The Cubs salvaged their road series against the Rockies, losing 6-5 on Monday and 10-3 on Tuesday, and winning 10-1 on Wednesday. The series had more intrigue that it seems at first glance, however, as the three games featured seven hit batsmen.
Tony Walters was hit on Monday. Kris Bryant was hit twice on Tuesday. Four batters between the two squads were hit on Wednesday. Nolan Arenado was hit on the forearm by a Cole Hamels pitch in the fourth inning and had to leave the game with a contusion. In the top of the seventh, Bryan Shaw hit Hamels. Then, in the top of the eighth, Anthony Rizzo was hit by Phillip Diehl and warnings were issued to both benches. In the bottom of the ninth, Brad Brach hit Wolters, but was not ejected despite the warnings.
The Cubs and Rockies won’t face each other again this season unless it’s in the playoffs. If that should happen, Arenado says “it would be a spicy series,” per Nick Groke of The Athletic.
Last year, the Cubs lost the NL Wild Card Game to the Rockies 2-1 in 13 innings, with Wolters knocking in the game-winning run.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.