Count this one triple: Cubs 14, Mets 6

Winning a sweep is good salve for being swept. The sting of the weekend series against the Brewers is hardly felt when the Cubs respond with 39 runs in three games, but there are more important games to be won in the near future.

For now, we'll take the three wins and the preservation of their lead in the division.

It seems distant now, but tonight was Jen-Ho Tseng's MLB debut, and it proved...inconsequential? He showed some of what makes him an exciting pitching prospect, but in general it looked like Tseng was very nervous. The decision to start him tonight was puzzling for a team in the heat of a division race, but thankfully the Mets are the Mets, and it didn't matter.

Tseng managed three innings, but he left the game having given up five runs, and at the time, the Cubs were down 5-4. Not that losing to New York tonight would have been devastating, but this is not the time for giving either St. Louis or Milwaukee any chance to gain any ground.

The first inning might have offered the best look at what Tseng was feeling, especially through the first four batters. He walked Jose Reyes and then allowed him to steal second while Brandon Nimmo was batting. Nimmo tried to ground out, but Tseng botched the catch on the throw from Anthony Rizzo, so instead, the Mets had two runners on with no one out. Reyes advanced to third on the play. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to Kyle Schwarber in left, and Reyes scored. Tseng followed all of this by hitting Dominic Smith, and it looked at that point like New York would post a big first inning and put this game away early.

Instead, Tseng struck out the next two batters swinging.

It probably would have been asking too much for Tseng to have settled in and gone five or six quality innings from there, but he got some valuable MLB experience tonight.

But when Tseng left the game, the Cubs were still down a run. That was short-lived, however. In the bottom of the fourth, the Cubs plated five, and that was really the end of any hope for the Mets to salvage a game in this series. Alex Avila began the inning with a walk, and Mike Montgomery---in to cover a few innings for Tseng---singled to right center to move Avila to third. From there, both Jon Jay and Kris Bryant doubled, and the Cubs went up 7-5. Mets starter Seth Lugo was done, but the scoring was not. Josh Smoker took over, and gave up a double to Rizzo that scored Bryant. Rizzo stole third during Ian Happ's at bat, which allowed him to scored the ninth run of the night when Happ flew out to right field.

The Cubs scored five more in the sixth, and most of the action came with two outs. Jon Jay started with a single, Bryant walked, and then both Rizzo and Happ struck out swinging. Albert Almora, Jr. was tabbed to pinch hit for Kyle Schwarber, and, fresh off of driving in six runs last night, he doubled on the first pitch fastball to score Jay and Bryant.

Javy Baez then reached on a grounder that stymied Jose Reyes to put two runners on for Jason Heyward. On a 2-1 fastball, Heyward swatted his tenth homer run of the season into the special seating in the right field bleachers and gave the Cubs a 14-5 lead.

The Mets added a run in the top of the ninth, but by then most of the team must have been in the clubhouse showers, ready to get far away from Wrigley Field.

Cubs win, 14-6.


Source: FanGraphs

Additional Thoughts:

Every win feels like it counts for more in these last few weeks with the division lead so tenuous, but the large number of remaining games against both the Cardinals and Brewers is what will decided how this division plays out. It's the way it should be, but it doesn't make this weekend and next weekend any less nerve-wracking.

Tseng will likely not start again until 2018, and thankfully it worked out tonight, but it would have been extraordinarily frustrating to have seen the Cubs drop a very winnable game against the hapless Mets tonight. The good news is that none of that matters. The Cubs won, and now they go ahead to try and win a series against the Cardinals.

On that note, it's good to keep in mind that it is an uphill climb for both the Brewers and Cardinals. They have to play nearly .600 baseball through the end of September while the Cubs can afford to play at a lesser clip.

Player of the Game:

How to pick on a night when the Cubs score more than the Bears might this weekend? But even while Rizzo went 3 for 4 and nearly hit for the cycle, I have to give it to Mike Montgomery, Brian Duensing, and Felix Pena. They pitched six innings and gave up only one run. They collectively walked only one batter while striking out six.

On to the Cardinals.

Comments

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  • Nice to see the two-inning relief stints. If a guy's rolling, let him roll. It's more important than match-ups - how a pitcher is commanding the ball on a particular day.

