It’s like a broken record or reading the same book over and over, the Cubs have another week of ups and downs. Though, there were a few extra little things going on that stirred conversation. But as for on the field, the Cubs took 2/3 from the Padres and split a 2-2 series with the Marlins and are 1.5 back of first place Milwaukee going into this week.
The Padres series turned into a bit of a stir as Anthony Rizzo slid hard into Padres catcher Austin Hedges in effort to jar the ball loose as he was thrown out at the plate by former Cub Matt Szczur. Padres manager Andy Green took exception to the play calling it “a cheap shot” and many members of Padres media did not like it either. Rizzo was ruled to be out of the lane (all relating to the Posey rule) as he slid but no discipline was taken. To Rizzo’s understanding, it was fair game when the catcher had the ball, which Hedges had as he slid in, but he was mistaken and MLB called and explained the rule to him. Hedges had a bruise but is back playing now with the Padres.
This happened in game one of the series and there was speculations of a brawl and intentionally targeting Rizzo, but none of that happened and there was zero conflict. Rizzo did end up hitting a lead off homer in the game after the incident, which was a streak of getting on base to lead off the game for Rizzo that ended in the series finale in a 3-2 loss.
In Miami, the Cubs had some solid pitching but some inconsistent offense. Arrieta, Lackey, Lester and Montgomery were the starters in the series and had a combined 3.12 ERA and the bullpen had a 1.13 ERA in those four games. But the offense was on-off with 11 runs in game one (Happ and Russell had four hits each) then shutout the next day, then five with Baez driving in three of them and two yesterday in a 4-2 loss which they stranded a ton of baserunners. Happ had a great series at the plate batting .529 and Mark Zagunis was called up after the Schwarber demotion.
Obviously, Kyle Schwarber being demoted to AAA was a big topic of conversation as talked about in a previous article, but he is now officially reporting to Iowa and will be playing tonight for the I Cubs.
Toughest challenge is on the way as the Cubs head for Washington to play the Nationals…Gonzalez, Scherzer and Strasburg are all set to pitch in this series.