Game Post 5/20

Ian Happ (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Ian Happ (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Series preview is here.


Sunday: 12:10 pm CT on ABC-7/670AM



1. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Ian Happ (S) 3B
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
7. Javier Baez (R) SS
8. Jason Heyward (L) RF
9. Yu Darvish (R) P
1. Alex Blandino (R) SS
2. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Scooter Gennett (L) 2B
5. Adam Duvall (R) LF
6. Scott Schebler (L) RF
8. Tyler Mahle (R) P
9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
Bullpen Usage

via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Tyler Mahle: Tyler Mahle threw 377 pitches that were tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2017, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2017, he relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph) and Slider (85mph), also mixing in a Change (84mph). He also rarely threw a Curve (77mph).

His fourseam fastball has essentially average velo, results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has slight armside run. His slider is a prototypical pitch with few remarkable qualities. His change is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups, has an extreme amount of backspin and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups. His curve (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 8 of them in 2017) results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has primarily 12-6 movement.

Sean's Note: Mahle shut the Cubs down in April in six shutout innings, striking out seven. He has scuffled more lately including allowing four runs in 3.1 innings his last outing.

Final Thoughts: There isn't a typo, that Cubs lineup is correct. Kris Bryant gets a day off and the red-hot Ian Happ plays third. Happ of course has infield experience, but starting at third is a first in MLB. Interestingly, slumping Javy Baez does not get a day off and is in at shortstop. Yu Darvish had a short start off the DL due to cramps. He looked good in his four inning outing.


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  • Hope to see 6-7 strong innings from darvish today. 3-5 hits 0-2 runs

  • In reply to bolla:

    Gonna need 3 innings of 5 pitches to make it to the 7th.

  • Darvish looking like his typical 2018 self.

  • I wonder why darvish rarely uses his splitter,change up or curve

    sliders and fastballs with an occasional curve is all he throws.When he was signed the media raved about his 5-6 pitch arsenal yet he never uses all of them.A change and splitter can keep hitters off balance

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agreed I generally don't agree with how he's approaching hitters. He doesn't utilize his other pitches as much as he has in the past for whatever reason and I think he needs to stop this approach of trying to avoid contact and strikeout everyone. You have a freaking 95 mph 2 seamer with heavy movement just pound the bottom of the zone and let our defense go to work

  • Boy javy is really struggling at SS when he doesn't play there regularly he must have an absurd amount of misplays. What a sloppy start coming off that 1st game yesterday that was as disappointing as any game this year from an execution standpoint

  • Back to back HRs by Schwarber and Baez. Begin discussion...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Bums. LOL.

  • Good to see the offense step up to back darvish besides his 1st start of the season against Miami the offense pretty much has given him little to no run support which doesn't help when you're a new premium acquisition that's struggling. in addition good to see are 2 coldest hitters in Kyle and javy get the HRs. Hopefully this gets those guys going a bit

  • I love when a pitcher has a quick inning after your team puts up a crooked number.

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    It's going to be really hard for Yu to go deep in the game today. We don't have that many pitchers available without using them up. I don't know what we're going to do with 23 straight games in August.

  • That was a promising start to the inning.

  • As usual Heyward cannot hit with men on. We could not get 2 bats and a bag of baseballs for this bum right now. This will go down as the worst signing by Epstein by far!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to cubbie forever:

    It’ll be close to the 140M ctt he gave Carl Crawford. Heyward still plays defense. By the way Heyward had a bases loaded triple yesterday.:)

  • In reply to stix:

    Why does Heyward play again? I don't care if he's getting paid over 100 million, he shouldn't be more than as a late inning defensive replacement; his 'triple' yesterday, was an out for your typical minor league RF.......

  • In reply to stix:

    Clueless at best it was a weak fly ball that the stupid right fielder did not hustle on and the 2nd baseman had to run and try and catch it.

    Get a clue here please The man flat out stinks and for the money we are paying him??? come now

  • In reply to cubbie forever:

    The response was comparing Heyward to the worst signing he ever had, not to defend Heyward in any way.please read the entire comment before you respond. The little smiley face was my attempt at sarcasm for the triple. Sorry , I’ll draw bigger pictures next time.

  • In reply to stix:

    Yes you are right about the Carl Crawford signing my bad!!!

  • In reply to cubbie forever:

    :). :) thanks

  • In reply to stix:

    You call that a triple? Ball hit off 2nd basemen’s glove, he falls down ball rolls into Ohio river. Was soft contact.

  • I don’t understand why pitchers throw Baez strikes.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    It happened again. Two balls out of the strike zone, 1-1 count. The next pitch is in the strike zone and not surprisingly, Baez gets a hit. Hey: the guy is one of the best hitters in the league. But bounce 7 in the dirt and he’ll get himself out. Maybe the bad teams like the Reds can’t consistently throw it out of the zone?

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    In reply to Cubswin09:

    They explained why on the telecast. His breaking ball isn't one of his better pitches and he hung one. That is how he gets pitches in the zone. Most of the times they are mistakes by the pitcher.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Baez is 3-3 today and you're complaining about this nonsense.You sound like a broken record.You're clearly have an agenda against baez 1st complaining about his defense or never walking and use to say you hope he gets traded for pitching. Yet today he's been great and this is what you come up with. This blog is weird

  • In reply to bolla:

    We all have our biases. I like guys who walk. If Baez started to walk more he’d be my favorite player. If it offend you, I can live with that.

