True Q--Cubs 8 Orioles 0

Jose Quintana's debut was everything that could be hoped for and more. Q showed why the Cubs parted with the number 5 prospect in baseball and then some for 3 and a half years of this. Quintana baffled the Orioles bats all day. The Cubs lefty, that feels so good to write, didn't allow a base runner until Adam Jones hit a ground rule double to start the fourth inning. Beef Castle's two out fifth inning single was the only other base runner Q surrendered on the day. Quintana would pitch 7 strong innings. Carl Edwards and Brian Duensing pitched a scoreless inning each to complete the Cubs fourth shutout of the season.

The Cubs offense struck in the second inning against Ubaldo Jimenez. Willson Contreras ripped a leadoff double, and Kyle Schwarber followed that up with his own double. Contreras had to hold up to make sure the ball dropped and was then unable to score on the play. It didn't matter as Ian Happ laced the third consecutive double to plate the pair. Jason Heyward singled to drive in Happ. Heyward stole second and ended up on third on Jon Jay's groundout. Ben Zobrist delivered a two out single to give the Cubs a comfortable 4 run lead. Jose Quintana must have really felt strange going out in the second inning with a lead.

The Cubs added pairs of runs in the fourth inning and the ninth inning. The fourth inning started against Jimenez with a Jay single. Kris Bryant blasted a two run shot to extend the Cubs lead to 6-0. The game was comfortably in hand when Anthony Rizzo hit a two run bomb to make it 8-0. The Cubs completed the sweep easily, and they gave us that winning streak I mentioned a couple of days ago. The Phillies did their job in taking one, and the Cubs are again with 5 games of their second division crown in as many years.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

True Q
If there was any doubt about how good Jose Quintana really is? Today we saw the guy that has been toiling for a mostly bad franchise for a long time. Quintana struggled early in the seson, but had really turned around in the month of June. Today's outing continued a really strong run going back 11 games now. This also marked the third straight game that the Cubs starters didn't allow a run in the first inning. If this really is a turning point than it is going to start with the starting pitchers.

I'm Not Saying But I'm Just Saying
The Cubs offense had a really good weekend in Baltimore. That is a bit of an understatement as the Cubs scored 27 runs in 3 games. The Baltimore pitching staff is what many noted baseball experts call very bad as well. So you don't want to read too much into any of this, but a number of Cubs hitters have been hot recently. Willson Contreras and Addison Russell might have gotten the most headlines this weekend given their performances, but I want to highlight the Cubs most expensive player. Jason Heyward had 2 hits in each of his games in Baltimore. Today it was just 2 singles, but that brought his season wRC+ to 94. That is still a below average hitter, but the trend has been very positive. Prior to today, Heyward had a .304/.385/.565 slash line in the 7 games since returning from the disabled list. It is a terribly small sample size of course, but if you allow me to play the arbitrary end points game I will go back to June 6th. Heyward has a .284/.342/.463 slash line. A player that does all the things Jason Heyward does at an elite level that has that slash line is a pretty damn valuable player. He just needs to actually hit at that level for more than just my arbitrary end points.

Random Reference


Now!

Three Stars of Game
Third Star-Kris Bryant (3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
I think that Bryant mini-slump is over now.

Second Star-Willson Contreras (4-5, 1 R)
Contreras is so hot right now.

First Star-Jose Quintana (7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 12 K)
12 strike outs to 0 walks.
q-oh-its-very-nice

Comments

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  • WOW!!!! Sutcliffe 2.0?

  • Quintana takes the mound and run production drops 20%. Bad trade.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yeah, and where will Quintana be tomorrow!? And the Cubs will still be without Jimenez!

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    In reply to Richard Beckman:

    I fall goes as planned Quintana will be in Atlanta.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I don't see why we'd leave him in Baltimore.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I honestly wish the whole team could stay in Baltimore & play the rest of the games there after the performance this weekend

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    Yea Bama I agree but wow!.......I have to admit I was worried about this series coming out of the break because I always thought Baltimore was pretty good plus they were at home but dayum.....that starting pitching of theirs SUCKS.......I had no idea......
    They have a decent team, a good lineup with some big time players but those ERA's all over 6? Ouchey wow wow.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    LOL!!!

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    I'm guessing "in the dugout," but I'm no expert. At least we no longer owe the white sox for Sosa...

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    All for us getting Quintana. He was brilliant yesterday. Think we could of gotten him without giving up the #8 prospect in baseball. Zagunis should have been the outfielder in deal instead of Eloy. Last year a buddy that is a minor league GM said that Eloy was the best player he's welcome through the league since Cory Seger. He said don't trade that guy, he's going to be a beast.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    If they could have gotten him for Zagunis, trust me, they would have. I honestly don't even think it was an overpay. Talent requires talent in return. You can probably thank Arizona and the Shelby Miller deal for escalating trade costs for starting pitching. That and the crazy FA market for TOR starters.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Agree, but trading Eloy may come back to haunt us. My guess is Theo sees something he doesn't like about Eloy, like he saw in Soler???

