Cubs vs Dodgers: Series Preview (6/18-6/20)

2546279_1280x720

The Cubs just completed a mixed bag of a road trip against the Cardinals and Brewers. They outscored their opponents 26-10 in the three victories on the trip. In the three contests they dropped, Chicago failed to score a single run. The series win against St. Louis has moved the Cubs with in a half-game of Milwaukee for first-place. They return home for a quick three-game series against their playoff rivals from LA before heading back out on the road.

The Dodgers have recovered from a horrible start to the year to jump back into the National League West race at 37-33. The starting rotation has stayed afloat due to its young arms, despite only having Clayton Kershaw for half the season. Ross Stripling has been one of those arms, he has been lights out so far in 2018. Matt Kemp, projected as a fourth outfielder in the offseason, has suddenly found his 2011 form and is having a great year. Rookie Max Muncie has hit 13 home runs and Joc Peterson is having a bounce back season after struggling mightily in 2017.

With the exemption of Tyler Chatwood, the Cubs have pitched well the last month or so. Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant have both scuffled of late which has hurt the overall lineup. On the other side of the coin, Jason Heyward and Albert Almora continue their hot hitting. The Northsiders are playing a stretch in which 11 of 14 games are on the road. It would help to take advantage of the only three home games in that window. It won't be easy against a Dodger team that has finally found it's form, but they need to make it happen.

Watch/Listen

Monday: 7:05 pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Tuesday: 7:05 pm CT on ABC-7/670AM

Wednesday: 1:20 pm CT on MLB Network/WGN/670AM

Lineups

Dodgers

1. Joc Pederson (L) CF
2. Max Muncy (L) 2B
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B
5. Matt Kemp (R) LF
6. Cody Bellinger (L) 1B
7. Chris Taylor (R) SS
8. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
9. Kenta Maeda (R) P

Cubs

1. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
2. Jason Heyward (L) RF
3. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Ian Happ (S) CF
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
7. Addison Russell (R) SS
8. Chris Gimenez (R) C

Bullpen Usage

screen-shot-2018-06-18-at-1-34-28-pm

screen-shot-2018-06-18-at-1-34-08-pm

via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Kenta MaedaKenta Maeda has thrown 6,458 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2013 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason, The World Baseball Classic and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph), also mixing in a Cutter (85mph), Slider(84mph), Curve (78mph) and Change using a Circle Change grip (85mph). He also rarely throws a Sinker (91mph).

His fourseam fastball has essentially average velo and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers. His cutter generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' cutters, has below average velo and has some natural sink. His slider generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sliders. His curve generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' curves and has a sharp downward bite. His changegenerates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups and has some natural sink to it. His sinker generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers and results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers.

Sean's Note: Maeda has had a much better start to his season than he had last year. His strikeout rate is up to a very impressive 28.1%. He has also cut his homer rate by 6%, which is key for a fly ball pitcher. A vast majority of the strikeouts come on his wipeout slider.

Rich HillRich Hill has thrown 10,180 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2007 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (90mph) and Curve (75mph). He also rarely throws a Change (84mph), Sinker(87mph) and Cutter (87mph).

His fourseam fastball results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has slightly below average velo. His curve is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves, has sweeping glove-side movement and has a sharp downward bite. His change (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 13 of them in 2018) generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' changeups, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' changeups, is slightly firmer than usual and has some natural sink to it. His sinker (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 7 of them in 2018) generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has below average velo. His cutter (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 3 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' cutters, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' cutters and has good "rise".

Sean's Note: Since his time with the Cubs, Rich Hill has been plagued by blisters. It has been a big problem again in 2018, limiting the lefty to just six starts. When he has pitched the results have been disastrous, allowing 18 runs in just 24.1 innings pitched. His curve which normally creates grounders hasn't, which has led to 7 homers allowed, a HR rate of 21% (league average is 13%).

Ross StriplingStripling relies mainly on four different pitches: A four seam fastball (91mph), a slider (87mph), a curveball (80mph), and a changeup (84mph). He throws his fastball about half the time, the slider and curve are both used about 20% of the time, with the change used sparingly on just 10% of pitches.