  • I have a question about an incident in one of yesterday's games. A foul tip got by the catcher's mitt and caught the ump flush in the abdomen. He went to a knee for a few seconds but was OK. As a professional courtesy, the catcher strolled out to the mound to give the ump a chance to regroup. Does that count as a mound visit? I'm not sure who keeps track of such things. An umpire could overlook it considering the circumstances, but I could see an unintended consequence.

    If you had used all available visits yet absolutely needed another, would a catcher intentionally miss a pitch to clock the umpire and go talk to his pitcher while the ump collected his bearings?

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    So as I was saying it's interesting a slumping Baez is starting today. Almost like the Cubs know more about this whole baseball thing than I do.

  • Would you send Darvish back out for the seventh? Bottom of the order bats, looking strong, 94 pitches.

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    In reply to RiJo:

    I wouldn't just for the fact that you can use this as a confidence booster for him to build off of which he needs. Plus he is coming off a cramping issue no need to push him too hard.

  • Darvish recovered great after that 1st. He should pick his spots pitch to contact vs certain hitters and try to get the strikeout vs certain hitters.Good start today, hopefully he gets his 1st win as a cub

  • For the 2017 and 2018 (to present) seasons, which Cub had the highest wRC+ while hitting with 2 strikes?

    The only MLB players that have an above average (>100) 2-strike wRC+ over that span are Trout (118), Ramirez (116), Betts (107), Harper (107), Abreu (107), Votto (107) and Rendon(103).

    The Cubs, in descending order, are Bryant (94), Contreras (94), LaStella(82), Caratini(74), Almora(70), Rizzo (57), Schwarber (45), Russell (37), Heyward(34), Zobrist(23), Happ(17), Baez(15).

    Sorta corresponds to the eye test.

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    In reply to wthomson:

    The Zobrist one surprises me a little. Didn't think he would be 23 bad.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Rizzo surprises me with his choke-up shortened swing approach.

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    Yu was masterful after the first—although we still have to count the 1st inn. By his keeping the run total to 1 and then being very economical with his pitches—this is the Yu Theo signed.
    Also, let’s hope that Javy starts another hot streak at bat and in the field. He is fun to watch.
    Btw, when we were talking about who on the Cubs could be in the HOF I mentioned Javy, not because I think he could qualify, but because with fewer players making milestones such as 500 HR or 300 wins we have to watch someone play to add to their value. We see the things that aren’t measurable. Take that DP by Javy last inn. In the box score it’s just a DP but only those watching it knows how difficult it was to pull off.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Great to see a number of our struggling or underperforming players players break out. Knock on wood the head holds but I'm sure it'll be nice for YU personally to get that 1st official Cubs win I'm sure the fact he has 0 wins maybe in the back of everyone's mind

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Just remember who Yu was pitching against. Q pitched 1hit seven innings, Lester 2 hits over 6. Cincy is last in the division. Nice pitching but I doubt that other teams would go out for five innings and only see an average of 10 pitches per inning. When Yu does this more often then I think he might be the guy Theo thought he signed for over 100M.

  • In reply to stix:

    No question that this is relatively meaningless in the big picture but i think it always has to feel good for Darvish to get that 1st official Win ESP with him in the spotlight. I think all 3 of them were just sharp with all of their pitches and while the Reds lineup isn't going to scare anyone I wouldn't call them a bottom tier lineup they have a pretty tough heart of the order. Really it's their starting pitching that's that's not giving them a chance to compete so I'd say that any success that our hitters had this weekend needs to be taken with a grain of salt Moreso than the starters.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    But I agree with what you're saying about how these wins need to be taken into context overall no question these are games we should easily win

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    Ahhhh glad fans show up to see umps...what a joke.

  • In reply to Sean Livengood:

    I hate umps that act like that. He clearly missed the pitch as it was HIGH and out of the zone. And then you throw the guy out for arguing? Walk the other way. Say I may have missed it and Schwarber leaves him alone. Awful umpiring.

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    I love it! Javy being the calm one.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen Schwarber mad before

  • In reply to TC154:

    There was a similar issue where the first pitch of his at bat in the sixth was an obvious ball, which led to a strike out on a foul tip; I can see him getting worked up when the ump is striking him out, instead of the pitcher............

  • I get this is what we expect out of them but great to see great starts out of Q and darvish. After that 1st inning where he threw 42 pitches, Yu pretty much got through 5 more innings in only about 50 pitches and I think that's a testament to him being forced attack hitters and not nibble and expend too many pitches going for Ks. He's pretty tough to hit when he's pounding that strike zone and pitching Moreso to contact and I think the team should maybe bring that up to him bc he has outstanding stuff that's tough to hit he just needs to attack consistently. You have a mid 90s FB with heavy movement and 5 other pitches just attack these guys most guys won't be able to hit it

  • Cubs were 25-19......9 and 9 in the last 18
    It’s a journey.....

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