Even with Friday's 7-1 loss to the Cardinals at Wrigley Field, Chicago has gone 18-10 since Quade took over from Piniella on Aug. 23. And he's been doing it with a youth-laden roster.
"I'm proud of these guys, I'm proud of the staff," Quade said. "Everybody has made my transition very easy. Yeah, I'm proud of the job we've done. Big time. I've also learned a great deal in the last month about myself and the club and [the media] and it's been a great experience."
Some of that youth will be on display on the mound as Casey Coleman will make his seventh start of the season. Much like the rest of this Cubs team, Coleman seems to be getting stronger as the waning days of the season fly by. The 23-year-old has gone at least six innings in each of his past five starts with a very respectable 4.00 ERA in his three September outings to date. His last start was a solid, if unspectacular, victory in Florida to give Chicago its fifth straight win at the time.
"He's the classic work quick, change speeds, throw strikes [type of pitcher]," Quade said. "He locates, and he does all three of those things very well."
On Saturday, he'll face Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals' most recent 20-game winner getting the ball the day after another St. Louis starter, Adam Wainwright, hit the 20-win plateau for the first time in his career. Carpenter is 7-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 12 career starts in Wrigley Field, including a pair of victories this season. On Friday, the wind was blowing out, but that's not something Carpenter focuses on, perhaps the reason for his success at the Friendly Confines.
"Just make pitches, that's it," Carpenter said. "If I'm concerned about what the wind is doing, I've got no chance. I just concentrate on what I'm supposed to do."
A strong start from Coleman would be another nice performance to add to his audition for the 2011 rotation and there's no doubt he's made a strong impression. Quade knows something about auditions. And while official interviews have taken place with Eric Wedge and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, Quade must know that his current body of work certainly won't hurt when his name is considered.
"I'm very pleased with how he's run the club and handled himself," general manager Jim Hendry said of Quade. "The players are playing hard for him. It's a really positive environment going on in our locker room and it's a very solid blend of using the veterans properly and getting the kids the development we need to see toward the end of the season. It's very positive. He's doing an outstanding job."
Cardinals: Triple Crown hopes alive?
Hitting just .267 in September hasn't helped, but Albert Pujols still has a shot to win the National League Triple Crown. It might be an outside shot, but it's still mathematically possible.
Pujols went 1-for-2 on Friday, to up his average a tick to .310. That puts him fifth in the league, one spot behind teammate Matt Holliday (.315) and 32 points behind the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez. It's an uphill battle, but if he gets red-hot and CarGo cools off, it's not completely impossible.
What's more likely would be Pujols topping the circuit in the other two-thirds of the Triple Crown. He's all but assured of winning the home run title, with a six-homer cushion over Adam Dunn and Joey Votto. And he's just one RBI behind Gonzalez for the RBI lead. Pujols won his first home run crown in 2009, but he's never topped the league in RBIs.
Cubs: Castro keeps building his case
He only went 1-for-3 on Friday afternoon, but rookie shortstop Starlin Castro is doing everything he can to give him a shot at National League Rookie of the Year honors.
Castro is hitting .306 for the season, third among rookies behind only Buster Posey and Chris Johnson. It's unclear how much of an impact this will have, but he's put up that average over 118 games, with Posey just at 99 and Johnson at 85 heading into Friday night's action. Castro's 37 multi-hit games -- he had No. 27 on Thursday -- is the most multi-hit games in a season for a Cubs rookie infielder since Mark Grace had 41 back in 1988. It's tied for fourth most among NL rookies this year, behind Ian Desmond, Gaby Sanchez and Jason Heyward. In case you were wondering, Grace finished second in Rookie of the Year voting following that '88 season.
The Cubs will pass the three million mark in home attendance for the seventh consecutive season on Saturday, or every season since 2004. No other Chicago professional sports team has hit the three million plateau. ... The Cubs are now 13-7 in September. ... The Cardinals have now won four of seven at Wrigley Field this year.
Sat, 9/25 1:05 PM ET
Coleman, Cubs put damper on Cards' prospects
Casey Coleman turned in the longest start of his career as the Cubs rallied for a win, playing spoiler to the Cardinals' hopes for making the postseason. Chris Carpenter endured a rough outing for St. Louis.
|Castro, S, SS||4||1||1||0||1||0||3||.306|
|Ramirez, Ar, 3B||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.244|
|Hoffpauir, M, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.167|
|Soriano, A, LF||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.258|
|Hill, K, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.215|
|Coleman, C, P||2||1||0||0||1||1||0||.056|
2B: Pujols (38, Coleman, C).
TB: Jay; Pujols 3; Rasmus; Descalso; Ryan.
RBI: Anderson (3), Pujols (113).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Descalso; Schumaker.
Team RISP: 0-for-5.
Team LOB: 7.
CS: Rasmus (8, 2nd base by Coleman, C/Hill, K).
E: Anderson (1, throw).
2B: DeWitt (22, Carpenter), Castro, S (30, Carpenter), Snyder (1, MacDougal).
3B: DeWitt (5, Salas).
TB: DeWitt 5; Castro, S 2; Ramirez, Ar 2; Hoffpauir, M; Soriano, A; Fuld 2; Snyder 2.
RBI: Ramirez, Ar 2 (79), Fuld 2 (3), DeWitt 2 (51).
2-out RBI: Ramirez, Ar 2; Fuld 2; DeWitt 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Hill, K; Hoffpauir, M; Castro, S; Fukudome.
Team RISP: 5-for-12.
Team LOB: 8.
E: Ramirez, Ar (16, throw).
IBB: Soriano, A (by Carpenter).
HBP: Ryan (by Marmol).
Pitches-strikes: Carpenter 95-53, Hawksworth 6-5, Salas 34-21, MacDougal 26-15, Coleman, C 93-56, Marshall 20-12, Marmol 23-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Carpenter 4-6, Hawksworth 0-0, Salas 3-1, MacDougal 3-1, Coleman, C 9-5, Marshall 1-1, Marmol 0-0.
Batters faced: Carpenter 23, Hawksworth 2, Salas 7, MacDougal 7, Coleman, C 28, Marshall 4, Marmol 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Salas 1-1.
Ejections: St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa ejected by HP umpire Joe West (4th).
Umpires: HP: Joe West. 1B: Dan Bellino. 2B: Angel Hernandez. 3B: Rob Drake.
Weather: 55 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 11 mph, In from LF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media