Cubs

Rose likely out for Bulls vs. Orlando

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Rose likely out for Bulls vs. Orlando

ORLANDO -- Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau would only confirm that of his players, shooting guard Rip Hamilton would miss Monday evenings game against the Magic. Derrick Rose, however, hinted that the teams entire starting backcourt would be out.

"Im feeling good. My groin is getting better. Just trying to stay positive, keep a clean head mentally. Im thinking God does everything for a reason. Otherwise, Im feeling good. My health is OK. Im not sick or anything. Its just my groin, Rose said prior to the teams morning shootaround at the Amway Center, in a bit of an understatement. I havent been able to run like that. I havent ran in a couple of days. Just making sure that my leg is OK and making sure that the pain goes away very quickly.

To recap: Rose suffered a strained right groin in last Mondays home victory against the Knicks, after which he criticized the game officiating, resulting in a 25,000 fine from the NBA. Since then, Rose has mostly been seen, but not heard, while the Bulls have been taking a cautious approach to his recovery.

Well see, Thibodeau said, giving his customary answer when asked about Roses status. Before Roses return, Thibodeau would need to see improvement. Hes moving along, but we just have to be patient. I want to make sure hes completely healthy before we bring him back.

Could be a few days, who knows? Each day you just want him to make progress, continued the coach, who officially termed Roses status as day-to-day. When hes healthy, hes healthy. Were not going to rush him back and we want him to be completely healthy. I think thats important.

Added Rose, who has lifted weights, but hasnt run or shot the ball during his current three-game absence: I really dont know. They havent gave me a time. They say with an injury like this, you really dont know how long its going to take. I thought I was going to be back soon, but missing big games that I would hate to miss, like the one tonight. But Ive got to worry about my health.

You dont want this to linger, where I cant move right now. Every day, its definitely getting better, continued the reigning league MVP, who admitted his groin remained tight as of Monday morning. Its definitely been frustrating. This is the most Ive been injured, ever, in my life. The biggest thing is just staying strong mentally missing these games. Were playing good right now. Definitely hurting me, but keeping a positive attitude.

As Rose has been keeping a low profile since the Knicks game, he took the time to explain how his injury occurred.

In the New York game, when I went to the hole, I took off kind of wrong and Knicks guard Jeremy Lin beat my shot. I thought I was going to take off, but I couldnt get up that high. I just felt a pull and I thought that it was a charley horse or something, explained Rose, who has missed 14 games this season with a variety of ailments. Whenever I went down, I was trying to stretch out, but it was pain there. Usually when you have a charley horse, its just tight. I felt a little bit of pain, but I wanted to play through it. Ended up playing through it and I think I made it worse.

It had to be adrenaline. After the game, I remember walking back into the locker room. I told the trainers immediately that I wasnt feeling right, that my leg was really messed up. They looked at it and saw what it was, and I had to go get treatment and everything the next day, he continued. It was a strain, not a tear. Thank God for that.

Rose also discussed his fine, handed down by the league office last week. The 23-year-old accepted his fate, but stands by his reasoning, though he feels his choir-boy image may have contributed to the punishment being levied.

They were facts. I thought they were facts, but losing 25K definitely hurts. I dont care who you are, it hurts. I was just frustrated at the time and I couldnt hold myself back from saying what I said, he said. Im talking to the officials a little bit more. Its not going to stop the way that I play. Im going to continue to attack, play hard and hopefully I get the calls.

They still look at me as a little kid or -- I dont know how you would say it -- but a demigod or something? I cant say anything, so for me to say something, I had to be thinking it. Its been four years. I was just frustrated at the time. They said theyll look at it and just try to move on from there.

Jake Arrieta full of appreciation in return to Wrigley mound: ‘I’ll never forget this city’

Jake Arrieta full of appreciation in return to Wrigley mound: ‘I’ll never forget this city’

The last time Jake Arrieta pitched at Wrigley Field, his night ended with Cubs fans giving him a rousing standing ovation. The former Cubs right hander tossed 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, leading the Cubs to victory in Game 4 of the 2017 NLCS—their only win against the Los Angeles Dodgers that series.

Arrieta returned to Wrigley Field as a visitor on Monday night, making his first start against the Cubs since joining the Philadelphia Phillies last season. Ironically, Arrieta’s counterpart for the night was Yu Darvish, who ultimately replaced Arrieta in the Cubs starting rotation.

Despite now donning Phillies red, Cubs fans once again showed their love for Arrieta, giving him a lengthy standing ovation ahead of his first plate appearance. Darvish even stepped off the mound in respect for the moment.

“I loved it, absolutely loved it,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to reporters postgame. “[I’m] very happy that our fans would acknowledge him like that. Yu stepped away from the mound nicely. Jake deserved it.”

