Chicago Cubs

The Cubs put together the most powerful inning in franchise history

The Cubs put together the most powerful inning in franchise history

What a roller coaster.

After Jon Lester gave up nine runs in the top of the second inning, the Cubs stormed all the way back with the help of the most powerful inning in franchise history. But the comeback was to no avail as the Reds outlasted the Cubs in a 13-10 slugfest in front of 38,675 at Wrigley Field Thursday afternoon.

Ian Happ hit a solo homer in the second before the Cubs mashed four taters in the fourth inning, tying the franchise record for homers in an inning:

Back in 2008, it was Jim Edmonds, Mike Fontenot, Aramis Ramirez and Edmonds (again) homering in the fourth inning against the White Sox.

Thursday, it was Kris Bryant going yard first followed by Alex Avila, Happ and Javy Baez going back-to-back-to-back:

It was the first time the Cubs had hit three straight homers since Derrek Lee, Sammy Sosa and Michael Barrett turned the trick against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 15, 2004.

Kyle Schwarber later got in on the yabo parade with an opposite field shot of his own in the fifth inning:

Here's an entire montage of dingers and planes as the Chicago Air & Water Show prepares for the weekend:

After Schwarber's homer, Anthony Rizzo doubled home Bryant and Avila doubled home Rizzo to tie the game at nine.

From there, the Reds scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh and added solo tallies against the Cubs bullpen in the eighth and ninth innings. The Cubs did not have another comeback left in them, though Joe Maddon was more than pleased with the effort from his players.

Maddon said when he went out to remove Lester from the game in the second inning, he told all the infielders he needed each one of them to hit a homer. The quartet combined for four homers, but Happ hit two and Rizzo hit none and the homers were "not transferrable" Maddon joked.

It's the first time the Cubs have lost with back-to-back-to-back homers since 1999 and also the first time they were defeated when hitting six homers since 1979:

Javier Baez stars for Cubs while his mind drifts to Hurricane Maria and family in Puerto Rico

Javier Baez stars for Cubs while his mind drifts to Hurricane Maria and family in Puerto Rico

MILWAUKEE – Javier Baez tries to use baseball as an escape, but his thoughts inevitably drift toward Puerto Rico and the damage and destruction Hurricane Maria has inflicted on his beloved island.  

“I’ve been doing my best to stay in the game,” Baez said. “But, really, my mind has been over there, trying to find out about family, how they’re doing.”

Baez could compartmentalize enough in the ninth inning to deliver the two-out, two-strike, game-tying RBI single on Thursday night at Miller Park, setting the stage for a dramatic 5-3 comeback victory over the Milwaukee Brewers that created a huge shift in momentum for the Cubs in the National League Central race.  

But several Cubs have been distracted during this nightmare hurricane season, seeing the haunting images on TV and thinking about more than magic numbers. Baez finally made contact with his brother, Gadiel, before Friday’s game in Milwaukee.

“He finally found a spot that has service. Everybody’s disconnected,” Baez said. “It’s been really, really crazy over there. They say there’s no trees in Puerto Rico right now.

“It’s really bad. (But) there are still people smiling and trying to get through it. We got no (other) option. Our whole family is over there. I think if we work together, the process is going to be faster and the help is going to be (stronger). Hopefully, everybody stays together and just tries to help.”

Baez has been using his social-media platforms, asking for prayers and helping raise funds through the GoFundMe page started by catcher Rene Rivera’s family and supported by teammate Victor Caratini.

Known for his flash and highlight-reel moments, Baez is actually more of a low-key personality off the field, close to his family and developing into one of the most important and dependable players for the defending World Series champs.       

“Sometimes, when you are going through difficult moments,” manager Joe Maddon said, “getting out there kind of is that little island that you need just to park your brain for a couple hours.

“You keep reading about it. You’re talking four-to-six months without power. When you read those lines, you know it’s devastating. But live it.

“Again, as an athlete, when you’re going through difficulties outside of your occupation, sometimes it’s the best place to be for those couple hours. And then you go back to reality afterwards.

“Javy has been on the stage. He’s had the bright lights shining on him for a long period of time for a young guy. He’s learned how to handle this pretty well.”

Baez starred for the team that made it to the World Baseball Classic championship game in March. He could feel the pride and energy and what that meant to Puerto Rico during an economic crisis.

“Our whole island, they were there for us,” Baez said. “If we really work together, we can get through it faster, and everything’s going to be OK over there.”

Carlos Zambrano on his messy exit from Cubs: 'It was my fault'

Carlos Zambrano on his messy exit from Cubs: 'It was my fault'

Carlos Zambrano didn't leave the Cubs on the best of terms and apologized to make for a better relationship with the organization. He thinks Sammy Sosa should do the same.

Zambrano recalled his messy exit in an interview on Facebook Live with CSN's David Kaplan. He talked about what made him decide to make amends with the Cubs in the clip above. See the full interview below:

'Big Z' Carlos Zambrano just stopped by! Have any questions for the former Cubs All-Star before they take on the Brewers again tonight?

Posted by CSN Chicago on Friday, September 22, 2017

"When I was traded it was not my best year with the Cubs," Zambrano recalled. "I say I don't think if I go to Chicago people will receive me as well. I think I will get booed. That was in my mind. I say the way I got out of Chicago wasn't the best way. Then people started calling me... My friends here were saying they love you here, you have to come back."

Zambrano said he "humbled" himself in his return to Chicago and threw out the first pitch for a Cubs game in May this season.

"I said, you know what, it was me," Zambrano said. "It was my fault the way I got off of the Cubs. It was my fault, not the Cubs' fault.

"I have to apologize because my last two years and the way I did it with the Cubs wasn't good."

Zambrano's situation is somewhat similar to Sosa's in terms of a rocky relationship with the organization post-playing career. The 36-year-old former pitcher thinks Sosa should do what Zambrano did.

"For me, I think Sammy has to come here," Zambrano said. "He's been here. I don't think people would boo him. Not in this age because the Cubs are winning. The Cubs won the World Series and everybody is happy here. Sammy was a big part of the Cubs for this town. Sammy did a lot of good things for the Cubs. He did more than I.

"He just needs to show up."