Aroldis leaves Cubs in awe with perfect debut

New closer strikes out two of three White Sox in non-save situation

Aroldis leaves Cubs in awe with perfect debut

CHICAGO -- The 41,166 fans at Wrigley Field weren't the only ones eager to see the radar-gun readings from Aroldis Chapman in his Cubs debut. The Cubs' players and manager Joe Maddon were peeking, too.

Chapman didn't disappoint, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to preserve the Cubs' 8-1 Interleague win over the White Sox on Wednesday night. It may not have been a save situation, but everyone in the lower seating bowl of the ballpark was on their feet as soon as the left-hander entered.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs power up with 3 HRs to surge past Sox

Cubs power up with 3 HRs to surge past Sox

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon's doorman won't have to take any grief from his White Sox friends, at least for one day. Kris Bryant hit a solo homer, Javier Baez smacked a tiebreaking two-run blast in the seventh and Addison Russell added his first career grand slam in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman had an impressive debut to lift the Cubs to an 8-1 Interleague victory over the White Sox on Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

Anthony Ranaudo gave White Sox fans something to cheer about in the fifth when he collected his first career hit and home run off Cubs starter Jason Hammel. Ranaudo threw five no-hit innings, which Bryant ended with his blast with one out in the sixth.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lackey, Cubs look to take down Sale in finale

Lackey, Cubs look to take down Sale in finale

Chris Sale returns to the mound Thursday night at Wrigley Field, facing a Cubs team he notched 15 strikeouts against over seven innings while allowing one Dexter Fowler single in a victory last Aug. 16.

But even with the excitement built in to this crosstown matchup, the focus will be more on Sale than possibly even the game result. Sale returns from a five-game suspension, handed down Saturday after Sale's dispute over wearing 1976 throwback jerseys resulted in insubordination, violation of team rules and destroying team equipment.

More

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rondon supports Chapman taking over as closer

Rondon supports Chapman taking over as closer

CHICAGO -- Manager Joe Maddon talked to Hector Rondon, and the right-hander was just fine with relinquishing his role as the Cubs' closer so Aroldis Chapman could finish games. The Cubs acquired Chapman on Monday from the Yankees for four players, including top prospect Gleyber Torres, and the hard-throwing lefty will now anchor the bullpen.

"I think this opens [Rondon] up to just pitching and not trying to throw 97 [mph] on the edge all the time and being concerned if he makes a mistake with his slider," Maddon said Wednesday. "I think this will free him up a little bit. You may see a better level with Ronny. He was all for it and liked the idea."

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aroldis arrives in Chicago with focus on wins

Fireballing closer expresses excitement in joining promising Cubs, having learned from past mistakes

Aroldis arrives in Chicago with focus on wins

CHICAGO -- Aroldis Chapman arrived on Tuesday, saying he's excited to join the Cubs and has learned from the mistakes he's made in the past, and he couldn't explain why he's throwing with more velocity this season.

"It feels very good to wear a Chicago Cubs uniform," Chapman said, sitting in the visitors' dugout at U.S. Cellular Field. "There's a lot of expectations here in Chicago, and I'm here to do my job and try to win a World Series."

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs go quietly in South Side finale

Cubs go quietly in South Side finale

CHICAGO -- James Shields produced his sixth straight quality start and received a little offensive support from the White Sox, for a change, during a 3-0 victory over the Cubs on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox swept the South Side portion of this four-game crosstown battle, doing so in front of 39,553 for their fourth straight victory, moving back to .500 at 50-50. The Cubs, who are 12-20 in their last 32 games, fell to 59-40.

Shields worked 7 2/3 brilliant innings, striking out five, walking four and allowing four hits. He had two jams to pitch out of in the second and the sixth, but otherwise, the Cubs never really pushed him. Cubs manager Joe Maddon knows Shields well, having managed him in Tampa Bay from 2006-12. He saw that Shields didn't want to come out of the game in the eighth.

More

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs host National Play Campaign at Wrigley

Event promotes importance of healthy lifestyle to youth baseball players

Cubs host National Play Campaign at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- It was the Cubs' training staff that delivered the big hit Wednesday morning at Wrigley Field as hosts of the National Play Campaign.