  • In reply to TC154:

    probabley not for zagunis but hahn was quoted as saying it was far and away the best deal they had been offered in the year they have been shopping him. i know the astros turned them down at the beginning of the year when hahn reportedly asked for their best pitching prospect marte and kyle tucker plus one or two other pieces. at that time the 'stros pitching need was percieved to be greater and they would have had four full years of control , they said no at the cost as did every other team that inquired. the cost was too great. cubs sold the future for the present.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    I think the cubs got off light when you get one of the top pitchers in the league for 4 years.

    In exchange for an OF who has no place to play (i know if he is that good they would find a place for him) and a pitcher who has had an injury history.

    I will never argue against this trade. Not even in 2021.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I'm not arguing with the trade, just include somebody else instead of Eloy. The White Sox GM obviously insisted on Eloy and Dylan, he gets a future star outfielder and a pitcher to replace Quintana, 2 for 1. Looks like White Sox are going young like Cubs did when Theo first arrived.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    If you're arguing about including Eloy, you ARE "arguing with the trade." Do you really doubt Theo started by offering less? Do you think Theo got fleeced by the likes of Rick Hahn? It's two A-ball prospects that could end up superstars or could end up to be Jorge Soler and Justin Grimm - in exchange for potential multiple WS appearances before the Cubs young core ages or becomes FAs. As others have said, it's the right trade at the right time.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    yes

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    In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    "All in favor of the Cubs trading Carson Sands and Mark Zagunis for Quintana raise your hands. Seems to be only Cubs fans with their hands in the air."

    If the Cubs offered less I doubt the deal gets done. No one seems to be "thrilled" with what the Cubs gave up. The closest is those people relieved it didn't include any actual MLB player (Baez, Happ, Edwards, etc.). But that isn't quite the same thing. Obviously it is possible that the Cubs got bamboozled on this. But I doubt it. That doesn't mean that Jiminez (and Cease) won't turn into solid or even outstanding ball players. But the Cubs want to maximize their chances now, not in 3-5 years.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    I think the White Sox are making all the right moves. I tip my hat to them and I think they'll probably be very good in a few years. Fine, but we're really good now but needed a pitcher. I do that deal all day, every day. We have gotten so used to prospects being can't miss that we forget that they can, and often do, miss. The Cubs and Sox are in very different windows.

  • In reply to TC154:

    he gets a future star outfielder and a pitcher to replace Quintana, 2 for.

    Is Eloy going to be the next Bryant? Is Cease the next ace a staff?

    Unless one of these things happen. I am ok with the trade. We have to remember that most of these prospects aren't going to be the next Kris Bryant.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Oops didn't mean to reply to you meant to Roe Skidmore:

  • In reply to TC154:

    or you can make the window 10-15 years like the braves of the nineties. they did it with a strong farm system and adding a rookie every year or two , slowly turning over the roster. the present core doesn't have to be the only core.

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    In reply to DLROBERTSON:

    Like you the Braves of the '90's, not the Yankees of the same time period, are my gold standard.

    But what they did took a great deal of courage. My favorite was when they traded David Justice to get a veteran (Lofton) and a mediocre reliever (Embree) but it also cleared money off their books to allow them to re-sign Maddux and Glavine for a few more years AND they would only "block" Andruw Jones for a year and let him break in a little more slowly and controlled. It was a gutsy thing to do and it worked for them in the best possible way. This is why I am willing to consider trading Davis or Arrieta. They were also willing to trade Ryan Klesko coming off a really good season.

    But that was also 20 years ago when they could get something significant by offering Lofton arbitration and then collect 1st round draft picks. While the game on the field is the same the game played by front offices is completely different because it is a completely different environment.

  • Ace.

  • Interesting thought.

    Cubs take Kyle Schwarber with the 4th pick in the 2014 draft and wind up saving a fair chunck of change by doing so. they take some of that savings to draft a kid by the name of Dylan Cease who would have gone in the 1st round were it now for his TJS.

    No way he signs for slot money and the only reason he did was because the Cubs gave him way over slot type of money.

    3 years later he is a huge part of the package that turns into Quintana.

  • TWO QS's in a row! Multiple hitters with multiple hits per game.....AND a Brewer loss.......yep, a great weekend:)

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    So what you're saying is we trade Davis and Arrieta for prospects, listen on offers for Schwarber and Baez, throw in the towel on the 2017 season and fade meekly away?

    Yeah, me neither...

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Lol.......yea.....you know me! I'm always for guttin the whole thing, starting over and not appreciating what happened last year :)

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'd also think about trading Bryant and Rizzo. Then the Cubs could have a top 3 farm system. "wink ... wink".

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Yankees need a 1B & 3B. Could package them together for Judge, Torres, Frazier, Fowler, & 5 WS Titles. I'm kidding, but it feels good to be able to joke in the recap comments again.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    You forgot to throw in some complaints about losing Geyber...

