The Cubs Vs Mets series, a rematch with possible playoff implications. Coming into their four game series, the Mets had lost three straight games to their NL East rivals the Washington Nationals. Meanwhile the Cubs had won three straight versus their NL Central rivals the Cincinnati Reds. Going into this four game series, it was not expected to be as one sided as it turned out to be.
Both the Mets and the Cubs are among the top teams in the National League. Many expected this to be a good series and a possible playoff preview. As the All-Star break approaches, every game counts and this series was no different.
When all was said and done, the Cubs dropped all four games to the Mets and were completely dismantled. The Cubs lost 3-4, 2-10, 3-4, and 3-14 in the series. The Cubs failed to pull through when they needed to and did not have too many positives come out of this series. Not much seemed to work in the Cubs favor.
The Cubs rotation was completely derailed. Jon Lester was given honors for his performance in recent outings, being named Pitcher of the Month for June, but had his shortest career outing in the final game of the Mets series, being pulled during the second inning. Jake Arrieta failed to get into a rhythm, gave up four runs and lost his first road start in 14 months according to ESPN. Jason Hammel also had a tough go of it. He gave up a career high five home runs in less than five innings.
To this point, the Cubs’ pitching concerns have primarily come from the bullpen, but in this series a fair amount of the blame falls to the starters as well. Hammel and Lester especially disappointed in their starts in the series. The Cubs will play less stiff competition in the next week before the All-Star break. Hopefully this will be enough time for the starters to regain the form.
The bats of the Cubs went cold. The team scored no more than three runs in any one game in the Mets series. When runners did get on base, the Cubs failed to knock them in. According to Carrie Muskat, the Cubs were 0-for-17 with men in scoring position. There were a few offensive highlights in the series, home runs by Zobrist and Bryant, but overall the offense was lacking.
The Mets on the other hand were on fire. They scored ten or more runs in two of the four games and hit a barrage of home runs off Cubs pitchers. It couldn’t have gotten much better for the Mets offensively. The best offensive performance by the team come from Wilmer Flores, who went 6-for-6 in the series finale.
The Cubs were overwhelmed and under performed. If there is any consolation, however, it is that the Mets were swept by the Cubs last year in the regular season before revenge was exacted in the NLCS. If recent history has a say, the Cubs may have the last laugh in October. It is, however, far too early to make an accurate postseason prediction. The All-Star break will come next week and after that, the second half of the MLB season will begin.
Cubs Non-Tender Addison Russell
While the Chicago Cubs tendered contracts to six arbitration-eligible players for the 2020 season, there was one notable name they decided to non-tender: Addison Russell.
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Russell, 25, will now hit free agency following five years with the Cubs, the last two proving to be rough for the infielder.
The Cubs tendered Russell for 2019 after he was suspended for 40 games near the end of the 2018 season for violating the league’s domestic abuse policies, forcing him to miss the first 28 games of the 2019 season.
Russell, a National League All-Star in 2016, was later demoted to the minors, after he struggled on the field.
“We decided to non-tender Addison Russell today simply because the role we expected him to play for the 2020 Cubs was inconsistent with how he would have been treated in the salary arbitration process,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said in a statement. “In the year since we decided to tender Addison a contract last November, he has lived up to his promise to put in the important self-improvement work necessary off the field and has shown growth, as a person, as a partner, as a parent and as a citizen. We hope and believe that Addison’s work will continue, and we have offered our continued support of him and his family, including [ex-wife] Melisa [Reidy].
“In the last year, the organization has also put in the important work necessary to bolster our domestic violence prevention training for all employees, all major league players, all minor league players and all staff. We also offered healthy relationship workshops for the players’ partners and provided intensive, expert domestic violence prevention training for player-facing staff. This heightened training and our increased community involvement on the urgent issue of domestic violence prevention will continue indefinitely. We wish Addison and his family well.”
Russel was a key factor in the Cubs winning the World Series after a 108 year drought back in 2016, with a Grand Slam in Game 6 which catapulted the Cubs back from a 3-2 deficit in the series.
Cubs Hiring David Ross
The Chicago Cubs have found their new manager and are hiring David Ross to take the reigns of the team, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
Ross, 42, beat out five other candidates to replace Joe Maddon, who parted ways with the organization and is now the manager of the Los Angeles Angels, and was a player when the Cubs won the World Series a few years ago.
Ross hit a memorable home run in Game 7 back in 2016, helping to propel the Cubs to a World Series championship.
“I’ve always looked at Rossy as a coach when he played here,” Cubs superstar Kris Bryant said. “Yeah, it was goofy, it was fun, it was energetic, but when he needed to tell you something, he let you hear it. From the very get-go, I felt like this guy will be a manager some day for sure.”
Cubs first base coach Will Venable, bench coach Mark Loretta, former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada were all in the running for the job, and have been informed of the team’s decision to hire Ross.
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Ex-Cub David Ross Interested in Cubs’ Manager Job
Former Chicago Cubs catcher, and current ESPN analyst, David Ross is interested in taking over for Joe Maddon as the team’s manager.
Ross, 42, who is considered a leading candidate to succeed Maddon as the team’s manager, was asked during Sunday’s Baseball Tonight show if he would have interest in the job if the team reached out to him.
“I think it’s one of the best jobs in baseball,” Ross said. “I’ve got a lot of close ties with those guys. I think the interest would be there. I think my heart is drawn to that dugout a little bit.
“The rumors are flattering. It makes you think about a lot of things. I’ve got a nice job here at ESPN that I enjoy and gives me a lot of free time with my three kids.”
Ross played his final two seasons with the Cubs, which included a World Series championship in 2016.
Ross was asked if the close relationships with many of the players would impact his job as manager.
“You never know until you sit in the manager’s seat how hard it really is to have those tough conversations with guys” Ross responded.
“I’m kind of an open person; when I was teammates with a lot of these guys I shot them straight.
“I loved my teammates when I played with them; every team that I played for. But I also try to tell guys the truth in love, and so I think the best managers I have had do that exact same thing — they have great conversations, they communicate, they walk that line between authority and leadership and being a friend as well. I think that’s the line you’ve got to kind of walk with players and you never know until you are in that seat.
“I’ve got a lot of thinking to do if this gets presented to me as everyone says will happen. I’m sure waiting for that phone call.”
Ross would certainly be welcomed by players if he were to be hired, and Cubs’ superstar Kris Bryant talked about Ross’ potential as the next manager of the team.
“I’ve always looked at Rossy as a coach when he played here,” Bryant said, according to ESPN. “Yeah, it was goofy, it was fun, it was energetic. But when he needed to tell you something, he let you hear it. From the very get-go, I felt like this guy will be a manager some day for sure.”
Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo also chimed in and shared his thoughts about the possibility of Ross being the manager.
“If it was Rossy, I’d obviously sit down; I’ve talked to him about it before,” Rizzo said. “He’s in a really good place now at home with his family and what he’s doing and he’s happy. The pros and the cons. I mean, he’s the biggest mentor in this game other than [Maddon]. Can it work? Yes. But I don’t know which direction we are going in.”
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