Nearly 30 local youth baseball players, ages 14-17, participated in the two-hour event that promotes the importance of children living a healthy and active lifestyle.

More

Brian Corbin is a Real-Time correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox capitalize on Hendricks' few mistakes

Cubs starter points to a pair of faulty changeups as remarkable run comes to an end

Sox capitalize on Hendricks' few mistakes

CHICAGO -- Kyle Hendricks can tell when he throws a bad pitch, and on Tuesday night against the White Sox, the Cubs right-hander knew as soon as he released two changeups that the results would not be good.

Jose Abreu smacked one of those pitches for an RBI single in the first, and Adam Eaton hit the other for a solo homer to help the White Sox deal the Cubs a 3-0 loss and complete a sweep of Part I of the intracity Interleague series. The two teams square off at Wrigley Field on Wednesday and Thursday.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Happ among top prospect performers Tuesday

Rays' No. 13 prospect knocks in career-high five runs, Reds' No. 18 scores winning run and hits for cycle

Happ among top prospect performers Tuesday

Justin Williams tied his career high for homers in a season and set a career high for RBIs in a game. Not bad for a day's work.

Williams, the Rays' No. 13 prospect, went 3-for-4 with five RBIs Tuesday as he led Double-A Montgomery to a 10-5 win over Pensacola.

More

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant at DH day after hard slide into second

Maddon admires Rondon's handling of closer situation; Soler progressing in rehab

Bryant at DH day after hard slide into second

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant was the Cubs' designated hitter on Tuesday, although he wasn't exactly sure what to do.

"We don't DH a lot, so we don't have anybody to ask about it," Bryant said. "We'll see. Maybe I'll be good at it."

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs embrace arrival of electric closer

Maddon says entire team on board with Chapman trade

Cubs embrace arrival of electric closer

CHICAGO -- Hector Rondon may have been the happiest player in the visitors clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday, and he had just lost his job as the Cubs' closer with the arrival of Aroldis Chapman.

"I don't care if I pitch in the seventh, eighth, I just have to do my job," Rondon said. "I'm really happy."

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

After pitching deals, what's left (field) for Cubs?

A's Reddick could be Epstein's focus now that Chapman, Nathan, Montgomery in tow

After pitching deals, what's left (field) for Cubs?

CHICAGO -- David Ross knew something was in the air. His Spidey senses told him Theo Epstein was up to something.

"If you know Theo and have been around him, when he feels like he has a chance to win, he's going to go for it,'' said Ross, the Cubs' 39-year-old catcher. "You knew in this city, this team, the product he's built around here, he was going to do something big. I felt it. I was just waiting to see what it was. It's a guy who throws 105 miles per hour, which has never been done before. That's pretty cool.''

More

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs rally back but can't hold off White Sox

Cubs rally back but can't hold off White Sox

CHICAGO -- The White Sox won Round 1 of the 2016 Crosstown Cup in walk-off fashion, 5-4, Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field. It was the third straight win overall for the South Siders, who lost a four-run lead but won it on Tyler Saladino's single to center to score J.B. Shuck, who singled to open the frame. It was also the White Sox third straight walk-off victory.

"It was just one of the those moments, really. Just trying to get a job done, really," Saladino said. "That's pretty much what everything is, but it was a lot of fun, a lot of energy there and it felt really good to get that done for the guys."

More

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arrieta, Montgomery lament missed location

Cubs' ace surrenders 3-run HR; lefty allows walk-off in 9th

Arrieta, Montgomery lament missed location

CHICAGO -- One pitch. That's all it took to spoil Jake Arrieta's outing.

With two outs and two on in the White Sox sixth, Todd Frazier launched an 0-1 slider from Arrieta to straightaway center, and the three-run homer opened a 4-0 lead over the Cubs. Arrieta did not get a decision as the Cubs rallied to tie the score in the ninth, then lost, 5-4, on a walk-off RBI single by Tyler Saladino.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs get Chapman from Yanks in blockbuster

Game's hardest thrower stands to be final piece in Chicago's pursuit of title

Cubs get Chapman from Yanks in blockbuster

CHICAGO -- The Cubs hope to have secured a trip to the World Series by adding hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman to the mix.