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    No that's what I'm saying.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Sorry to step on your toes, Stubbs. Maybe you can do some depressing lyrics. :)

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Everybody hurts. Sometimes.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Bravo! And that's appropriate, because I can't stand REM.

  • Great series by the Cubs! The offense woke up. I don't care who it is against, three straight games of production look good no matter what. Pitching in today's game (and yesterday's) was excellent. Quintana was everything I had hoped for. A guy coming in and pitching like that his first time out as a Cub has to get the whole team excited. It got me excited.

  • In reply to Mom2futurecubs:

    I'm with you. After seeing this team struggle against bad teams & make 5th starters look like Cy Young, I'll take a sweep where the offense scored 27 runs

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    That 2nd inning was impressive, and inspiring. AB after AB taking the ball up the middle with authority. Schwarber was especially impressive. Pitchers had found a hole hard and away, and he'd pull and roll over. Nice to see him driving the ball toward left-center. Nice to see all these hitters taking the ball up the middle and not relying simply on the HR.

    Speaking of "taking it up the middle", JD had an awesome comment after Willson took one "up the middle". JD: "That will make you retire."

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I saw that. It looks like Contreras said he had a lose grape that got grazed when he was talking to the ump. Contreras said he didn't like the way his bats felt so he's been using Caratini's this series. I think it is a safe bet that he'll be using those for a little while longer

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Contreras looks like he told the ump he had a hanging grape that was brushed with ball. In a post game interview Contreras said that he didn't like the way his bats felt & has been using Caratini's all series.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That stuff's what made me quit softball.
    There ain't no hazard pay (or any pay) in softball.
    And softballs ain't all that soft!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Looked like he told ump he had a man dangling outside his cup & it was grazed by the ball

  • That is the nice thing about trading for proven major league talent. Great to see the instant impact this trade can have on the team. Also great to see better quality at bats by the Team overall. The hitters in general seem to be doing a better job of going with the pitch nice to see thew lefties taking it to left center on those doubles.

  • 1. Looks like we found ourselves a clean up hitter.

    2. Looks like we got ourselves an ace

    3. Looks like they knew they would coast until the ASG and then get down to business.

    4. Looks like it's 2016 all over again. That's what this weekend felt like.

    And I'm all in!

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    In reply to TTP:

    The team looked like the 2016 Cubs. It is only a 3 game series against a bad team but it is something and I won't complain.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    joel, let's see what they do against major league pitching. i live in Va and see the orioles on tv every night ( if i wanted to) that staff is dylan bundy and 4 guys with no business in the major leagues.

  • When you see Quintana pitch, the trade was a no brainer.

    We may never see 7 innings like this from Dylan cease in his entire career. Same goes with Jimenez if he produces as an above average hitter (above .280 with 25 hrs) it will be 3 yrs from now and certainly not a given.

    But for the next 4 years we should have a TOR.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I think Cease could become a Britton type of reliever, but I'd be really surprised if he becomes a TOR rotation guy bc of his injury history. Jimenez will be a really good player & I'm sure everyone would love to have him, but if Q can pitch like he has in the past it's hard to not see how it's a win-win for both teams

  • Hopefully Hendricks has a good minor league start tomorrow. If so, this team could be ready to roll. Go Cubs!

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I'd like to see Lester pick it up a notch, too. Confidence is contagious, so hitters hitting and Jake & Q getting it done could be motivation for Jon, too.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Also Maddon said that Lackeys foot is better so he can pitch better. Maybe we have a starting rotation like last years again. :-)

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    Everything we were looking for in this team showed today--great pitching, defense and lots of hitting. This is the team we can have. Q looks like an ace. I never saw any emotion from him, just going out and doing his job. He reminds me so much of Lester (although Lester shows much more emotion on the mound) but he grinds and pitches. I'd rather have a great team than a top 5 team of prospects. Thank you Theo!!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    You can still have a good system & a good team. You can't rely on buying players to fix all your problems & in case of injuries having internal options is a big plus. Look at teams like LAA, SF, & AZ that do not have a farm system to go get players at the deadline. You need a healthy system or you're setting yourself up for a full rebuild in 4-5 years. The Q deal was a good deal bc he is controlled for 3.5 yrs at a reasonable salary. Giving up elite prospects for rentals is where you get in trouble. **I think the Chapman trade was OK bc the team had a shot to break the 108 yr curse. It sucked to lose Torres but the title was much sweeter. However, now that the teams got that title I'd hate that type of trade if it happened this year or next

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    In reply to Bamacub:

    I wouldn't either but I would rather trade prospects for someone is proven. Also, our major league roster is filled with players that could very well still be in the minors. The Chapman trade was worth it and I think the Q trade is too. Even if in 4 or 5 years either Cease or Eloy is an up and coming star Theo made the right move not just for this year but the next 3 too. Our scouting dept will fill our system--they have before and will again.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I agree that those 2 trades were necessary for the success the team had last year & going forward. The team needs to hold onto the remaining high ceiling prospects & rebuild the farm through IFA & the draft. I don't have an issue with Quintana bc of his team control, but I'd hate another Chapman type trade.

