No April Fools
We wish it was a joke, but there was no fooling around this April Fool’s Day. In their home opener, the Atlanta Braves shutout the Chicago Cubs 8–0. We saw Kyle Hendricks struggle through 4.1 innings before Joe Maddon retired his starting pitcher. The Braves also capitalized on six errors — the most by a Cubs club since 1982 …YIKES!
Can’t catch a break
Seems to be the trend this year. After another (awkwardly placed) off day, the Cubs faced the Braves in the next game of the series on Wednesday, April 3. The Cubs led the Braves 4–2 heading into the bottom of the 8th thanks to a solid six innings from John Lester and aggressive bats. However, the Braves managed a 4-run comeback and held on to win, 6–4. Not exactly the ending we hoped for …heavy sigh.
Too little, too late
The series finale appeared to be a Monday night repeat. Yu Darvish made the start, but barely made it through five innings before the Cubs looked to their bullpen. The Braves scored five runs in the 5th inning alone. The Cubs found themselves down 9–0 before scoring. But it was too little, too late. While back-to-back homers in the 9th put runs on the scorecard, the Cubs failed to dig themselves out of the hole and lost, 9–4.
When it rains, it pours
The 1–6 Cubs traveled up to Milwaukee for the weekend to take on the 7–1 Brewers. Jose Quintana was tabbed with the start for the Friday night outing…and boy, oh boy…was it ugggglllyyy. Quintana gave up eight runs in three innings before Maddon pulled yet another struggling starter. The Cubs attempted a comeback in the 4th inning with a 4–0 box score, but it wasn’t enough. The Brewers went on to win 13–10.
Fly the ‘W’
Sure feels like it’s been a while since we’ve been able to say that. The Cubs exhaled for the first time in a while, taking a 14–8 win in Saturday evening’s contest. Cole Hamels had a spectacular night, going six innings deep and giving up just two runs. Jason Heyward packed on his own special night, going 3–3 with 3 RBI.
…and not so fast
Sunday’s afternoon game was another struggle for Hendricks. All four of the Brewers’ runs came off of Hendricks as the Cubs faced another tough game. Wilson Contreras gave the Cubs a slight boost in the 6th with a 2-run homer, but it wouldn’t be enough to ignite the offensive bats. The Cubs closed out their weekend in Milwaukee with a 4–2 loss.
It’s all business
If there’s anything guaranteed in baseball, it’s contracts. Earlier this week, infielder David Bote and the Cubs came to an agreement that would extend his contract for the next five seasons, running through 2020–2024, with club options in 2025 and 2026. We’ll spare you all the boring details, but we’re pretty sure that his walk-off grand slam last year in Washington had a little something to do with this deal.
It’s no secret the pitching has been this year’s weakest link. On Saturday, the Cubs made some changes to try to alleviate that headache. Carl Edwards Jr. was optioned to Triple-A Iowa with hopes that he’ll be able to get his act together. Allen Webster will be filling his shoes while Edwards is away. The Cubs also placed Mike Montgomery on the 10-day IL with a strained left lat. Kyle Ryan will be stepping in during this time.
Wrigley Field is ready!
The Cubs home opener is coming up on Monday, April 8, at 2:20 ET/1:20 CT against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Word on the street is the upper concourse of the complex got some major upgrades in the offseason. If you plan to attend a game this year at Wrigley, it might be worth checking out. The Cubs provide the full list of changes on their website.
A look ahead
We’re excited to have the boys back home this week. They will kick off their home-opener week on Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Then the Los Angeles Angels will be in town for the weekend.
- Mon, 4/8 Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 2:20 p.m. ET
- Wed, 4/10 Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 8:05 p.m. ET
- Thur, 4/11 Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 8:05 p.m. ET
- Fri, 4/12 Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Angels, 2:20 p.m. ET
- Sat, 4/13 Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Angels, 2:20 p.m. ET
- Sun, 4/14 Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Angels, 2:20 p.m. ET
Shop at Wrigleyville Sports today for new Cubs merchandise and gear. You can also find a selection of Blackhawks…
Jennifer Brugh is a freelance writer, content creator and social media specialist with a Masters in sports journalism. Born and raised in northern Indiana, Jennifer enjoys following the Chicago Cubs through all the ups and downs. She low-key wants to live in a van and travel South America. You can follow her on Twitter here.