A Wild Ride - Cubs 14, Braves 10

WHAT A WILD GAME!

The Cubs pulled off a good old fashioned rally and overcame a 10-2 deficit to beat the Braves 14-10 at a frigidly cold Wrigley Field.

There are so many words to describe Joe Maddon's 500th game as Cubs manager, and if I used all of them, we'd be here all day. So let's fast forward to the 8th inning, where the game got really exciting and took a turn for the best. The Cubs came into their half of the 8th trailing 10-5, and what happened from there was pure magic, paired with a major failure on behalf of the Braves bullpen.

The Cubs sent 13 men to the plate in an inning that the Braves needed four pitchers to get out of. The Braves bullpen, which before this game was the best in baseball, lacked command and allowed the Cubs to have a lot of free base runners and even more two out magic.

It all started when Jason Heyward was hit by a pitch. One out later, Tommy La Stella singled to put men on first and second. Efren Navarro stepped up to the plate and struck out swinging. So now the Cubs had two men on, with two outs, and trailed by five. A comeback at this point seemed unlikely, but not impossible. Kris Bryant checked in to take his at-bat, but he was also plunked by a baseball to load the bases for Willson Contreras, who singled to score Heyward, making it a 10-6 ball game. The inning kept rolling along as Braves reliever Jose Ramirez could not find the strike zone and walked Ben Zobrist on four pitches, forcing in a run and making it a 10-7 ball game. After a visit to the mound for the Braves, the inning continued for Javier "El Mago" Baez. The Magician took a 3-2 and hit a sharp liner to center field for a double. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and just like that, the game was tied at 10! But, the Cubs were not done just yet, they wanted to get ahead and even gather some insurance runs. After an intentional walk to Addison Russell, the Braves yanked Jose Ramirez and brought in Sam Freeman. The troubles still weren't out of sight yet as Freeman walked three consecutive batters in Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, and Tommy La Stella which led to two more runs, and made it a 12-10 ball game. The Braves needed yet another pitching change, bringing in Peter Moylan who replaced Sam Freeman. For the Cubs, Efren Navarro was at the plate and a wild pitch by Moylan allowed Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber to score. That made it a 14-10 game, and Brandon Morrow took over the top of the 9th and secured the win for Justin Wilson.


Source: FanGraphs

In case that was all a little bit too much to digest, the Braves bullpen in the 8th inning gave up three hits, 9 runs (8 ER), five walks, two hit batters, and two strikeouts.

This game was just what the Cubs needed. There's no denying that this early part of the season has been beyond frustrating for Cubs fans and players alike. I can't say that anyone would have predicted a comeback quite like this, but we are all glad it happened!

According to MLB.com, the biggest comeback in Cubs history before today was on August 29, 1989 when the Cubs rallied from a nine-run deficit to defeat the Astros 10-9.

The Cubs close the series with the Braves tomorrow at 1:20 p.m on WGN. It'll be a battle of the righties as Julio Teheran faces off against Tyler Chatwood.

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    The starting pitching needs to step up.

  • In reply to Ray:

    They also need a change in strategy. Every pitcher besides Hendricks seems to be intent on working the lower corners instead of challenging the batters. Then they do not get those calls from the umps, partly because Contreras is struggling with framing. Given that, it’s time for a new strategy

  • In reply to TC154:

    Bring back Bosio? He turned our staff around years ago.

  • Does anyone know why Almora Jr. was taken out in the 6th?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I assume it was precautionary due to the weather conditions and score. Almora has been sick for a couple days. Maddon said after the game he planned on pitching Navarro before we came back in the 8th.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That makes sense, thanks Barely; I give God the glory, the honor, and the praise that he's not hurt!

  • Great game! A win tomorrow would be great. Rizzo returns Monday.

  • I checked the phone and it was 10-3 and I thought ...”damn, we’re 6-8”.......what a great surprise!

