Cubs

Jake Arrieta picks up his 10th win in Cubs victory against Braves

Jake Arrieta picks up his 10th win in Cubs victory against Braves

ATLANTA (AP) — Chicago's four home runs gave Jake Arrieta confidence on a day he said he "wasn't very crisp."

The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner looked sharp to the Braves.

Arrieta allowed only four hits in seven strong innings and, backed by the homers, made an impressive return to winning form as the Cubs beat Atlanta 8-2 on Saturday.

Jason Heyward gave Chicago the lead with his first-inning homer, and Anthony Rizzo and Miguel Montero also hit homers in a four-run fourth inning.

After that, it was only a matter of how long Arrieta would last in the heat. The temperature for the first pitch was 94 degrees.

"Pitching with a lead, I always feel pretty confident," Arrieta said.

Arrieta (10-1) allowed two runs in his answer to his first loss of the season. He described his outing as "OK for my part."

Armed with the early lead, Arrieta looked almost unbeatable to the Braves.

"It kind of got away from us a little bit and a little bit is a whole lot with him," said Braves interim manager Brian Snitker of Arrieta.

Arrieta had two hits as the Cubs' offense rolled after being held to four hits in a 5-1 loss to Atlanta on Friday night.

Montero's homer was a three-run shot. Kris Bryant added a two-run homer in the fifth inning.

Rizzo returned after sitting Friday night with tightness in his back.

The Cubs (42-18) own baseball's best record and have won 13 of 17. They have 22 wins by five or more runs and improved to 38-2 when scoring at least four runs.

Arrieta's 3-2 loss to Arizona on Sunday was his first since July 25, 2015 and ended a streak of 20 consecutive winning decisions.

"The streak, whatever it was, is over," he said. "Let's start a new one."

Arrieta improved to 7-0 in seven road starts.

Matt Wisler (2-7) allowed five runs on seven hits, including three homers, in four innings.

Wisler has allowed six homers and 13 earned runs over eight innings in his last two starts. He also gave up three homers in a 12-6 loss at the Dodgers on Sunday and has allowed 12 for the season.

The Braves' first run off Arrieta came in the fourth, when Nick Markakis doubled and then scored on Adonis Garcia's single to center field. Ender Inciarte's triple in the seventh drove in Jace Peterson, who walked.

Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world

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USA TODAY

Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world

What Chicago sports team is worth the most money in 2018?

As reported by Kurt Badenhausen in a Forbes article about the 50 richest teams around the globe, the Cubs are the most valuable organization in the Windy City.

Chicago’s North Side baseball team ranks as the 16th wealthiest team in the world, valued at $2.9 billion, an 8 percent increase from 2017. The Cubs are the third-most affluent franchise in Major League Baseball, behind the New York Yankees ($4 billion) and the Los Angeles Dodgers ($3 billion).

This year, the baseball club owned by the Ricketts family surpassed the wealth of the Boston Red Sox ($2.8 billion), who the Cubs were ranked behind last season at $2.68 billion. In the span of a year, the North Siders gained two spots in the top 50 from 18 to 16 on the list.

What could be the reason for this increase?

Could it be that the Cubs are in first place in the NL Central? Or could it be the incredible performances from players like Jon Lester and Javy Baez?

Whatever the reason is for the Cubs’ prosperity, the team is doing something right.

The club also surpassed the Bears on the list this year. In 2017 the Bears (worth $2.7 billion last year) were tied with the Red Sox as the 16th most valuable sports team on Earth. The McCaskey-owned football team has fallen to a tie at 17 with the San Francisco Giants, both valued at $2.85 billion in 2018. The Bears even increased by 6 percent in the last year, making the Cubs’ jump seem greater.

The Bulls, owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, are the last team from Chicago to make the cut. They stand at 23 in the top 50, tied with the Denver Broncos. Both franchises are worth $2.6 billion. Chicago’s NBA team even fell a spot from 2017, but they still increased their value by 4 percent (worth $2.5 billion last year).

The Bears are the seventh richest team in the NFL, while the Bulls are fourth wealthiest in the NBA.

It looks like rough times are ahead for Brewers relief ace Josh Hader

It looks like rough times are ahead for Brewers relief ace Josh Hader

The Brewers' best pitcher is in some serious hot water before the second half of the MLB season gets underway.

As he was serving up a 3-run homer in the All-Star Game Tuesday night, Josh Hader's Tweets from 2011 were aired publicly and the result was...not good.

Hader's Tweets as a 17-year-old reflected racist and homophobic remarks, among other issues. (A summary of his Tweets can be found at Deadspin.)

After the All-Star Game, Hader was immediately put in front of reporters to respond to the Tweets and admitted he will accept any punishment that comes his way — including any possible suspension:

He won't be suspended by the league and will instead under go sensitivity training, but this absolutely could affect Hader mentally moving forward. 

Case in point:

He can ask teammate Ryan Braun how to deal when fans turn on you, but it's going to be a lot more difficult for a 24-year-old in his first full big-league season to deal with any hate that comes down. 

Hader has been the Brewers' most valuable pitcher all season, going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and a ridiculous 16.7 K/9. 

But over the last month-plus, he's been...human.

Ever since Jason Heyward turned on a 98 mph Hader fastball to tie the game in Milwaukee on June 11, the Brewers' relief ace has a 2.84 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 13.5 K/9.

Still great numbers, to be sure, but not the Superman-esque line baseball fans came to expect from Hader after the first couple months of 2018. (Plus, the All-Star Game homer he served up to Jean Segura, but that obviously doesn't count for anything.)

With the Brewers already chasing the Cubs by 2.5 games in the division in the second half, they can't afford Hader's slump to worsen.

Though Cubs fans may be rooting for that...