Cubs

CSN Chicago's Blackhawks Championship Parade/Rally coverage

CSN Chicago's Blackhawks Championship Parade/Rally coverage

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO SHOWCASE OVER EIGHT-STRAIGHT HOURS OF CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATORY COVERAGE BEGINNING TOMORROW MORNING AT 7:00 AM CT!

 7:00 AM – Replay of Comcast SportsNet’s “Blackhawks Postgame Live” Stanley Cup Championship celebratory coverage from Monday night!

 9:00 AM – LIVE COVERAGE of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally – featuring co-host, Chicago native/lifelong Blackhawks fan/pro wrestling superstar, CM Punk!

 12:30 PM (time approx.) – Replay of Monday night’s Game 6 Stanley Cup championship-clinching win over Tampa Bay, which will also feature the post-game Stanley Cup presentation and much more!

 Live Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally coverage to be streamed on CSNChicago.com and also available via the NBC Sports Live Extra app

 Viewers can get interactive throughout the celebration by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BlackhawksRally

 

Chicago, IL (June 17, 2015)Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the 2015 STANLEY CUP CHAMPION CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS, will be celebrating the team’s third title in just six years with the entire city of Chicago tomorrow (Thu, June 18), as it will present OVER EIGHT-STRAIGHT HOURS of Blackhawks championship-related programming, highlighted by the network’s extensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally LIVE from the streets of Chicago and Soldier Field!  Please note Comcast SportsNet’s coverage line-up below:

THURSDAY, JUNE 18 on COMCAST SPORTSNET – 2015 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATION COVERAGE!

7:00 AM – Blackhawks Postgame Live presented Hawk Ford – Encore edition of CSN’s extensive, acclaimed post-game show that followed Monday night’s Game 6 clincher (hosted by Pat Boyle, Steve Konroyd, and Jamal Mayers). Highlights include numerous celebratory United Center on-ice interviews with Blackhawks players, coaches, and front office executives.   

9:00 AM (LIVE) – CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP PARADE & RALLY presented by ChevyDrivesChicago.com and Your Chevy Dealers – Comcast SportsNet’s 2015 Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally coverage will be hosted by Pat Boyle (@CSNBoyle), David Kaplan (@thekapman) and -- Chicago native/pro wrestling superstar/lifelong Blackhawks fan, CM Punk (@CMPunk) -- live from the rally’s central location at Soldier Field.  In addition, Steve Konroyd, Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), Luke Stuckmeyer (@LukeStuckmeyer), Jen Lada (@JenLada), and Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) will be providing viewers with live reports from parade’s origination at the United Center, along the parade route, and at Soldier Field for the centerpiece celebration.  CSN’s coverage will also include aerial shots throughout the event, along with lighthearted interviews with many of the rabid fans that will be attending the day’s festivities.  IMPORTANT NOTES: Comcast SportsNet’s Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally coverage will also be streamed live on CSNChicago.com and will be made available for viewing via the NBC Sports Live Extra app…Comcast SportsNet will replay its parade/rally coverage at 11:00 PM.

12:30 PM (time approx.) – Stanley Cup Final, Game 6: Tampa Bay at Blackhawks – Replay of Monday night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 6 “NHL on NBC” Stanley Cup championship-clinching win featuring Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire with the game call.  Coverage to also include the presentation of the Stanley Cup and Duncan Keith’s reception of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

CSNChicago.com’s Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers (@TraMyersCSN) will also provide numerous parade/rally reports throughout the day and CSNChicago.com’s digital production team will have even more coverage on this special day in Chicago sports history with numerous photos and first-hand anecdotes via @CSNBlackhawks. Fans can also get interactive with CSN’s Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade/rally coverage throughout the morning and afternoon by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BlackhawksRally.

In addition to live streaming the entire Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally, CSNChicago.com’s “BlackhawksTalk” section (csnchicago.com/blackhawks) will be a one-stop destination for all Stanley Cup parade/rally-related activities featuring highlight videos, articles, and photo galleries from the big event.  This special digital section already includes numerous Stanley Cup game highlights and exclusive interviews, along with a look back at the team’s amazing playoff journey, round-by-round, with game recaps provided by Myers.

'Season-defining win'? Cubs are here for it

'Season-defining win'? Cubs are here for it

Smiling came easy for Anthony Rizzo as stood at his locker and fielded questions in a robin-egg blue T-shirt that read: "positive vibes."

This was roughly a half-hour after he went through the high-five line telling all his teammates the 12-11 victory was a "season-defining win" for the Cubs.

Who knows if it will really be that big of a "W" for this ballclub in the midst of what has been an up-and-down season to this point, but there has certainly been no shortage of positive vibes around the clubhouse lately.