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I'm predicting we do not fall below .500 again this year.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I’m not sure you have been cleared by Cubs Den to resume making predictions. LOL!!!

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    Amen

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Fair enough. Sorry!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Predict away!!! I like your takes as much as any!!!!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    It's all fun, much like my pre-game predictions. I can laugh at myself and take some ribbing, and have yet to meet anyone who can accurately predict the events of a single baseball game.

    In my defense, I think my track record of longer-term predictions is much more accurate than the game-day thing. I hope that holds true in this case.

    Unfortunately, my next prediction is no baseball Sunday. The weather is expected to be even worse tomorrow, which is why they pressed so hard to play today in these horrid conditions.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Amen!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    would you want to wager on that? This team won't finish above .500

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    In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Anything you want. This team will not win less then 82 games and will make the playoffs. Not worried about that at all. I am only concerned cuz the way they are playing is not going to win us a World Series.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Fortunately we have about 6 months to figure out how to win the WS.

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    We have to go after the batters as TC said. We're not getting (no one is getting) calls on the lines and we're walking way too many batters so let the defense take over.
    One thing I don't understand is that when Theo got here he wanted high OBP guys and drafted, traded for those types of players and got rid of those who weren't. That worked great--we got a WS win for it. But now it seems we've reverted back to what the Cubs were doing a few years ago. Why the change? We have more free swingers now, and I would rather give up a few (NOT Javy) and walk more.
    Hale to the Cubs today!! It was a never give up, play the who game, don't get down, whatever cliche you want to use performance. Coaches should use this game as proof that as long as there are outs to go a game can be won. My hats off to everyone today.
    Go Cubs!!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Cubs get plenty of calls on the outside / inside of the plate.
    They are still a high obp team.
    I think fans exaggerate too much when the team is not playing as well as it should.

  • Well, we just won one that we had no business winning.

    I don’t even know what to say or where to start. Wow!!!! What a comeback. I kept thinking about that Astros game in ‘89 when Dwight Smith hit the walk off. Crazy!!!!

    Javy is becoming “the man” before our eyes. He is super exciting to watch. And great job by our pen.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    That at bat was incredible. He takes the first 3 pitches. Fouls off (barely!) a strikeout pitch, then shortens his stroke a bit and gets the hit they needed.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Javy did an on-field interview right after the game. He was asked about his performance, and instead of mentioning his bases-loaded double, he noted "doing his job" with the groundout to score the runner from third base. I liked hearing that.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    There are definitely signs that the explosion is coming. If he figures it out on offense -- you're talking generational talent.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If he figures it out on offense is a big IF

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    No it’s not. You are wrapped up in his BA instead of other metrics which are pointing to him being a really good offensive player.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    Just to play devil's advocate for a moment:
    In seasons with more than 100 PAs Baez has yet to crack .320 OBP and has yet to log a 100 wRC+. He is certainly capable of being an offensive force. And he is still young. But so far he hasn't really tapped into it IMO.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Talking about growth and development this season. Not past season. That’s an apples and oranges comp.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yes, but he still hasn't cracked 100 PAs. I agree Baez looks better than previous years. But I remember stretches like this every year. And then he has other stretches where he looks lost.

    Is he truly different than previous years? You seem to believe so. I am a little hesitant. Just my opinion. I won't pretend that I can convince you of it.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Why is 100 at bats the threshold? I have yet to see that as a number that is statistically significant.

    I could argue with his minor league numbers if we choose to go backwards in analysis of him. All of that means very little as I see a different player so far and believe he is progressing and developing.

