Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Renteria wants to improve Cubs’ approach on basepaths ]]> Lead story image

September has showcased the free-swinging offensive power of the Cubs’ future. And the winter could be about acquiring more pitching to boost the chance for 2015 to become the long-promised turnaround season. But manager Rick Renteria already is thinking about another aspect that needs to improve: baserunning. It isn’t necessarily speed or more stolen bases that are needed. It’s a better approach. ‘‘What we’d really like is to have a bunch of really great baserunners,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘What we’re talking about now is how we’d like to go into spring training and try to have some skill work that will … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:43:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kemp, Puig lead Dodgers past Cubs 8-5 ]]> Lead story image

Matt Kemp homered and had four RBIs, Yasiel Puig scored a career-high four times and the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers used six pitchers to beat the Chicago Cubs 8-5 on Sunday. Kemp had four hits for the Dodgers, who clinched a playoff berth on Friday and entered with a 3 1-2 game lead over the Giants in the NL West. Los Angeles pushed starter Dan Haren back a day so he could face San Francisco on Monday. The Dodgers instead used the bullpen. Jamey Wright made his first start since Sept. 1, 2013, with the Rays, allowing a run … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 17:52:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cubs’ Jacob Turner painfully familiar with Dodgers’ hitters ]]> Lead story image

Cubs right-hander Jacob Turner has faced the Los Angeles Dodgers three times this season, and each time validated to him why they are a playoff-bound team. “They’ve had a good offense all season,” Turner said after the Cubs’ 8-5 loss, in which his record fell to 5-11. “It shows how you have to be able to execute [pitches]. There were times I was able to do that, but the two-run homer to [Matt] Kemp [in the third inning] was a pitch that caught too much of the plate. Kemp killed us in this series.” Turner faced the Dodgers twice in … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:43:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chris Coghlan hits two HRs to help Cubs rally past Dodgers ]]> Lead story image

Chris Coghlan proved Saturday there’s still some fun to be had this season at Wrigley Field. Coghlan hit two home runs, including a go-ahead blast in the eighth inning, and matched career highs with four hits and three RBI in the Cubs’ 8-7 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs trailed 6-1 after three innings on a gray, rainy afternoon and appeared destined for a repeat of their 14-5 debacle Friday. Instead, Coghlan rallied them for their biggest come-from-behind victory in more than two years. He later strutted into the clubhouse with shaving cream on his face and in … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:32:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says time will tell on Cubs’ prospects ]]> Lead story image

As a former player, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly can relate to what some of the Cubs’ prospects are going through. The former New York Yankees great hit .278 with a .326 on-base percentage in his first 98 games during the 1982 and ’83 seasons. He then led the American League in hits, doubles and batting average in 1984. The same might hold true for Cubs rookies Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara. Or it might not. ‘‘It’s just a time factor with the young guys,’’ Mattingly said. ‘‘They can look good right away, and the next year they come … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:35:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Edwin Jackson gets only 2 outs as Dodgers rout Cubs ]]> Lead story image

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound with a six-run head start Friday. That’s because Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson, making his first start since Aug.  20, was in familiar form. Jackson gave up five of those six runs before getting yanked with two outs in the first inning, and the Dodgers strolled to a 14-5 victory at Wrigley Field. Kershaw, the National League Cy Young favorite, only needed to show up to become baseball’s first 20-game winner. He pitched five innings and allowed three runs, seven hits and three walks — a pedestrian start by his lofty standards. To put some … ]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 02:11:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jake Arrieta has luxury of being able to weigh his options ]]> Lead story image

Anybody still paying attention to the Cubs these days knows by now how effectively Jake Arrieta has replaced the dearly discarded Jeff Samardzija as the ace of the Cubs’ pitching staff. But as the Cubs mull a possible multiyear offer for the powerful right-hander, the bigger question might soon become whether they can keep Arrieta from replacing Samardzija as the guy whose value, and ire, rose faster than the offers could keep up. Arrieta, whose 2.65 ERA would rank fifth in the league if he had four more innings to qualify, had a ringside seat for the final 10 months … ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:09:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ Honoree Kris Bryant not ornery at Wrigley ]]> Lead story image

They’ve seen him coming and talked about him getting here for months. Ahead of Wednesday’s pregame arrival, a stack of copies of the latest edition of Baseball America lay on a table in the clubhouse, Kris Bryant’s smiling face staring up from the cover. It was barely two weeks ago that former minor-league teammate Javy Baez delivered a big hit in a win over the rival Cardinals and said, “We’re just waiting for Bryant now.” But not like this. Not in jeans and a sport coat, on a game night in September, when Baez and Jorge Soler wore Cubs uniforms, … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:26:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cubs determined not to be victims of foes’ celebrations again ]]> Lead story image

Not again. ‘‘Last year was not fun,’’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. Especially not the final week of the season, when the Cubs saw the Braves beat them to clinch a division, the Pirates beat them to clinch a playoff spot and the Cardinals beat them to clinch a division in the span of six days. ‘‘Obviously, no team likes to see other teams celebrate in front of them — ever,’’ Rizzo said. In their last three series this season, the Cubs will face three teams — the Dodgers, Cardinals and Brewers — looking to sew up divisions or wild-card … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:26:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rookie Kyle Hendricks improves to 7-2; Cubs sweep Reds ]]> Lead story image

As rookie Kyle Hendricks headed to the Cubs’ bullpen to warm up for his 12th big-league start Wednesday night, he looked back toward the scene behind home plate, where Class A pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng was being honored as the Cubs’ minor league pitcher of the year. A year ago to the week, that was Hendricks standing next to the front office brass being handed the crystal award. “It’s kind of crazy how fast it all happens,” said Hendricks, who then proceeded to pitch another commanding seven innings to beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-1. “They tell us that when we’re down … ]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:15:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jake Arrieta flirts with no-hitter, pitches first career shutout ]]> Lead story image

On a meaningless mid-September date on the Cubs’ schedule that looked like just another day for far-off promises, Jake Arrieta had a message for anyone tuning in: Never mind when Kyle Schwarber — the prized draft pick taking batting practice Tuesday in front of the front-office big shots — might get to the big-leagues. Forget the sideshow of the day that was Charles Barkley hanging with the owner before the game. As far as Arrieta is concerned, the future the Cubs have been selling since Theo Epstein and his posse took over three years ago is now — with the … ]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:08:36 -0500