Arrieta tipped his helmet in appreciation for the crowd, taking in the moment for more than 30 seconds before stepping into the batter’s box. After the game, he told reporters that moment brought back memories of his time with the Cubs.

“That was something that really brought back great memories of getting that same sort of ovation pretty much on a nightly basis,” Arrieta said. “[I’m] very appreciative of that. I can’t say thank you enough to the city of Chicago, I really can’t.”

Arrieta took fans back to his Cubs tenure on Monday, throwing six innings of one run ball in the Phillies’ 5-4 10-inning win. Although the 33-year-old didn’t pick up the victory, he matched Darvish—who threw six innings of three-run ball—pitch by-pitch.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler noted how well Arrieta handled his emotions throughout the night.

“I thought he handled the emotions really well. I thought he was in control of the game even when we were down,” Kapler said to reporters. “He always maintained his poise and he just got stronger as the outing went on and that’s why we were able to have him take down the sixth inning for us.”

It’s well-documented how Arrieta’s career improved for the better after the Cubs acquired him in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles in July 2013. When the Cubs acquired him, Arrieta held a career 5.46 ERA in 69 games (63 starts). He finished his Cubs career with a 2.73 ERA in 128 regular season starts. He also won five postseason games with the Cubs, including Games 2 and 6 of the 2016 World Series.

Despite moving on in free agency, Arrieta spoke highly of his time with the Cubs, their fans and the city of Chicago.

“Cubs fans all across the country, all across the world, they really respect and appreciate what guys are able to do here for them,” he said. “It means a lot, it really does.

"I’ll never forget this city, the fan base, the organization, everything that they did for me. It was 4 1/2 incredible years of my career.”

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Yu Darvish crashed Jake Arrieta's party, but Cubs bullpen falters

Yu Darvish crashed Jake Arrieta's party, but Cubs bullpen falters

Yu Darvish was one pitch away.

Holding onto a 1-0 lead with two outs in the sixth inning, Darvish threw Phillies catcher JT Realmuto a 2-2 cutter. It made sense - Darvish had been spotting that pitch well all night, and the Phillies were averaging a paltry 79.8 mph exit velocity against it.

With one strike standing between Darvish and a 6-inning shutout, Realmuto took Darvish’s cutter and sent it back up the middle for a game-tying RBI single. A 2-RBI triple from César Hernández followed. In the blink of an eye, what was shaping up to be one of Darvish’s finest moments in Chicago was instead reduced to yet another start spent searching for silver linings.

“Really good. He was outstanding tonight,” Joe Maddon said. “He pitched really well.

“He had really good stuff. He had command of his stuff, he had command of himself. I thought he was outstanding - even better than what he looked like in Cincinnati. I thought that was probably his best game for us to date.”

Darvish has continued to lean heavily on his cutter this season, more so than any year prior. After throwing it 13 percent of the time last season, he’s going to that pitch almost 25 percent of the time now. If that holds, it’d beat his previous career-high, set in 2013, by six percentage points.

All things considered, that pitch has actually been good for him this season. It’s his go-to offering when he needs to induce weak contact, and batters are hitting .125 against it so far. He gets batters to chase cutters 29.5 percent of the time, the most of any pitch he throws. While he has admitted in games past that he relies too heavily on his fastball, Maddon sees no issues with the new trend.

“I have no concerns with that whatsoever,” he said. “There’s different ways for pitchers to attack hitters, and if it's successful, I really would not change a whole lot.”

Though the night was dedicated to celebrating one of the franchises most beloved pitchers, it was one of their most maligned that continued to show signs of figuring it out. He’s put together back-to-back starts with three or less walks for the first time this season, and has allowed two or less runs in three of the last five.

The pitcher even stepped off the mound during Arrieta’s first at-bat, in order to let the standing ovation continue on.

“He’s is a legend in Chicago,” Darvish said after the game. “And I pitched against him and pitched pretty good, so it makes me confident.”

The bullpen again struggled on Monday night, as the trio of Mike Montgomery, Brad Brach, and Kyle Ryan allowed two runs on five hits, including the game-winning solo home run from Realmuto in the 10th. For a moment it looked like the Cubs had a win wrapped up when Brach got outfielder Andrew McCutchen to bite on a two-strike slider, but was (probably incorrectly) called a checked swing.  He would eventually draw a walk, leading to Jean Segura’s game-tying single.

“On the field, I thought for sure [that McCutchen swung],” Brach said. “Looking at the first base umpire, I was a little taken aback. That’s why I went off the mound - just to regather myself, because I didn’t want to let the emotion get to me there.

“It’s a 50-50 call, and unfortunately it didn’t go my way.”

 

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