Game Thread 9/20

Game Thread 9/20

Series preview is here.


Wednesday: 6:05 pm CT on WGN/670AM



1. Ben Zobrist (RF)

2. Kris Bryant (3B)

3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)

4. Willson Contreras (C)

5. Albert Almora Jr. (CF)

6. Javy Baez (2B)

7. Addison Russell (SS)

8. Ian Happ (LF)

9. Jon Jay (DH)

Jon Lester (P)


1. Kevin Kiermaier (CF)

2. Steven Souza Jr. (RF)

3. Evan Longoria (3B)

4. Logan Morrison (1B)

5. Wilson Ramos (C)

6. Adeiny Hechavarria (SS)

7. Cesar Puello (DH)

8. Brad Miller (2B)

9. Peter Bourjos (LF)

Blake Snell (P)

Bullpen Usage



via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Blake Snell: His fourseam fastball has much less armside movement than typical, has good "rising" action and has well above average velo. His change is much firmer than usual and has an extreme amount of backspin. His slider generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sliders, is much harder than usual and has less than expected depth. His curve is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves, generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' curves, is slightly harder than usual and has primarily 12-6 movement.

Sean's note: Snell is very tough on left handed hitters, holding them to a .186 average, compared to a .249 average against right handers. In a season in which home run totals are spiking, he has kept his homer total down to a respectable 14 in 2017. His walk rate is pretty high at 10%, so he can get wild.

Who Could Have A Day?

Kris Bryant got a rare day off on Tuesday. Combined with a team off-day on Monday, that's two days off for KB. I think a rested and relaxed Bryant has a good day at the plate Wednesday. Also you can't bet against Albert Almora facing a left handed pitcher. So let's just assume Albert has some good swings facing Blake Snell.

Final Thoughts

The Cubs pitchers were dominant on Tuesday allowing only 3 base runners (only 1 hit) and 1 run. The Rays pitchers were nearly as effective only allowing 2 runs. An early deficit could really pressure Tampa's struggling offense. So getting to Snell early would be a big help. Jon Lester has been very good his last two starts, allowing only 3 runs in 12 innings pitched. One troubling trend, Lester has walked 8 those last two starts. A win Wednesday assures the Northsiders a 3.5 game lead entering the key Brewers series.


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  • Is anyone else wondering why Jay is the DH, out of all the potential options available?

  • In reply to Treebeard:


  • The Cubs have used Wade Davis 4 times in the last 5 days. It would be ideal if they can build a comfortable lead in this game to give him some rest. The workhorse could use it, methinks.

  • Not being funny but the American League is VERY fortunate the Cubs don't play in it everyday......

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    'As a unit, the Cubs are batting .280 with a sky-high .193 ISO since the All-Star break, good for a 115 wRC+ and a .353 wOBA. The next six teams on the wRC+ leaderboard are all from the American League, so making the Cubs’ DH-less performance that much more impressive. The closest NL team is the Cardinals, who were just ousted in front of Cubs fans clad in World Series championship gear this past weekend, with a wRC+ of 105.'


  • Wow! Excellent digging Mother ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^5's

  • As for offense, I'm jumping on the KB/Baez daily combo today. Javy is really seeing the ball well lately.

  • Gorgeous day outside of Tropicana Field. Slight breeze and full sunshine. A beautiful day for baseball, outside of Tropicana Field.

    I don't think Snell lasts past the 4th. Almora continues his case of "I am the postseason CF'er", and El Mago takes out his frustration of the hurricane stress on the Tampa pitching staff.

    Lester goes deep, and we need it. A couple low-leverage arms get some work, and I expect Wilson to come in and impress. We need him to be himself for this run, and I think he will be. Jake is up Thursday in Wrigley North, but I expect him to be on a 80-ish pitch count limit. We need to save our pen bullets for the Brew Crew, and I think we will, as the Cubs Win!: 12-2.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    You better call that crystal ball repair guy...

  • Speaking of Javy, that tag at 3b yesterday is a play Bryant probably couldn't make. Baez has an ability to catch a ball and tag at the same time. The runner was within 10 to 12 inches of 3rd base when the throw arrived-El Mago!

  • In reply to 44slug:

    That play didn't get nearly enough love, IMO. I wanted to comment when it happened, but was left drooling on my keyboard. Kiermaier had a HUGE, RUNNING lead, and would have stolen that base, perhaps, on any other C/3B combo in baseball. But we got Willson and El Mago. What a dart of a throw and the most brilliant "boring" tag.