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    If I had to choose a game for Tseng to start this would have been it. We pretty much saw the "worst case scenario" (didn't go deep in the game at all and gave the team a chance to lose). But the Mets are a team the Cubs have shown the ability to score against. I would be more nervous if we did it against the Cardinals or the Brewers. I wouldn't be surprised to see Tseng sent to the bullpen for the remainder of the season and maybe pitch a "low stress inning" later on and let him get his feet under him.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    If I would choose a game for him to start, it would be some time in April 2018. Starting a AAA battery while in a pennant race was very odd to say the least. Wonder if it was Joe's decision or one made by the front office. Whoever made it was not very smart and we can see why that battery combination was at AAA this season.

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    In reply to willycat:

    You're right. Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein, and Jed Hoyer--at least 1 of whom had to be in favor of this, more likely 2 or all 3--is/are clearly "not very smart." It doesn't sound like anyone knows what Jake Arrieta's status is. He might be back, but he might miss another start. Further, with the trouble the bullpen has had recently it might make a big difference to add Montgomery back into the mix. That meant finding another starting pitcher. Remember, we don't want to overuse Lester, Hendricks etc.

    As for starting Davis that does make a certain amount of sense. He has most/all of Tseng's games in Iowa and is more familiar with him than any of the other Cubs catchers. That can make a difference when a guy doesn't have 'lights out' stuff. Tseng was likely to be nervous and maybe having Davis behind the plate would give him some sense of familiarity. Also, it was a way to give Davis a start with a pitcher HE was familiar with. Similar to Tseng he was likely to be nervous and having a pitcher on the mound that is a "veteran" might be a little more difficult as Davis wouldn't know his pitches, style, temperament etc.

    In general, I think this was more "calculated risk" for the team. There were, basically 3 ways it would likely go:
    1. Tseng would do well and pitch 6 shutout innings leading to a likely Cubs Victory.
    2. Tseng would implode and give up 4-5 runs in 3-5 innings. In which case if the Cubs score 9+ runs they would likely still be OK
    3. Tseng would implode and give up 4-5 runs in 3-5 innings. In which case if the Cubs score <4 runs odds are that they lose the game.

    So 2 of the 3 possible outcomes would be positive (Cubs victories). One of them a lot more appealing (a dominant Tseng) than the others. At the benefit of getting the other starting pitchers another day of rest it might well be worth it. And it didn't seem implausible that even if Tseng struggled the Cubs would be able to put up enough runs to secure a victory. And the victory was the most important thing of all. Remember, if they go with a 5 man rotation that puts Tseng--IF they want to pitch him again--up against the Rays. Not an "easy" game but I would rather have that than him up against the Cardinals or Brewers.

    Basically, I think the Cubs liked their chances of pitching a less than ideal pitcher against the Mets and still able to secure the victory. Would I start him against the Rays? I don't know. If the Cubs managed to extend their lead and it is 5 games going into that game I just might if Arrieta isn't ready to come back at full strength.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Great points. I agree with mostly everything esp the part of us having a 5 game lead in a few days so we can give Tseng another start and rest our workhorses a little more before the playoff push.

  • In reply to willycat:

    This was a front office decision. It looked like a AAA battery

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    If they can't find a low enough leverage inning for Maples I don't like Tseng's chances

  • In reply to LOB8591:

    He also has never thrown out of the pen. Let's try that at the major league level because he still might have a bit of confidence left.

  • In reply to LOB8591:

    If Arrieta is ready for his next start that is the end of Tseng for 2017

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I really wonder what that does to Tsengs confidence. I imagine he is sitting in the corner of the pen with Maples and Wilson, talking to himself and shaking his head. Cubs didn't do him any favors.

    Also hearing rumblings that he knew for a week or so that he may throw. That's why he was in Arizona keeping in game shape. Also lower level guys advised against it.

    On the bright side all it cost us was a former top 100 pitching prospect with options.

  • In reply to LOB8591:

    I don't get the hand wringing about Tseng. He looked good, for the most part. The decision to go with Davis behind the plate didn't do him any favors, but his pitches were good he was just very nervous. I really never though for one minute that they weren't going to win that game. Lugo did not look sharp at all. No harm, no foul.

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    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Amen to that. With an off day coming up they will be able to go with their normal rotation. In which case Tseng is done almost regardless of what he would have done last night short of utter domination (think Jeff Pico 1988...though that isn't a really encouraging precedent).

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Well, Alec Mills is,still throwing in Arizona. Maybe we should throw a start his way...

