Cubs

Cubs honor 'Grandpa Rossy' with emotional pregame ceremony

Cubs honor 'Grandpa Rossy' with emotional pregame ceremony

The Cubs surprised David Ross with a pregame ceremony Friday afternoon, delivering an emotional moment that had him still fighting back tears almost four hours later.

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The Cubs played a tribute on the video board, complete with testimony from players like Jon Lester. The video also featured some of Ross' top highlights from throughout his career, including winning the World Series with the Boston Red Sox.

Ross' entire family was also in attendance, catching "Grandpa Rossy" completely off guard.

"I went out to play catch and everybody was getting ready for the game and I look in the dugout - I thought I was missing something," Ross said. "Nobody told me about something. And then the video started and I was like, 'Oh no.'

"I wanted to get in the dugout and kinda hide. I felt a little embarrassed. But super nice things the guys said, a real emotional moment for me. It was nice to have my family there."

As Ross embraces the twilight of his career, the Cubs also gifted him a jersey, a No. 3 square from the iconic Wrigley Field scoreboard and the home plate from Great American Ballpark, where Ross caught Jake Arrieta's no-hitter in April.

Ross already had a No. 3 square from Fenway Park and hopes to get all his Cubs teammates to sign his from Wrigley.

"I don't even have the words for what that means," Ross said. "My teammates to say those things and the warm hugs from the guys ... I really don't have words. It's kinda overwhelming emotionally."

With Ross not playing in Friday's game, Anthony Rizzo paid homage to the veteran catcher by taking "Forever Young" as his first walk-up song:

"How 'bout that?" Ross said. "I was like, 'we need to focus on winning and I'm like gonna cry every 30 seconds. I just kept waiting for him to get out and him blame my song. Good thing he got a hit and got it started off the right way."

Where does it all rank among his top baseball memories?

"I've had so many," Ross said. "I keep getting that question this year and I keep having another one at the top. This is up there.

"When you're a guy that's a backup catcher and kind of a journeyman and been on a bunch of different teams, just trying to find your way through the major leagues and doing the best you can and you get a moment like that, it's pretty cool."

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.