One thing's for certain: The Cubs will wake up Thursday morning in sole possession of first place again as the Cardinals lost to the Brewers in a rain-shortened game in St. Louis.

Yu Darvish and the Cubs bullpen squandered a 6-2 lead and then a 10-9 lead. Yet the offense picked up the slack, smacking 14 hits, including Kris Bryant's game-winning two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth inning.

"We haven't won a game like that really all year, I don't think," Rizzo said. "They scored 9 runs in the fifth to seventh innings. Teams don't really win when that happens. Just a good, hard-fought, never-quit win."

Rizzo is right: The Cubs haven't won a game in which they allowed at least 11 runs since Sept. 2, 2017 when they beat the Braves 14-12.

The Cubs have claimed 14 of 17 games at home since the All-Star Break and are now 43-19 at Wrigley Field this season - a winning percentage approaching .700 to combat the .390 winning percentage on the road.

So is it a season-defining victory?

"That's what Rizz told me," Bryant said. "We were high-fiving there and Rizz told me this is a season-defining win. I mean, I can't disagree with him. It's one of those games where you don't feel like you're gonna win just because you take a lead and then you're giving it back, but we came out on top. 

"Definitely some good momentum. We're playing good at home here, obviously and just gotta roll with the records at home and on the road."

Early on, it looked to be a night where the Cubs would cruise to victory behind Darvish, who came into the game red-hot and had settled into a rhythm after serving up a two-run shot to the third hitter of the game.

But that wasn't the case, as Darvish served up four homers overall and Derek Holland and Tyler Chatwood combined to allow 4 runs while notching just two outs as the first arms out of the bullpen.

Before the game, Joe Maddon talked again about how he felt like the only way the Cubs would be able to pull away in a tight NL Central race would be if the offense got into a groove and for one day at least, they were certainly firing on all cylinders.

The only starter who didn't reach base safely at least twice was Kyle Schwarber, and he drove in 3 runs on a homer and a groundout in which he hustled down the line to avoid a double play. Darvish even chipped in with an RBI single in the second inning.

Yes, it was a good win. Yes, the Cubs can go to sleep feeling content and wake up feeling hopeful.

But the only way this becomes a "season-defining win" is if the next five weeks play out like they hope. There have been several wins before Wednesday that seemed like they could propel the Cubs - including the finale in Cincinnati on the last road trip where Bryant once again came through with a clutch late homer. And every time, the team failed to keep the good times rolling for an extended period.

This is all a moot point if the Cubs come out and look flat this weekend or fail to carry any momentum onto the road.

"We'll find out," said Maddon, who has been in this game for nearly four decades. "I mean, I've been involved in those seminal moments and all of a sudden, things switch. 

"I'll tell you one thing though - I liked the method at the plate. Nobody was grinding sawdust; everybody was up there nice and chill and were getting good hacks on good pitches. ... I liked that. That's what we need to get to that point."

Willson Contreras progressing, but still no timeline for return to Cubs

Willson Contreras progressing, but still no timeline for return to Cubs

Before the Cubs hosted the San Francisco Giants on Day 2 of American Legion Week, Willson Contreras was out in left field running and working out his injured right hamstring.

The All-Star catcher hit the injured list earlier this month after hitting a line drive to the gap against the Milwaukee Brewers. 

That was two-and-a-half weeks ago and the Cubs initially tabbed the Grade-2 hamstring strain as a roughly four-week timeline. But team president Theo Epstein said Wednesday Contreras is not nearing a rehab stint.

"He's in what our trainers are calling the aggressive strengthening phase of his rehab, which is building up the hamstring strength now that he's gotten through the initial injury," Epstein said. "Always what comes with that is the strength deficit that you have to really be mindful of building back up so that you don't risk reinjuring it when you get back to full baseball activities. 

"You're gonna see him on the field a lot more over the next few days and hopefully soon he'll be progressing to baseball activities. He's not on the cusp of starting a rehab assignment or anything like that. He hasn't really progressed to baseball activities yet, so that will be the next step."

The minor-league season wraps up in the first couple days of September, so Contreras won't have much of an opportunity to get game at-bats and innings at catcher if he isn't able to head on a rehab stint soon.

But the Cubs won't rush it with one of their most important players. Contreras was hitting .275 with 19 homers, 57 RBI and an .890 OPS in 87 games before the injury.

In his absence, the Cubs have been pretty well covered with Victor Caratini and Jonathan Lucroy splitting duties behind the dish.

Lucroy - acquired Aug. 8 after being released by the Los Angeles Angels - is hitting .333 with a .798 OPS in 7 games and has impressed with his work as a game-caller and veteran presence. Caratini continues to put up quality at-bats while building on his breakout campaign.