Cubs

LIVE: Cubs wrap up series vs. Cardinals on CSN

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LIVE: Cubs wrap up series vs. Cardinals on CSN

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011
Posted: 10:35 a.m.

Associated Press

When he was acquired in July, Edwin Jackson said he was happy to try to help the St. Louis Cardinals return to the postseason.

After the Cardinals pulled off a stunning victory, the right-hander gets his chance to make a big contribution Sunday against the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Heading into Saturday, St. Louis (87-71) was three games behind Atlanta in the NL wild card race with five games remaining for each team. The Cardinals also trailed Chicago 1-0 heading into the ninth inning, but a single and a trio of two-out walks brought home the tying run.

Cubs closer Carlos Marmol followed with a wild pitch, which gave St. Louis a 2-1 victory and allowed it to take advantage of the Braves' loss in Washington.

"I think people have written us off several times, and I think probably before today they probably wrote us off again," pitcher Kyle Lohse said. "To show we can gut it out, come back with a big win like that, is huge."

Whether St. Louis can cut its deficit to one game might hinge on Jackson's performance in the series finale. The right-hander was acquired from Toronto on July 27 after he was traded from the Chicago White Sox earlier in the day.

"It's not a bad situation for me, to get thrown into the fire on a team that's definitely chasing a playoff berth," Jackson told the Cardinals' official website two days after the deal. "It's a chance to go into the postseason, I'm happy to be thrown into the mix here."

Jackson (5-2, 3.73 ERA) has performed well in most of his 11 starts for St. Louis and has won his last three decisions. However, he gave up five runs, nine hits and four walks in his last outing during the Cardinals' 11-6 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday.

Jackson fared better July 29 in his Cardinals debut, allowing one run over seven innings in a 9-2 victory in his only previous start against the Cubs (70-88) at Busch Stadium. Although he lost at Wrigley Field on Aug. 20, he's 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts against the Cubs this season for St. Louis and the White Sox.

He'll pitch opposite Randy Wells (7-5, 5.09), who has struggled in his last two starts after a promising stretch.

The right-hander gave up five runs for the second straight game Tuesday during a 5-1 loss to Milwaukee, his first defeat in 10 starts since July 28. Wells had won five consecutive decisions before that outing and was 3-0 with a 1.26 ERA in four starts Aug. 24-Sept. 10.

"He just couldn't control the damage," manager Mike Quade told the team's website. "He's been pitching well, and in some of his starts he's been able to do that."

Wells is 2-2 with a 4.67 ERA in six career starts against the Cardinals, with no record and a 5.68 ERA in two matchups this season.

Lance Berkman, batting .405 during a 12-game hit streak, is 3 for 12 with five walks in his career against the right-hander but 0 for 4 this season.

Albert Pujols, 2 for 5 with a home run versus Wells in 2011, has reached base in 40 consecutive contests. The Cardinals first baseman has batted .371 with 10 homers during the longest such streak in the majors this season.

St. Louis has managed just three runs in the first two games of this series, but Matt Holliday's bat might help. The outfielder returned Saturday after a nine-game absence due to a finger injury, and his single sparked the ninth-inning rally, which improved the Cardinals to 15-7 in September.

After Sunday's game, St. Louis finishes the regular season with three at Houston.

"We have to win every single game," utility man Skip Schumaker said.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio

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USA TODAY

Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio

"Of course," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said in the middle of the National League Championship — he would like his coaches back in 2018. Pitching coach Chris Bosio told the team's flagship radio station this week that the staff expected to return next year. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein didn't go that far during Friday afternoon's end-of-season news conference at Wrigley Field, but he did say: "Rest assured, Joe will have every coach back that he wants back."

That's Cub: USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale first reported Saturday morning that Bosio had been fired, a source confirming the team declined a club contract option for next year and made a major influence on the Wrigleyville rebuild a free agent. Epstein and Bosio did not immediately respond to text messages and the club has not officially outlined the shape of the 2018 coaching staff.

Those exit meetings on Friday at Wrigley Field are just the beginning of an offseason that could lead to sweeping changes, with the Cubs looking to replace 40 percent of their rotation, identify an established closer (whether or not that's Wade Davis), find another leadoff option and maybe break up their World Series core of hitters to acquire pitching. 

The obvious candidate to replace Bosio is Jim Hickey, Maddon's longtime pitching coach with the Tampa Bay Rays who has Chicago roots and recently parted ways with the small-market franchise that stayed competitive by consistently developing young arms like David Price and Chris Archer.

Of course, Maddon denied that speculation during an NLCS where the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs in every phase of the game and the manager's bullpen decisions kept getting second-guessed.

Bosio has a big personality and strong opinions that rocked the boat at times, but he brought instant credibility as an accomplished big-league pitcher who helped implement the team's sophisticated game-planning system.

Originally a Dale Sveum hire for the 2012 season/Epstein regime Year 1 where the Cubs lost 101 games, Bosio helped coach up and market short-term assets like Ryan Dempster, Scott Feldman, Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija. 

Those win-later trades combined with Bosio's expertise led to a 2016 major-league ERA leader (Kyle Hendricks) and a 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner (Jake Arrieta) plus setup guys Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards Jr. and All-Star shortstop Addison Russell.

Bosio helped set the foundation for the group that won last year's World Series and has made three consecutive trips to the NLCS. But as the Cubs are going to find out this winter, there is a shelf life to everything, even for those who made their mark during a golden age of baseball on the North Side.

Report: Cubs fire pitching coach Chris Bosio after six seasons with team

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USA TODAY

Report: Cubs fire pitching coach Chris Bosio after six seasons with team

In Theo Epstein's end of season press conference on Friday he said that any coach Joe Maddon wants back will return in 2018.

Evidently, there's one coach Maddon didn't want back.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Cubs have fired longtime pitching coach Chris Bosio.

Bosio served as the Cubs pitching coach from 2012-17. He was the team's pitching coach under former managers' Dale Sveum (2012-13) and Rick Renteria (2014), and was retained when Maddon was hired as manager of the Cubs in 2015.

Bosio, who is one of the most respected pitching coaches in baseball, was instrumental in the career resurgence of Jake Arrieta who captured the Cy Young award in 2015, and the development of 27-year-old starter Kyle Hendricks (MLB's ERA leader in 2016).

One reason that could've led to Bosio's firing was the pitching staff's control issues during both the regular season and postseason, which Epstein mentioned during Friday's press conference. The Cubs issued the fifth-most walks (554) in the National League during the regular season and the highest total (53) during the postseason.

As the Cubs hit the market for a new pitching coach, Nightengale mentioned that one name that could be on the radar is former Tampa Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, who parted ways with the organization following the 2017 season.

Hickey served as Maddon's pitching coach in Tampa Bay from 2006-2014.