    Probably right as I am firm in what I am seeing. I wasn’t sure you were trying to convince me when you said you were playing devil’s advocate. Your opinion is valid as you want to see it for a long period of time versus a smaller sample. Makes sense.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    There isn't anything magical that happens at 100 PAs. I picked it as a somewhat arbitrary cut off to eliminate "partial seasons" like 2015. I want to see what he does over several months. A player can do well for a few weeks and then return to previous norms for him. That may not happen as Baez is doing better than previous years. I just don't know that he is as good as he's looked in the first couple of weeks of this year. Maybe he is. But maybe he is not. I am taking a wait and see approach as opposed to an optimistic/pessimistic point of view.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    My man, Javy! He did good cleaning the bases yesterday.

    Javy for Clean Up!

  • Javier Baez leads the cubs with 14 rbi's. He's clutch, he's has several big hits for the cubs. today,last year in milwaukee,last year in cincinatti, game 1 of the '16 nlds,game 4 of the '16 nlds. His ops is almost 900 despite his low ba. He's getting better at not chasing, that last ab was great he swung at not one pitch out the zone then smoked a double that went to the wall on wet grass.

  • In reply to bolla:

    He was always dangerous at the plate. If he would put together a season of at bats like this last home stand, he is a monster. Scary thought for the opposition.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Baez has a ridiculously low BABIP of .167, but a very impressive hard contact rate of 46.7%. In other words, he's smoking the ball but right at people. When he listens to "Wee Willie" Keeler and starts to "hit 'em where they ain't", his average and overall numbers will improve quickly.

    We all remember and have been frustrated watching him flail away at bad pitches and a poor approach. But as you say, I remember many AB's in big situations when he looks locked in and drills the ball right up the middle. He may have that flair for the big moments, and I hope to see it on a more consistent basis. I think we are beginning to.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Stats show no such thing as "clutch". He still swings at way too many bad pitches. He swung at a pitch that bounced a few feet before home plate.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    And so have hundreds of other MLB players this year. You post like he is the only guy who does that. We get it—you just don’t care for him. You are missing a guy who is really starting to develop before our eyes.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Yawns

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Btw stats don’t need to show clutch. I watch the games every situation I named was off the top of my head and 3 situations gave the cubs the lead with 2 strikes and 2 outs that’s clutch. Stop responding to anything I say you’re an absolutely awful poster

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    In reply to bolla:

    But how many situations has he NOT come through in the "clutch." Do you have equally vivid memories of those occasions and can name them off?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Baez has come through in the clutch more than golden boys schwarber,bryant,rizzo have, as bad of a hitter baze supposedly is he gets it done when it matters most more frequently than mr rizzo and mr bryant and I won't even mention schwarber who is awful. That's all that matters.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I don't want to bash the other guys, because when they do well, it is good for us. I will admit that when Javy comes up in a big situation, I'll type "El Mago" into the comment box, and hit the comment button as soon as that blast comes off his bat. That is happening more frequently, and I am a happy Cubs fan.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I don't either but the baez critiquing is over the top. Schwarber consistently sucks and he can't play defense yet he gets a free ride whole baez gets nitpicked to death. Very weird

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    The thing about Baez is that he doesn't have to contribute with the bat. He can make huge contributions with his glove...or on the base paths.

    The thing that always comes up in my mind when I see Javy do something like yesterday was a comment Cubswin09 made a couple years ago. Something like, "Remember that time the Cubs did something really special and Javy had nothing to do with it? Yea. Me neither." And it was in an instance where it wasn't a dramatic hit. I think it was one of Javy's slides or something like that.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Alrighty then. Tell you what. If we start a fantasy team You can have Baez and I will take either Bryant or Rizzo and be more than satisfied. Remember, there are LOTS of games NOT decided by "clutch hits" that you remember.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Cool you can take bryant & rizzo for the fantasy geek stats. I'll take the guy who delivers in crunch time who doesn't have the sabermetric stats that everyone loves rizzo was garbage in the 2015 & 2016 postseasons. Btw bryant was AWFUL last season & regressed every year since his debut with risp but hey he has high war whatever that means. Baez had less strikeouts than schwarber and more rbi's than bryant last season but let's keep harping on the guy who lacks plate discipline while praising bums like schwarber who has all the patience and still gets fastballs in the zone blown past him.