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    In reply to LOB8591:

    Not sure how Alec Mills got into the conversation. He's has been hurt most of the year. He has thrown 28 innings across 3 different levels. To me that is a long way from Tseng throwing 140+ innings exclusively at AA and AAA.

    FWIW if he were healthy and ready to go I wouldn't have been surprised to see Butler get the start last night. But that is a completely different conversation.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I like getting Tseng feet wet. The timing of it was a little scary.

    I think what it shows is they have to replace Arrieta and for that matter Davis for next year. Tseng Butler Underwood will all be solid depth. But if they can sign a tor through 2021 i think that would be best.

    After 2021 the continued success of the cubs will weigh heavily on these young starters like Albertos and Delacruz becoming top starters in the bigs. Because there wont be a lot of payroll available to give to starting pitching.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    You have a lot to worry about for success in 2018. Can't worry about 2021. Way too many variables to control.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    After repeating AA I'm thinking Underwood is probably bound for the pen.

  • Big series upcoming, to put it mildly. Martinez vs. Lackey tomorrow. If I remember correctly, Martinez usually does well against the Cubs. If the Cubs can take at least two, I'll be a happy man. And please avoid getting swept!

  • Avila is really an awful defensive catcher, he didn't have a sterling reputation with the glove, I knew that, but he's much worse than advertised. Fortunately, he knows how to hit, so overall a plus. But still.....with Willson back and Rivera on board, let's limit Avila to PH duties from here on out, mkay?

  • With the win, the division lead is now 3 games over both StL and MIL. Since StL won their afternoon tilt, the Magic Number for clinching the division is now 14.

    If the Cubs go 8-8 over their remaining 16 games and end up 88-74, either StL or MIL will have to go 12-4 in order to pass the Cubs. In short, the Cubs will have to play poorly against both StL AND MIL for either StL OR MIL to have a reasonable shot at winning the division.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Oddsof Cubs finishing 90-72 (10-6), meaning for one of either Cards or Milwaukee catching Cubs 13-3 is huge.

    10-6 aligns with Cubs current second half trajectory of .637 ball where 10 wins is .625 ball.

    6 losses between 11 games between the two chasers is also complicated by the fact that StL and Milwaukee play each other three games in the end.

    So to catch the Cubs one has to catch fire and other fads.

    I actually think Cubs finish 12-4

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Actually, if the Cubs go 10-6 in the last 16, MIL or StL have to go 14-2 to win the division outright. 13-3 would only tie.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    If the Cubs go 10-6, given match-ups, I don't know that it would be possible for the Brewers and Cardinals to lose "only" 2 games. Would it? I think the Cubs only have 5 games against other teams.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    and the Brewers and Cards play a three game series against each other too.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    If the Cubs finish 10-6, it is not possible for both MIL and StL to finish 14-2. One might, but not the other.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    The more I look at this the more I believe that the Cards or the Brewers would have to sweep at least 1 series against the Cubs and/or hope that the Rays and Reds give the Cubs lots of trouble. It isn't impossible. But the scenarios for a comeback for them by the end of the year get slimmer and slimmer.

  • Maybe it's because you're in Norway but you seem to be missing the point here. The Cubs play the Cards and Brewers 10 more times. If the Cards and Brewers win those 10 games then the Cubs lose 10 games. Plus the Cards and Brewers play the last 3 games of the season. While one team will lose at least 2 of those games, the other team will win 2. It all comes down to head/head play with each game being worth 2. If the Cubs go 8-8, by definition either the Brewers or Cards will probably surpass the current 3 game lead.

  • In reply to veteran:

    C'mon, Stubbs.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Sir, if you have an issue with my analysis, please keep my country of residence outside the discussion.

    I am well aware of the remainining schedules. First of all, the Cubs have 11 games remaining against StL and MIL (4 at MIL, 3 vs StL and 4 at StL), not 10. I do not consider the Cubs going 0-10 (or, more correctly, 1-10 or 0-11) against both MIL and StL as a reasonable outcome. In fact it is a highly unlikely outcome. Possible, yes, especially if one views the glass as completely empty instead of only half, but regardless highly unlikely.

    Let me first simply point out that if the Cubs do indeed go 0-11 (to be as negative as possible) in the remaining games against MIL and StL, the best record they could have in that stretch is 5-11, not 8-8 as I took as the baseline for my analysis. Hence your scenario is inconsistent. Of course, if one takes a 5-11 (or 6-10) finish as the baseline for the analysis, then things indeed are different.

