The Rundown: Bullpen Implodes in Ugly Loss; Today’s September Call-Ups to Include Baez, Berry, Cahill and Wada
It might be a knee-jerk reaction on my part, but I feel like last night was the Cubs’ worst game of the season.
Setting the tone was starter Kyle Hendricks, who only lasted 5 innings against the Reds. He wasn’t awful, but the Cubs needed him to be better last night.
After the Cubs battled back to take a two-run lead in the 5th, Justin Grimm took over and promptly gave up four runs on two homers, while recording only one out.
The Cubs’ offense wouldn’t score again throughout the remainder of the game, and to make matters worse, the bullpen proceeded to give up six runs in the top of the 9th. Two Starlin Castro errors contributed to the disastrous inning — he had three total in the game.
Even in light of the fact that the loss was so awful, it’s still just one game. They’re coming off a tough West Coast road trip and probably were a little travel-weary.
But the Reds are a really bad team, and the Cubs need to take advantage — and I think they will over the next couple of games.
Dan Haren will try to get his Cubs career on track tonight. If he struggles again, however, we might see the Cubs make a switch at the back of the rotation.
September 1 means MLB rosters expand. According to multiple reports, the Cubs will be adding Javier Baez, speedy outfielder Quintin Berry and pitchers Trevor Cahill and Tsuyoshi Wada.
Baez is obviously the most exciting name, and hopefully he can start making a difference right away. The Cubs could sure use his bat, if he’s on his game. And after Starlin Castro’s three-error performance last night, Baez very well could be dropped into a starting role — at least against lefties.
Cahill has been used out of the bullpen in limited action with Triple-A Iowa and has fared well. Wada could slide into the fifth rotation spot if Dan Haren continues to falter.
Berry and Cahill are not on the 40-man roster, so expect a couple moves today to free up some space.
* In case you missed it, the Cubs have acquired outfielder Austin Jackson from Seattle and designated Mike Olt for assignment. I like the Jackson pickup. He definitely upgrades the defense and speed in the outfield — presumably without having to give up much of anything. It’s too bad about Olt. I was really rooting for him this year, but the Cubs just don’t have an open spot for him at this point.
* In an announcement that should surprise no one, Jake Arrieta was named MLB’s Pitcher of the Week. Over two starts, he pitched 15 scoreless innings, struck out 20 and gave up only four hits. Obviously all four of those hits came in one of the starts, as he pitched his first career no-hitter on Sunday.
* More awards: Iowa Cubs LHP Eric Jokisch was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week. In two starts, he posted a 0.69 ERA and six strikeouts in 13 innings pitched.
* Albert Almora’s hot month continues, as he had a double, triple and a walk last night for Double-A Tennessee. Smokies starter Ryan Williams had another good start, going six scoreless and only giving up four hits.