Cubs

Lesser-celebrated feats by the much-celebrated 2016 Cubs

Lesser-celebrated feats by the much-celebrated 2016 Cubs

The Cubs' championship season was full of fun facts and historic statistical notes. 

But today, let's go back and recap some of the things you may not have known or perhaps forgot about, with assistance from the incomparable Baseball-Reference.com Play Index (subscribe now!). I selected twelve players and found one fact for each. 

So without further ado…

Miguel Montero

  • The only Cubs player with a regular season (9/6/2015) AND postseason (10/15/2016) grand slam at Wrigley Field (Will Clark has one of each as an opponent).

Anthony Rizzo

  • On Aug. 1, Rizzo had a single, double, triple, walk and a HBP. He’s the only Cubs player (1913-present) to do that in a game.

Addison Russell

  • Russell led the Majors with 9 bases loaded hits in 2016; the most by a Cubs player in a season since Derrek Lee (9) in 2009.

Dexter Fowler

  • On May 31, the Cubs were shut out 5-0 by Dodgers; held to one hit and one walk. The hit and walk were both by Dexter Fowler. The last time the Cubs were held to a lone hit and walk – both by the same player – was July 6, 1940 (Stan Hack).

Javier Baez

  • On June 28, Baez hit the latest grand slam (inning-wise) in Cubs history – in the 15th inning at Cincinnati. The previous “record” was held by Cliff Johnson (14th inning in 1980).

Willson Contreras

  • Both his first AND second career home runs were in games he didn’t start. The last Cubs player to make that claim was Bobby Scales in 2009.

Jason Heyward

  • On Sept. 4, Heyward collected 3 RBI singles accounting for all three Cubs runs in a 3-2 walk-off win vs Giants. The last Cub to do exactly that (3 RBI singles accounting for all 3 runs in a Cubs win) was Randy Hundley (also including a walk-off) July 26, 1969.

Kyle Schwarber

  • Schwarber is the first player ever to have no hits during the regular season but at least three during that season’s World Series (he had 7 hits).

Jake Arrieta

  • Over the 2015-16 seasons, Arrieta has posted a .201 BA and .562 OPS at the plate. He has held opponents to a .189 BA and .543 OPS over that span.

Kris Bryant

  • In 2016, Bryant had three games with at least 4 Runs, 4 Hits and 5 RBI. There were three such games in Cubs history from 1960-2015. Hack Wilson was the last Cub with three such games in a season (1930).

David Ross

  • Ross hit a home run in the World Series in the final game of his career. (Assuming Javier Baez, Dexter Fowler & Rajai Davis all play again) Ross finishes his career as the third player to do this, joining Bobby Kielty (2007) and Shawon Dunston (2002).

Ben Zobrist

  • On May 6, Zobrist hit 2 home runs off Max Scherzer, who went on to win the 2016 NL Cy Young Award. The last Cubs player to hit 2 HR in a game off that season’s eventual  Cy Young winner was Ernie Banks in 1963 (off Sandy Koufax).

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

The Giants' search for a successor to now-retired manager Bruce Bochy has led them to the North Side.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Giants are interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for their own managerial opening. San Francisco's interest is intriguing, as Venable went to high school just outside San Francisco in nearby San Rafael. His father — Max Venable — played for the Giants from 1979-83. 

Venable also interviewed for the Cubs' manager job earlier this month, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that his interest is in the "organization in general." He is one of several internal candidates for the Cubs' job, along with bench coach Mark Loretta and front office assistant David Ross.

The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi and are set to meet with Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.

Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

mark_prior.jpg
USA TODAY

Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

Mark Prior's big-league playing career unfortunately fizzled out due to recurring injury woes, but he's making a name for himself in the coaching realm.

With Dodgers current pitching coach Rick Honeycutt transitioning into a new role, Prior is expected to takeover the position starting next season.

Cubs fans know the story of Prior's playing career all too well. The Cubs drafted him second overall in the 2001, with Prior making his MLB debut just a season later. He went on to dominate in 2003, posting an 18-6 record, 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 30 starts, a season in which he made the All-Star Game and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

However, Prior's season ended on a sour note, as he was on the mound during the Steve Bartman incident in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Prior exited the game with a 3-1 lead, but the Cubs surrendered seven more runs that inning, eventually falling to the Marlins 8-3 before losing Game 7 the next day. 

Prior struggled to stay healthy after 2003, eventually retiring in 2013 after multiple comeback attempts. While many blame his injury-riddled career on former Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Prior does not. 

While we can only wonder what could've been with Prior to the pitcher, it's good to see him still making an impact in baseball in some fashion.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.