  • In reply to bolla:

    So Rizzo's .360/.484/1.084 slash line with five RBI's and a home run with 4 walks (2 of which were intentional) in the World seris was 'GARBAGE"? As was his .320/.370/1.010 slash line with 2 HR and 5 RBI in the League Championship? ?

    And Bryant wasn't Awful last year. Was he MVP caliber like the year before? NO, but far from garbage.

    Really, the only thing garbage was your post. Stay big on Baez just don't knock the guys that outperform him all season the last two years to do it.

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    In reply to bolla:

    What? Because you "remember" a couple of hits that Baez had in "crunch time" that proves he is better in crunch time? Or does it prove that you remember dramatic and, possibly, unusual events more than common ones?

    Honestly I am trying to get my head around what your criteria are for success. You point out Rizzo's struggles in 2015 and 2016 playoffs, yet Baez hasn't exactly set the world on fire either. He hit .333/.333/.467 by my calculation in 2015 in 15 PAs in 2015. Not bad, but not great. Rizzo struggled in 2015. Baez was electric in the 2016 NLCS but fell cold against Cleveland in the WS. If you want to talk about "moments that are remembered" did you conveniently forget about his K in the 9th inning with Heyward on 3B? Just to be clear I DON'T use that in my evaluation of Baez but wouldn't that be "coming through in crunch time"?

    Now for Bryant. Let's see how I can put this. "Bryant was awful last season and regressed every year since his debut"? Really. In what way has he "regressed"? In succession here is his production in 2015, 2016, 2017 (I will not include 2018 since the season is just getting started, but if you are wondering all his numbers are up this year too so I am not "hiding" anything).
    K%: 30.6%, 22%, 19.6%
    BB%: 11.8%, 10.3%, 14.3% (BB% dropped from 2015-2016)
    BA: .275, .292, .295
    OBP: .369, .385, .409
    SLG: .488, .554, .537 (small drop in SLG)
    wOBA: .371, .396, .399
    wRC+: 136, 148, 146
    HR: 26, 39, 29
    R: 87, 121, 111
    RBI: 99, 102, 73

    His "Triple Crown" stats did drop from his 2016 season and his RBI took the biggest hit. But EVERYTHING else he was improved. And keep in mind he had a hand injury in late-July/Early August that seemed to sap some of his power partly resulting in the decrease in HR. But his Runs scored stayed high but his RBI went way down. I propose that most of the reason his RBI went down was in 2016 he was batting behind Dexter Fowler (.393 OBP) most of the time and drove him in 22x. In 2017 the Cubs had a notorious struggle with lead of men meaning Bryant had a lot fewer opportunities. That isn't something that we can really hold against him.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say -- without the benefit of any stats -- that Joe Madden knows more about baseball than anyone on this wonderful blog. Joe Madden said that Javy is one of the best clutch hitters on the team. I agree with Joe and with Bolla, except I don't agree with Bolla on Bryant and Rizzo being anything less than top shelf, Grade A+ MLBers.

    I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: Every guy in the order is not someone who needs to "work the count," grind ABs, have a high OBP. You also need a guy who gets up and hacks and hits the ball hard, someone who actually drives in the RISP.

    Even though he strikes out on bad pitches, last year he had the highest average with 2 strikes. He hit over .270 two years on a row. And he does have a knack for coming up with huge, big time, yes, I'll dare to say it -- CLUTCH hits. I want him at clean up for the next several years where he will be a beast.

  • In reply to bolla:

    What stats are you using to back up your claim that Baez "comes through in the clutch more than golden boys...?"

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I love Bryant. He's great. I'm glad we have him. But, I seem to recall a saber-stat or whatever that measures "high leverage" situation and Bryant was dead last in MLB for two years running in 16 and 17. It's recognized that that stat is based on a relatively short sample size, but in "high leverage" situations -- i.e., what us old timers would call clutch situations -- Bryant was not good.