  • Contreras said he wasn't comfortable with the feel of his bat so he used Caratini's all series. I think it's safe to say he'll be using it for a while

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    If Contreras really likes Caratini's bats he could order some of his own.

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    In reply to Bamacub:

    I bet he wishes Szczur were still around. He was always ready to let people use his equipment.

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    In reply to Bamacub:

    Which is crazy considering if we took out the BAL series and went back 100 PA he was still posting about a 400 wOBA over that span.

    Willy is just roaring right now. His first 600 MLB PA have basically been worth 5 WAR. Just awesome.

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    In reply to Nick Perry:

    I hadn't realized he was doing that well. Holy crap!

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    A lot of defensive value in there with all of the runners he has thrown out on the bases.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Yeah. I just hadn't checked his fWAR in a while. Defense counts too!

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    And those pesky redbirds lost as well. A true trifecta of a day! Now let's carry this momentum to ATL.

  • In reply to TeacherluvsCubs:

    We need to do just that. Everyone in the Cubs organization knew that the break out of the All-Star break gate was crucial. The FO worked during the break and brought in reinforcements. That is huge for confidence and moral. Heyward is taking on an ever-increasing leadership role, and said the FO did their job and the players need to step up. These first two series after the break really are going to determine whether we are buyers or sellers. We can add more pieces. So far, so good. Bring on Atlanta!

  • Certainly looks like the CUBS have a new #1 Ace!

  • Happy to have Quintana, and happy to see the lineup score on a string of hits rather than just homers.

  • It was a joy to watch Q pitch today. He came in with purpose and excelled, our guys have struggled in part due to confidence and this guy comes over and reminds them that this is the place to be. These are the opportunities. These guys are remembering that.

  • In reply to TC154:

    My daughter and son in law are Sox fans, and I had seen Q pitch a couple times(tv) in 2016. I had pretty good idea of what he could do and why I was so thrilled to get him. I know that it's just one game, but I've seen him pitch like that before.

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    doolittle & madson

    to Wash

    I was suprised only # 6 & # 10 prospects

    Id do that trade for the cubs

    send Grimm & Butler to Iowa

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    The #10 prospect Luzardo is much better than his ranking. He was a 3rd rounder bc he had TJS his senior year. He's back now & throwing 91-94 & touching 97. He's got a 3 pitch mix & some scouts said he had the best CB in last years draft. The #6 was a 2 round pick in last years draft also & is hitting .291 in low A, but is old for the league. Treinan has been good until this year, so he is a possible change of scenery candidate. He's also got 3 yrs of control left so he could be a flip if he can regain his value, which is likely when he pitches at O.Co & it's giant playing surface. It's a much better return than it looks on paper

  • Many need to slow down. Yes I am as happy as anyone the we hit and Q looked good. Let's be a little realistic. Baltimore is bad. The pitching staff is 30th in era. Baltimore's hitters put up 5 earned runs off of 3 guys who have over 4.00 era. Brewers beat up on them before the break. I need to see 2-3 weeks of winning series to see if boys are back.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I am with you. Yes, it is good to beat up on bad teams and it is better to do that than struggle against them. But I am not ready to say that the league should be trembling in their cleats. Let's just put together some series wins and chew away at this lead that MIL has.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    We agree on something again. The Braves & Cardinals are much better teams. I want to wait to see how they do against those teams before I get ready to say this teams ready for the WS. It is important that they came out of the break hot bc we've seen this team have trouble against weak opponents this year

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    No doubt. But it's fun to get excited.

    These next two weeks are huge: Atl, StL, Sox, Mil. We need to go at least 9-4 during that stretch. 10-3 or better would be awesome -- and certainly doable. This is the run we need.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Absolutely. Never too high, never too low. But I see no fault in getting excited when things are trending in the right direction. These first couple series out of the break hold substantial meaning toward the direction of the rest of this season, and we aced the first one. More importantly, IMO, we played well in doing so. This is still the best team in baseball, and I won't give up.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    And finally the Brewers lost.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    On that note, I hope ya'll will allow me to vent. My brother is a die-hard, though less-informed, Cubs fan. He often makes fun of me because I follow the small, local Cubs blogs and he gets his news from more reputable, nationwide sources like Facebook, Bleacher Report, and Sports Mockery. He told me again today that it is reported that Theo insists he is trading Schwarber to set an example to the team. Doesn't care about the return, he insists, because the reports are a message needs to be sent. When I offer my uneducated opinion, I get ridiculed again for reading my "little" blogs and a reminder that this news came "straight from Theo's mouth". Sigh.

    I was in a watering hole a few days ago, and began talking Cubs to a few stangers. One man said that our first baseman, "Rodgers", couldn't hit and should be traded, and that our third baseman was lazy and wouldn't hustle (I swear I'm not making this up). We were watching the game, and I said Grimm was about to enter the game. Mr. Cub fan said he should be let go as well, because he hasn't hit well in two years.

