerry Wood 20-Strikeout Bobblehead, a Wrigley Field Tote Bag and a ’90s Throwback Gracie the Swan Beanie Baby. The team will host two special events, offering fans a chance to attend a game with others who share the same interests along with an exclusive promotional item and fan experience. This homestand, the Cubs will host the team’s first ever Star Wars Night on Wednesday, Aug. 20, and their annual Social Media Night on Thursday, Aug. 21.
To help Wrigley Field continue its season-long centennial celebration, rock band O.A.R. will perform an Extra Innings Show as part of a free music event presented by Budweiser. The event will take place Saturday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. in the Red and Purple Lots on the west side of Wrigley Field. O.A.R. will take the stage for a 90-minute postgame set immediately following the conclusion of the Cubs’ afternoon game against the Orioles. Other live entertainment will be available throughout the day. Vienna Beef hot dogs, snacks and Anheuser-Busch products, as well as O.A.R. merchandise, will be available for purchase during the event.
Special Event tickets for Star Wars Night and Social Media Night can be purchased at cubs.com/specialevents.
On Sunday, Aug. 24, the Cubs will wear a popular throwback alternate uniform from 1994 with “Cubs” written in red script across the front of the jersey. The visiting Orioles will wear a throwback road uniform from 1994 as well.
Fans coming to the ballpark will have the chance to collect promotional items throughout the homestand, beginning with a Cubs Floppy Hat, for the first 10,000 fans Tuesday, Aug. 19. On Friday, Aug. 22, the first 10,000 adults 21-and-over will receive a Kerry Wood 20-strikeout Bobblehead. On Saturday, Aug. 23, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Wrigley Field Tote Bag. On Sunday, Aug. 24, the first 5,000 children 13-and-under will receive a ’90s Throwback Gracie the Swan Beanie Baby.
The Cubs will host their first-ever Star Wars Night on Wednesday, Aug. 20. Fans can enjoy a night of baseball and intergalactic fun in the Budweiser Bleachers, Terrace Reserved Outfield or Upper Deck Box Outfield. Every ticket holder for this special event will receive an exclusive Jedi Rizzo bobblehead, with a portion of proceeds going to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.
On Thursday, Aug. 21, Social Media Night attendees will receive an exclusive #WrigleyField100 shirt and access to an interactive pregame filming of Comcast SportsNet’s Sports Talk Live at Wrigley Field’s Captain Morgan Club. One attendee will be selected to throw a first pitch before the night’s game (must be present for the drawing). Other exciting prizes, such as game-used and autographed memorabilia, merchandise and gift cards, will be available throughout the evening.
Additionally, during the night’s game, the team will rely exclusively on fan-generated images from selected Social Media Night attendees to populate the club’s social media channels, including photos and videos of the evening’s ceremonial first pitches, the seventh-inning stretch from the broadcast booth and other in-game content. Beginning Aug. 21 and continuing throughout the season, fans can submit images to a dedicated email@example.com email account or by using the #CubsSocial hashtag for publishing consideration on Cubs social media accounts. Fans submitting images via email can include their social media profiles in the note to receive a photo credit in the post.
Specialty Food Offerings:
Levy Restaurants continues its decade-inspired menu at the Decade Diner, located inside Gate D near Section 142. The 1990s homestand features Kraft beef tacos with rice and beans. The tacos are made with seasoned ground beef topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, shredded Kraft Cheese and sour cream. Fans can also try the Salmon Burger, which is a house made salmon burger on a toasted sesame bun served with avocado, candied red onion and herb aioli.
The Decade Dogs stand near Section 123 is serving the 1990s Bagel Dog—a Vienna Beef hot dog wrapped in a warm bagel with deli mustard.
Adults 21-and-over can enjoy a Home Run Hop. This Dominican-inspired cocktail is made with island flavors, including Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Meyers Silver Rum, pineapple juice and coconut water.
Wrigley Field witnessed several noteworthy events in the 1990s, including Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game, the unveiling of the Harry Caray statue and the addition of Jack Brickhouse’s “Hey, Hey” to the Wrigley Field foul poles.