    But I'll say this for Bryant: Thank goodness Bryant come up with one of the biggest clutch hits in Cubs history when he hit that homer in Game 5 of the WS. That homer got us up off the floor, sparked the team, and saved the series for us. I don't hear many people talk about that homer much. But for me, it was one the biggest moments in our glorious WS season.

  • In reply to bolla:

    You are funny. Anyone that disagrees with you is an awful poster. Take a look at what the sabermetric community writes about :clutch".

  • I'm out of town on business and missed the game, but it was a wild one! Still waiting for the Cubs to take charge of their destiny and stop waiting for the opponent to hand it to them. I hate the idea of waiting until after the ASB to see them get on the right track, but if that's what it takes...

  • I can't sleep, so I'll post a comment. We are drooling over Javy's start, but is it real?

    I've been his biggest cheerleader since day 1 (sorry, Michael). I know talent, and I've seen the good and the bad. I'm not ready to proclaim him to be a legitimate MVP candidate just yet, but we're getting closer.

    I've been as frustrated as anyone else with his slower-than-expected pace of total domination. I have mentioned several times that occasionally a young player has so much natural talent they can be slow to develop. Baez just masters baseball, but has been humbled at the plate. He has consistently out-classed the opposing pitchers, and knows that what he has done in the past will eventually work. Or it used to. I think he is finally figuring out he has met his match with MLB pitchers, and is realizing talent isn't enough. He has to adjust. I think we are seeing that realization and that adjustment.

    Javy has always taken a bit of time to adjust to the next level of play, and then absolutely dominated. It only took a few weeks at every level in the minors, but that was against lesser talent. I think he's about to do it here, and become that unicorn or even religion that many have predicted.

    "I am the Lizard King.
    I can do anything."

  • I picked up the game while riding a bus. I groaned. 2 out, bases loaded Javy up! Bang! Bases loaded double, and it's tied. I text my Sister in Chicago, she's going nuts. I'm out in Damascus, Oregon headed to a photography gig. My beat-up Cubs hat from 2011, is still my good luck charm!

  • Get out of here Pops. I've been his biggest cheerleader from day one! ; - )

    He's the most exciting player since Clemente.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I was there at spring training when he was pacing around Fitch like a caged tiger, waiting for the rest of the team to show up so he could play some baseball.

  • I love what Willy Contreras brings to the team, but his framing and catching in general hasnt been up to where we need him to be so far.

  • I’d be surprised if they played today, the weather is just as bad as yesterday.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think that's why they played yesterday.
    They didn't want two straight cancellations.

  • Thank goodness for the Atlanta bullpen and all the free passes, they gave us one! Thank goodness we've got some guys that don't quit!!!

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    In fairness to the Atlanta bullpen, they were pitching in some pretty bad weather conditions.

    Oh, wait. So were we.

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    I was just looking at Javy's numbers. SSS and all applies here but, he's currently hitting .190 as opposed to .273 last year. However, his OBP is almost identical: .317 (last year) vs .309. That's been done with a jump in walk rate to 10.9% while his K rate has remained fairly consistent. (Now in complete transparency, that's 6 walks in 55 PAs, so there is a metric ton of error built into that number.)

    You don't really have to squint that hard to see signs of a huge breakout season on the horizon.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Baez hitting 8th as he has most of the season may have encouraged him to be more selective since the pitcher is not going to give him much to swing at. I was afraid it would backfire with even more strikeouts but that doesn’t seem to be the way it is trending.

  • In reply to Cphil:

    No, it is cumulative development of the best athletic baseball player on the field each day. I have been saying this since 2004 when Cubs nation demanded to trade him, and now we are seeing a true super star emerge, what a scout already said is an MVP candidate. All he had to do was slow down his brain, recognize and put the meat of the bat on the ball.

