Cubs

Pop quiz: Put your Cubs and White Sox knowledge to the test

Pop quiz: Put your Cubs and White Sox knowledge to the test

With the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup playoffs behind us, the baseball season is in full swing. 

Here in Chicago that means there’s just as much to watch as ever. But how well do you actually know the Cubs and White Sox? These 10 questions will put even the most dedicated fan to the test. All stats as of June 17, 2017 at 7 p.m.

*NOTE: Answers at the bottom.

1. Which pitcher has the most innings pitched this season?

Jake Arrieta

Miguel Gonzalez

Derek Holland

John Lackey

Jon Lester

Jose Quintana

2. Who has the most hits this season?

Jose Abreu

Kris Bryant

Melky Cabrera

Avisail Garcia

Jason Heyward

Anthony Rizzo

3. Which team has hit more homers at home this season?

4. Who has the highest K/9 this season (minimum 10 appearances)?

Wade Davis

Carl Edwards Jr.

Justin Grimm

Nate Jones

Tommy Kahnle

David Robertson

5. Who leads the Cubs in holds this season?

Brian Duensing

Carl Edwards Jr.

Hector Rondon

Pedro Strop

Koji Uehara

6. Name four of the seven prospects the White Sox received in the Adam Eaton and Chris Sale trades.

7. Who’s made the most appearances in CF for the Cubs this season?

Albert Almora Jr.

Ian Happ

Jason Heyward

Jon Jay

Ben Zobrist

8. Outside of pitcher and catcher, Ben Zobrist has appeared at every position on the field this season except for two spots. Name them.

9. Who uses Frank Sinatra for their walkup music?

Matt Davidson

Todd Frazier

Leury Garcia

Anthony Rizzo

Addison Russell

Ben Zobrist

10. Which team has retired the most numbers?

 

ANSWERS:

Which pitcher has the most innings pitched?

Jon Lester – 83.1

Jose Quintana – 81.2

Miguel Gonzalez – 78.2

John Lackey – 75.1

Derek Holland – 73.2

Jake Arrieta – 73

Jon Lester is a horse and betting against him when it comes to IP is crazy.

Who has the most hits?

Avisail Garcia – 84

Jose Abreu – 77

Melky Cabrera – 71

Kris Bryant – 62

Anthony Rizzo – 61

Jason Heyward – 50

While the Cubs offense has dominated headlines the past few years, Avi Garcia has seemingly hit everything over the plate this year. Abreu is also quietly putting together a very consistent approach at the plate.

Which team has hit more homers at home?

Cubs: 51 in 35 games

White Sox: 27 in 27 games

The Friendly Confines have been very friendly to the Cubs. The White Sox on the other hand seem to only eat their Wheaties on the road.

Who has the highest K/9 this season (minimum 10 appearances)?

Tommy Kahnle – 15.25

David Robertson – 13.14

Wade Davis – 12.73

Carl Edwards Jr. – 12.65

Nate Jones – 11.57

Justin Grimm – 11.28

With a fastball that can touch 100-mph and a wipeout changeup, Kahnle has had a career year this season, thanks in part to his improved control.

Who leads the Cubs in holds?

Koji Uehara – 8

Carl Edwards Jr. – 7

Hector Rondon – 7

Pedro Strop – 7

Brian Duensing – 2

Although there wasn’t much fanfare when the Cubs signed Uehara to bolster their pen, the 42-year-old has been one of their most dependable relievers posting a 2.70 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP.

6. Name four of the seven prospects the White Sox received in the Adam Eaton and Chris Sale trades.

Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning from the Nationals.

Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz from the Red Sox.

Who’s made the most appearances in CF for the Cubs this season?

Albert Almora Jr. – 40 games

Jon Jay – 18 games

Ian Happ – 17 games

Jason Heyward – 10 games

Ben Zobrist – 0 games

With Dexter Fowler gone, Almora Jr. has made many impressive plays at CF, but Joe Maddon has rotated several guys at the position.

8. Outside of pitcher and catcher, Ben Zobrist has appeared at every position on the field this season except for two spots. Name them.

3B and CF

Who uses Frank Sinatra for their walkup music?

Todd “The ToddFather” Frazier. We think “Fly Me to the Moon” is the absolutely perfect song for the big bopper from Jersey.

Which team has retired the most numbers?

White Sox – 10: Nellie Fox (2), Harold Baines (3), Luke Appling (4), Minnie Minoso (9), Luis Aparicio (11), Paul Konerko (14), Ted Lyons (16), Billy Pierce (19), Frank Thomas (35), Carlton Fisk (72) ... and Mark Buehrle is set to have his number retired June 24th.

Cubs – 5: Ron Santo (10), Ernie Banks (14), Ryne Sandberg (23), Billy Williams (26), Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux (31)

 

How’d you do?

If you got all 10 right, we underestimated your knowledge — or made the questions too easy.

Seven, eight or nine right? You definitely watch a lot of baseball. 

Four, five or six? We bet you’re devoted to one of the teams.

Three or fewer? We get it, we miss hockey and basketball too. But don’t worry, then NFL season is right around the corner!