    Kiermaier shouldn't have been going there, but with such a massive lead, he thought he had to. He would always be safe in that circumstance. But the circumstance was that Willson's hammy was all better, and Bryant needed a night off. Sorry, Kiermaier.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yea I agree.I like baez at 3b.Wish joe would play him there more

  • In reply to bolla:

    Bryant-Russell-Baez-Rizzo is one of the best IF defenses in baseball. There isn't a reason to get cute. They lined up in this fashion most of the postseason for that very reason.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I know I'm saying during the season & baez can make plays/tags at 3b that bryant can't

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yeah but by playing him at 3B you take him away from SS/2B where he can make tags no else can and tags happen more frequently at second than at third base.

  • Excellent start *end sarcasm* lester hasn't been sharp since coming off the dl.

  • I'm too old and too lazy to look up what the total combined salaries are for the Cubs this year but they obviously make up the largest costs of the Cub organization on a yearly basis. I'm sure those salary numbers are predicated and figured solely on an income level of the 162 game season.
    I wonder what the haul is for a team like the Cubs when they make the post-season and go deep into the playoffs? Just that alone has to offset salary quite a bit.....or build a hotel, etc.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    opening day salary was 172,000,000

  • El Mago

  • I'm gonna buy me a dog!

  • Baez did a double play similar to that in the '15 nlcs in game 1 or 2. I can't remember which one.

  • *For much of the season


  • At'em balls. Just seems like one of those nights.

  • The rays are exposing lester tonight.

  • I just tuned into the radio feed last inning, I have a couple questions:
    Is Pat taking the night off? I can't listen to Coomer call play by play for more than 2 innings.
    Is Lester still injured or just completely worn out? It sounds bad.

    I've always like Lester and defended against the critics that harp on him not throwing to bases. But I'll tell ya, that's when he's in control. When he doesn't have it, and he's walking guys, then it get's to me.

  • TB playing a good game.

  • Lester is a shell of his 2016 self. I really hope Arrieta comes back strong or we’ll win as many postseason games as the Reds this year.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Blame it on Ross for retiring.

  • In reply to xhooper:

    I think he’s just burned out from two deep runs, especially at his advanced age (for an athlete). Of this could just be the career arc of a once stud pitcher hitting his mid-30’s post steroid era. Regardless, doesn’t bode well.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    C'mon, Stubbs. I tend to give him a little more leeway than calling him old and done after a couple rough starts. But giving up at the first hint of trouble is your M.O.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I said he’s s she’ll of his 2016 self. He’s been bad-to-terrible this year as often as has been good. I’m suggesting a reason why. Not saying he’s done. I do think it’s likely he’s done as a number 1. This isn’t the steroid era.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    He is at an age when players decline in performance. The only question is will it be a slow & gradual decline or rapid recline.

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    In reply to Stubbs:

    2 deep runs? He's had more playoff runs then early vacations in his career. He has a lot of miles (lot of intense ones too) on that arm.

  • I had to work late and have only been able to watch the last half of this game. Poo, I say.

    I figured I need something to take my mind off this game. Something quick and easy to dull the pain. Nothing serious, mind you, and something real short to deflect my attention. And I thought of something real short and insignificant:

    "This is a song called Alice's Restaurant.
    And it's about Alice,
    And the restaurant."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:


  • In reply to wastrel:

    And insignificant. Just wanted to take my mind off tonight.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    My goal with nearly every lyric is that people can understand. I listen to some off-the-wall stuff, but I don't see how quoting a bunch of music nobody has ever heard of would be entertaining. However, if everyone would listen to different music and open their mind, I would be happy. I would love for one person to listen to "Alice's Restaurant", who has never heard it, and understand and become a fan. Just like anyone who doesn't know Sabbath. Open your musical mind.

  • Pirates tied the game vs the brewers and have a man on 1 out in the 9th

  • Frazier with the walk off brewers lose!!!!

  • fb_avatar

    Raise the Jolly Roger!!!!

  • Yesterday was talk like a Pirate day today is beat the Brewers like a Pirate day! Arrrrrrrr! :)

  • tonight i am a pirate fan. thank you bucs. magic number is 8

  • fb_avatar

    ARRRGH!!! Shiver me timbers Mateeee!

    Thank you Pirates including Adam Frazier....The Brewers "saintly" bullpen did not come through....

  • swing changed the whole complexion of the Brewers series. That's's a big part of why we love it. As for the remaining 11 regular season games..not much else to say.

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