    To conclude, and to give you more of my time than I think you deserve, a "worst case" 8-8 scenario: If our Cubs sweep TB and CIN (5-0), and then go 3-8 against MIL and StL (1-3 vs MIL and 2-5 vs StL, in order to give both pursuers more or less equal benefit) and go 8-8 in their last 16, MIL would have to go 9-3 in their remaining games against other opponents, while StL would have to go 7-2. This includes, as you correctly point out, the final 3-game series StL and MIL have against each other, potentially meaning StL would have to go 5-1 in their series at CIN and PIT, or MIL would have to go 7-2 in their series vs MIA, at PIT and vs CIN, in order to win the division. I will grant you that each of these scenarios are possible, but I maintain that both of them coming to fruition is unlikely.

    Yes, the season will indeed come down to head-to-head play, but I think one can conclude that a lot will have to go wrong for the Cubs and a lot will have to go right for both MIL and StL, for both of them to have a chance to win the division.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    C'mon, Stubbs.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'll consider this a post as supportive, ok? ;o]

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I didn't see much wrong w your post, but in generally having your post called or even associated w Stubbs is not a positive connotation.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I have actually had good interactions with stubbs. Though he certainly comes at things from a different angle than everyone else.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Hey thanks! Much love.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Totally agree

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Excellent diagnosis Norway:) and spot on....

    I want to add about the sweep scenarios......

    If the Cubs get swept it's square one with 4 big games against both Milwaukee and St Louis remaining.......

    If St Louis gets swept they might as well schedule tee times......

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Saturday is the BIG game especially if the Cubs win Friday.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    And I like the Cubs' chances in a Hendricks-Wacha matchup. But I do not want to get ahead of myself.

    One game and one day at a time....Breathing in and out....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Thanks, WD.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Great analysis. IF we assume that, because the Brewers swept the Cubs that the Cubs will, therefore, be swept AGAIN by the Brewers AND the Cardinals then pointing out things like alternate "non-sweep" totals.

    Here is another way to look at it: Let's find 8 losses for the Cubs. If we assume NO sweeps by either side among the NL Central contenders the Cubs have 7 remaining against the Cardinals. Let's say they go 2-5. That is 5 losses. They have 4 games left against the Brewers. Let's say they lose 3 of those 4 games. That is 8 losses. BUT, as you point out, the Cardinals and Brewers would be limited to 4 losses each as well. So, the Cardinals have lost 2 to the Cubs already and the Brewers have lost 1 already. Then we factor in that SOMEONE will lose 2 of 3 of the final series between STL and MIL if it is the Cardinal then they are done. If it is the Brewers then they can only lose 1 other game.

    Then there is the possibility that the Cubs lose a game or two to the Reds or Rays, but that would result in a less than .500 finish and be outside the scope of this analysis. The best way I have heard is that the Cubs have to "hold serve." EVERY game they win against the Cardinals and Brewers is going to be a more devastating loss for those teams than a loss by the Cubs will be for them.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    EXACTLY correct sir........Milwaukee and St Louis are not in good situations.....sweeping is possible but not likely at all.

    Those last 3 games between St Lou and the Brewers........SOMEBODY has to lose.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    If we want to we can look at this in the course of a game. Let's say that one team has a 3 run lead. Let's just say 3-0. If the team behind scores a run then the lead has decreased to 2 runs (3-1). But if the team AHEAD scores another run making it 4-0 (as opposed to the original 3-0) then I would argue that that extra run for the team ahead is more devastating for the trailing team than the trailing team getting 1 run closer but still behind. Unless, of course, the Cubs bullpen is pitching. Where, even with a lead, some will panic the moment a runner gets on base.

  • I don't think it was all that puzzling, Jared, for Tseng to start this game. The whole idea was to get Monty back in the bullpen, which has been pretty scary lately, sooner rather than later. As JD said during the telecast, if things start going sideways, which they did, Monty can pitch. It would have been nice to have him available for all three Cardinal games, but as it is he only threw 35 pitches tonight and not starting him against the Mets probably makes him available for multiple innings Sunday.

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    I agree. Maddon was probably looking ahead to the Cardinal series and wanted a lefty in the pen who can pitch better than Wilson has lately. So if you don't start Monty, why not give Tseng a shot? He may have a good future with the Cubs, it would be a good thing to give him some pennant race experience.

