Cubbies return to Cleveland for the first time since the 2016 World Series win

 

The Chicago Cubs return to Cleveland to face the Indians for the first time since their historic World Series win in 2016 , on Monday night. Tyler Chatwood, who has struggled since coming to the squad (0-3), walking 14 batters in 15 1/3 innings will be toeing the rubber for the Cubs. Josh Tomlin, who has also struggled and has not started a game since April 10th will take the hill for the Indians.

The Cubs were excited to see Cleveland again. “There will be a sense of nostalgia, just walking in there,” shortstop Addison Russell said over the weekend. “I’m going to try and find the spot in the weight room I was sitting at when J-Hey [Jason Heyward] was making his speech while it was raining outside. Sit down there and take everything in and think back — what was going on in my mind, where we were as a team, all those emotions that we rode. It’s all going to come back.”

Kyle Schwarber also acknowledged coming back to Cleveland. “I always think about the World Series,” Schwarber said. “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think about the World Series. That was a heckuva time. Whenever you can relive that, it’s an addictive feeling. And I remember everything to a tee. I know every pitch that was thrown to me, things like that, where I was sitting in the weight room and in the dugout. It’s all very fresh.”

The Cubs who have been on an offensive tear as of late, scoring 45 runs on 66 hits in the last five games, started off with the hot bats again. Schwarber hit the 5th hardest homerun in the MLB in the top of the 2nd to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Later, Addison Russell doubled just out of the reach of a diving Bradley Zimmer. Ian Happ came through with a huge 2-out Rbi making it 2-0.

Wilson Contreras lead off the Top of the 3rd with his 1st homerun of the season making it 3-0. In the bottom half of the 3rd Zimmer lead off with a great bunt hit and eventually came around to score putting the Indians on the board 3-1. Later in the inning our best defensive outfielder, J-Hey, fielded a hot shot line drive by Jose Ramirez and came up gunning to mow down a speedy Raja Davis at the plate keeping the score 3-1. J-Hey played phenomenal in the field as usual robbing Jason Kipnis of a hit with a diving grap in the 6th.

Kyle Schwarber was back at it again to lead off the top of the 4th with a moon shot solo homerun to make it 4-1. Ian Happ then hit his 3rd homerun of the season hitting an opp-field Homerun to end Tomlin’s day on the bump.

Tyler Chatwood finally got his first win with the club. Although he still had trouble finding the strike zone at times, 5 walks through 6 innings, he only allowed 4 hits while striking out 5. It was good for Chatwood to get this monkey off his back and hopefully continues to progress moving forward.

The Cubs ended the day with 10 runs, on 15 hits, lead by Schwarber’s 2 dingers. Ian Happ, who is not batting at the bottom of the order, finished the day 3-4 with a HR, 2 RBI’s, and 2 runs scored. Schwarber is batting .500 (15 for 30) with three homers and eight RBI in seven career games at Progressive Field, including the postseason. The left-handed hitter, who grew up in southwest Ohio, made his major league debut in Cleveland in 2015.

Joe Maddon even chimed in about the Cubs offense. “Good at-bats up and down,” manager Joe Maddon said after the Cubs win. “We’re still in that mode of utilizing the whole field. I hope that doesn’t end until 2019 spring training … because this is the approach you’re looking for.”

The Cubs hope to take both games in Cleveland when Lester takes on Trevor Bauer Wednesday night on ESPN at 7:10. Go Cubs Go!

 

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Game 2 of 162 Line-up

Kyle Hendricks will be taking the mound for our Chicago Cubs tonight vs. Caleb Smith of the Miami Marlins. This looks to be a game that is about more than just baseball, as teams will honor the 17 victims who were murdered this year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.

“This will be an emotional weekend for me, personally,” said Anthony Rizzo, a 2007 graduate of Marjory Stoneman.

Rizzo and his foundation will present a check from money raised in an auction to the National Compassion Fund/Parkland. Four families connected to the shooting will throw out a first pitch, and Rizzo also invited the Douglas baseball team to the game.

The Marlins and Cubs are wearing Douglas patches during this weekend’s four-game, season-opening series. The patches have the school’s colors and initials as well as 17 stars — one for each of the victims.

