The Chicago Cubs rallied from a five-run deficit Sunday to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 in 10 innings, taking the collection and ending a 17-games-in-17-day stretch with a 5-12 document.
In the postgame clubhouse afterward, one of many TVs was turned to the Philadelphia Phillies sport, during which former Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber hit a house run, inflicting Kyle Hendricks to show his head and watch his former teammate around the bases.
There is life after the Cubs, and if the sell-off in July 2021 proved something it’s that nobody is untouchable.
As satisfying as Sunday’s comeback win over the first-place Cardinals was for the Cubs as they close to the top of a disastrous June, the gamers all know what’s coming subsequent — nonstop hypothesis about the place they could wind up earlier than the Aug. 2 commerce deadline.
It occurs with each group out of competition, and the Cubs have been in a free fall for weeks, making one other sell-off inevitable.
Manager David Ross mentioned coping with the commerce speak is “business as usual,” particularly after final yr’s obsessive media protection of the standing of the “Big Three” — Anthony Rizzo, Javier Báez and Kris Bryant.
“Last year was a good learning experience for me,” Ross mentioned. “If they have questions they come into my office and I try to fill them in as best I can of what I’m hearing and pass that along to (President Jed Hoyer) if I need to.”
Willson Contreras is the likeliest commerce candidate as a pending free agent and the very best obtainable catcher in the marketplace. Contreras, who drove in three runs Sunday because the designated hitter — together with the game-winning RBI single within the tenth — mentioned he’s not going to let something grow to be a distraction.
“That has nothing to do with the person that I want to be in the clubhouse,” Contreras mentioned. “I do know these sort of issues are proper there, however I’m not letting them hassle me. … I’m not fascinated by the commerce deadline. I’m not fascinated by any of that, however about doing an excellent job on the sector and off the sector.
“Even if I’m not playing, I’m doing my best to keep these guys on track and helping them any way I can.”
Contreras was 2-for-23 on the journey earlier than tying the sport with a two-run single within the five-run fourth and driving in Nelson Velázquez with the go-ahead run with an opposite-field single within the tenth.
“It’s baseball, it’s just called baseball,” Contreras mentioned. “I’m human. I’m going to have bad stretches. The only thing I can control is how good of at-bats I can get each time I go to home plate.”
Ross mentioned Contreras has been in a “really good place mentally” and been the identical particular person day-after-day.
“I think he’s been more relaxed this year than I’ve seen him,” Ross mentioned. “Willson has seen (Rizzo, Bryant and Báez) undergo all that stuff and expertise that.
“When you have that experience and know there’s really nothing you can control when you come in to do your job, there’s not a whole lot I need to say or that needs to be said (to him).”
Rafael Ortega additionally drove in a pair of runs within the Cubs’ five-run inning and could possibly be one other participant drawing curiosity. Ross mentioned Jason Heyward is coping with “knee issues,” so Ortega may get extra alternatives within the coming days. The journeyman outfielder is extra lifelike than most about his standing. Seiya Suzuki will finally come again, and Heyward is just not going anyplace. Ortega additionally is aware of coping with commerce hypothesis is an occupational hazard for any participant, and was brutally trustworthy when discussing it with reporters.
“I’ve seen it from afar, I’ve seen what’s happened,” Ortega mentioned via an interpreter. “I don’t just play for my team. I also play for the other (29) teams here that are looking. They might have scouts, people observing (me). I only control what I can. I’ve seen it before with other players. If another team might be interested in me, it would be an honor for me and something I would be excited about.”
Closer David Robertson, who notched the win with 1 ⅓ innings of scoreless reduction, is one other prime commerce candidate for groups in search of late-inning reduction. That means any group nonetheless in competition by late July. Asked lately if he hoped to stay round, Robertson replied: “I love it here in Chicago. This is my second stint here (after playing for the White Sox). I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t like it.”
Contreras additionally enjoys being in Chicago and has been within the group longer than some other Cub after being signed as a world free agent in 2009. He mentioned he could be “proud” to put on a Cubs jersey within the upcoming All-Star sport in Los Angeles and is the seemingly starter because the main vote getter as National League catcher. His brother, William, who performs for the Atlanta Braves, may additionally make the NL group as DH now that Phillies star Bryce Harper is out with a fractured left thumb.
“This is my house, and it’s been my home for 14 years,” Willson Contreras mentioned. “Not many gamers can say that. The first time I received right here was in 2009, and no one was right here. I’ve seen all people come to this membership over time. It’s going to imply loads to me and lot to my household. They gave me the chance to grow to be knowledgeable baseball participant.
“Hopefully we’ll get to share it with my brother. We’ll have a nice party for sure.”