  • I was wanting to do a much deeper post, but my phone won't cooperate. I'll get straight to the music on this lovely night.

    I want to save the Sabbath for a bigger stage, but this song is worthy of a mid-September sweep. It feels good and is somewhat pertinent in the heat of a pennant race. Regardless, crank it to 11:

    "We was broke and hungry on a summer day.
    They sent the sheriff down to try and drive us away.
    We was sittin' ducks for the police man.
    They found a dirty-faced kid in a garbage can."

  • First time in commenting. Read everything. All the writers do an amazing job. One thing I have noticed is everyone here gets alot more heated towards each other has Bern happening slowly since June. John always wanted this place to be a peaceful place. Been more hostility here lately in the comments. It really isn't hard to understand why Taylor was behind the plate tonight. Was hopefully to ease tseng in tonight. Someone familiar. I think maples isn't pitching right now so the coaches can work with him and see if they can get some of that under control. He has also pitched a good amount of innings this year

  • Speaking of music, I'm really missing one of my muses. Ya'll think I know stuff, this dude kept me on my toes and schooled me. I'm talking of course of Chad, aka copinblue, one of the best friends Cubs Den ever had. You out there, buddy? I hope you're safe. Check in, we'd love to hear from you.

  • Joe said Russell is very,very close to returning.

  • It sure makes me happy when Almora is on the field.

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    In reply to heelclick:

    I am fine with Tseng on the field, provided we win the game 14-6.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    In that case, Maddon can play the field too.

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    In reply to Stubbs:

    Of course.

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    Norway, I certainly enjoy your countdowns and am relatively certain that the Cubs can win the division. Of course they could lose all the games against Milwaukee and StL but why see the glass empty. We've seen the talent come through time and time again--last night was a perfect example. A rookie pitcher who had jitters but still pitched well, gave up 5 runs, and we blew by them as if they were a rabbit in a 1500 meter race that had done it's job and then gently ran off the track.
    We have talent and experience. That wins out.
    btw, I echo BP, Chad I hope everything is ok with you and you're just reading these but are deciding not to comment. All the best to you Chad.
    Go Cubs!!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I would not say Tseng pitched well. 5 ER in 3 innings is not pitching well. I thought it was ugly.

  • Thanks for the kind words, Joel and Jonathan.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I'm still scratching my head about the "Maybe it's because you are in Norway, " preface.

  • This is a series I was wanting to sweep. The cubs will hold on and win the division. This will be the series that allowed us to do so. Playing a bad team in between brewers and cards was a nice break. Sweeping the mets was huge. Even if we win 1 out of 3 vs cards we are still up 2.

    The Mets are terrible how quickly they fell off the map. But did I see a stat that they are leading the NL in homers?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It was very enjoyable scoring 39 runs on the Mets in a 3 game series. Where did all their young stud starting pitchers go? :-)

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Cespedes, Walker, Bruce, Conforto, Duda, Flores, Granderson were leading the NL in HR. All of them are either hurt or traded.
    Now Brandon Nimmo is their best hitter. It's really unfortunate how much bad luck they've had with injuries.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    That's not even counting the pitching staff.

    I would hate to see what our team would look like w 8 of the top 15 (maybe top 10 of 15 in mets case) overall players on the DL over periods of the season.

  • Despite the mass hysteria the Brewers sweep threw us all into last week, we should remember StL has lost 5 of 6 at Wrigley this year, 3-3 at Busch. Cubs are 4-2 at Miller Park. Norway's numbers are trending in the right direction again. Go Cubs!

  • Anything can happen, but this group of Cubs keep a pretty even keel and that makes it less likely that they will fall off the edge down the stretch. The Cards/ Brewers series coming up will tell the story.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    That is their series against the Cubs. They almost need to sweep.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    The Cubs do get into these ruts where don't score even with many runners.

  • Obvious nerves and being erratic aside - I can see why Tseng is generally well regarded as a future BOR starter. He's got potential.

    But yeah,... let's keep that potential off the field for the remainder of 2018 UNLESS the Cubs have already clinched the division and they're looking for a spot start the last day or two of the season.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Arrieta has a bullpen session today. If it goes well he'll slot into the rotation and you won't have to worry about Tseng until next year. If he needs more time I think you'll see one more start with Monty to back him up if there's trouble. I'll tell ya, I thought he was fine. His pitches were good and I was impressed with the swing and miss stuff. He was as nervous as I've ever seen a young pitcher, who by the way should be nervous in their first go round, and that shouldn't be a factor next time. I think we all hope Arrieta is fine and we don't need to see Tseng again but if we do que sera que sera.

