Morning Marquee: Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant receive N.L. honors for August


With the Chicago Cubs entering tonight’s series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 6.5 game lead over the defending champions for the second N.L. Wild Card spot, this club is in a decent position.

It’s been seven long years since the Cubs have been to the post-season, and there’s plenty of time for them to give themselves a comfortable lead or even the first spot in the Wild Card hunt.

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Any spot would do, but you would love to have the opportunity to advance to the opening round of the playoffs in front of your own crowd.

You have to think that Joe Maddon would opt to go with Jake Arrieta over Jon Lester, not because he’s won more games than the southpaw this season. If you’re Maddon, saving Lester for a potential N.L. Divisional round match-up is better than having the Pirates swiping bases left and right since he’s still uncomfortable with making pick-off attempts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still happy that Lester is locked in with the Cubs. I’d just rather have someone who has been consistent throughout the year and is riding a quality start streak which currently starts at 14 entering this weekend.

More than likely Saturday. He also pitched a no-hitter this past Sunday against the Dodgers, finishing the month of August with a perfect 6-0 record with a 0.43 earned run average.

Those numbers earned him N.L. Pitcher of the Month according to ESPN Chicago’s own Jesse Rogers who also reported that Kris Bryant earned himself Rookie of the Month as well.

Bryant has played hero many times for this Cubs team who has struggled in this week’s home stand and launched a game-tying two-run shot yesterday. His big fly would be short lived after a Jay Bruce ground ball bounced between his legs in the ninth, allowing Joey Votto to come up and swat a go-ahead three-run homer.

Nonetheless, Kris finished August with impressive numbers of his own. He wrapped up last month with seven homers, 20 RBI, and 19 runs while slashing .330/.422/.620.

Bryant also recorded the only two runs of the game – which was a two-run bomb – that was enough for Arrieta to get the job done this past Sunday.

Congratulations to both men.

Here’s more from around the league:

Cubs: Pierce Johnson headlines list of prospects heading to AFL‘ – Cubbies Crib

Cubs still have plenty of doubters, myself included‘ – Cubbies Crib

Brewers: Taylor Jungmann 2015’s biggest positive‘ – Reviewing The Brew

Indians’ Francisco Lindor deserves R.O.Y. Award‘ – Wahoos on First

Max Kepler named Southern League MVP‘ – Puckett’s Pond

Next: Soler remains determined to make impact