Cubs camp observations: Wrigley's home-field advantage without fans

Cubs camp observations: Wrigley's home-field advantage without fans

Four days into the Cubs’ training camp restart, we’ve only begun to get acquainted with the new normal of baseball rhythms and routines that we can only hope will result in a 2020 season of 60 games.

If the league can fix some of its early testing issues and keep enough players on enough teams healthy enough to start the season, what might come into play for the Cubs and the actual baseball.

Early observations after about a dozen Zoom sessions with team personnel and two intrasquad scrimmages:

NUTS: Home cooked?

The Cubs, who draw so reliably in one of the unique ballparks in the majors, might have more to lose than most teams without fans allowed to attend games when the season starts July 24.

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Just how much of the Confines’ home-field advantage is lost will be a matter of “wait-and-see,” manager David Ross said.

“There’s always an advantage to playing in your own park,” he said Sunday. “You feel more comfortable you woke up in your own bed. You’re not staying in a hotel room, which especially now, where you feel like outside spaces just aren’t comfortable as they used to be, probably [gives] a slight advantage in your city.

“There’s no substitute for fans,” he added. “There’s probably a slight advantage, but I don’t know if it’s as great as it used to be.”

What Ross didn’t mention were the rooftops across Waveland and Sheffield, which are planning to operate at 25-percent capacity when games start, suggesting at least a few hundred fans within cheering and booing distance.

“You’re going to hear them loud and clear, too,” pitcher Tyler Chatwood said. “I promise you that.”

BOLTS: Taking the fifth

All you need to know about Alec Mills’ ability to adjust and immediately step into an important role is what he did in an emergency start against the first-place Cardinals at Wrigley last year with the Cubs a half-game out and barely a week left in the season.

He hadn’t started anywhere in a month — and that was in the minors. But the guy who pitched out of the bullpen just three times in the four intervening weeks, pitched two outs deep into the fifth inning that day and didn’t allow a run (the bullpen took care of that, in a loss).

No wonder when Ross talks about Mills replacing the injured Jose Quintana (thumb) in the rotation, he says, “I’ve got a ton of confidence.”

He’s not the only one. “I’ve always had the mindset of doing whatever I can to stay ready and help in any way,” said Mills after pitching a strong three innings in a simulated game Sunday. “Obviously, with an unfortunate injury like this, I think it’s just even more heightened.

“I’m ready to do whatever, whether it needs to be maybe a start here or there, a couple more starts, long guy out of the pen — just whatever I need to do I pride myself on being ready to do that.”

CHATTER: The mask at hand

“It’s a little different. You leave the house with a phone, your keys, your wallet and your mask.”

—Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo on his and his teammates’ new daily normal.

“Everybody is thinking about it, but we try to get here and understand this is our safe zone and we’re trying to create that [within] the things that we’re going to do on and off the field.”

—Ross on players weighing the risk of playing during the pandemic against the safety precautions and protocols the team has built in and around its Wrigley Field bubble.

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2020 Cubs schedule features six games against White Sox: 'It’s exciting, right?'

2020 Cubs schedule features six games against White Sox: 'It’s exciting, right?'

Imagine it’s late September. The Cubs have already hosted the White Sox for three unforgettable games at Wrigley Field — fans packed the rooftops (at 25 percent capacity) around the ballpark. Now, it’s time to head to the South Side for the final series of the season, rife with playoff implications.

If the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t derail the 2020 MLB season, that scene very well could become a reality.

The Cubs regular season schedule, which MLB released Monday, features six Crosstown Classic games. The first of two series between the Chicago teams runs Aug. 21-23 at Wrigley Field. The second is penciled in for Sept. 25-27 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Both three-game series include Friday and Saturday evening games, and end with a Sunday afternoon game.

The Crosstown rivalry consumes 1/10 of the Cubs schedule this shortened season.

“It’s exciting, right?” Cubs manager David Ross said.

And quite convenient. That’s the point of a regionally-based schedule, which has the Cubs facing only NL Central and AL Central teams. While trying to limit the spread of COVID-19, that convenience becomes especially important.

“We get to sleep in our own beds at night,” Ross said of the Crosstown Classic. “We can set up things where if we need to we can work out here and drive over like you would in an Arizona spring training. There’s a lot of options that we have for us that we can do with an in-town team. I feel like that’s definitely a luxury.”

Some of those same advantages apply to the Cubs’ games at Milwaukee as well. As is the case with all their division rivals, the Cubs are scheduled to play the Brewers 10 times, including opening day at Wrigley Field on July 24.

As for their mid-September series at Milwaukee: “Players have the ability to drive up day of the game, drive back afterwards or get a car back,” Ross said. “There’s a lot of freedom and comfort in sleeping in your own bed, especially in the scenarios we’re in this year.”

The Cubs’ setup with the White Sox is mirrored over in Missouri between the Cardinals and Royals; they will also play each other six times. The Cubs will play three or four games against each of the four other teams in the AL Central. The White Sox are expected to be a stauncher opponent than the Royals, automatically giving the Cubs a tougher route through their interleague schedule.

But that’s a small price to pay for six rivalry games in Chicago.