Cubs vs. Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 89-91)

The Cubs ended their eleven-game skid and found themselves tied for third, 9.5 games back in the division, and probably sellers at the deadline. The All-Star break is yet to come, however, and a route to contention remains merely unlikely rather than impossible. The Cubs could go on a 10-game tear and put the front office in a more difficult position with regard to the buying or selling. They'll have to get that work started in a three-game series agianst the team that enters tied for third place. I wonder which fanbase is more disappointed with their teams' season so far, the Cubs' or the Cardinals'. The Cards made a splash in the offseason, getting Nolan Aarenado away from a frustrating franchise in Colorado. He's lived up to the hype, but the rest of the Cardinals' cast hasn't been able to hold up their end of things. It's strange to see the Cards roll into Wrigley with both teams far from contention. Will that put a damper on the rivalry? It probably depends on the beer sales. See below for the pitching matchups.

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Cubs vs. Phillies: Series Thread (Games 85-88)

The Cubs finished their 10-game road trip by losing nine in a row, including sweeps to two teams that now lead them in the division, the Reds and the Brewers. Despite having the wind thoroughly taken out of their sails, they somehow return to home territory for seven games before the All Star break. They begin with a four-game series against the Phillies, the first time these two teams have matched up in 2021. See below for pitching matchups.

Cubs vs. Reds: Series Thread (Games 82-84)

The Cubs lost six straight, including a sweep to the Brewers, to drop to 42-39, good for second place in the division and 6.5 back of said Milwaukee club. They have three games remaining on the road trip and ten games total before the All-Star Break. Six of those remaining ten games will be against NL Central teams currently trailing the Cubs, starting off with a 3-game set in Cincinnati and concluding with a 3-game home series against the Cards. See below for the pitching matchups over the holiday weekend.

Cub Offense Shines Under the Lights in ACL Opening Night

Ezequiel Pagan blasted a solo HR to key a four-run third, Reggie Preciado immediately followed with a solo HR and then later walked three times (once with the bases loaded) and stole a base, Rafael Morel singled, walked, and scored a run, Owen Caissie singled twice, walked, and stole a base, Felix Stevens smacked a double and an RBI triple and scored two runs, Malcom Quintero doubled, walked, and scored two runs, Ismael Mena laced two RBI singles and drew a walk, and Shendrik Apostel singled and walked, helping the ACL Cubs defeat the ACL Diamondbacks 7-4 in Arizona Complex League (formerly AZL) Opening Night game action Monday evening on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.     

Juan Corniel belted an RBI triple and scored in the 3rd and drilled a two-run single in the 7th to provide most of the offense for the D'backs. 

The Cubs scored five runs on nine hits (five singles, two doubles, and two HR) off Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Taylor Widener in 2.2 IP. Widener has been on the D'backs MLB 10-day IL for over a month with a groin strain, and was making what he problably thought was a ho-hum Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab start in Mesa. Or as Augie Ojeda once said about doing a rehab stint in the AZL: "This is a really tough league for big leaguers." 

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

Cubs @ Brewers: Series Thread (Games 79-81)

The Cubs started off their road-trip with an especially odd no-no but have followed up with three losses. They are now three games back in the division with a three-game set with the first-place Brewers that will put them at the season's midpoint. A sweep in either direction could determine the Cubs' approach to the trade deadline. The Brewers will have an advantage in that they have their top three starting pitchers going--possibly the best top three startes in the majors right now. See below for the pitching matchups.

Morel and Young Help Cubs Tie A's at Riverview

Rafael Morel blasted a three-run HR, singled, and reached base on an HBP, and Jared Young collected three singles, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored a run for the Cubs, and Pedro Pineda belted a two-run double, Jose Bonilla drilled a two-run single, drew a walk, and scored a run, and Jalen Greer laced an RBI single, walked twice, and scored a run for the Athletics, as the two teams played to a 5-5 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):  

A's 4th Inning Explosion Too Much for Cubs at Fitch Park

Alexander Campos (RBI double), Jorge Romero (RBI double), and Marcos Betancourt (RBI single) contributed back-to-back-to-back run-scoring hits in a five-run 4th, propelling the Athletics to a 9-2 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Thursday morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Owen Caissie blasted a solo HR (his third in his last two games) and Ismael Mena tripled and scored to account for the two Cub runs. Caissie also singled, so he has now reached base in 15 of his 21 EXST PA (three HR, four doubles, five singles, and three walks, in just seven games).  

Cubs SP Tyler Schlaffer easily retired the first ten A's in order (F-9, K, L-7 / K, 5-3, K / L-9, F-7, K / 5-3...) before the roof fell-in -- starting with a walk -- with one out in the 4th.  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

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