    I love Cubs Den. Thank ya'll for your intellectual stimulation,, even when we disagree.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I was wondering who I was talking to at the bar that night. I'm not good with names but you knew who I meant. Grimm has hit terrible ever since he's been with the team. I don't think that's so controversial

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    On a serious note. My wife occasionally watches games with me & always asks how Russo is doing, even though she always wears a shirt with his name on the back. I don't understand how she hasn't figured out his name isn't Russo. In her defense m, Szczur kind made her not care about learning player names

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    In reply to Bamacub:

    "Szczur kind made her not care about learning player names"

    BP, that is my new favorite sentence!

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    Hilarious, Bama. Next time identify yourself. I'll buy you a drink and try to convince you why Sandberg's slider was not Hall-of-Fame worthy.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    He isn't in the HOF for his slider. It was his devastating FB/CH combo. He toyed with a slider for a few years before settling on a "Cutter." I know because I am a knowledgeable Cubs fan who has cheered for the Cubs since before I was born.

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    unfortunately, most who have hit against him in the last two years have hit pretty well.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    First off, for your brother I can't find ANYWHERE where Theo said he wants to "send a message" by trading Schwarber. I am curious to read the article.

    As for "Mr. Cub fan" he is absolutely right that "Rodgers" should be traded. Afterall, not only can't he hit but he is "blocked" by a pretty good 1B.

    As for Grimm, I have to agree with Mr. Cub fan. He can't hit worth a darn. 266 career games and 0 hits. How does a guy like that stay in the league. Granted in those 266 games he has a grand total of 6 PAs with 4 ending in K's. I swear his 67% k% makes Baez 2014 look like Joe DiMaggio. Maybe we should blame Maddon for not getting him more consistent plate appearances.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yes.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Bahahahahahaha.........ain't that the truth.....ya run into them all the time lol!

    This last weekend my daughter-in-law was out in Vegas....I had her put $100 down on the Cubs.....they are at 8 to 1 now.

    I guess she got the fever though and put $50 on her alma mater Gators to win in football and came back all excited over her 30 to 1 but she ran into someone at the counter telling her to not bother wasting money on the Cubs.......that they were in last place......

    Whatthehellever........

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Both Cubs and Braves are at/near .500 and have won 3 in a row. Could be a great series in Atlanta.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Don't be the voice of reason here. Pom poms only.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I was glad to see Schwarber not leading off and Zobrist not at clean up. Contreras certainly responded in the cleanup role.

  • The Mets said they they are waiting to promote their top prospect Rosario bc they are afraid that Asdrubal Cabrera will be upset to see him manning SS. This has to be one of the dumbest excuses I've ever heard. Cabrera is not very good & if he has that big of a problem with it he should be DFAd. Could you imagine if the Cubs didn't call up Bryant bc Olt would be upset to see the top prospect, who is much more talented, take his position

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    "The Mets said.."

    That explains it all. The modern Mets would have kept Wally Pipp in the lineup rather than let some kid named Lou Gehrig possibly show him up.

  • In reply to JTWilson:

    I hope that they are just wanting to not let him accumulate service time & not really holding him back bc of a potential clubhouse problem bc the guy that was playing terrible is upset. If that is true then Mets fans' should boycott until Alderson is fired.

  • I'm feeling irrationally exuberant after sweeping the O's. And, I'm gonna love watching Quintana's wipeout curve against LA and WSH the next few years.

  • I took the family to the game yesterday, and man was that fun. I sure wish they could face Baltimore's pitching a few more times this year. Rizzo made me look prescient, when he stepped up in the fifth AB after going 0/4 with 2 Ks I told the wife, "these bum's won't keep Rizzo down all day, he's probably going to hit a homer"...then BOOM a shot to deep center. Thank you Anthony! Now my wife knows I can occasionally be right...probably won't happen again anytime soon, so I'm just going to.ride the wave while I can.

  • Anyone think Cubs have a shot at Stroman??

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    It has much to do with match up and motivation but Stroman fits all the checks TOR young starter, control through 2020, but like Quintana it costs top MLB prospects, therefore Cubs cupboard is empty in that asset.

    Cubs could offer Happ or Schwarber or Russell as headliner, where Happ or Russell probably more coveted as they can play 2B, more Happ for them but then Cubs would have to part with Candelario and at least another, probably advanced pitchers, De La Cruz or Clifton. But to be honest it would mean a bit of shake up on the MLB roster, and full use of current MiLB pipeline but this would be a bold move for this year and years to come. Toronto has a big shake up ahead, Donaldson should be dealt, and then there are three other major contracts.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Unless something drastic changes in the next few weeks I really think Toronto is going to hold pat, other than rentals like Estrada, and retool a bit for next year. Their window isn't quite closed if they don't want it to be and if they fail then they could still get a haul for Stroman at the deadline next year or into the winter of 2018. If I were them I go one more year. Lots of parity in the AL so why give up early? Plus once they do close the window you're talking the usual 5-7 years. I think the smart move is to compete in 2018 then blow it up either way.