  • In reply to Cphil:

    I've mentioned something very similar, and have questioned Joe's insistence on keeping Javy in the 8-hole. The Cubs brought him up in 2014 when he wasn't ready, and he failed miserably. That would have been a crushing blow to many young players, but this FO can judge mental fortitude, and I think that "tough love" approach is what he needed.

    I've been wondering if that same approach is the reason they put him in the 8-hole, to force him to adjust to pitchers throwing him junk. Part of me says no because at this level it's all about winning baseball games, but that could be part of the plan. He's hit his way out of there for now, so maybe it worked. I'm just enjoying watching.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Baez has 6 lineouts this year. Add those into his hit column and then everyone is talking MVP candidate right now. I am more concerned with his at bats and the quality of them. It is just a more mature different guy. He will still have some swings and misses that are frustrating. But those are less and less. Hard contact up to 47%, BB rate up in double digits, and an unsustainable .167 BABIP. Everything is pointing in the right direction. Oh, BTW, he is most physically talented and gifted player in on the team. It’s fantastic to watch his game approach reach the level of his natural instincts.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    .167 BABIP is unheard of. Bound to change.

    With regard to deficit reduction (the baseball kind), I looked up the Sandberg game, won 12-11 by the Cubs in extras, and noted two different 8-run deficits that were overcome. Different style game, clearly won by Sandberg's heroics rather than by opposition miscues.

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    In reply to wthomson:

    The BABIP is freakishly low. It'll come up. Some of those line drives will start missing gloves/defenders. When i does if he is put back in the #8 hole he can take his BB and become a more well-rounded player. If he can put together a slash line of .275/.340/.450 or better I will be THRILLED with that. And if he can have a 8% BB% suddenly that is within range.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I've always envisioned a line around .290/.340/.520. I don't think he ever gets that walk rate up to 10%, but he will stretch singles into doubles, and doubles into triples, and triples into homers. That will bump up the Slg.%.

    You seem to be less optimistic than me on Javy's offensive potential. That's fair. You want to see it, and I can see it. Watch, it's going to be glorious.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I just don't think it is going to ever quite fully develop in Javy. However, I can't codify why I believe that so I can't, in good faith, say why which is why I don't say those with a more optimistic view of his future are being unrealistic.

    If he can stay in the #8 hole and realize his "job" is to get runners in as best he can but also try to turn the line-up over if there are not runners on base he might get his BB% up to 10%. Think of all the free IBB.

    I don't doubt that Baez will be a talented player. Will likely get multiple ASG appearances in his career and they will be deserved ASG. I just don't see him cracking into MVP conversations. At his peak I think he will be a 3-5 fWAR player. A VERY good player to be sure. But not as high as many hear seem to believe.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    He has a very potent, though admittedly undisciplined, bat. Why would you think it needs to stay in the 8-hole and simply draw IBB in front of the pitcher? I don't get it.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    It somewhat masks his biggest offensive weakness: A relative lack of BB. He strikes out more than I would like out of my #8 hitter but Javy often struggles to get his BB rate up closer to 8-9%. If he is in the #8 hole he can let opposing teams BB him as they might not give him anything close. To me he is also such an asset on the bases that if he can get some "free passes" I want to give him as many cracks at running the bases that I can.

    It isn't a foolproof strategy but it is one that I believe in. I don't know if I am in the minority on Baez or not. I think he is a supremely talented player. When he is locked in like he is now he is one of the most fun players to watch on the team. But he just seems mercurial. So when he is not "on" he can look lost at the plate (on defense and the basepaths he is one of my favorite players in all of baseball).