Sean's Note: Stripling entered the rotation when injures forced the Dodgers hand. He has been outstanding in a starting role so far, maintaining a sub-2.00 ERA. His strikeout rate is almost 30% which is among the best in the MLB. Add to that a walk rate at just 4.4% it creates a strikeout to walk ratio of 7.09 which is almost unheard of. The high strikeout total might explain the fact he's stranded 90% of baserunners in 2018.

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Baez is ok!!! no x rays could play tuesday *let's out a deep breath huge sigh of relief*

  • In reply to bolla:

    Great news bolla we need him in the lineup I know addys line doesn't look bad but it feels like he's hitting a ton of singles while not coming up with many timely hits. I know the RBI stat is becoming devalued in the metrics community but I still value the stat a lot more than some people even though I understand that the stat is influenced in part by opportunities to hit with RISP. I don't think russells rbis are an outlier the guy just isn't doing much damage with runners on it seems like and isn't slugging. Overall even though the avg looks ok I easily take the addy of 2016 over what we've seen here lately. To me javy makes that play on the grounder by ozuna as well even though I admit that I'm good with addys defense for the most part

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yup

  • I see the line up and see no AA in cf. I guess Kenta must be super tough on right handed hitters.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Maeda is deadly to RH hitters with that slider. No Almora and no Javy. I hope Javy is OK, I just watched an interview from today. He says he could go, but I sensed enough doubt in his voice to know it still hurts. If this was October he'd be in there, but with Maeda on the mound this makes perfect sense.

    I try to remember that just because a player doesn't start because of a bad matchup against the SP doesn't mean he won't play. We'll knock Maeda out and Almora will have an impact in the later innings.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    This doesn't really go as much for Almora that's likely more matchup based but Joe is clearly also being careful we have to remember that he has to find a way to navigate 17 games in 17 days and were at the point of the season where fatigue can kick in before the all star break. I think that's why we're seeing contreras sit and that's why joes been careful with his pen lately. Happ swung the bat well last series I must say though although he seems to not do as well in that 5 spot

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    We have 10 legitimate starting-caliber position players for 8 spots in the lineup. For those who view the season as a marathon, this is comforting. For those who like the white-knuckle, every-game-is-the-end-of-world sprint, that fact can be Maddon-ing.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I strongly believe that having to rotate those 10 players to get them all enough playing time is a big reason as to why the Cubs have been the best 2nd half team 3 years in a row (with exception to the Indians crazy win streak they had last season). Love it that when we get to crunch time that our players are better rested and then the ones playing the best can be leaned on when it matters most. Seems to make quite a difference, especially for the team that plays the most day games every year, especially considering Chicago summers and the humidity; that is very tiring.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I've always respected how much Maddon values resting players cubber I share the same belief and we also have to remember that Maddon is also has to balance winning with making sure these young players like happ are getting regular appearances to develop and learn how to handle ML pitching even if it means we have to live with his flaws at times. I get why people want Almora to play ever day he's had a nice consistent season but you have to remember that Maddon also likes happ as a young prospect and wants to ensure he's getting regular ABs to develop just as he had to find ABs for Almora in previous years. I also think the front office and coaching staff like what they've seen from happ Moreso than fans who don't like the Ks and were turned off by his awful start the guy still walks a ton to aid his low average and brings power and speed to the lineup and he has a pretty darn good .800+ ops which to me is the most important offensive stat. It can be frustrating for fans that are impatient and want their guys playing but part of maddons job is to balance the short term with the long term and that means that sometimes we have to live with the growing pains guys like happ or Baez previously have gone through as they've developed. I personally think Joe does a great job with allocating playing time and I think he's perfectly aware of who should be playing most days and he has given Almora more ABs in general this year vs RHPs while at the same time giving happ just enough ABs to stay in good form and get the valuable development time that he needs. I personally think that despite maddons faults he's handled the playing time well overall

    Don't get me wrong I think Almora has earned the starting job but to me this is no longer really a platoon Almora pretty much plays all the time I think they only benched him saturday in this Stl series because happ has absolutely crushed Stl pitching thus far in his short career and Carlos Martinez frankly isnt a good matchup for Albert. That decision got a lot of scrutiny but happ kills Martinez and was a big part of winning that game. If I'm being honest though I think we have 10 guys that flat out need to play and at times that's gonna mean that were going to 2nd guess the lineup but I think the lineup shuffling is still in the best interests of the organization when it comes to rest and young player development

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Happ can play other positions besides CF and BTW, Almora pretty much figures in most of the Cub wins. There are plenty of other guys that could be sitting out.

    There is plenty of time to rest these guys and also plenty of time to let everyone play. These guys are young guys and they do not need to be handled like Prima Donnas and I am sure they will agree. All I am saying if a player is HOT than keep playing him until he is NOT. There are plenty of others that are not hitting consistently and if they are in a slump, they should be sitting instead of a HOT hitter no matter who they are.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I do like how Joe has been playing happ in the corners more I agree we don't need to have such a strict platoon happs a versatile guy and he can get ABs at schwarber and zobrists expense too. That said Almora is playing a lot Joe sees the same things we do he just played Almora vs Nola and pivetta 2 of the top 10 RHPs according to WAR

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I have nothing against any of the CUB players including Happ. I only bring up Almora because he has been HOT when most of the others have not. All I am saying if someone is HOT keep playing him and sit someone else.

    When some of the other guys had a good day batting, Maddon sits them out the next game also. That is not a good formula for a team getting shutout or just one run as much as the Cubs have been doing.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Not joining in on the Almora/Happ choice but there are only two players on the bench who get regular playing time , so there’s not plenty others that Happ is better than. More power, more k’s, maybe more speed but he’s not yet an everyday player w/o being an injury replacement

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Not about winning every game at all cost it is about developing a young player so he can play 135-140 games a year. And only not play just to have a day off. So any time there is above average righty in the playoffs AA will be on the bench?
    Don’t agree with you on 10 legit starters for 8 spots. Happ isn’t a everyday player.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    We have been developing Almora. His starts and AB's against RHP have gone up dramatically. He used to sit vs. ANY RHP, and now is only being shielded from the ones he would have the most difficulty against, which also creates natural time off to rest and keep others fresh.

    This isn't October. We're playing up to that time. Joe will put the best product on the field when it's a must-win game. Remember 2016? Zobrist was the 2B, with Javy being "protected" from tough righties. Who played every game at 2B in the 2016 postseason?