  • While we shouldn't get TOO excited about sweeping the O's and their pitching staff, it should be noted that Baltimore was 9 games over .500 at home prior to the Cubs series. And, let's be honest, the Cubs lost just as many games to weaker teams in the first half as they did to good teams. They were truly equal opportunity mediocre. : ) I definitely think, however, that they are going to play their best baseball going forward and it should be fun to watch.

  • Lifetime moment; watching the game on your smart phone, while sitting on the bank of a CO reservoir fishing on a glorious mid-70s clear day, as Quintana aces the opposition where your fishing mate is as a die-hard White Sox fan as I am a Cubs fan. His only solace was catching one more rainbow than me.

    Ok, Cubs appear to be playing with a sense of urgency, still down 3 games in the loss column they need to make a win streak, first road series sweep of the year, make it two. Getting healthy I still think there are two more roster acquisitions to be made for August-September and march for the playoffs.

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    In reply to rnemanich:

    Tell your friend to re-evaluate this trade after 2020. Truthfully anytime there is a legit prospect dealt for an established MLB player I think we need to give it 3-5 years before really being able to evaluate if it was a "good deal" or not.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    My friend is okay, the Sox need to totally retool and he knows BB as much or more than me as he was Tracy's first Little League coach, (Tracy the current ASU head coach and former IU head coach that was Schwarber's coach). In his youth friend tried to walk on IU BB, made first cut then well, go study and party. We agreed for decades took more crap from him than me to him, but now he has to take it. Quintana was his current favorite Sox player.

    He said Epstein and Hoyer are masters and Cubs will ride this horse like the damn Yankees. He predicts that Cubs will make another big deal for a big arm this year and complete a rotation that could take them to the WS again.

    We both agreed that on paper the Cubs have two MLB overages or surplus; Russell and/or Happ. In his book Russell is more valuable, better defender, power bat in the middle infield and experienced in the WS and playoff run twice. It can't be discounted but Happ is more sexy, HR hitter; multiple position player but really none really well. Championships are won with pitching and defense.

    So as we watched the lines, corner of our eyes on the game with the sun at our back us siting on our lawn chairs under the shade in our favorite walk in spot enjoying CO's freedom and liberty of being in the mountains, he said bet they deal Happ. Cubs have Zobrist, have Baez, Almora, Schwarber, Jay and La Stella, but no other SS besides Baez if they trade Russell. Would Happ entice the likes of Gray or Stroman? Seems obvious to him.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Happ being a switch hitter must also enhance his value. I wonder how the FO feels about him long term v. Schwarber? Do they regard Schwarber as long term better hitter, better value, despite defense, serious injury early in career, anchored to one position?

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    In reply to rnemanich:

    Quintana being your friends favorite player explains some of his reaction. I like talking to other knowledgeable fans as well. I have a few that are not on this page but pretty much the rest are.

    I don't like the idea of trading Happ but for the right deal I could get behind it. He has flaws (lacks real "defensive home") but can play serviceably in all 3 OF spots (even CF if he has to) and switch-hits.

    I feel pretty good about the rotation going into the playoffs, though. We need 4 pitchers at that point and Lester, Quintana, Hendricks and Arrieta (not necessarily in that order) looks pretty good to me. While we may not always have clearly the best pitcher in the game we are also not likely to be completely over-matched either.

    If the Cubs do make another deal I anticipate it being 1 of 2 types:
    1. Minor transaction: Something along the lines of acquiring Montgomery or Butler. Not a "headline-grabber" at the deadline but acquiring a potentially useful piece, but not a cornerstone.

    2. Another Quintana type deal where they acquire someone significant with several years of team control at very reasonable rates/value. Someone along the lines of Archer or Gray, though I wouldn't restrict myself to only those guys just because they are "talked about."

    Theo and Jed have shown themselves able to make deals that people weren't expecting (Shark for Russell, Vogelbach for Montgomery, etc.). So I wouldn't be surprised if we are surprised if that makes sense.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I think any additional SP acquisition would only be done before the trading deadline with an eye to the long term.

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    In reply to markw:

    Honestly, both of them would likely be long-term assets. Just a matter of whether the Cubs went for broke again or simply got someone who might be "interesting." I doubt that the Cubs have the firepower to get another top-flight guy but I have seen stranger things.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    joel, you and i had that extended discussion the day of the eloy trade. i was actually hoping for happ over eloy. happ and cease i could live with.

  • Qs next start is next Friday in the opener against the Dirty Birds. Martinez is scheduled for the Dirty Birds, who losy yesterday because there bullpen choked in the 9th. I think only Fowler amongst the Cards players has seen Q before, so he should have an advantage.

