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Cub Tracks’ safety first

Iron Man, old-fashioned hijinks, 15 weird signals, and other bullets

Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs
Put ‘er there, pal.
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images


Last time through these parts, Cub Tracks played with a six pack of jacks. Yesterday, the Bears Cubs parlayed timely hitting into two touchdowns, beating the Falcons Braves in a matinee. Al has the recap here.

Classic Wrigley Field contest. Entertaining if not very good for one’s stat line. I’m not gonna complain about a ‘W.’

Read all about it -- As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1880 - At Strawberry Hill, located on the shores of Nantasket Beach in Hull, Massachusetts, the first night baseball game is played under artificial light with teams made up of employees from the retail competitors of Jordan Marsh and R.H. White. The contest, illuminated by lights placed on three wooden towers erected five hundred feet apart from one another by the Northern Electric Light Company that supply the equivalent brightness of 90,000 candles, ends in a 16-16 tie, when the players need to catch the last ferry back to Boston.
  • 1894 - Connie Mack, taking over for the fired skipper Ned Hanlon, leads the Pirates to a 22-1 rout of his former team, the Washington Senators. The triumph will be the Tall Tactician's first of the major-league record-setting 3,731 victories he will collect as a manager with Pittsburgh and the Philadelphia A's during his 53 years in the dugout.
  • 1928 - A's player-manager Ty Cobb collects the last hit of his career when he doubles off right-hander Bump Hadley in the team's 6-1 loss to Washington at Griffith Stadium. The 41 year-old 'Georgia Peach' will end his playing days, establishing the major league record for hits with 4,191, a mark that will not be broken until 1985, when it is surpassed by Pete Rose.
  • 1947 - At Shibe Park, A's right-hander Bill McCahan throws a no-hitter as a rookie, beating the Senators, 3-0. The WW II test pilot, whose baseball career is cut short when he hurts his arm lifting barrels of oil in his off-season job, is the seventh player in baseball history to toss a no-hitter in his freshman year.
  • 1957 - Braves left-hander Warren Spahn, with his 8-0 blanking of the Cubs at Wrigley Field, sets a National League mark for shutouts thrown by a southpaw, with his 41st.
  • 1963 - Ron Santo ties the National League record by a third baseman for errors committed in an inning. The Cub infielder's three miscues in the second frame lead to a seven-run outburst, and an eventual 16-3 victory for San Francisco at Candlestick Park.
  • 1970 - Cubs' outfielder Billy Williams asks to be benched, thus ending his National League record for consecutive games at 1,117, a mark Steve Garvey will better in 1983 when he plays in 1,207 straight contests. During the streak, Chicago's future Hall of Famer will be dubbed the 'Iron Man,' authoring a book with that title in 1970.
  • 1975 - Future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson gives up a grand slam to Chicago's Pete LaCock, the son of Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall. The Cardinal right-hander faces one more batter to end the inning, retiring Don Kessinger on a ground out, and never returns to a big league mound.
  • 1984 - In the Cubs' 5-4 victory over Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium, Rick Sutcliffe strikes out 15 batters, tying a franchise record shared by Dick Drott (1957) and Burt Hooton (1971). The trio's individual accomplishment will remain the club standard for a nine-inning game until Kerry Wood fans 20 Astros in 1998.
  • 1986 - After each team scores three times in the seventeenth inning to remain tied, the Astros finally edge the Cubs, 8-7, thanks to Billy Hatcher's home run in the top of the next frame. The Wrigley Field contest was suspended the previous day at the end of the 14th, due to darkness, with the score knotted at 4-4.

Cubs news and notes:

Zack Short, SS, Chicago NL (Profile) Like few players who’ve appeared among the Five before, Short possesses simultaneously both a real lack of pedigree but also all the indicators of a true prospect. He was selected in the 17th round last year out of a school (Sacred Heart) that has produced just one major leaguer ever. At the same time, however, he’s recording markedly above-average offensive numbers and playing shortstop exclusively as a 22-year-old at High-A. His strikeout rate (17.6%) is a bit higher than the sort typically produced by players who appear in this column. That seems to be a function more of patience, however, and less of an inability to make contact. Consider: while recording one of the highest walk rates in the Carolina League, he’s also responsible for one of the lowest swinging-strike rates. — Carson Cistulli (Fangraphs)

  • David Haugh (Chicago Tribune* {$}): If Cubs keep this up, they could slug their way back to the World Series. "Yeah, the ball is juiced," Anthony Rizzo deadpanned Saturday.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Jon Lester feels good in return to Cubs’ rotation. “Physically I felt fine,” Lester said after earning the win. “I had no limitations.”
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Joe Maddon said Quintana changed something, what was it? Fastball location?
  • Adam H McGinnis (Cubbies Crib*): It’s too early to name a winner in Jose Quintana trade. “It doesn’t all hinge on how he finishes this season.”
  • Paul Skrbina (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Valuable, versatile Mike Montgomery could remain as starter for Cubs. “A starting pitcher at heart, Montgomery has filled that role nicely...”
  • David Just (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs set 6-man rotation for week, giving Montgomery another turn. “We’re trying to look at the big picture,” Cubs skipper Joe Maddon said.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Brian Duensing helping to raise cancer awareness. “...he will wear a different T-shirt donated by families and organizations each day in September.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Dillon Maples' towering season leads him to Wrigley Field. "This offseason I had this moment of clarity," the right-hander explained.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Dillon Maples gets his shot to inject 100 mph power into Cubs bullpen. “It’s a shot absolutely no one could’ve seen coming as recently as a year ago.”
  • CBS Chicago: Jed Hoyer: Cubs ‘involved’ in Justin Verlander trade talks, but Tigers wanted Astros’ prospects. + [AUDIO].
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): A brief appreciation of El Mago’s unquantifiable awesomeness. “The stats will tell you Ednel Javier Baez is an average baseball player.”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Breaking down the Cubs' shortstop depth chart in September. Mike Freeman is #3.
  • Chris Landers (Cut Four): Freddie Freeman wasn't about to let former teammate Jason Heyward take a lead off first base. “...old-fashioned hijinks.”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Cubs hoping Leonys Martin can have Dave Roberts-like impact down the stretch. “...he fills a hole that we have.” Said Jed Hoyer.
  • David Just (Chicago Sun-Times*): New OF Leonys Martin gives Cubs speed, strong arm off bench. “There’s some solid ability there and a lot of energy, which I kind of like,” Joe Maddon said. “I think he fits in perfectly.”
  • Jonathan Stempel (Reuters): Chicago Cubs prevail in Wrigley Field rooftop owners' lawsuit. The “business of baseball.”

Food for thought:

  • Fiona McDonald (Science Alert): We just picked up an intense burst of 15 weird signals from a distant galaxy. “...we're still no closer to understanding what's producing them.”
  • Science Daily: First hints of possible water content on TRAPPIST-1 planets. “...the outer planets of the system might still harbour substantial amounts of water.”
  • Sara G Miller (Live Science): How spaceflight changes the building blocks of the human body. “...spaceflight lowered the concentrations of certain proteins in the body...”

Thanks for reading. Cub Tracks will return Tuesday with more of this.