Morning Marquee: Chicago Cubs claim first game from the Giants Thursday night


The Chicago Cubs were able to get themselves back into the win column after witnessing their six-game winning streak coming to an end on Wednesday evening at the hands of the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates who currently hold the first N.L. Wild Card spot.

Joe Maddon‘s group of young sluggers found themselves in a four-game weekend set against the second team standing in their way of the second and final spot in the Wild Card hunt – the defending World Series Champions’ San Francisco Giants.

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With the Giants handling the Atlanta Braves during their final two games of that series, the Cubs entered Thursday night’s game with a must-win mindset and that’s exactly what they were able to do.

Outfielder Jorge Soler got the Cubs on the board first with a two-run RBI single in the very first inning of Giants starting pitcher, Chris Heston to give his team the 2-0 lead. Rookie catcher Kyle Schwarber – who finished entered the game having the same number of big flies as Soler – clubbed a three-run homer to right-center field during the bottom half of the season.

Schwarber has himself an Anthony Rizzo like streak – having homered in his last three-of-four games. Newly added Tommy Hunter entered the game with a three-run lead late in the game but allowed the Giants to close the gap with their second two-run homer of the day.

With Rafael Soriano landing on the disabled list, Hunter is going to have to step it up more than ever. It wouldn’t be that bad of an idea to contact the last-place Milwaukee Brewers to see who they would ask in return for veteran closer, Francisco Rodriguez, who was a star with the Los Angeles Angels back in 2008.

The waiver period is upon us so expect teams who weren’t finished or have yet to find the right trade partner, take another dip in the rumor mill within the next couple of weeks or so.

Hopefully, Starlin Castro‘s name will not come up anytime soon. This man is here to stay, at least until next season, so I hope nobody gets any ideas.

Here’s more from around the league:

Chicago Cubs: The importance of catcher David Ross‘ – Cubbies Crib

Chicago White Sox: Potential waiver wire options‘ – Southside Showdown

Astros: Carlos Correa’s stats are better than Alex Rodriguez’s debut‘ – Climbing Tal’s Hill

Jacoby Ellsbury’s home run helps Yankees beat Red Sox‘ – Yanks Go Yard

Red Sox place a group of players on waivers‘ – BoSox Injection

Next: Schwarber's bomb lifts Cubs past Giants