  • Gained a lot of respect for Rick Hahn for pulling the trigger on the trade and for his comments afterward about dealing with the Cubs. But I'm not quite buying his story that it's always been that way. I think there was some serious convincing of the big boss (Reinsdorf) to let this trade go through. Last winter when Chris Sale was on the market, Washington, Boston, and others were widely reported to be after him. The Cubs were never mentioned. This was amazing to me, as I thought the Sox should at least entertain and/or leak a couple rumors to drive the price up, if nothing else. No other pitcher in the last 10 years was a better fit than the Cubs and Sale. And yet during the winter meetings........crickets.

    Anyway, what a treat watching Q pitch yesterday. Pinpoint control was outstanding. So many times this year I've seen Willson call for a high fastball with two strikes, only to see our pitchers fire one over the batter's head. Quintana consistently threw that pitch shoulder high on the corners. Let's hope the rest of our staff starts pitching like they're capable, and we finally can get on a roll.

  • The Post Nazi filter to NoDoubtAboutIt: No post for you!

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    How about J Wilson & Avila from the Tigers? Wilson would give the BP the big boost they need & Avila is raking. Plus he's a lefty to platoon with Contreras when needed. Both players contracts are up after the season though. That's my only problem. What would it take to aquire both is my question?

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    Then spend in FA if Darvish, etc make it there.

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    Now I saw a report of the Cubs looking at Britton. I'd pass on that.

  • Great trade for now. The Cubbies paid a lot and the Sox will reap the benefit in about three or for years. This was a trade that had to be made. Now, subtract Lackey, add Gray or the SP from Detroit ( The young one ) & C. Yellich and let's get ready for the playoffs !
    GO CUBBIES ! W.S.2017

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    In reply to ronvet69:

    Those trades would deplete half our core players. It would be nice to have those 2 players, but no way it happens

  • Thank your lucky stars the Shark didn't accept the Cubs previous offer. He wanted to be paid for future performances which in his estimate was to be pretty good ! 7 earned yesterday in less than 4 innings against the powerful Padres ! HA HA HA ! The Giants really got sucker punched in that deal ! Go Cubs !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    He pitched 6 innings yesterday, as he has in 14 of his last 15 starts. But the home runs, as always, killed him. I still think he'd make a good BOR guy for the Cubs, but 20mil a year is ridiculous.

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    The shark isn't worth more that 3 years for 24m total. The sad thing is the dummy did well under Chris Bosio's instruction.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Shark is a 3/4 type and those guys cost $14-$20 mil AAV. In 2.5 years including his year on the South Side he has accumulated 7.5 fWAR which is roughly valued at $8 mil per win/WAR. That places his "worth" at about $60 mil in that span using that rough figure. He's made, through the middle of this season in that span, $40.5 mil. To be fair because of some of his inconsistencies that $60 mil is a little high, the formula isn't perfect, but if you think a 3/4 pitcher with a FIP in the mid 3's can be had for 3/$24 mil I'd love to find that guy. I get that people don't like him, but he doesn't stink.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I posted a long post that got eaten but the short version is that Shark is nearly worth his contract. He makes $19,800 AAV and in 1 1/2 years of that deal he's accumulated 4.9 fWAR. Based on the generally accepted $8 mil per WAR he has been worth $39 mil in that 1 1/2 year span and he's made $30. It's more complicated and the back end of the deal could be tough but you are severely undervaluing him.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I don't know about WAR, all I know is that his record stinks. Nobody but nobody gets paid for future performances. And your right, I don't like him or his shitty attitude.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Nobody gets paid for future performances? You've met Theo right? What you shouldn't pay for is past performance. Win and losses have very little to do with starting pitchers, much of it is beyond their control. Look at things like FIP, GB rate, K/9 and BB/9 when assesing value.

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    In reply to TC154:

    Pretty sure it was a typo (future/past performance).

    But I agree that W-L record is not a good way to evaluate a pitcher.

    FWIW I don't like using K/9 and BB/9 because it can result in some really skewed stats. A guy can give up a ton of runs and, as long as most of his outs are K's and doesn't BB many he will look brilliant. I much prefer K% and BB%.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I would agree. It has to be in conjunction with other stats. W-L record drives me crazy though. When a pitcher has a strong record it's so clearly correlative to me rather than causal but it's simple so people keep using it. When it comes to Shark though I think people underestimate him a great deal. I know he rubs some people the wrong way but I think that's true of a lot of hyper-competitive pitchers and players in general, especially when they aren't top guys. He is a very good #4 who can pitch like a #3 for good stretches and he racks up the innings like a champ not being under 200 innings since 2012. I think people often compare him to TOR pitcher of which he is not, even if he and some others once thought he was.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I came up with a version of evaluating pitchers that I call a "pyramid scheme" (not what you are thinking). LOL

    I see W-L record as the top (and smallest) layer of the pyramid. Below that is ERA. Below that are things like FIP and xFIP. Then below that are things like K%, BB%, K/9, BB/9. Below that would be Hard%, Med%, Soft%. I also look at HR rates and HR/FB and GB%. The point isn't that the "base" is one or another collection of stats but that for the best pitchers they will be roughly symetrical. Really good pitchers will also have solid ERA and FIP and xFIP. They will also have good K and BB rates. They will have solid Hard%, Med%, Soft% numbers. In short I try to look at as many different aspects of pitching as possible and which ones are likely to be correlated. If they are not correlated then I start looking for WHY they are not consistent. It can be a red-flag but it can also mean that there is something there that a cursory look will disguise. I get suspicious when a guy has one set of numbers that are vastly different than the others are. Or if 1 stat is really good and that is the number that we look at it can lead to some skewed results. It is "more art than science" at this point and that makes me kind of uncomfortable but it helps me get my mind around pitchers and allows me to do some evaluating of my own. And sometimes it leads me to vastly different conclusions than other people have.