The Cubs acquired Chapman from the Yankees on Monday in exchange for four players: pitcher Adam Warren and prospects Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford. Torres, a 19-year-old shortstop, was the top-ranked prospect in the Cubs' system and ranks 24th in baseball according to MLB Pipeline.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jimenez, Martinez among top prospect performers Monday

Cubs' No. 4 prospect goes 4-for-4 in a twin bill sweep for Class A South Bend

Jimenez, Martinez among top prospect performers Monday

A pair of Cubs prospects shined at the Class A level on Monday, helping propel the South Bend Cubs to a doubleheader sweep of Peoria.

Eloy Jimenez -- Chicago's No. 4 prospect -- and Eddy Martinez (Cubs' No. 13) each contributed big offensive performances against the Chiefs.

More

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Does Aroldis spell relief in Cubs' quest?

No stranger to huge deals, Cubs' president trades away No. 1 prospect Torres

Does Aroldis spell relief in Cubs' quest?

You knew this was coming, right?

The Cubs have acquired left-hander Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees.

More

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fowler gets half-night off, starts at DH

Fowler gets half-night off, starts at DH

CHICAGO -- Joe Maddon wanted Dexter Fowler in the lineup, but the Cubs manager also wants to be careful with the outfielder who was just activated from the disabled list. So, Maddon sent Fowler a text message early Monday, asking if he was OK being the designated hitter in the Cubs' Interleague game against the White Sox.

Fowler agreed, and was in the leadoff spot for the first game of two at U.S. Cellular Field. Maddon wasn't sure if he'll have Fowler be the DH again on Tuesday.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

5-run 7th leads Cubs to series win over Crew

5-run 7th leads Cubs to series win over Crew

MILWAUKEE -- All the Cubs want to do is win series, and they did just that on Sunday, rallying from a four-run deficit to beat the Brewers, 6-5, in front of a sellout crowd of 43,310 at Miller Park. Anthony Rizzo sparked a five-run seventh with a go-ahead three-run double to give Chicago its third straight series win since the All-Star break, a first for the franchise since it won five series in a row after the break in 1936.

The Brewers got a solid outing from starter Junior Guerra and ran at will against Chicago's Jon Lester, who was knocked out after four-plus innings. Trailing 4-1 in the seventh, Tommy La Stella hit an RBI double off the Brewers' Will Smith, and the Cubs then loaded the bases to set up Rizzo, who lined a double to the right-center-field gap to open a 5-4 lead and raise his RBI total to 75. Ben Zobrist then drove in Rizzo with an RBI single.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nathan registers win, K's side in Cubs debut

Veteran reliever has 377 career saves across 15 big league seasons

Nathan registers win, K's side in Cubs debut

MILWAUKEE -- Joe Nathan joked that he was so nervous running in from the bullpen on Sunday that he needed a defibrillator when he got to the mound. For the first time since his second Tommy John surgery, he was pitching in the big leagues. And the right-hander got into a mess pretty quickly, before showing why he could be a key piece for the Cubs down the stretch.

Nathan, activated from the disabled list Sunday, started the sixth inning against the Brewers, and gave up a triple to Jonathan Villar, then walked Hernan Perez. Nathan now faced the Brewers' 3-4-5 batters, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Chris Carter. And he struck out all three.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De La Cruz among top prospect performers Sunday

Nationals' No. 5 prospect hurls his first shutout following big league debt

De La Cruz among top prospect performers Sunday

Reynaldo Lopez is eager to get back to the big leagues.

In his first start since debuting with the Nationals on July 19, Lopez recorded his first shutout on Sunday as Triple-A Syracuse defeated Rochester, 6-0. The Nationals' No. 5 prospect scattered four hits and struck out seven in nine dominant innings, throwing 69 of his 99 pitches for strikes.

