Cubs

Cubs finally figure out Francisco Liriano, hammer Pirates

Cubs finally figure out Francisco Liriano, hammer Pirates

These aren't the same old Cubs anymore.

They proved that again Friday afternoon as they hammered old foe Francisco Liriano.

The Cubs hit three home runs en route to a 9-4 victory over Liriano and the Pirates in front of 37,479 people at Wrigley Field.

Liriano came into the game with a 2.27 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings (11 starts) against the Cubs in his career, including a sparkling 1.90 ERA in 10 starts in a Pirates uniform.

But the Cubs knocked around Liriano on Friday to the tune of eight runs on nine hits and and four walks, plus the three home runs to take advantage of the wind finally blowing out at Wrigley.

Addison Russell delivered the first blow — a three-run shot in the fourth inning. Kris Bryant (two-run shot) and David Ross (three-run homer) followed suit in the fifth inning.

"It's nice to have a little fun today after the panic set in after we lost two in a row," Ross joked. "Now everybody can relax a little bit more; we actually won one. Back on track on the winning streak."

Dexter Fowler drove in Ross with a two-out double in the eighth inning to close out the Cubs' scoring on the afternoon.

After a rough series against the San Diego Padres, Jason Heyward and Jorge Soler took a lot of flak for their slow starts offensively, but the two outfielders combined to reach base five times in nine plate appearances on two singles and three walks. Heyward also hit into some rough luck with a line drive right at Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte and was robbed on a hit up the middle in the ninth by Pirates shortstop Sean Rodriguez.

Jason Hammel was stellar again on the mound for the Cubs, striking out eight and allowing just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings.

The Cubs have now outscored the Pirates 29-9 on the season, winning all four head-to-head matchups.

"I've talked about the power of 24 hours. That's the power of 48, I guess, right?" Joe Maddon said. "Whatever happened the previous game, the only way things like that injure or bother you is if you permit them to.

"I'm telling you, man, don't be a carrier. If something negative happens, don't be a carrier. Find the nearest lake and drop it in the lake on your way home. And just come out and play the next day. The last game's got nothing to do with today. And our guys really responded well."

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

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NBC Sports Chicago

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

A Cubs pitcher taking in a Blackhawks game in a suite is nothing special, but doing so with a World Cup winner is... different.

Kyle Hendricks was spotted by the cameras of Thursday's Blackhawks-Coyotes broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago. The guy he was standing next to was none other than Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, a World Cup with Germany and Champions League winner with Bayern Munich.

Hendricks is known for being reserved on the mound and in his interviews with the media. Meanwhile, Schweinsteiger was filmed yelling "Bear Down" in the hallway of Toyota Park after a Fire practice earlier in the day.

There's no telling what inspired Schweinsteiger to do this, but he has definitely embraced Chicago sports teams since joining the Fire in March of 2017.

Makes you wonder what Hendricks and Schweinsteiger were talking about. Best places to get brats in Chicago?

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist won't win the Comeback Player of the Year award this winter, but maybe he can take home a Grammy for Best New Artist?

The Cubs veteran infielder/outfielder posted a hilarious video on his Instagram Wednesday night showcasing how he's been spending October after the Cubs were unceremoniously ousted from the playoffs after on the third day of the month.

It's a fantastic music video of Zobrist lip-syncing to Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait" while he nearly knocks the TV off the wall of his home by swinging the bat indoors pretending to hit off Clayton Kershaw and frolicking around a field that looks shockingly similar to Hershel's farm from the second season of "The Walking Dead":

View this post on Instagram

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year.... I will wait for you....

A post shared by Ben Zobrist (@benzobrist18) on

Zobrist also posted a lengthy caption on his perspective on the Cubs' disappointing end to the season:

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) 
Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not
Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. 
I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. 
What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. 
To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year....
I will wait for you....

Come for the Zobrist lip sync, but stay for the 37-year-old using a bat as a guitar while wearing a sleeveless shirt and rocking an old-timey top hat.

A year ago, Zobrist completely reshaped his offseason workout plan after three straight years of playing deep into October. It appears he's added another new trick to his winter workout — hopping over fences even though there is a clear opening just a foot away.

Hey, whatever works...