Cubs

Coghlan: Cubs feel like they're going to win every game now

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Coghlan: Cubs feel like they're going to win every game now

The Cubs are now 12-0 when Chris Coghlan hits in the No. 3 spot in the batting order.

How's that for a stat?

Coghlan drove in four runs on two homers Friday as the Cubs outlasted the White Sox 6-5 in front of 36,386 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.

[MORE: Chase Utley? GM Jed Hoyer says Cubs aren’t close to any deals yet]

After striking out in the first inning, Coghlan hit a three-run shot in the third and added a solo homer in the fifth as the Cubs hung on for their eighth straight victory and 14th win in the last 15 games.

"We feel like we're going to win every game," Coghlan said. "I think that's the reason why we're winning a lot of them. You can say: 'I hope we win a game.'

"But to actually believe it and be convicted in it is totally different than just saying: 'Yeah, I hope we go win today.'"

Coghlan had entered the game with only a .447 OPS in the three-hole and had struggled over the course of this current winning streak.

In the seven games before Friday, Coghlan was just 4-for-22 (.182 average) with a walk, an RBI and a run scored while getting used to a new position at second base.

Does it make the win extra special now that he's contributing?

"I probably wouldn't use the word 'extra' but it definitely makes it better," Coghlan said. "I feel like we've been winning a lot and I really haven't been able to contribute a lot in the stat column.

"I've been able to do other things to help the team, whether it's defense or baserunning or whatever. But anytime you can put some crooked numbers up individually and help the team, it's always gratifying."

Anthony Rizzo also homered (going back-to-back with Coghlan in the fifth) as the Cubs have shown the power the last two games (eight homers).

Kyle Schwarber got the Cubs started with a first-inning sacrifice fly after Dexter Fowler tripled as the North Siders did all their damage against former Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up for the stretch run, Cubs fans]

Samardzija somehow made it through six innings despite allowing six runs on nine hits and a pair of walks.

Kyle Hendricks got the start for the Cubs, but struggled as well, surrendering five runs on eight hits and three walks in only 3 1/3 innings.

"Kyle couldn't get it going," Maddon said. "Nothing was working. I could see it early on with the command as badly as it was."

Hendricks said the issue is mechanical and he's been dealing with it on and off all year, but especially his last couple times out.

But Hendricks also made sure to give credit to former Sox pitcher Clayton Richard, who came into the game in the fourth inning and helped bridge the gap to Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon with two shutout innings.

"Clayton was huge in today's game," Maddon said. "We hit the home runs, we had some really good at-bats. Of course, CC had a really nice day.

"But what Clayton did coming in, he really defined the game at that point."

Theo Epstein on Manny Machado rumors: 'It's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at'

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USA TODAY

Theo Epstein on Manny Machado rumors: 'It's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at'

Despite the MLB trade deadline being two months away, rumors of the Cubs potentially acquiring Orioles' shortstop Manny Machado have intensifed recently. Regardless, Cubs president Theo Epstein made his point on the rumor frenzy quite clear Thursday.

"I can say with regards to this particular spasm of media frenzy, it is outrageously outsized when you compare it to the reality of the situation," Epstein said Thursday on 670 The Score.

Machado is having an unbelievable season with the Orioles, hitting .328 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs entering Thursday. If traded, he would undoubtedly provide a boost to any ballclub, but that is a big "if."

Of course, the MLB season is not even two months old yet, which Epstein pointed out as being a big factor in the situation.

"It's May," he said. "We're still figuring out who we are as a team this year. We're still figuring out our place in the division.

"There's an atypical amount of trade discussion in May this year, which is essentially nil."

Rumors of the Cubs being a potential player in acquiring Machado make sense. At 15-34, the Orioles have the worst winning percentage (.306) in the MLB. With their current positioning, trading Machado could start a rebuild that the Orioles might just need. The Cubs have a 24-year-old shortstop in Addison Russell that the Orioles could acquire to a) replace Machado and b) use as the face of their rebuild.

Be that as it may, Epstein said the rumors are something that the Cubs are "just rolling our eyes at."

"I understand it's natural for people to connect the dots and there to be this kind of frenzy from time to time, but it's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at," he said. "It's not like July, where every now and then there's lots of coverage on deals that are actually being discussed or actually might happen.

"This one is just out there in fantasy land at this point."

Podcast: Albert Almora Jr. dishes on his role and the Cubs’ unsung hero that keeps things loose behind the scenes

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Albert Almora Jr. dishes on his role and the Cubs’ unsung hero that keeps things loose behind the scenes

Albert Almora Jr. joins Kelly Crull on the Cubs Talk Podcast to weigh in on a variety of topics, including his budding bromance with rumored Cubs target Manny Machado, his expanded role and how he spends his time off away from the ballpark.

Plus, Almora has a surprise pick for the organization’s unsung hero, stating the Cubs would’ve never won the World Series without this guy.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: