Cubs @ Reds: Series Preview (6/21-6/24)

cubs-teammates-hold-back-anthony-rizzo-middle-and-javier-baez-far-left-as-they-go-after-reds-reliever-amir-garrett-50_m32x6kymqjud1x2ph1bl6qcy8

The Cubs have moved into a tie for first in the NL Central after winning two of three from the Dodgers. This despite a bullpen undermanned by the loss of closer Brandon Morrow to a back injury. Chicago now sits a season-high 13 games above the .500 mark, a plateau they didn't reach before the final weeks of the 2017 season. Before meeting the Dodgers in LA for four, the Northsiders head to Cincinnati for four games with the Reds.

After a disastrous 5-20 start to 2018, the Reds have gone a more respectable 23-25 since. That's still good for last-place by a pretty wide margin. As is usually the case for Cincy, the offense is the team's strong-suit. Eugenio Suarez has 15 home runs and 54 RBI to go with a .954 OPS. Scooter Gennett is having a career year hitting .336 with 13 homers, oh and by the by, Joey Votto has a .426 on base percentage. The team ERA is an unappealing 4.86, so the pitching, especially the starting pitching, is a weak point.

The Cubs have only gone 2-3 against the Reds in the early season. Other teams, notably the Cardinals, have feasted on the Central bottom feeders. Cincinnati has a dangerous lineup so it's not like these games are cake walks by any means. Still, the Cubs need to take advantage of these games to really have the kind of season they want to have.

Watch/Listen

Thursday: 6:10 pm CT on MLB Network/NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Friday: 6:10 pm CT on WGN/670AM

Saturday: 3:10 pm CT on ABC-7/670AM

Sunday: 12:10 pm CT on NBC Spor ts Chicago/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

1. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
2. Jason Heyward (L) RF
3. Javier Baez (R) 2B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Addison Russell (R) SS
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
8. Ian Happ (S) CF

Reds

1. Jose Peraza (R) SS
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Scooter Gennett (L) 2B
5. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
6. Jesse Winker (L) RF
7. Adam Duvall (R) LF
8. Matt Harvey (R) P
9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF

Bullpen Usage

screen-shot-2018-06-21-at-12-22-25-pm

screen-shot-2018-06-21-at-12-22-56-pm

via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Matt HarveyMatt Harvey has thrown 10,928 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2011 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and the MLB Postseason. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph) and Slider (89mph), also mixing in a Change (87mph). He also rarely throws a Curve(83mph) and Sinker (92mph).

His fourseam fastball has slight armside run and has slightly above average velo. His slider is thrown extremely hard, has much less depth than expected and has primarily 12-6 movement. His change is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups, is much firmer than usual, has a lot of backspin, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups and has slight armside fade. His curve is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' curves, has primarily 12-6 movement, is much harder than usual, has little depth and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves. His sinker (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 6 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sinkers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has slight armside run.

Sean's Note: After a decent beginning with the Reds, Harvey has allowed 16 runs the last 4 starts. He is giving up a ton of homers, 13 on the season so far and he is striking out hitters at a below average rate. Left handed hitters tee off on the Dark Knight, hitting .286 against him.

Luis CastilloLuis Castillo has thrown 2,793 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2017 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (96mph), Change (86mph) and Sinker (96mph), also mixing in a Slider (83mph).

His fourseam fastball has some natural sinking action, has well above average velo, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has slight armside run. His change generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' changeups, dives down out of the zone, is slightly firmer than usual and has slight armside fade. His sinker has an obvious tail, generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, is blazing fast and has some natural sinking action. His slider results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders, has primarily 12-6 movement and has some two-plane movement.

Sean's Note: Castillo has allowed 17 home runs this season, which helps explain a not very flattering 5.77 ERA. He pitched against the Cubs in May, allowing one run in five innings despite giving up 6 hits and 5 walks. Not a performance one can repeat very often, with so much traffic on the bases.

Anthony DeSclafaniAnthony DeSclafani has thrown 5,770 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2014 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, Spring Training and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Slider (88mph), Fourseam Fastball (94mph) and Sinker (94mph), also mixing in a Curve (81mph). He also rarely throws a Change (89mph).

His slider is thrown extremely hard, has less than expected depth and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His fourseam fastball results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has essentially average velo. His sinker results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has slightly above average velo. His curve (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 18 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' curves, has little depth, is slightly harder than usual and has primarily 12-6 movement. His change (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 6 of them in 2018) is thrown extremely hard, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups and has some natural sink to it.

Sean's note: DeSclafani has missed most of the season with injuries, he has made only 3 starts in 2018. His ground ball rate is extremely low, he allows 60% line drives and fly balls. In the cozy dimensions of Great American Ball Park, that could lead to a lot of damage.

Sal RomanoSal Romano has thrown 2,744 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2017 and 2018, all of them occuring in the MLB Regular Season. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (95mph), Slider (87mph) and Sinker (95mph), also mixing in a Change (88mph). He also rarely throws a Cutter (90mph).