More

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs fans use ice to wake up their sleeping friend

|
Cubs fans use ice to wake up their sleeping friend

You're at the ballpark, it's the eighth inning and your favorite team is down, 3-1. You think it's a fine time to close your eyes for just a moment, to get a little rest so you're rarin' to go for the ninth and, eventually, the trip home. There's no harm in nodding off for a second, right?

Continue Reading on Cut4

Winless stretch continues for Lackey

Winless stretch continues for Lackey

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Montgomery won't want to remember his Cubs debut. Kirk Nieuwenhuis greeted the left-hander with a three-run homer in the eighth inning, his second home run of the game and first off a southpaw this season, to lead the Brewers to a 6-1 victory over the Cubs on Saturday night. Chicago acquired Montgomery from the Mariners on Wednesday.

"For Montgomery, that's just unfortunate," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I hope he just files that very quickly because it looked like his stuff was outstanding. They beat us, they just beat us. Give them credit."

More

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist, Heyward working hard to end slumps

Maddon confident Cubs duo will get on track in the near future

Zobrist, Heyward working hard to end slumps

MILWAUKEE -- The Cubs knew Ben Zobrist wasn't going to bat .406 the entire year, as he did in May. They also know Jason Heyward is better than his .231 average would indicate. Both players took early batting practice Saturday, but their efforts weren't enough to beat the Brewers.

Zobrist ended an 0-for-24 skid with a single in the seventh and finished 2-for-4, while Heyward was 1-for-4 in the Cubs' 6-1 loss to the Brewers on Saturday night at Miller Park.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist breaks hitless skid, forgets how to celebrate

|
Zobrist breaks hitless skid, forgets how to celebrate

Heading into the Cubs' matchup with the Brewers on Saturday, Ben Zobrist was hitless in his last 22 at-bats -- a streak spanning six straight games. A popout and a groundout in his first two plate appearances of the night quickly ran the skid to 24. And then, in the top of the seventh, finally: a base hit! Children danced. Birds sang. There was much rejoicing.

As Zobrist rounded first, he looked back toward the Chicago dugout, eager to celebrate with his teammates ... except, well, it had been so long since he'd reached base that he wasn't quite sure what the proper motion was.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Fowler sets tone as Cubs take care of Crew

Fowler sets tone as Cubs take care of Crew

MILWAUKEE -- How much did the Cubs miss Dexter Fowler? A lot. Playing his first game since June 18, Fowler smacked a leadoff home run and a two-run double, finishing a triple shy of the cycle to back Jason Hammel and lead the Cubs to a 5-2 victory on Friday over the Brewers at Miller Park.

"It was a wonderful evening for him, and it's really apparent how important he is to us," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Fowler.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Feeling 'like Opening Day,' Fowler flourishes

Back from DL, Cubs CF opens game with HR and finishes triple shy of cycle

Feeling 'like Opening Day,' Fowler flourishes

MILWAUKEE -- When Dexter Fowler checked in with Joe Maddon in his office Friday, the Cubs manager greeted him with, "You go, we go." That's the saying Maddon would give Fowler before each at-bat, and he has not used it since the outfielder has been on the disabled list. On Friday, Fowler was activated, Maddon sent him to the plate with his message, and the result was a leadoff home run.

Fowler returned with a bang, going 3-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs in the Cubs' 5-2 victory over the Brewers. He smacked a 3-1 pitch from the Brewers' Jimmy Nelson to straightaway center for his 18th career leadoff homer and fourth this season in the first, and hit a two-run double in the second.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Edwards' shirt, performance garner attention

Cubs rookie reliever retires heart of Brewers' order in latest impressive effort

Edwards' shirt, performance garner attention

MILWAUKEE -- Carl Edwards Jr.'s day started well. When the reliever boarded the team bus, Cubs manager Joe Maddon complimented him on his rose-printed shirt. After Friday's game, Maddon complimented Edwards on his outing.

The Cubs led by two runs when the rookie entered the game in the sixth inning after starter Jason Hammel had given up a leadoff double to Scooter Gennett, and had to face the No. 3-4-5 hitters for the Brewers, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Chris Carter. Edwards retired the side, striking out Lucroy and Carter. Chicago held on for a 5-2 victory over Milwaukee.

More

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.