The Professor had some issues early but overcame those obstacles and turned in a Kyle Hendricks kinda game, with a little help from the bullpen. Willson Contreras clobbered two deep drives, Jason Kipnis whacked one, and Ian Happ went 2-for-3 in the rain-speckled contest.
The Cubs now move up in weight class to face the second-place Cincinnati Reds, who are 32-24 and hot on the Cubs’ tail (6½ games out). Luis Castillo (3-3, 3.92) will face Ryan Yarbrough (7-2, 3.82) who has pitched well since becoming a Cub. Jose Quintana, by the way, has also benefited from his new environs in Tampa, as he has won two games with no losses.
Al will have more about that in the game post Tuesday (at 2:30 p.m. CT, for our 3 p.m. start), as Monday is an off day. I’ll drop the specific URL to the contest in the game thread, but you can lurk at the BCB Media Center and catch it there as well. All past games and highlights reels are available there too, if you want the full #simCubs experience.
... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a lighthearted Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review hand-picked scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history*.
Today in baseball history:
- 1905 - 1905 - Brooklyn Superbas right-hander Elmer Stricklett throws a “mystery pitch” — believed to be a spitball — during a game against the New York Giants. Some historians regard the 5’ 6” Stricklett is the first pitcher to throw a spitball in a major league game. Before the 1921 season, the spitball will be banned, except for 17 existing spitballers who are allowed to keep throwing the slippery pitch legally until they are retired, including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to throw a doctored pitch before retiring in 1934 legally. (1)
- 1911 - Riding the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Cubs complete their 191-mile journey from Columbus, Ohio to their game in Pittsburgh in three hours and thirty-five minutes. The trip, which sets a land-speed record, will last 75 minutes longer than the time it will take Chicago to beat the Bucs at Forbes Field, 4-1. (1)
- 1922 - The United States Supreme Court finds that baseball is primarily a sport and not a business in its ruling on the Federal Baseball Club v. National League case. In using this argument, the court rules that baseball is not subject to antitrust laws nor to standard interstate commerce regulations. (1)
- 1939 - The Cubs get Claude Passeau from the Phillies for Kirby Higbe‚ Joe Marty‚ Ray Harrell and $50‚000. (3)
- 1962 - Buck (John) O’Neil, previously a scout with the Cubs, becomes the first black coach in major-league baseball after accepting a job with the organization. (1)
- 1962 - Ernie Banks makes a spectacular return from his May 25th beaning with 3 homers and a double against the Braves at Wrigley Field. Three teammates hit home runs‚ but the Cubs lose to the Braves‚ 11-9. (3)
- 1966 - For the second consecutive day, Ron Santo delivers a walk-off home run in extra-innings against Atlanta when his 10th-inning blast gives the Cubs a 3-2 victory at Wrigley Field. Yesterday, the third baseman ended the game with a three-run, 12th-inning homer, beating the Braves, 8-5. (1)
- 1976 - Houston Astros pitcher Joe Niekro hits the only home run of his 22-year major league career. Strangely enough, Niekro enjoys his feat against his brother, Phil, the ace pitcher of the Atlanta Braves. With his unexpected home run, Joe leads the Astros to a 4-3 victory over Atlanta. (3)
- 1989 - Phillies 3B Mike Schmidt‚ 39‚ retires. The future Hall of Famer is seventh on the all-time home run list with 548‚ but was hitting just .203 this season. He will still get elected to the All-Star team‚ but won’t play. (3)
- 2002 - In an article in Sports Illustrated, former National League MVP Ken Caminiti claims that about 50 percent of current major league players use some form of steroids. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Marty Honan, Jerry Hairston.
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
- (5) — Baseball Hall of Fame.
- (6) — This Day in Chicago Cubs history.
*We try to vet each item. Please let us know if an item is in error, especially if you have a source. Thanks for reading, and please ... drive home safely.