Cubs

Cubs will turn to Trevor Cahill in ‘awful’ day-night doubleheader against Brewers

Cubs will turn to Trevor Cahill in ‘awful’ day-night doubleheader against Brewers

The Cubs will start right-hander Trevor Cahill in Game 1 of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers, manager Joe Maddon said Sunday. 

Cahill will come off the disabled list to make his first start since April 26, 2015, when he was with the Atlanta Braves. The 28-year-old Cahill, who has a 3.07 ERA in 41 innings out of the Cubs’ bullpen, landed on the disabled list July 15 (retroactive to July 9) with patellar tendinitis in his right knee.

Over six minor league rehab games — all starts — with Triple-A Iowa, Cahill posted a 4.58 ERA with 12 walks, 25 strikeouts and three home runs allowed over 19 2/3 innings. His longest minor league outing lasted four innings, so Maddon said he’ll ride Cahill for as long as he can and figure out the rest after. Left-hander Mike Montgomery could be an option to pick up some innings if Cahill has an abbreviated outing Tuesday. 

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Right-hander Hector Rondon is available Sunday after dealing with a triceps injury, so his return will help lengthen the Cubs’ bullpen for Tuesday’s doubleheader as well.

Maddon isn’t a fan of Tuesday’s setup, though, with Game 1 starting at 12:20 p.m. and Game 2 at 7:05 p.m. With the second-year Cubs manager focusing on rest for his team during August and September, a 13- or 14-hour day at Wrigley Field isn’t ideal. 

Maddon acknowledged the "economics" of the day-night doubleheader but explained his displeasure when asked if he'd be in favor of Major League Baseball building in doubleheaders into the regular season schedule. 

“The day-night doubleheader is awful,” Maddon said. “I’m not going to lie, I’m not going to try to pander to anybody. It’s awful. It’s awful to be here all day, I’m always concerned about injury, it’s just a bad day. It’s too long. If you’re going to have a doubleheader, have a real doubleheader — one game, the next game starts a half-hour after the first game — and the players won’t mind that nearly as much.”

 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Cubs truly the best NL team at the All-Star break?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Cubs truly the best NL team at the All-Star break?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Hub Arkush, Jordan Bernfield and Fred Mitchell join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel. 

The Cubs have the best record in the National League at the All-Star Break but it doesn’t feel like it. Can they still win the N.L. pennant? And will the Home Run Derby mess up Kyle Schwarber or Javy Baez’s swings?

Plus, Will Perdue drops by to talk about Jabari Parker’s signing. He also shares his surprising prediction for how the Bulls will do next season.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:

Nationals fans sent Kyle Schwarber from hero to villain in monumentally entertaining Home Run Derby

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Nationals fans sent Kyle Schwarber from hero to villain in monumentally entertaining Home Run Derby

WASHINGTON, D.C. — How could someone like Kyle Schwarber play the villain?

The fan favorite who’s always quick with a smile — or an Uncle Sam costume on the Fourth of July — Schwarber doesn’t fit the mold of a loathsome target of boos. But he made quite the heel turn in the minds of Washington Nationals fans Monday night, and of course he knew it was coming.

Schwarber went from getting cheered by the legions in attendance at the Home Run Derby to getting booed when he took on, and eventually lost to, hometown hero Bryce Harper in the final round.

“I was down in the tunnel saying, ‘If we get to the finals, Harp, they’re all going to be against me. I think they’re all going to be against me,’” Schwarber said Monday night. “And then I went out there and got booed after they all got pumped up for me. That’s just the beauty of it, and I was happy for Bryce that he won it in front of the home crowd.”

Harper delivered an incredibly memorable baseball moment Monday night, catching up to Schwarber’s 18 home runs with a ridiculous display of repetitive power to win a Home Run Derby for the ages. The format of this event, revamped a couple years ago, made for a dramatic and hugely entertaining evening. Harper smacked nine homers over the final 47 seconds of the final round to tie Schwarber, then bested him in bonus time. Unsurprisingly, the home crowd was going ballistic for their boy.

But earlier in the night, it was Schwarber getting all the cheers, when he made his own last-second comeback to beat Philadelphia Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins in the second round. Schwarber was pumping up the crowd, pumping his fists and screaming while putting on a show of his own to catch and pass Hoskins' 20 home runs and advance to the finals.

How quickly the locals forgot.

By the finals — during which Schwarber looked understandably exhausted — the crowd had turned on him, trying to get every advantage for Harper.

“As soon as I got done with that round, I told myself that he had it,” Schwarber said. “I knew that he had the home crowd behind him, and I knew that he was a very prolific power hitter with a great swing. For him to come in and do that and started getting down to the wire, all of a sudden he started racking them up one at a time. You kind of just accept your fate there.”

Perhaps the night could’ve ended differently for Schwarber had he listened more closely to the advice of his teammates, Javy Baez and Willson Contreras, who were quick with Gatorade, a towel and words of encouragement on Monday. Baez hit 16 home runs in his own first-round appearance, though Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Max Muncy knocked him out.

“I was just telling him to slow down,” Baez said. “He was kind of rushing a little bit, that’s why he was jumping to the ball.”

“They were actually giving me really good advice that I didn’t take because I was really dumb-headed,” Schwarber said. “‘Make sure you take some pitches and get the pitch that you want.’ At the end, I felt like I was swinging at everything. I was just running out of gas. I felt like I had to put up as many swings just to try to put a couple out.”

Schwarber was totally content with losing out to Harper’s home-field advantage. Though as his homers flew out deep into the right-field seats Monday night, you couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if Schwarber was instead taking aim at Sheffield Avenue and getting his own home-field advantage from Cubs fans.

The North Side hasn’t played host to the All-Star Game since 1990, so perhaps Schwarber will still be slugging the next time the Friendly Confines are the site of the Home Run Derby.

“That’d be really cool one day if the All-Star Game’s at Wrigley,” Schwarber said, “and to participate in the Derby, that’d be fun.”