Friday was a happy return for Ryne Sandberg who managed the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs. However, the Chicago Cubs rallied back to take the final two games of the series to ruin Sandberg’s managerial debut at the ballpark where he manned second as a Hall of Fame player.
Sandberg was passed over for the Chicago Cubs managerial job twice, once for Mike Quade and most recently for current Cubs manager Dale Sveum. Sandberg didn’t return to manage in the Cubs’ Minor League system but instead moved on and ended up with Phillies where he is now the interim manager for the time being. Sandberg’s future remains in question as the Phillies have yet to remove the dreaded “interim” tag but the Phillies have played better under his watch.
As for the Cubs, winning a series at home is always good for the young players on the roster, especially since shortstop Starlin Castro continues to gain a greater presence at the plate. Castro is batting .333 with one home run, four RBI and, surprisingly, three walks in his last seven games. Hopefully the young shortstop has begun to put things back together from, what seems like, a slump that began last season.
Sunday saw Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta retire eight of the first nine batters he faced. Arrieta’s strong pitching outing coupled with a decent amount of runs scored by the Cubs offense, resulted in a 7-1 victory in favor of the North Siders as well as the series victory over the Phillies.
Next week the Cubs will host the Miami Marlins for three games and, after an off day on Thursday, the Milwaukee Brewers come to Wrigley for a weekend set. The Cubs will only host 12 more games this season, and it seems like that attendance will continue to decline as seen in a Phillies series where the bleachers were noticeably empty in areas.