On July 9, 1990, Ryne Sandberg won the Home Run Derby on a warm summer night at Wrigley Field. The next day, Wrigley Field hosted the All-Star Game for the third time as the American League defeated the National League, 2-0. That same year, after Greg Maddux had gone 13 starts without a win, manager Don Zimmer promised to swim across Lake Michigan if Maddux won his next game at Wrigley Field. Maddux delivered with a 4-2 victory over the Padres.
Though Zimmer showed up to the postgame news conference in a life jacket and sunglasses, he declined to make the 60-mile swim, claiming he “swims like a rock.”
On Opening Day in 1994, Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes hit home runs in three consecutive at-bats off the Mets’ Doc Gooden to become just the second player in major league history to hit three home runs on Opening Day.
On April 7, 1994, Michael Jordan made his Chicago baseball debut, playing for the White Sox and going 2-for-4 with two RBI in the Windy City Classic. The exhibition game ended in a 4-4 tie after 10 innings.
In 1997, Juniper bushes were added to the center field batter’s eye, replacing several rows of empty, deteriorating bleachers.
On May 6, 1998, in one of the most dominant pitching performances in big league history, 20-year-old Kerry Wood struck out 20 batters to tie a record and beat the Astros, 2-0, in his fifth start. Wood allowed just one hit—an infield single. That year, Wood earned the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
On June 5, 1998, the Cubs and White Sox played their first Interleague game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won on a Brant Brown home run in extra innings and completed a sweep of the Sox two days later.
On June 30, 1998, Sammy Sosa hit his 20th home run of June against the Arizona Diamondbacks, earning Player of the Month honors and setting a major league record for home runs in a month.
In 1998, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire staged a memorable home run chase, culminating with Sosa earning the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
On Sept. 28, 1998, the Cubs went head to head with the San Francisco Giants in a Wild Card Tiebreaker Game. Steve Trachsel pitched a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and the Cubs beat the Giants 5-3 to claim the National League Wild Card spot on a Gary Gaetti home run.
On April 12, 1999, the Cubs unveiled a statue of Harry Caray at the corner of Sheffield and Addison and added Jack Brickhouse’s iconic “Hey, Hey” to the Wrigley Field foul poles.
Finally, On Sept. 25, 1999, the Cubs honored their All-Century team before a matchup against the Pirates. Twenty players and one manager were elected by fan balloting. That same year, Mark Grace went 2-for-4 in the final home game of 1999, finishing the decade as the major league leader in hits (1,754) and doubles (364).
Iowa and Tennessee both won in walk-off fashion, while Kane County and Boise also picked up wins Thursday. Daytona split a doubleheader, and Mesa was dealt a loss. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (67-60)
1st Place (+1.0)
3B Kris Bryant blasted a walk-off, two-run homer in the 12th inning to lift Iowa over Las Vegas, 6-5.
- Bryant (.313) leads the PCL with 18 homers and 47 runs since joining Iowa on June 19. His 40 home runs on the season lead the minor leagues.
- 1B Mike Olt (.333) went 2-for-5 and homered for the second-straight game. Olt’s seven homers and 18 RBI since July 31 lead the PCL.
- CF Matt Szczur (.261) and 2B Logan Watkins (.260) had three hits apiece.
- RHP Marcos Mateo (2-0, 3.97) allowed a run in two innings of relief to earn his second win.
Tennessee Smokies (27-26)
1st Place (+1.0)
Tennessee recorded its second-straight walk-off win, beating Huntsville 1-0 on a Dustin Geiger single.
- RHP C.J. Edwards pitched six scoreless innings. He is holding opponents to a .192 batting average (23-for-120) this season.
- 1B Geiger (.228) finished 2-for-4 with the walk-off RBI-single (44).
- CF Albert Almora (.214) and C Taylor Davis (.327) had two hits apiece.
- RHP Frank Batista (1.16) tossed a scoreless ninth inning to earn his fourth relief win of the year.
Daytona Cubs (30-21)
1st Place (+3.0)
GM 1: Daytona used a four-run first inning to beat host Brevard County, 6-2.
- DH Billy McKinney (.322) went 1-for-3 with a double (8) and a season-high-tying four RBI (32).
- 3B Ben Carhart (.667) went 2-for-3 and recorded his first RBI as a Daytona Cub.
- RHP Starling Peralta (3.52) struck out four hitters over two scoreless innings of relief.
GM 2: Daytona managed just four hits in a 2-1 loss at Brevard County.
