Cubs Bust Out vs. Brewers, 13-6

wrigleyscoreboard2

The Wrigley Field scoreboard was popping up Cubs numbers today as the Cubs had a 13-1 lead until Milwaukee scored 5 cosmetic runs in the 9th inning to make the rout sound closer.

Finally the Cubs bats came alive. Kris Bryant had two home runs, Anthony Rizzo hit a 2 run home run late, and Ben Zobrist added his fourth of the season.  Willson Contreras had three hits and drove in three runs.  Bryant had three hits of his own. He was also hit by a pitch.  Chicago hit safely 15 times and put up a run in every inning except the 2nd.

Jake Arrieta pitched strongly for six innings in giving up one run and striking out six batters. He earned his fifth win of the season.

A few days after manager Joe Maddon coined the phrase, “Embrace the Suck”, in a direct acknowlegement of the Cubs start of the season, The Cubs busted out and played a strong game.

It wasn’t a question if this team could hit, but when. We were all waiting for the pitching to come around too. Maybe it has. We don’t know for sure. But this team is gradually gearing up.  They are few games over .500 and now face the always tough San Francisco Giants who come into Wrigley Field in a rematch of last Fall’s first round opponents.

Embrace the Suck was perhaps Maddon’s wake up call to the team and the city of Chicago. It was if he was saying, “We know we can play better. We are sorry for the slow start. Give us a chance.”  Chicago Cubs fans are used to losing. Chicago fans are used to watching sloppy baseball. They aren’t used to watching their beloved Cubs, now the defending Champs, play mediocre baseball. That’s what this team has been doing until Sunday’s game against the “Brew Crew.”

Even Kyle Schwarber had a hit and drove in a run. He’s batting .185 this Spring, but his average can only go up.  KB leads the team with ten home runs and he is looking good at the plate, batting .303.

Now the pesky Giants come to town. The Cubs will be tested. They have to play their “A” game or they may well get beaten.

At least it’s nice to see that they have an “A” game.

Royals Look to Stay Hot Against Yanks

The Kansas City Royals have surged of late winning six of their last seven games. While the team still finds itself at the bottom of the standings, the team is starting to gain momentum at a great time. The Bronx Bombers come to town tonight for a three game set with the boys in blue, and it should be a terrific series.

 

The Royals have a loaded schedule for the remainder of May as they will play the Yankees in New York next week, and have games with the division leading Twins, as well as games with Cleveland and Detroit. Needless to say, this could be a make or break next two weeks for the team.

 

The team has been riding an offensive surge over the last week averaging over five runs a game. The starting pitching, which started the season dominant, has kept going with a few bumps along the way, but with the offensive power, the team had kept pace and gained ground on the rest of the AL central.

 

The Royals kick things off tonight with the Yanks tonight at 7:15. Jason Hammel who is 1-4 on the season will go up against CC Sabathia who is 2-2.

It Never Ends – Now Familia is Headed to the DL with an Arterial Clot in His Shoulder

By Paul DiSclafani

AP Photo / Kathy Williens

The hits just keep on coming in this disaster of a start to the 2017 season for the Mets.

Mets closer Jeurys Familia was diagnosed with an “arterial clot” in his right shoulder and is headed to St. Louis to see Dr. Robert Thompson for further tests.  Thompson is the same surgeon that operated on Matt Harvey for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Familia, who has pitched in just 11 games this season after serving a 15-game suspension at the start of the season, has just three saves.  Familia was charged with his first blown save of the season after surrendering four runs (three earned) to the Giants on Wednesday afternoon, failing to protect a 3-2 lead in a game the Mets eventually lost, 6-5.

Former Mets pitcher David Cone had a similar blood clot issue in his arm pit in 1996 and missed four months following surgery.

Familia had pitched just 9.2 innings in his 11 appearances, and was pulled by Manager Terry Collins twice already this year.  He has 8 walks to go along with his 10 strikeouts.

 

Cubs in Search of a Win

rizzo pic

Anthony Rizzo took a high heater from flame-thrower reliever Aroldis Chapman on the forearm, and he took first base and pushed across the tying run in the bottom of the ninth. The Cubs scored  three runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game at 4 all. Perhaps the Cubs could salvage a game from the first place Yankees after all.

Rizzo stayed in the game and held his forearm gingerly.  Later X-rays revealed no fracture. He will likely feel sore for a few days.  The Cubs lost in 18 innings, 5-4 to New York. The Yankees looked like the better team in this May matchup that was played in chilly conditions. The Red Sox beat the Cubs two out of three in their publicized series. Chicago is 16-15 and are not exactly tearing up the National League like they did last April-May.

Cubs fans are scratching their heads in bewilderment.  This team is not playing with the urgency that last year’s team played with. They are the defending champs and it looks like they know it. They’ve got the talent, but it is not coming out. Rizzo, is only hitting .224 with 6 homers and 18 RBI’s.  Last night Wilson Contreras went 1 for 8 in the marathon game. He beat out an infield single.

