CHICAGO – Addison Russell was not in Thursday’s lineup after starting Wednesday night in his return to the Cubs.
Manager Joe Maddon said Russell would start Friday’s series opener against Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Gio Gonzalez, but that he would ease Russell back into regular playing time.
“It will be an ease-in process,” Maddon said. "From what I saw [Wednesday], he still needs a little work in some areas. I don’t think he was totally accomplished at the plate yet. But even if he’s not, he’s still really attractive in the latter part of the game defensively, too.
“He looked fine to me catching a groundball and throwing it. We’ll ease him in. I’d like him to get some more work with [the hitting coaches] and just work it from there.”
The Cubs recalled Russell from Triple-A Iowa, where they had optioned him after he served a 40-game suspension for violating MLB's policy on domestic violence.
May the 9th be with him: Kris Bryant has hit a May 9 home run in four of his five seasons in the majors. The exception was 2016, when the Cubs’ game that day was postponed.
Bryant hit his first big-league home run May 9, 2015.
“I was just impressed with who was on the team,” he said. “It’s kind of funny. Starlin (Castro), Miggy (Miguel Montero) and (former pitching coach Chris) Bosio coming out. Just crazy how quick this game goes by. You’re always caught up in the team here and now, and you forget about all the guys you played with in the past and how much fun it’s been. It just goes by so quick that it’s really important to kind of sit back and appreciate it once in a while.”
For good measure, Bryant hit his 100th career homer May 9, 2018. As with Thursday’s homer, that also came against the Marlins at Wrigley Field.
It’s called long relief: Mike Montgomery pitched 5 innings topping his career-long relief outing since he went 4 1/3 innings against the Reds on April 17, 2017. It was the longest relief outing by a Cub since Luke Farrell tossed five scoreless innings against the Mets in June.
Montgomery became the first Cubs reliever to pitch at least five innings and finish a game since Chris Rusin in 2014 and the first to pitch at least five, finish the game and earn the win since Bob Scanlan on Aug. 3, 1991 at the Mets.