- RHP Justin Amlung tossed five innings, giving up no earned runs.
- RF Bijan Rademacher (.267) went 1-for-2 with Daytona’s lone RBI (39).
- LHP Austin Kirk (3.32) tossed a scoreless sixth inning.
Kane County Cougars (32-20)
1st Place (+1.0)
Kane County won its fourth-straight contest with a 4-1 victory over visiting Quad Cities.
- RHP Duane Underwood gave up no earned runs in five innings.
- CF Trey Martin (.242) went 1-for-3 with an eighth-inning, three-run homer.
- 3B Chesny Young (.390) recorded a game-high two hits, going 2-for-3 with a run and a double (4).
- RHP Jasvir Rakkar (1-0, 0.00) tossed two scoreless innings of relief to earn his first win.
Boise Hawks (10-11)
T-3rd Place (-4.0)
Boise scored five runs in the second inning to beat host Hillsboro, 7-2.
- CF Rashad Crawford (.275) went 1-for-3 with his first professional homer, a second-inning, three-run shot.
- 3B Jesse Hodges (.268) went a perfect 4-for-4 with a run scored.
- 2B David Bote (.316) went 1-for-4 with a double (9) and two RBI (12).
- RHP Trey Lang (2-0, 3.30) allowed one run over four innings of relief to earn his second win of the year.
Mesa Cubs (5-10)
5th Place (-6.5)
Mesa surrendered 14 hits in a 6-2 loss at the AZL D-backs.
- C Tyler Pearson (.200) went 1-for-3 with a third-inning, solo home run.
- RHP James Pugliese (0.00) struck out the side in his third inning of work.
- RHP Hector Perez (4.26) tossed a scoreless eighth inning, fanning one.
Things should get interesting for the Cubs as the season draws to a close, especially with some heralded prospects from the farm system getting late-season call-ups. When we sat down with manager Rick Renteria the day before the trade deadline, the Cubs were already getting strong performances from rookies Arismendy Alcantara and Kyle Hendricks. We talked to the skipper about the team’s youth movement, dealing with the deadline doldrums and squaring off against newly minted Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.
One of the Cubs top prospects gave Tennessee a walk-off win, and Kane County kept its winning streak alive Wednesday. Iowa and Boise both lost, and Mesa dropped both sides of a doubleheader. Daytona had a scheduled day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league action:
Iowa Cubs (66-60)
T-1st Place (–)
Despite outhitting the 51s 10-7, the I-Cubs fell to Las Vegas at home by a final score of 6-4.
- 1B Mike Olt (.329) homered in the second inning. He has hit in five of his last six games, going 8-for-23 (.348) with a double, four homers and eight RBI.
- CF Matt Szczur (.257) went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to five games (.333/7-for-21) and knocked in his 24th run.
- LF Josh Vitters (.219) reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with a walk.
Tennessee Smokies (26-26)
T-1st Place (–)
After surrendering a four-run lead to visiting Huntsville, Tennessee won 6-5 on a walk-off, pinch-hit double from Albert Almora in the bottom of the ninth inning.
- RHP Corey Black gave up one earned run over five innings, striking out six.
- Almora’s two-bagger (3) was the sixth Smokies double of the night. 1B Charles Cutler (.310, 12 2B), LF Lars Anderson (.356, 6 2B), RF Pin-Chieh Chen (.211, 3 2B), CF Jae-Hoon Ha (.227, 16 2B) and 2B Stephen Bruno (.270, 25 2B) all doubled as well.
- CF Jae-Hoon Ha (.223) finished 3-for-5 with the double and two RBI (44). In his last three games, Ha is 7-for-14 (.500) with two doubles, a homer and four RBI.
- RHP P.J. Francescon (10-6, 3.71) pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn his 10th win.
Kane County Cougars (31-20)
1st Place (+1.0)
Kane County won its third-straight contest with a 6-4 victory over visiting Quad Cities.
- C Ben Carhart (.269) posted his second-consecutive two-hit game, including his fifth homer, a two-run shot to put the Cougars on the board in the first inning.
- RF Jeffrey Baez (.279) singled and drove in two runs (7). Since going 0-for-9 in his first three games with Kane County, Baez has posted a .327 average (17-for-52) in 14 games.
- 2B Danny Lockhart (.288) hit his second triple in four games after failing to triple in his first 69 contests.
