Cubs

Jason Hammel yanked early as Rockies crush Cubs

Jason Hammel yanked early as Rockies crush Cubs

DENVER (AP) -- A late-night session in the batting cage and a spirited discussion helped Nolan Arenado get his swing back.

Arenado broke out of a slump in a big way, hitting two homers and driving in six runs Sunday to boost the Colorado Rockies past the Chicago Cubs, 11-4.

The All-Star third baseman was 1 of 16 during the Rockies' homestand before getting four hits. He passed Cubs slugger Kris Bryant for the NL homer lead.

"I've been grinding, I haven't really felt like myself, so to be up there, it's a good feeling," Arenado said.

Arenado credited Sunday's results to his work with batting practice pitcher Garrett Carson late Saturday night. He said the two stayed after the loss to the Cubs to watch video and work in the cage.

"We almost got into an argument," Arenado said. "He would be like, 'I feel like there's not much off' and I'd be like, 'No, there is something off.'"

The two concluded Arenado was overstriding, and he went into Sunday's game with renewed confidence.

"After (Saturday) night I was able to sleep better after what I worked on," Arenado said. "I applied it today and it worked out."

Arenado hit a three-run homer during a seven-run burst in the first inning that included three Cubs errors, then added another three-run drive in the fourth.

Arenado leads the majors with 104 RBIs - he had a big league-high 130 last year - and tops the NL with 32 home runs.

Jorge De La Rosa (8-7) tossed eight innings, giving up two home runs to Addison Russell.

De La Rosa delivered a two-run single in the first as the Rockies quickly ended Jason Hammel's 22-inning scoreless streak.

De La Rosa scattered four hits and struck out six in matching his longest outing since last Sept. 16. Russell was the only batter to reach second base against the lefty, who outpitched his former teammate.

"Everything was working really good except those two pitches to Russell," De La Rosa said.

Hammel (13-6) had been 6-0 with an 0.95 ERA since the All-Star before getting roughed up. The Rockies scored 10 runs off him, six earned, in 3 1/3 innings.

Arenado's first homer hugged the left-field foul pole to start the early outburst. Tony Wolters had a two-run double and De La Rosa added his single.

Arenado singled in the second and drove Hammel's first-pitch fastball into the left-field seats to make it 10-0 in the fourth.

"A lot of foul balls today off my slider and two mistakes to Arenado," Hammel said. "That was pretty much the story."

DJ LeMahieu also homered for Colorado.

Russell hit solo homers in the fifth and seventh, and the Cubs scored two more off reliever Matt Carasiti in the ninth.

The Cubs' last run came when pinch-hitter Jorge Soler hit a foul popup between home and first and Anthony Rizzo ran in from third to an uncovered home plate.

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":

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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...

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

Did Manny Machado’s value take a hit at all after he openly admitted hustling isn’t his “cup of tea”? Our Cubs team (David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki, Jeff Nelson) debate that, plus the potential fit of Machado or Bryce Harper for the 2019 Cubs and beyond.

[MORE: The most underrated storyline of the Cubs offseason]

The crew also runs down the top items on the Cubs’ offseason wish list – ranging from bullpen help to infield depth to a set leadoff hitter – in what may be the most impactful winter in Theo Epstein’s tenure in Chicago.

Listen to the podcast here or via the embedded player below: