Cubs

St. Patrick upsets Notre Dame

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St. Patrick upsets Notre Dame

By Rusty Silber
YourSeason.com
Royale Ewing dropped in a season-best 19 points and the rest of the team added some stellar fourth quarter defense, as St. Patrick pulled off a 54-46 road upset over rival Notre Dame in the East Suburban Catholic Conference on Friday night in Niles.Ismar Seferagic added 12 points and 13 rebounds and Parish McCullum chipped in 10 and six boards for the Shamrocks (8-7, 2-2).To see us react on the road in a arch-rivals gym with the poise that we played on both ends of the floor, said St. Patrick coach Mike Bailey, whose team has lost six games by four points or less. Really, in the fourth quarter and down the stretch, it says a lot for our guys.St. Patrick put together a 20-6 run for a six-minute stretch in the fourth for a 50-41 advantage and erased a 35-30 lead after three quarters, with a lot of credit going to its defense.It all starts with our defense, Bailey said. We defended well and we were more solid in the fourth quarter. We did a much better job getting to (Notre Dames) three-point shooters in the final quarter.Ewing scored 13 points in the final quarter and 17 of his 19 in the second half. I just wanted to come in and attack, said Ewing, who was bothered by foul trouble in the first half. I just wanted to put the team on my back to get the win. We needed to get this one.Notre Dame (14-5, 2-1) suffered its first loss in the ESCC.The Dons had pulled away from St. Patrick late in the third quarter with the help of Justin Halloran hitting one of his three treys of a game-high 11 points for the five-point lead. However, the fourth quarter the same looks were not there down the stretch for the Dons. St. Patrick took it to us and played awfully well, Notre Dame coach Tom Les said, (St. Patrick) made shots when they had to and made free throws down the stretch.They played good defense against us. We didnt execute that well, because they were the ones who played well.

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

As if things weren’t already going well enough for the Cubs during this strange, short season of baseball in a pandemic, now the baseball gods are dropping gifts into their laps.

The Cardinals’ lengthy shutdown because of a coronavirus outbreak has the Cubs’ arch rivals restarting their season Saturday in Chicago with a patched-up roster and eight games over the next five days, including five games against the Cubs.

And although that means the relative hardship of two doubleheaders for the Cubs in three days, all five of those games Monday through Wednesday are against a decimated Cards roster that won’t have the front end of its rotation for any of the games.

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They catch the Cardinals at their weakest point of the early season a week after catching an otherwise formidable Cleveland team at a moment of clubhouse crisis involving protocol perps Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger.

That one resulted in a two-game sweep by a combined score of 14-3.

This one already has resulted in all 10 games against the Cardinals now being scheduled for Wrigley Field.

Combine that with the three road games against the White Sox next month, and it means that the team with baseball’s best record on the field, the perfect record in player COVID-19 testing and no significant injuries to key players so far will play 60 percent of its games within its Chicago bubble if the Cubs and MLB pull off the full 60-game season.

If the Cubs were positioned any better to make the playoffs, they’d already be there.

“You can look at it that way if you want,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “We’re just doing our thing.”

No other way to look at it from here. Have you seen the rest of the schedule?

The Cubs have 43 games left, including 29 within a National League Central Division that doesn’t include another .500 team three weeks into a nine-week season. Nine more games are against the Tigers and White Sox.

The best team on the schedule is the Twins, and all three of those games are at home and not until the second-to-last weekend of the season.

With all due respect to Ross and his fear of “bad juju,” the Cubs can’t lose.

“It’s still early on,” the manager said.

Nothing’s early in a 60-game season. And the Cubs already have matched the hot starts of their 2016 and 1908 World Series champions.

“We’ve still got a long ways to go in the season,” Ross said.

The Cubs did have to scratch Tyler Chatwood from his scheduled start Friday night because of back tightness. And Kris Bryant has missed the last two games because of a sore finger after rolling his wrist trying to make a diving catch in left field in Cleveland Wednesday.

But Alec Mills looked good in short-notice replacement duty Friday until a rough four-pitch (and three-run) sequence in the sixth. And Chatwood might be ready for one of Monday’s games — or possibly one of Wednesday’s.

“Things falling in our favor?” Ross said. “We’re playing good baseball, and that should be the focus for me and not the other stuff.”

Granted, they still have to play the games. Granted, Bryant wasn’t available off the bench with the bases loaded in the eighth Friday, and Josh Phegley struck out instead.

And, yes, they actually lost a game to the Brewers Friday night.

But if you still don’t believe the baseball gods are stirring the Cubs’ pot so far this season, you weren’t paying attention in the ninth inning when Craig Kimbrel struck out Avisail Garcia swinging at a 98-mph fastball to start the scoreless inning and Manny Piña swinging at a 96-mph fastball to end it.

What closer problem? Bring on the Cardinals, right?

These guys might not lose another game.

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Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

The Cubs plan to start swingman Colin Rea on Saturday against the Brewers, manager David Ross said after Friday's game.

Alec Mills was originally slated to pitch Saturday but was bumped up to Friday because Tyler Chatwood was scratched with mid-back tightness. The Cubs will evaluate Chatwood to see if he's an option to pitch on Monday, when they're scheduled to play a doubleheader against the Cardinals.

Rea, 30, has made two appearances this season, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out three in three innings. He was named the 2019 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, sporting a 3.95 ERA in 26 starts.

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Rea's last big league start was July 30, 2016 with the Marlins. He allowed one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four with no walks.

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