- LHP Michael Heesch (3-1, 2.94) struck out four over three perfect frames to earn his third win.
- RHP Francisco Carrillo (3.00) earned his second save in five games with the Cougars.
Boise Hawks (9-11)
T-3rd Place (-5.0)
After being no-hit through 9.1 innings, Boise lost 1-0 on a walk-off walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th at Hillsboro.
- 2B David Bote (.319) tallied his eighth double of the season with one out in the 10th inning to break up the no-hitter.
- RHP Joshua Conway (3 IP, 3 K, 2.60 ERA), RHP Ryan Williams (1.93) and RHP James Farris (4.50) combined to allow just one Hillsboro hit through nine innings of work and struck out 13.
- RHP Corbin Hoffner (0-1, 6.75) took over in the 10th and suffered the loss, allowing one run on a hit and three free passes.
Mesa Cubs (5-9)
4th Place (-6.5)
GAME 1: The AZL Indians and Cubs took a tie game into the seventh, when the Indians scored three to top host Mesa, 6-4.
- With a 1-for-4 effort, 2B Andrew Ely (.357) has hit in eight of his last nine games (.447/17-for-38).
- SS Gleyber Torres (.286) walked twice, doubled (5) and knocked in his 24th run, reaching base three times.
- LHP Andin Diaz (2-2, 3.32) blew a save (2) and suffered his second loss, allowing four runs (three earned) over two innings of relief.
GAME 2: The Indians completed the doubleheader sweep with a come-from-behind, walk-off, 4-3 win over Mesa.
- 1B Roney Alcala (.287) finished 2-for-3 with his fifth double and a stolen base (2).
- LF Ricardo Marcano (.281) singled twice, plated his 11th run and stole his fourth base.
- 2B Ho-young Son (.302, 9 SB) and CF Kevonte Mitchell (.321, 15 SB) each singled and swiped a base.
- RHP Zach Hedges (1-1, 1.32) suffered his first loss, allowing one unearned run on two hits over 1.2 frames of work.
(Illustration by Jerry Neumann)
Michael Bolling isn’t sure what he wants to do next year, but for now, he’s already got most baseball fans’ dream job.
The 24-year-old multimedia journalism graduate from Lewis University is the first-ever Cubs representative in the MLB Fan Cave in New York City. That means he’s spending this year meeting MLB superstars, blogging and tweeting on behalf of MLB and the Cubs, and—first and foremost—watching every big league pitch thrown in 2014.
The MLB Fan Cave debuted in 2011, putting its Dwellers “at work” from noon, when the first pitch of the first afternoon game is thrown until about 1:30 a.m., when games wrap up on the West Coast. They also conduct public tours of the space and participate in the filming of MTV2’s weekly Off the Bat show.
“It actually really hectic,” Bolling said. “There’s a ton of stuff going on, but the main focus is when there are games on, we’re in front of those television sets, and we aren’t missing any pitches.”
The Fan Cave first came to Bolling’s attention during the 2013 World Series, when he saw last year’s Dwellers covering the games and getting premium media access. He ultimately hopes to have a career in sports, so when he saw the link to apply online, he was all in.
“I felt like it would be a good opportunity to at least find the door—and maybe even get my foot in the door—and that’s something that probably doesn’t come around very often,” he said. “I figured if I got anywhere near the last few cuts, and they were thinking about bringing me in, I was going to drop everything to do it.”
Bolling, who spent much of his childhood living about six blocks from Wrigley Field, has been a Cubs fan since birth—his mother is from the Dominican Republic and was friendly with Sammy Sosa’s family. He and a friend even drove from Chicago to Anaheim, California, in 2010 to watch Marlon Byrd represent the Cubs in the All-Star Game.
So far this year, Bolling has met countless major league players and even got a chance to play a Playstation MLB: The Show Home Run Derby with Dodgers star Yasiel Puig (for the record: Bolling won). But what he’s really looking forward to is when the Cubs come to New York to take on the Mets August 15-18, because that means some Cubs players will stop by the Cave.
“I don’t care who comes through the doors. I’m going to freak out,” Bolling said. “I really hope we can get Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo through to the Cave just to show them around and interact with them a bit. But honestly whoever is wearing the pinstripes and comes through that door, I’m going to be so happy to see them. I can’t wait.”