The Rundown: Cubs Drop Wild Game to Tigers, Ben Cherington Steps Down as Red Sox GM, Carl Edwards to DL, McKinney Done for Year
Last night was a wild one, right from the beginning.
Cubs starter Jason Hammel was flat-out awful, surrendering two home runs in the first inning. It appeared for a moment that Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera also had hit a home run in the inning, but it was overturned as a fan-interference double.
Then in the bottom of the 1st, this happened:
Pretty sure that’s not how it’s done. http://t.co/XMBJpDTg63 pic.twitter.com/xgPmmwGn8F
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) August 19, 2015
Fowler attempted to advance to second base but was somehow thrown out.
With the bases empty, Kyle Schwarber walked and scored on Chris Coghlan’s 14th home run. This was all in the 1st inning, remember.
Unfortunately, Jason Hammel was not much better in the 2nd, as he gave up another homer to give the Tigers a 5-2 lead.
Then came the rain, causing a delay for more than two hours.
But even though things looked dicey, you can never count this team out — they’ve taught us time and time again.
In the 5th, Kyle Schwarber mashed one of the hardest-hit home runs I’ve ever seen. It was a three-run shot. What this kid is doing is really unbelievable. He is unflappable, confident, and really really good at hitting.
Anthony Rizzo came through with a huge hit in the 7th to tie the game at 6-6. But that was as close as they’d get. Pedro Strop had a bit of an unlucky inning and gave up three runs, and that was pretty much the ballgame.
It was a long, weird night.
Hammel’s poor performance last night has me a tad worried. He hasn’t looked right since he suffered a hamstring injury just before the All-Star break. Hammel was pulled early in his last two starts, thankfully with leads that turned into Cubs wins, despite him not having his best stuff.
But last night he was extremely hittable — nobody was being fooled.
Hammel is going to need to get things together if the Cubs find themselves in a playoff series. Luckily, there’s time.
After being fired from the Tigers front office a couple weeks ago, Dave Dombrowski has joined the Red Sox organization as president of baseball operations.
Dombrowski is now reunited with owner John Henry — the two worked together with the Marlins. Interestingly and possibly Cubs-related, the Red Sox will now be looking to hire a new general manager, as Ben Cherington will step down from the position.
Cherington, who was at the helm when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013, worked under Theo Epstein in Boston. Is there a chance we could see Cherington head to Chicago?
* Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro said yesterday that second baseman Chase Utley is likely to stay in Philladelphia for the rest of the year, according to Bob Nightengale. We’ll see if this is the end of the Utley rumors. I’d probably be OK with that.
* Dexter Fowler has cleared waivers, tweets Nightengale, but the Cubs haven’t placed Starlin Castro on waivers. Teams often place a number of their players on waivers, so doing so with Fowler shouldn’t be shocking. However, I’m a little surprised he wasn’t claimed by a team, especially considering how good he has been since the All-Star break. After clearing waivers, Fowler can now be traded, although I think that would be pretty unlikely. The Cubs don’t have another clear-cut answer in center field.
* Some unfortunate injury news from the Cubs minor leagues: Carl Edwards Jr., who has been pitching out of the bullpen in Triple-A, has been placed on the disabled list due to a callus on one of his fingers.
* Also, Tennessee Smokies outfielder Billy McKinney, who was placed on the disabled list earlier in the week, will miss the remainder of the year with a hairline fracture in his knee. This is too bad, but hopefully it won’t cause any further problems down the road.
* RHP Rafael Soriano threw a simulated game before yesterday’s Cubs game, so he’s getting closer. I’m not exactly thrilled about seeing him again this season, but hopefully his struggles were due to an injury that will be behind him when he returns.
* Never like to root for injuries, but this one might aid the Cubs’ playoff chances: Giants’ outfielder Hunter Pence is heading to the disabled list with an oblique injury. Pence has played well this season, while healthy. The Giants still have a potent offense, and should be getting second baseman Joe Panik back soon. But the loss of Pence could hurt them.
* The Cubs have signed RHP Trevor Cahill to a minor league deal, after he opted out of his contract with the Dodgers. Cahill has MLB experience with the A’s, Diamondbacks and Braves. He’s 27 and has had a few decent seasons in the big leagues. It has been a rough 2015, but signing him seems like it could be worth a shot.
* Not going to tire of seeing plays like this for many years:
Elevate. http://t.co/M2scA96R4M pic.twitter.com/dS0QhV2Y6z
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 19, 2015