Stroman sharp for 6 scoreless as Cubs top Giants 4-2
It was a strange day in Cubs land.
David Ross apologized for displaying two middle fingers in the dugout during Thursday's loss in San Francisco. The screen shot was all over Twitter.
With trade talk still looming, Willson Contreras wiped all the Cubs-related photos from his Instagram account. By Friday evening, some of the Cubs action shots had returned.
Contreras and Ian Happ were both in Friday's starting lineup. So no trade appeared to be imminent four days before the deadline.
Happ and Contreras combined to keep a run off the board in the first inning, nailing Wilmer Flores at the plate when he tried to score from second on a single. That turned out to be a key play in the Cubs' 4-2 victory over the Giants.
Patrick Wisdom, who attended college at nearby St. Mary's, homered for the second straight night, accounting for the first run of the night in the fifth inning. He also doubled to spark a 3-run ninth, hitting a ball to left that might have been foul by an inch or two, but the fair call stood up upon replay.
Nico Hoerner sprinted home from third on Frank Schwindel's infield chopper, then Alfonso Rivas followed with an RBI single.
Cubs closer David Robertson pitched for the first time since Sunday and gave up a 2-run homer to Wilmer Flores in the bottom of the ninth. It was a the first homer allowed by the Cubs closer since June 23.
The Cubs were outhit 10-3 through eight innings and their hitters piled up 14 strikeouts, 11 against Giants starter Alex Cobb. But Marcus Stroman and the bullpen worked out of numerous sticky situations. San Francisco left 12 runners stranded. Stroman pitched six innings of shutout baseball.
Ross began his pregame remarks with an apology about the double-bird from the dugout, which he said was meant in jest and reportedly was directed at former Cubs outfielder Joc Pederson.
"It was kind of my hello to a friend of mine on the other side and just got caught on camera," Ross said. "I don't want any kids out there giving the birds to anybody. It's not the way I want to represent the organization or myself or my family."
There was Cubs news that didn't involve the trade deadline or the game in San Francisco. The Cubs officially signed their second-round pick, left-handed pitcher Jackson Ferris from IMG Academy for a bonus of $3.005 million, according to Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline.
At the moment, this is easily the largest bonus for a second-round pick this year. Ferris is a Mississippi commit, which might have scared some teams who thought he was headed to college. But the Cubs put a plan into action, taking Oklahoma pitcher Cade Horton earlier than expected in the first round, then using the bonus money savings to give Ferris an offer he couldn't refuse.
So the Cubs think they landed two first-round talents. Horton's bonus was $4.45 million, which is $1.26 million below the amount slotted for the No. 7 pick.
Another signing Friday was a bit of a surprise. The Cubs inked 16th-round pick J.P. Wheat, a right-hander from the Atlanta area who had committed to Georgia Tech. He's listed at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, can hit 95 mph with his fastball and obviously has room to fill out.
The signings of Ferris and Wheat likely wrap up the Cubs' draft with 19 of 20 picks signed.
In the minor leagues, veteran left-hander Wade Miley made a rehab start for the South Bend Cubs and it didn't go well. Miley gave up 4 earned runs and 6 hits in 2⅓ innings against the Lake County Captains. South Bend did win the game 7-6.
At Triple A Iowa, Cubs minor-league sensation Matt Mervis blasted a home run against Jordan Balazovic, the Minnesota Twins' top pitching prospect. Mervis, a 2020 undrafted free agent from Duke, now has 23 home runs and 86 RBI this season, while playing at three different levels.
As a comparison, Kris Bryant had 43 home runs and 110 RBI between Tennessee and Iowa in 2014. The Iowa Cubs still have 54 games left this season.