Our Line-Up for tonight:

1. Almora CF 2. Bryant 3B 3. Rizzo 1B 4. Contreras C 5. Schwarber LF 6. Russell SS 7. Zobrist RF 8. Baez 2B 9. Hendricks P

Almora in for Happ in center tonight because Smith is a left handed pitcher and Almora crushes (.320 ave. vs LHP)them. Zobrist will be replacing Heyward in right because of the lefty on the mound. Also, look for other righties Bryant, Contrearas, Russell, and Baez to have big productive nights. #LetsGo #EverybodyIn #GoCubsGo

#OpeningDay2018 #EverybodyIn

#OpeningDay2018 is finally here for the Chicago Cubs as they travel to Miami to take on the depleted Marlins on March 29, 2018. The Cubs will be without Jake Arietta this year but still have the CORE intact and should look to make a run for the World Series. Coach Maddon said that “This was the best Spring Training he had ever been apart of.” While the Marlins on the other hand welcome Derek Jeter in as CEO which got rid of 4 of their key players and start out with 6 on the DL.

The Pitching match up showcased Jon Lester, making his ninth opening day start vs. Jose Urena, who wasn’t even in the Marlins rotation plans until mid way through last season, making his first ever opening day start. The Cubs started 2018 off hot as Ian Happ belted the first pitch of the season over the right field wall. Urena continued to struggle hitting three batters and walking two more which led to 2 more runs for the Cubs who took an early 3-0 lead. Starlin Castro, who I still love gets, the first hit of the season off of Lester and the cubs. He would later score the first run as he was driven in by Brian Anderson on a nice piece of professional 2- out hitting, taking a good Lester pitch the other way dumping it into right field.

usp_mlb__chicago_cubs_at_miami_marlins_98790986-e1522341503926Anthony Rizzo, who had an emotional day playing in his home state of Florida after the Parkland school shooting, where he attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas school, homered on the first pitch of his second at bat, giving the Cubs a 4-1 lead in the 2nd. The bottom of the 3rd inning proved to be a terrible one for Kyle Schwarber defensively as he misplayed a Derek Dietrich ball that lead to Schwarber running into the fence and a Dietrich triple. Justin Bour knocked him in on a fielders choice making the game 4-2. Brian Anderson then continued his opening day debut with a single that Schwarber horribly misplayed leading to a two base error, knocking in Castro making it a 4-3 game. Garret Cooper then comes up with the infield in and knocks Anderson in evening the game at 4-4.

Kris Bryant lead off the Top of the 4th with a double and was drove in by a Wilson Contreras double the very next at bat. The bottom of the 4th started off with a pinch hit double by Cameron Maybin, a Dietrich single, and Lester being pulled after 3 1/3 innings and just 71 pitches. Steve Cishek , former Miami Marlins closer, makes his Cubs debut in a tough spot with runners on 1st & 3rd inherited by Lester. Cishek comes up huge striking out Starlin Castro and getting Justin Bour to flyout, stranding the two runners. In the bottom of the 5th Cishek got himself into a pickle with a walk and a ball Rizzo did not see leading to a Miguel Rojas double, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd  with 1 out. Cishek stayed strong and repeated the success of past inning striking out and popping out the next two batters. WELCOME TO CHICAGO!! STEVE CISHEK!! Steve+Cishek+FdF9bSnEtl-m

Kyle Schwarber redeemed himself to start the 7th inning crushing a 3-1 fast ball off of Tehran Guerrero, who had just struck out the first four batters he had faced, for a solo home run making the game 6-4. Javy Baez continues to show he has no clue about situational hitting at the big league level, striking out on a 2-2 breaking ball while losing his helmet and falling to the ground. This frustrated me, as well as annalist Tim Kurkijan, because we can’t understand why kids in the game these days don’t change their approach to drive in that runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs. Luckily for Baez, Tommy La Stella picked him up when he worked a hitters count and came through with a 2 run scoring, 2 out, pinch hit double bringing the score to 8-4. The Cubs bullpen of Strop, Wilson, and Montgomery finished off the game with three scoreless innings ending the game by a final of 8-4.

The Cubs open the season with ten straight road games and it is always nice to get the first win of the season under your belt. Jon Lester continues his struggles without David Ross as his personal catcher It will be interesting to watch how his and Wilson Contreras’ relationship develops in their second year together. Schwarber who came into the season 20lbs lighter, faster, and working on his defense still looks like he should be wearing a helmet out there in left field. Unfortunately, he will lose at bats to Albert Almora, who replaced Schwarber defensively after his homerun in the 7th. The positives were that the cubs crushed 3 homeruns by their core and good at bats that led to runs by Bryant, and Contreras. Steve Cishek had a huge day picking up the Win and getting out of jams in back to back innings. Huge win and congrats to the bullpen..TIME TO CELEBRATE!! GO CUBS GO!!

chicago cubs bullpen GIF by MLB-source