    I would love it if this is his "break out" year. I wouldn't be surprised if it is. But I want to see more than a couple of weeks of him playing well. I hope this was a break out game for him. But I am taking a wait and see approach with him before I decide that it is a break out season. I will make up my mind around Memorial Day. Maybe later.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Perhaps Joe has been putting Javy in the 8 hole for a slightly different reason then the obvious. We all thought it was to make sure he tries to be more disciplined because the junk he will receive w the pitcher behind esp w runners on. That would hopefully force him to become more discipline which in turn would help him turn into the beast he's capable of and thus move him up in the order. He also wanted him to be able to turn the lineup over as well.

    I think the most interesting part of why he put him in the 8 hole is because " naturally, what other position in the batting order will naturally have more bop?" Its obvious any spot before the pitcher, so Joe puts Javy there whose also the best base runner on the team!! Who wouldn't want to put your best base runner in the spot that gets more OBP?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think 9% walk rate is achievable, not sure about a .290 BA but I’m not a big believer in BA anyway. I’d like to see a .820-850 OPS and a 110-120 wRC+. I think he’ll get there too. Combine that with his defense and you’re looking at a 3.5 to 4 WAR player. I’m also not convinced that Javy isn’t capable of one crazy outlier where he competes for an MVP.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I’ve always thought Javy would end up a “heavy Brandon Phillips” type with 40 2B and 30 HR versus a 30 2B 18 HR guy that Phillips was. He will probably be a .060 to .070 OBP over his BA instead of .100+ which is still decent if he can hit above .275 which he is capable of.

  • I have to relate this story: Let me preface what every diehard, totally smitten Cubs fan of many decades even a lifetime fears; giving up on a laugher and turning off or worse leaving a game and then hearing later that the Cubs actually came back and won the game.

    Yesterday my wife informed me that she had made an appointment with a new hair stylist, an independent who is both inexpensive and good but tough to get in. Then had plans for afternoon errands and even shop for outdoor patio rugs all after 1:30 PM MT. F#%&. (She still is holding a grudge for the last couple of years where Cubs games dominated life's schedule because the Cubs are really good.) But I thought the game would be called anyway so...We watched the beginning of the game and left when it was 1-3. Got out with an excellent hair cut ($12, left a big tip), score is now 1-9. Okay honey, we will do the afternoon stuff together, (I just love to spend inordinate time considering the color and patterns of things like rugs or clothes or whatever), so finally get home and the score is 3-10, so I put on the bluetooth speaker and start fooling around in the shed. Then it is 5-10, okay a creep back. Then I sit down and start paying attention, still 5-10, 2 outs, but based stone drunk, (hmmm)....then we know....Oh Baby!

    After the game which my wife and daughter were amazed when I come into the house and put it on the big TV. Now it is time to call her parents who live in Chicagoland, they 90/89 and still living in their home, but have pneumonia now, why not in the hospital, but under in home care. After the medical report father in law, a life long Cubs fan, starts moaning about the Cubs. I shoot back:

    "But how did you like the comeback?"

    "Stop joking around, he turns to my wife's mother, Bob is playing with us again."

    I am belly laughing so loud the neighbors probably could hear it. My wife: "Dad, Cubs won 14-10, I saw it!"

    "What? I turned it off when it was 10-3" More sadness he doesn't sign up for MLB TV until they come out to Colorado in the summer as they don't need it in IL so he can't even watch the game replay.

    OK I then start calling Cubs fan family and other friends. NONE watch the comeback....each time I laughed. OK sure I also gave up after the hair appointment but I did watch the comeback.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    This is why I have remained single, rnemanich. Good luck, my friend.

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    Javy is my favorite player to watch, plus he, Contreras, & Zo have been the sparks on the team so far. That's the best part about being a good deep team. Anyone can be that spark, anyday.
    Yeah, the SP's have been inconsistent, but the offense isn't clicking either. I put whoever at leadoff. Except bryzzo & willy.

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    It ashamed Happ hasn't started good. Just like Schwarber last year. They are both tradebait, but thr FO won't admit it. They don't fit. Contreras is kyle but wayyyy better on D. Happ isn't a leadoff hitter and his D stinks (over time).
    I say that they wanted to trade either (in a package) for a legit TOR & make a great offer to Harper.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I meant Contreras is a wayyy better kyle on offense too. Heyward is than kyle.