    An example of this is Ervin Santana. He has a solid W-L record (11-6). Not great but not bad either. Then his ERA looks REALLY good (2.99 at the time of this writing). Maybe his W-L record is a little skewed. Then I look at the FIP and xFIP (4.77 and 4.89 respectively--not good). LOB% is 84%. That seems to be more than a little skewed (I think it normal to be around 70% or so). His K/BB ratio is only about 2:1. Usually good pitchers have a much better ratio than that. His K% and BB% are not very good either. So my synopsis of Ervin Santana is "Bad trade option" because I believe he is due for a "correction" soon and will likely pitch worse the rest of the year than he did to this point. Not exactly what we would want to give up assets for. Maybe he continues to buck the trend. He usually has a better ERA than his FIP and xFIP. But this year looks extreme. And, given his number of innings compiled it might not move his ERA much but if it does correct he is in for some horrendous starts coming up.

    I know I am not novel in using lots of stats to arrive at a conclusion about a pitcher. I am sure that many or most do the same thing. I don't know how many put the emphasis that I do on consistency between different numbers that really should be connected (such as FIP, xFIP and ERA, or K%, BB% and K/9 and BB/9).

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    That's really solid stuff Joel. I would agree and I think you're spot on with Santana. Conversely this is why I love Quintana (always have btw) and also really like Sonny Gray. Big picture is the way to go when evaluating pitchers but even then you could be wrong. The Shelby Miller fiasco for Arizona is an example. I really liked Miller and his 2015 was outstanding outside of his W-L record. Yet I know smart baseball people who said they saw something in his delivery that scared them along with what my one friend called a "lack of killer instinct". Clearly the doubters were right but it was because of those factors and the overpay by the Diamonbacks, not his record in the ATL.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Like a lot of Giants players, he may be accurately paid. That makes a rebuild challenging. They could just salary dump, or eat all the salary to get a prospect. I feel like they are in a very difficult position.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Oh I think they'll have to eat a little bit of salary. As much as a solid 3/4 type is necessary a lot of teams can't afford to spend $18-$20 mil AAV on them. The Cubs passed on Shark prior to 2016 and went with Lackey instead at $16 mil AAV for a shorter term and they're a team that can afford it. I get that. Still if SF ate $15 mil of the approx $65 mil left on his deal he's a pretty attractive get for a lot of teams at $14 mil per.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I'm curious what they'll do. I suspect they will just keep him and try to "retool" for '18, instead of rebuild. I'm sure there are debates going on now. Last night they broke a home sellout streak, the longest in NL history, that stretched back to 2010. StubHub ticket prices are dropping rapidly (I might be able to get really good Cubs games tickets for cheap). To me, the Giants are a warning sign for the Cubs. It might not make sense to lock down every member of the Cubs core, and turning to free agency to keep the window open has its risks.

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    In reply to TC154:

    That is the part that many people miss when they propose trades. They assume that because a player is a good player he is worth a lot in trade. That is sometimes true. But the real "value" is in their "excess value" over their salary.

    Let's say Quintana is a 4.5 fWAR pitcher. Using the most common $8M/fWAR that means his pitching is worth $35-40M. He is being paid closer to $8-10M. So the difference is why the Cubs had to give up so much. If he were being paid $28M I think the Cubs could actually have gotten him for less.

    I like Fangraphs "Trade value" series they do every year since it is largely based on how much "excess value" does this player give his team. And I love that 2 Cubs (Rizzo and Bryant) both make the Top-10.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Exactly.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I don't blame Shark. If you were him would have taken the Cubs offer? I won't have.

    On the flip side you are right, I am happy that the Cubs didn't.

  • Looks like the shark may wind up in Houston, according to some reports.
    With the Brewers eyeing Sonny Gray, never underestimate the power of Theo ! Its hard to know if these rumors have any truth behind them or if some agent or club is trying to up the bidding or
    getting interest in their player.

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    In reply to ronvet69:

    The Brewers look to me like a "poor man's" Cubs in 2015 (playing far better than people expected them too). The Cubs did MUCH better than the Brewers likely will but it isn't impossible that they keep this up.

    IF they decide to "go for it" they could put together a package to bring on a talented young starting pitcher with years of control. But it might hamper their re-build. My guess is that they don't pull the trigger.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    My guess is somehow, someway Matt Garza ends up costing them. It is as inevitable as beer after work.

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