  • In reply to TC154:

    And he's 22. I get the nerves. He did fine. I question the decision.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Agreed on all points TC. That change-up (I think that was the one that got the most 'miss') did look good. The kid will be fine,... next year,... and probably next start IF he is needed..

    And as Stubbs pointed out,... the kid is just 22. Playing in the big leagues for the first time at that age nerves are to be expected. I won't question the decision to pitch him now too much - as at least it was NOT against Milwaukee or the Cards.

  • Tseng was nervous you can tell.I thought he was solid but he's like hendricks if he misses his spot it will end up in the bleachers.I saw some encouraging things like the 6 k's.I wanna see how he looks when he's more relaxed

  • In reply to bolla:

    I would like to see Tseng get another start the last weekend of the season vs CIN, after the Cubs have clinched.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Seeing how he gets physically sick before starts in MILB I can't imagine why he would be nervous starting a game, at Wrigley, in a play off race.

    What I saw was in first time facing Dominic Smith he threw a low away change up and Smith swung over top of it. Later in the same at bat, he threw it again and Smith just kept his bat on his shoulder for a ball. In the third inning he threw it again, and Smith parked it. What happens his third time through the order?

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agree with this. Like Hendricks things need to go his way if the command is even a little off. Tseng's first inning error, Happ dropping the ball on the SB by Reyes, and Davis also dropping an easy out at home all went against him tonight.
    Overall I'm excited to see if the young man can be a rotation piece next year.

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    I am actually inclined to maybe give a mulligan to Tseng. I admit I wasn't able to watch the game (I had more important things to attend to). The numbers just don't add up. It sounds like he gave up an unusually large number of baserunners. A .429 BABIP will do that. We all know that is REALLY high. Like freakishly high. His K/9IP was 18. His K% was north of 35%. His BB% was actually in line with his minor league numbers. In the minor leagues he had 22 HBP in nearly 500 IP in the minors, yet he hit one last night. He gave up 36 HR in the minor leagues and 2 in his first 3 innings at the major leagues? Yes, the hitters in the majors are better, generally, than those in the minors. But this game sounds like a fluke. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he is a TOR starter, or even a MOR starter. But this game just doesn't sound like a good sample to judge from. Obviously, they were hitting him hard. I get that. But this game sounds like it was just weird. Also, SSS certainly applies. It is easy to extrapolate out and say "If he gives up 2 HR in 3 innings that would be 600 HR in 200 IP." While mathematically correct we have all seen pitchers that just didn't have their best stuff.

    I am curious what people like Michael E. thought of his performance as he (and others like him) has seen MANY more of his games than those that just watched the game last night. I am curious if Tseng "just didn't look the same" or if he was doing what could have been predicted.

    Short of that, I am going to withhold judgment on Tseng and his future with the Cubs. Otherwise I might be susceptible to giving a knee jerk reaction based on an VERY small and likely unrepresentative sample size.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    As it turned Davis wasn't a comfort factor either, because he was overwhelmed as well.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    And that is probably true. The team can put a player in what they consider to be the best chance to succeed, but that isn't a guarantee of success. Nor does it mean he will never be successful.

  • Let's not forget KB's big hit in the 4th that gave the Cubs the first lead in the game. A double with not one but two men in scoring position! Probably the biggest hit in the game.

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    In reply to HefCA:

    Yeah, but he didn't do that in the 7th inning or later so he isn't "clutch."

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    So therefore it doesn't t count! The narrative shall continue hence forth.

  • All I know is I got a season series beer a game bet with Cardinal Fan and I'm one measly win away from clinching a tie.

    But I'd really like to get a 6-pack.

  • It is good to see that at least some of the Epstein-era Cubs MiLB pitching draft choices and International signings are starting to make it to the big leagues.

    Tseng and Zastryzny should be contributors next year if they can stay healthy. Either could end up as the #5 starter. At this point "Z" looks more like he'll be in Montgomery's BP spot to me.

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    Today is the most important in my view. A Cubs win gets them on the road to a sweep and puts the Cards on their heals!

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    For all of the criticizing of Tseng getting the start, I'm still waiting for someone to say who they would have started instead.

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