  • Don't know why I can reply to kjryno's comment so I'll just post it here. Entering game 4 of the 2016 nlcs anthony rizzo was hitting .067 with a .200 ob% & a .277 ops YUCK!! he boosted his terrible #'s when the cubs snatched the series momentum like a true front runner. You conveniently omitted his 2015 postseason stats and 2016 nlds stats. Rizzo has been underwhelming in the postseason.Of course he gets a pass because he's a nice guy who does charity and not a minority like baez

  • In reply to bolla:

    GTH out with the stupid minority part.

    To most of us, Cubs players are Cubs players regardless of skin color or where they come from. Just because you go there doesn't mean I will. Rizzo and Bryant have just been better players period. A blind person knows that.

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    In reply to KJRyno:

    Back off on the visually impaired minority.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Of course bryant & rizzo are better hitters that's it, they're better than baez at NOTHING else and my point was in crunch time baez has delivered and I gave several examples. You can't say the same about rizzo and bryant so all those sabermetric stats are irrelevant. Baez is a better 3b than bryant and he doesn't even play 3b. I'm disgusted and disappointed from the lopsided criticism and imo I know what the root of the baez criticism is. If you disagree that's fine no hard feelings we can agree to disagree

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    In reply to bolla:

    WHAT?!

    First of all, no one is saying that Baez is a bad player. If you see something racist or sinister please illustrate that rather than simply making an assertion. Yes, Baez is from a minority. But I don't see that as an issue on this. Some of us simply believe that Bryant and Rizzo are better players. I also believe there are some minority players that are better than Bryant and Rizzo (Didi Gregorius is doing really well, Mookie Betts is a talented player, I would love to have Jose Berrios). We have given examples based on recorded production and based on THOUSANDS of plate appearances in both instances. I consider something accumulated over a large sample size to be a better indicator of ability/talent/production than something accumulated over a far smaller sample size (such as self-defined "clutch" situations). And frequently the differences are much greater than what can be explained by spot in the batting order, random chance, or anything like that. Meanwhile, you want to focus on a small percentage of PAs, and only the first three games of a playoff series and expressly ignoring the rest of the series.

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    In reply to bolla:

    ???

    No one is saying that Baez is bad. No one has made any "minority" comments about Baez in this conversation or any others I have read. Not even oblique references.

    As for separating out Rizzo's 1st 3 games of the NLCS and posting his numbers as if they "mean" something did you consider that 2 of those 3 games were against very good LHP (Kershaw and Hill)? Or that SSS might come into play when using such a small sample size? That would be the equivalent of saying, "Entering game 5 of the 2018 season Baez was hitting .067 with a .176 ob% and .133 and a ..310 ops YUCK!!" That's all true but also not particularly relevant.

    Finally, your parameter to leave off Games 4-6 where Rizzo had a .500/.500/1.071/1.571 is odd.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Bryant, Rizzo and Javy all had great, hugely important moments in us finally, finally, finally winning the friggin WS. So did many others. They are all great players and will be legendary figures in Cubs history.

    Let's Go Cubs!

    Javy for clean up!

  • I can't reply to any posts but great point ttp. I remember mlb network doing a segment last season about how bryant is not good in the clutch or situations with risp he regressed from 2015-2017.Stats don't tell the whole story I've seen bryant flop in these situations remember the bases loaded vs the mets vs famailia in 2016 LOL. One of the worst ab's I ever witnessed but he gets a pass cuz....nevermind.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I love them all. I suspect we all do.

    But Javy is my favorite Cub of all time. And, really, he's still just getting started.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Has the conversation really devolved into discussing and debating specific PAs from 2.5 years ago as the basis for judgments of the players' ability and contributions?

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