Cubs

Coleman's made a strong pitch for next job

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Coleman's made a strong pitch for next job

Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010
12:15 PM

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

HOUSTON This feels like the last few periods before school lets out for summer, the approximately 48 hours left in this Cubs season.

There was Carlos Zambrano on Friday afternoon posting a lineup card written in Japanese to the wall. And when someone pointed at the brace and questioned the mild left knee sprain, Kosuke Fukudome moonwalked across the room like Michael Jackson.

By Oct. 1, the Cubs and those around the team seemed a bit punch-drunk. While some of the players are already looking forward to flying from Houston to their offseason homes, Mike Quade is awaiting an answer on his future.

The Cubs manager for the moment hasnt scheduled any interviews with Jim Hendry yet. But the general manager is traveling with the team on this last road trip, and watched the Cubs secure a 2-0 victory over the Astros on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

I really am in a day-to-day mode, Quade said. I will manage here these three days and finish up. Im in no hurry to leave Chicago. I do want to catch (some) fish, but Ill be there for several days (and) that process will take care of itself.

Im flexible as can be. And when that conversation needs to happen, or if anybody needs me, Im always available, whether Im in Florida or whether Im in Chicago. (To) be honest, I havent concerned myself with that.

Quades resume includes a .657 winning percentage (23-12) since he replaced Lou Piniella, but he is not the only one auditioning. In front of 33,869 fans, Casey Coleman threw seven scoreless innings and had an RBI double to beat the Astros (75-85).

Its huge for the offseason, Coleman said. It just sets you up for a new fresh start next year, knowing that you can pitch here and (have gained) a lot of confidence in your teammates and coaches.

Coleman will report to Mesa, Ariz., as a different pitcher in February. Quiet and polite, he mostly kept to himself during his first spring-training camp with the major-league club. He was just trying to get acclimated, facing hitters like Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.

The 23-year-old rookie has now gone at least six innings in seven straight starts. Hes 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in the eight starts hes been given since the middle of August.

Hes done a heck of a job, Quade said. Ultimately, its about performance. I dont know how many people knew (who) Casey Coleman was eight weeks ago, (but) now hes got a special place in my heart because they know who he is now.

The Cubs staff has now thrown 21 consecutive scoreless innings, and Coleman has tried to convince the front office that he should be part of it in 2011.

A rotation that could begin with Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster at the top will have Tom Gorzelanny and Randy Wells on the next tier. Carlos Silva will have to address health concerns and Jeff Samardzija will be out of minor-league options.

So if others seemed distracted, this final start still mattered to Coleman. He pumped his fist after inducing an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the fifth. Even if the pressures off, hes hoping someone will notice.

Every outing youre out there pitching for a job, no matter where it is (or) what team, Coleman said. You never know what can happen. It means a lot to (many) guys in this clubhouse and I knows it means a lot to Q.

Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Yu Darvish and Cubs pull off dramatic comeback win over Dodgers

Yu Darvish and Cubs pull off dramatic comeback win over Dodgers

There were some added stakes to Saturday night’s Cubs-Dodgers matchup. Darvish made his first start at Dodger Stadium since his infamous Game 7 loss in the 2017 World Series, looking for a great effort in front of a fan base that had their up-and-downs in terms of their relationship with him. He (maybe) took a small jab at the Dodgers before the game had even started, telling the Los Angeles Times that he wasn't worried about being booed because “the Dodgers don't have many fans here in the first three innings, so maybe it will be on the quieter side.”

Well Dodgers faithful certainly got the message and made sure to let Darvish hear it.

However, Darvish got the last laugh on Saturday night. He pitched a stellar seven innings. Over those seven innings, Darvish gave up 1 ER on 2 hits and also notched 10 strikeouts.

Darvish has been hitting his stride as of late, maintaining a 2.96 ERA over his last four starts.

All of that being said, it would be remiss of me not to mention the contributions of Darvish’s teammates. His great outing helped keep the Cubs in the game, but the gutsy performances of Anthony Rizzo and Pedro Strop are what won the contest.

Dodgers All-Star relief pitcher Kenley Jansen had a 10-game scoreless streak coming into Saturday night, but one swing of Rizzo’s bat was all that was needed to restore balance to the everlasting battle of pitcher versus hitter. After Jansen hit Kris Bryant with a pitch to put him on base, Rizzo activated “clutch mode”, mashing a 400-foot bomb out to right field.

Though small, Saturday night’s homer gives Rizzo a three-game hitting streak, perhaps forecasting that things are trending  upwards for the first baseman as the Cubs look to close out the series against the Dodgers with a win on Sunday night. And not to be left out of the fun, Pedro Strop came in to face the Justin Turner, MVP hopeful Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Matt Beaty to nail down the save.

Never afraid of high-pressure moments, Stop came through big time.

Strop got a ground out from Turner, struck out Bellinger and Beaty in his 15-pitch save effort. This was a much-needed win for the Cubs, who have well-documented struggles on the road. As they look to split the four-game set with the Dodgers on Sunday night, the Cubs can be pleased with their fight this week.

Saturday’s win over the Dodgers was the Cubs first win of the season after trailing through six innings, as they were 0-23 in such situations prior to the victory. Amid a season that has been fraught with injury and general roster construction concerns, it was wonderful to see the Cubs pull out a tough win lead by the much-maligned Darvish and the never-quit attitude of his teammates.

Cubs put Kyle Hendricks on 10-Day IL

Cubs put Kyle Hendricks on 10-Day IL

On Saturday, the Cubs announced that they are placing starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks on the 10-day I.L.with right shoulder inflammation. 

Following Hendricks' injury, the Cubs recalled right-handed pitcher Rowan Wick from Triple-A. Wick will be available on Saturday night and beyond, as the Cubs continue their four-game series against the Dodgers. 

This obviously a significant blow for the Cubs, as Hendricks is the team leader in innings pitched (88.1).

Prior to his loss on Friday night, Hendricks had won three straight outings, giving up less than 3 ER in each game. 

The Cubs have plenty of options to replace Hendricks for the time being. With an off day until Monday, they could keep their rotation intact. Tyler Chatwood and Mike Montgomery are options, and the Cubs could push Hendricks next start back to by going with a spot starter. 

Stellar pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay is another intriuging option, and he is coming off of a great outing with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. On Fridaym he racked up 9 strikeouts, giving up 8 hits and 2 ER. 

The 24-year old Alzolay is ranked as the Cubs' fourth-overall prospect and the Hendricks injury could open the door for Alzolay to get called up.

The more likely scenario is that Cubs manager Joe Maddon chooses to use Chatwood. 

Chatwood is the only pitcher outside of the everyday rotation to have made a start this year and is the most obvious stopgap solution until we get further updates on Hendricks' status.