Dale Sveum calls Steve Clevenger's swing "slump-proof."
The young catcher showed why Friday, crushing a 1-2 pitch from Astros starter Bud Norris to the Budweiser Party Deck in right field for his first career home run. It gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead and they never looked back en route to a 4-0 victory over Houston.
The game was delayed 55 minutes due to rain, but that didn't do a thing to slow down Clevenger's battery mate, Paul Maholm. The veteran pitcher picked up his fifth win of the season in dominant fashion, hurling 8 13 shutout innings, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out six.
Maholm was removed from the game after giving up two hits in the ninth and Carlos Marmol closed out the game to seal the victory.
Luis Valbuena homered in the second inning, his third as a Cub. Alfonso Soriano also went yard for the Cubs, a monster slam onto Waveland Ave. in the sixth inning.
Anthony Rizzo was 0-for-3 in his third game with a walk his first trip up.
David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.
Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season.
Listen here or in the embedded player below!
Is this the offseason that Cubs executive Jason McLeod finally becomes an MLB general manager?
According to Bruce Levine, the Giants are reportedly interested in McLeod, the Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development, for their vacant general manager position.
McLeod joined the Cubs' front office in 2011 alongside Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. Before the Cubs, he spent six years in the Red Sox front office and two in the Padres' (with Hoyer, who was San Diego's general manager from 2010-2011).
Of course, the Giants' reported interest in McLeod doesn't necessarily mean that he will interview for the job. However, it's worth noting that McLeod interviewed for the Twins' general manager job in 2016; he also withdrew his name from consideration for the Padres' general manager job in 2014.
In addition to the Giants, McLeod's name has been linked to the Mets' general manager vacancy. This is more speculation, but the point is that it seems to be only a matter of time before McLeod is hired as general manager elsewhere.
For what it's worth, though, McLeod is under contract through 2021 and has previously said that he is grateful to be with the Cubs.
“I’m exceptionally grateful,” McLeod said. “All of us are. Look at where we are at this moment in time with this team," McLeod said in 2016. "I can’t imagine a better environment, a better culture to work at in baseball.
"We’ve been together a long time. We’re friends. We’re good. We embrace the fact that we are good. And we challenge ourselves to be even better.”