Jake Arrieta absolutely dominated the White Sox yesterday.
As we saw a lot last year (and many times this year as well), Arrieta looked like an ace. He pitched a complete game, yielding only one run and two hits. He walked none and struck out nine.
Oh, and he hit a home run at the plate. Arrieta did it all yesterday.
After two disappointing losses to a last-place Sox team (and that heart-breaker against St. Louis on Wednesday), the Cubs needed this one. It was nice to get a win heading into the All-Star break, and it really should be a fun second half of the season.
The catching conundrum
Miguel Montero left Saturday’s game with a thumb injury and wasn’t in the lineup yesterday. It’s unknown at the moment how serious an injury it is.
“I’m hearing the initial evaluation was like it could be not so bad — and then it could be bad,” Joe Maddon told Patrick Mooney. “It totally is in this like midrange thing.”
The Cubs should have a better idea in the next couple days. So if the injury is worse than we’re hoping, is there a chance we could see top prospect Kyle Schwarber be promoted to fill in? Maddon didn’t shoot it down completely.
“Of course,” he said about a call-up being considered. “But for right now, we have not gotten to that point.”
Schwarber doesn’t appear to be ready to handle a full-time catching job at the MLB level — he’ll need more experience.
So in the meantime, it looks like it will be a combo of David Ross (who has come off the seven-day concussion disabled list) and Taylor Teagarden. Hopefully Montero won’t have to miss much time.
The Cubs started the season with too many catchers, and now they’re struggling to find just one.
Kyle Schwarber may need more seasoning as a catcher, but his bat is certainly ready to go right this instant.
The slugging catcher was named the MVP of the All-Star Futures Game, after hitting a two-run triple to help team USA to a 10-1 victory.
Schwarber is pretty good at hitting triples, as Jayson Stark points out:
More Schwarber: "My first hit in AA was a 3B. My first hit in the big leagues was a 3B. My first hit in AAA was a 3B. And then today" #sold
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 12, 2015
* Chris Coghlan’s consecutive games-played streak is over, after not appearing in Sunday’s game. The streak ended at 150 games. With the Cubs facing a lot of lefties, Coghlan hasn’t been starting much lately, but had been pinch-hitting to keep the streak alive.
* Kris Bryant has been as good as advertised in his first year in the majors. I am confident that he’ll continue to be a force at the plate, but I realize he is going to have his share of struggles at times. Gordon Wittenmyer writes that the Cubs will need to monitor Bryant since this is his first time going through the grind of a full MLB season. I found this quote from Bryant to be really interesting: “Each and every day’s a mental grind. At the end of the day, it’s kind of just like you’re brain dead almost.” Bryant only received one day off since being called up. I could see Joe Maddon awarding some more throughout the season — especially if Mike Olt, Javier Baez or Tommy La Stella can return and be effective.