It was an interesting week for the Chicago Cubs. Fans got to see some things they hadn’t before and got a bigger glimpse of things to come with a plethora of rookies up in Chicago. So with a host of rookies, a lot of rain, a tarp debacle and a sweep, there is plenty to look at last week.
This Week: 5-2 Season: 58-72, 14 GB – Fifth in the NL Central
The Good: So much could go here this week. Tsuyoshi Wada with two great performances. Former Rule 5 pick Hector Rondon went 4-for-4 in save chances, and now has 21 on the year. Javier Baez continued to showcase his power, but also his strikeout rate. But all in all it was a good week to be a Cubs fan.
The Bad: Edwin Jackson got roughed up, again, to fall to 6-14 on the season. The next day he was placed on the DL with a lat injury. Seeing a player get hurt is never good news, but this may be a good omen for the Cubs.
The Ugly: The Cubs grounds crew. After Tuesday’s tarp debacle, the crew found themselves all over social media. It really was a sight to see. Initially, the game was called and the Cubs were awarded the victory. But the Giants won the first protest since 1986, and the game was completed on Thursday in a contest that saw another delay, but this time they got the tarp on without incident.
The Cubs finished up a four-game set on Monday against the New York Mets in New York. Kyle Hendricks pitched another gem, and fellow rookie Baez helped out with a home run, to go along with All-Star Anthony Rizzo‘s 28th on the season. The Cubs pulled the last two games of the series to earn a split with the Metropolitans.
Tuesday’s game saw a brief, but heavy rain turn into something most at Wrigley had never seen before. After not correctly rolling up the tarp after its last use, the grounds crew struggled to get the field covered properly, leading to a ridiculous delay that led to a Cubs victory. But that was short-lived as the Giants protested, and won, a decision the Cubs fully agreed with. Two days later on Thursday the two teams finished up the contest, ending in a 2-1 Cubs victory. Rizzo’s home run in the first inning, two days before, ended up being the deciding blow.
Starlin Castro left the team after the game Tuesday after finding out a family member had been killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic. Castro was placed on the bereavement list, as Logan Watkins was called-up to take his spot. Castro is expected to return this week.
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On Wednesday, starter Edwin Jackson took the mound, but didn’t stay there for very long. Jackson was hit hard, allowing seven earned in 2 2/3 innings. Giants starter Jake Peavy stifled the Cubs, but even though the Cubs bullpen kept the Giants to only one more run, the damage was already done. The Cubs lost 8-3, as E-Jax lost his 14th, and saw his ERA climb to 6.09. Both a league worst for a starter.
The following day Jackson was placed on the 15-day DL with a lat strain. Most Chicago fans saw this as a positive, and while we wish him well health-wise, this forced the hand of the Cubs to get him out of the rotation. A change that was a long time coming.
Travis Wood was unable to use a fast start from his team’s offense, including back-to-back homers from Welington Castillo and Justin Ruggiano, as the Cubs dropped the contest 5-3. Wood is now winless in his last 12 starts, with an 0-6 record and a 5.45 ERA in that span. He was able to keep his walk totals down in the contest, allowing only one. But he still saw his pitch count rise fast, and was at 97 pitches after six innings. It’s been a much different Wood than last year, who was a virtual lock to give a quality start each time out it seemed.