Chicago Cubs' Zobrist, Maddon have some thoughts on Wrigley Field
Ben Zobrist doesn't know if he's going to play baseball next year, but he did have some things to say about playing for the Chicago Cubs the past four seasons.
"It's the big leagues of the big leagues," he said Sunday before the Cubs lost 3-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals, further damaging their postseason chances.
"That's the way the fans make you feel here -- the front office, the organization, the way everything is run. It's the top of the top. It's hard to beat the experience of being a Chicago Cubs player, especially when you walk out on the that field."
Manager Joe Maddon, who may well be fired after the season, said before the game he was not taking any extra looks around the ballpark Sunday.
"Honestly, I do that every day," he said. "I don't anticipate that. I haven't really thought that this whole time through. I always expect a good result.
"I will be focusing on the game like I always have. When I walk to Wrigley, I've talked about this since I've been here. You always are enthralled or impressed with the fact that you get to work here. So that's kind of a daily occurrence for me."
Zobrist, who has played for Maddon in Chicago and at Tampa Bay, made his feelings clear about the manager. Asked about Maddon's legacy, Zobrist replied: "No comment, because I'd like to see that continue."
Baez to start in Pitt?
Shortstop Javier Baez made another pinch appearance Sunday, pinch running in the ninth inning and wearing what the players call an "oven mitt" on his left hand.
Baez has been out of the starting lineup since the first part of September with a hairline fracture of his left thumb. He said he hopes to be able to play as early as Tuesday in Pittsburgh. He struck out as a pinch hitter Saturday.
"We saw the swing," Joe Maddon said. "The swing looked kind of normal. The biggest thing is just closing his glove on defense. If he's able to do that and is making great progress, you may see him. But we won't do that until he's comfortable. Just the ball hitting the hand, that's a big part of his discomfort more than actually swinging the bat and hitting the ball."
This and that:
Yu Darvish is the first Cubs pitcher since at least 1908 to record 12 or more strikeouts in 3 straight starts. He has 39 strikeouts in that span. … Nicholas Castellanos hit his 27th homer of the season, a career high. He batted .384 (43-for-112) with 17 doubles and 8 homers in 27 games at Wrigley Field this season since coming over in a July 31 trade from Detroit. …
he Cubs have lost six straight home games for the first time since a seven-game skid in 2013 … The Cubs drew 3,094,865 fans to Wrigley Field, the 10th-highest total in team history.