For 2018, the Cubs should petition MLB to have April 7 as an off day.
It was April 7, 2016 when Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler collided in the outfield in Arizona, resulting in a knee injury that put Kyle out until the World Series.
Friday, April 7, 2017 in Milwaukee, every Cubs fan held his or her breath when Javier Baez and Jason Heyward collided chasing a popup into short center field [VIDEO].
It looked really, really bad at first. Baez was on the ground for a while, then shook his head several times after he got up. It appeared he was trying to convince Joe Maddon to leave him in the game, but wisely, Joe chose to have Javy looked at in the clubhouse.
Fortunately, this injury does not appear to be serious:
Just to be clear: Bruise on Javy Baez is above his left eye. His eye is OK. #Cubs— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 8, 2017
#Cubs Baez did not have to go through concussion protocol. Maddon: "He said he was fine but it just didn't look right"— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 8, 2017
Im good my people!— Javier Báez (@javy23baez) April 8, 2017
#Cubs Baez: "I couldn't see what hit me. It was a really big man coming. I kind of saw him in 3D in my face"— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 8, 2017
Told today was 1 yr anniversary of Schwarber injury, #Cubs Baez said: "That's crazy. At least we passed this day and nobody got hurt"— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 8, 2017
The rest of the Cubs’ 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Brewers was a frustrating mix of wasted chances. The Cubs left nine men on base and went 0-for-5 with RISP. That included having the bases loaded in the 10th inning with one out, but Ben Zobrist hit into a double play.
Zobrist accounted for the Cubs’ only run with a second-inning homer. It was the Cubs’ only extra-base hit of the evening. The six hits and six walks did produce some scoring opportunities, but no Cub crossed the plate in the last nine innings of the game.
Kris Bryant finally got off his season-starting 0-fer with a single, creating this oddity:
Last 2 defending MVPs to begin a season 0-10 or worse— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 8, 2017
0-14 Kris Bryant (2017 #Cubs)
0-13 Ryne Sandberg (1985 #Cubs)
Sandberg finished 1985 hitting .305/.364/.504 with 26 home runs and 54 stolen bases. (Incidentally, that is one of just three Cubs seasons since 1906 when a Cub has stolen that many bases. Eric Young had 54 in 2000 and Juan Pierre 57 in 2006.) KB will be just fine.
But it would be nice to see the Cubs offense get jump-started.
Meanwhile, Cubs pitchers threw quite well, at least until the bases-loaded wild pitch by Mike Montgomery in the 11th gave the Brewers the win.
Brett Anderson had a successful debut for the Cubs, allowing five hits and a walk and just one run in 5⅔ innings. As is his style when he’s going good, he got eight outs on ground balls.
Relievers Justin Grimm, Koji Uehara and Hector Rondon combined for 2⅓ innings of scoreless relief. That’s particularly good news about Rondon, who did not have a good spring. He’s looked like the Hector of old in his two appearances so far this year. And Uehara has thrown three innings so far this season and allowed just one hit and one walk. Small sample size, but he looks like he’s going to be a very important member of this year’s bullpen. Also:
Koji UEhara & Bob UEcker remain the only two players in MLB history whose last names begin with UE#Cubs— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 3, 2017
Montgomery threw pretty well for the first two innings of his appearance, but with one out and two Brewers on base, Monty hit Jett Bandy.
Joe Maddon then put together a five-man infield which included, technically, Anthony Rizzo as his “left fielder,” although Rizzo stayed between first and second base. Kyle Schwarber came in and played near first base, and both players switched gloves to make it legal.
None of that mattered when Montgomery uncorked the wild pitch. He had Manny Pina down 0-2, too. before that pitch.
So the Cubs are 2-2. The good news is that the rest of the division isn’t playing all that well and the .500 record puts the team in second place, one game behind the first-place Reds. And you know the Reds aren’t going to be in first place very long. Also, it would be nice to have a laugher of a win — three of the Cubs’ first four games have been decided by one run and the other one was Thursday’s two-run victory over the Cardinals.
The Cubs complete their first run through the five-man rotation Saturday evening when Kyle Hendricks makes his 2017 debut. He’ll face Milwaukee lefthander Tommy Milone.