What’s with these Cubbies?  Jon Lester went seven innings and gave up two runs. He looked sharper than his previous outings.  The game got so crazy that pitcher Jake Arrieta was sent out to pinch-hit, he struck out.

Can the Cubs find their mojo? How are they going to simply decide as a team to buckle down and play better?  I don’t know what it will take?  Maybe another rain delay and Jason Heyward calls a meeting. Maybe he calls a meeting without a rain delay. Someone on this team needs to speak out. Perhaps Anthony Rizzo can do his Rocky impersonation with his sore arm and lighten up the clubhouse?

Something needs to be done and hopefully soon.

Mets Suspend Matt Harvey for Three Games

By Paul DiSclafani

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson surprised fans and media alike, announcing that the Mets have suspended Matt Harvey for three games for a violation of team rules.

“Matt Harvey has been suspended for three days without pay for a violation of team rules and has been sent home,” Anderson said.

Alderson would not disclose the nature of the violation.  Terry Collins would only say that the Mets were “keeping it in-house”.

Adam Wilk was called up from AAA Las Vegas to take Harvey’s spot in today’s game against the Miami Marlins.

On Friday, a picture of TJ Rivera was published by the Mets on their Social Media pages of him smiling and wearing the “crown” as the Mets player of the game.  In the background, there appeared to be a large, black dildo in the locker of teammate Kevin Plawecki.  The photo was immediately removed, cropped and reposted.  Plawecki insisted he was innocent and had no idea how it got there or, more importantly, who might have put it there.

Maybe the Mets found out and then suspended Harvey?  It’s a three game suspension, so Harvey will miss only one start no matter what the reason.

Cubs back at Wrigley after 5-4 Roadtrip

wrigley field

The Chicago Cubs are home vs. The Philadelphia Phillies tonight after a 5-4 road trip.  Last night the Cubs lost a tough one in the rubber match of a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, a gem of a ball park.

The crowd was kind of anxious the whole night, either that or they were cold, dealing with temperatures in the high 40’s.  It was a tight game, until the dramatic 8th inning. In the top half, the Cubs tied it up on a close play at the plate, which was ruled in the Cubs’ favor upon video review. John Jay scored from second base on a dash to the plate and barely made it home. The review concurred that he was safe and the Cubs had tied up the game on two walks and a passed ball. Sometimes, you don’t need a base-hit. Baseball can be funny that way.

The Red Sox scored four runs in the last of the 8th inning off the bullpen. Pedro Strop uncorked a wild pitch to score a run.  Later, Addison Russell fielded a ground ball which would have a routine out but he threw to first in the dirt and the ball hopped away from first-baseman Anthony Rizzo, plating another two runs.  The BoSox didn’t pop the ball, but the Cubs helped them in the 8th inning and head back to Wrigley, 13-11 for the season. It’s not a great start. The Cubs have a slim one game lead in the Division.

Nothing is going to come easy for this team, it appears. This is the Cubs. One hopes that the team finds its identity and character. You can’t expect to take the field and win every game. That attitude may help, but you have to play your way to the W. Last season, the Cubs did that 103 times.

If the baseball race is a marathon, then this may be about the 3 mile mark. Many more miles to go before the end.

The Yankees come to town soon, and that will be an event at Wrigley for sure.

MRI Confirms Syndergaard Has Partial Lat Tear (sheesh…)

By Paul DiSclafani

The Mets released a statement confirming that the MRI this morning on pitcher Noah Syndergaard shows a partial tear of the lat muscle in his throwing shoulder.

“Pitcher Noah Syndergaard underwent an MRI this morning at the Hospital for Special Surgery. The MRI revealed a partial tear of the right lat muscle,” the Mets said in a statement. “At this point, there is no timeframe for his return. He will be placed on the 10-day disabled list.”

Physicians familiar with the injury have reported that pitchers not requiring surgery can return to action in about 100 days and those that have surgery, require about 140 days.  It is unknown of any timetable for Syndergaard’s return this season.

Syndergaard grabbed his shoulder after delivering a pitch to Bryce Harper on Sunday.  He missed his previous start because of “discomfort” in the Lat and hadn’t pitched in 10 days, but declared himself ready to go and refusing a precautionary MRI on Saturday.  General manager Sandy Alderson, manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen confirmed that Syndergaard had a great bullpen session on Saturday and showed no discomfort while warming up on Sunday afternoon before his start.

It’s tough playing Monday Morning Quarterback as to whether Syndergaard should have taken the MRI at the team’s request and we will never know if the tear was already there and he exacerbated it, or his pitching caused a strain to turn into a tear.  At this point, does it really matter?

With the state of pitchers today, Syndergaard might just have been a walking time-bomb.