His fourseam fastball has heavy sinking action, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has an obvious tail and has slightly above average velo. His slider results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders, has primarily 12-6 movement and has some two-plane movement. His sinkerhas well above average velo, has less armside run than typical and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker. His change generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups, is much firmer than usual and results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups. His cutter (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 14 of them in 2018) generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' cutters, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' cutters, has slightly above average velo, has some natural sink and has strong cutting action.

Sean's Note: Romano has a bit more ground ball tendencies than his Reds teammates, he still allows an above average home run rate. The Cubs smoked Sal in May, scoring seven runs off of him in a 10-0 win.

 

 

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Are they going to get it in? Laurence Holmes said he probably would have to work tonight, and Accuweather has about the same forecast for Cincy as the weather we have here.

  • In reply to jack:

    I think the game will be played tonite. Forecast is for heavy rain for about 45 minutes, then after 7:45 PM only sprinkles to nothing at all.
    Probably will be delayed by an hour or so. I'm just going by Weather Underground, but they are pretty good with the same day forecasting.

  • In reply to jack:

    They're getting hit hard now but it should let up be game time. I'm optimistic.

    Got a comment in the filter if someone could Javy it out if there. Thanks.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    The single best use of Javy as a verb on here so far...brilliant. Let's get 3/4 this weekend.

  • Another one of those "raise your hand if" questions: you predicted the Cubs would be 13 games over.500 on June 21st with a pen that included Anthony Bass, Luke Ferrell, Justin Hancock, Randy Rosario, and Rob Zastryzny.

    As bad as Harvey has been, he's kept the BB's in check. In 7 starts with the Reds, he's only allowing a 6.8% walk rate. As Sean mentioned, he's getting hit hard but continues to go right after hitters. Knowing him it could be hard-headed arrogance, but hopefully he dismisses a sensible game plan and challenges a hot Javy in the zone.

    We all know what Bryant does in Cindy, so maybe this will fully break him out of his lingering power slump.

    Rain, rain, go away... and Go Cubs!

  • Who will be starting for the Cubs on Saturday and Sunday. Will someone be recalled for Saturday?

  • In reply to C R wolf:

    Basically the options are to call up Alec Mills, who is the Iowa starter lined up, or go with Farrell (with Zastryzny as a likely piggyback). Either way you are basically hoping for 5 competitive innings.

  • In reply to C R wolf:

    This is a really good point. I'd think Chatwood starts on Sunday since that would be his normal slot. So either a BP day or Zastryzny on Saturday?

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Could they possibly start Farrell.

  • In reply to C R wolf:

    Farrell makes some sense, since he's "stretched out" from starting at Iowa. Unless another Iowa Cub starter gets swapped in. If there is a rainout tonite, that would also solve the problem of Saturday's starter.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    If Saturday is a bullpen day and Chatwood pitches Sunday that would be 2 bullpen days in a row most likely. That could be brutal on the bullpen.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Farrell hasn’t pitched in awhile. Pitch him then send him down. Maybe Deunsing will be back soon. Z will probably be sent down upon his return..

  • In reply to C R wolf:

    Thought
    I heard Duensing is due back Friday.

  • In reply to C R wolf:

    My guess is that Farrell either starts on Saturday or goes down after Friday's game, with Mills or Tseng coming up to start on Saturday. That gives all starters except Chatwood an extra days rest, pitching on Day 6, thus the reason why Lester was allowed to throw 119 pitches today. Because the simulated game for Darvish went well, he goes to Iowa and pitches some number of innings on a pitch count on Monday, 6/25. He may pitch in a 2nd game on 6/30. If not, he may pitch against the Twins or comes off the DL to pitch at home on 7/6 against Cinci.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Makes sense to me. Could Underwood get swapped in? I think probably not, that Farrell will be tabbed. But Underwood has been on the prospect list for so long, although he's fringey now, there may be some curiousity regarding how he looks.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Tseng and his 8.21 ERA in Iowa is not a good idea.

  • fb_avatar

    I love watching Votto bat. What’s surprising to me is that he’s never won a batting title. He had a career .OBP of .428! That’s one of the highest ever, if all the ballplayers who ever played.
    Btw, tonight is Mike Trout’s 1000th game. His numbers at this point put him among the all-time greats. I need to see him more often.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    The tentative 2019 schedule is out, and the Cubs will playing the AL West in our interleague games. The Angels will be visiting Wrigley. I'm going to try to attend if I'm around, I've never seen Trout in person.

  • fb_avatar

    There was a game last week where Javy was at SS and Addy had pinch hit. Javy then appeared to hurt himself but stayed in. If not, who would have played SS?
    Great AB by Javy. That’s 3 in 2 days. It is so smart for our hitters to go the other way if the pitch is there.
    Go Cubs!!

  • I see the discussion earlier about the options for Saturday's SP, and now I'm seeing some chatter that Chatwood's wife is expecting any day now and he may miss a couple days. I can't confirm but that will add to the uncertainty.

  • Hendricks doing his Chatwood Impersonation. 3 walks in the 6th.

  • I can't blame Maddon for pulling Hendricks, he was done. I love what Rosario has done, but it has been a bit of smoke and mirrors. His peripherals screamed luck and regression.

    We never quit!

  • fb_avatar

    Darn!

Leave a comment