    I'm sorry you don't like Happ. He's a great player with a bright future. I also understand your preference for Almora. I love that kid, he embodies nearly every quality I look for in a player. I guess we just disagree over long-term strategy, playing time vs. rest, and overall development.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Almora just got ABs vs 2 tough RHPs Aaron Nola and pivetta 2 SPs ranked in the top 10 in WAR he's already practically playing every day. And happ had 24 home runs and 70 rbis in only 2/3 of HIS ROOKIE season and this year has one of the highest OPS's on the roster and a .350+ OBP even after a poor start the reality is he's been playing a lot better and he's proved the people wrong saying he needed to go to the minors. That's the best bench player I've seen personally and he's on track to accumulate over 2+ WAR there's not a single stat really that doesn't indicate he's a nice offensive prospect and remember he is a STILL A prospect again not some 30 year old veteran player and sometimes that means he comes with growing pains but he still has sluggers upside and is likely going to only improve defensively whether you like Almora better or not I really don't get how anyone can write off happs career. Yes Almora needs to be the general starter for now bc of his defense but you have to remember they're considering happs long term future here too. Happs a pretty darn good athlete and he was a 2B in college never played OF until he signed with the Cubs so it's predictable that he'll have some growing pains there as schwarber has but while I think he's a poor CF and good corner OF right now he has the athleticism to be good out there in a few years once he improves his reads. Look how much schwarbers improved just this season I personally think we'll look at happs defense very differently in a couple of years. I understand why you love Almora I love the way the guy plays the game too but I truly don't see how anyone can say a guy with happs power and ability to walk that he isn't an ML starter I think a lot of teams would love to have him. This guys essentially in his rookie year have some patience strikeout rates generally improve as they have for every single one of our prospects. Frankly while I get irritated with all the low scoring games this season but there isn't really a single young player on our roster that I don't believe has a bright future overall that's not to be biased but that's just what the numbers are indicating to me. Almoras going to get plenty of opportunities moving forward as he already has if you're right and he plays far better than happ moving forward then I'm sure He'll play in the big games but I don't see what there is to gripe about we have two young OFs who both have .800+ OPS's. Yes they have very different styles of play but they each bring a nice set of tools to the table.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Almora just got ABs vs 2 tough RHPs Aaron Nola and pivetta 2 SPs ranked in the top 10 in WAR he's already practically playing every day. And happ had 24 home runs and 70 rbis in only 2/3 of HIS ROOKIE season and this year has one of the highest OPS's on the roster and a .350+ OBP even after a poor start the reality is he's been playing a lot better and he's proved the people wrong saying he needed to go to the minors. That's the best bench player I've seen personally and he's on track to accumulate over 2+ WAR there's not a single stat really that doesn't indicate he's a nice offensive prospect and remember he is a STILL A prospect again not some 30 year old veteran player and sometimes that means he comes with growing pains but he still has sluggers upside and is likely going to only improve defensively whether you like Almora better or not I really don't get how anyone can write off happs career. Yes Almora needs to be the general starter for now bc of his defense but you have to remember they're considering happs long term future here too. Happs a pretty darn good athlete and he was a 2B in college never played OF until he signed with the Cubs so it's predictable that he'll have some growing pains there as schwarber has but while I think he's a poor CF and good corner OF right now he has the athleticism to be good out there in a few years once he improves his reads. Look how much schwarbers improved just this season I personally think we'll look at happs defense very differently in a couple of years. I understand why you love Almora I love the way the guy plays the game too but I truly don't see how anyone can say a guy with happs power and ability to walk that he isn't an ML starter I think a lot of teams would love to have him. This guys essentially in his rookie year have some patience strikeout rates generally improve as they have for every single one of our prospects. Frankly while I get irritated with all the low scoring games this season but there isn't really a single young player on our roster that I don't believe has a bright future overall that's not to be biased but that's just what the numbers are indicating to me. Almoras going to get plenty of opportunities moving forward as he already has if you're right and he plays far better than happ moving forward then I'm sure He'll play in the big games but I don't see what there is to gripe about we have two young OFs who both have .800+ OPS's. Yes they have very different styles of play but they each bring a nice set of tools to the table.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Almora just got ABs vs 2 tough RHPs Aaron Nola and pivetta 2 SPs ranked in the top 10 in WAR he's already practically playing every day. And happ had 24 home runs and 70 rbis in only 2/3 of HIS ROOKIE season and this year has one of the highest OPS's on the roster and a .350+ OBP even after a poor start the reality is he's been playing a lot better and he's proved the people wrong saying he needed to go to the minors. That's the best bench player I've seen personally and he's on track to accumulate over 2+ WAR there's not a single stat really that doesn't indicate he's a nice offensive prospect and remember he is a STILL A prospect again not some 30 year old veteran player and sometimes that means he comes with growing pains but he still has sluggers upside and is likely going to only improve defensively whether you like Almora better or not I really don't get how anyone can write off happs career. Yes Almora needs to be the general starter for now bc of his defense but you have to remember they're considering happs long term future here too. Happs a pretty darn good athlete and he was a 2B in college never played OF until he signed with the Cubs so it's predictable that he'll have some growing pains there as schwarber has but while I think he's a poor CF and good corner OF right now he has the athleticism to be good out there in a few years once he improves his reads. Look how much schwarbers improved just this season I personally think we'll look at happs defense very differently in a couple of years. I understand why you love Almora I love the way the guy plays the game too but I truly don't see how anyone can say a guy with happs power and ability to walk that he isn't an ML starter I think a lot of teams would love to have him. This guys essentially in his rookie year have some patience strikeout rates generally improve as they have for every single one of our prospects. Frankly while I get irritated with all the low scoring games this season but there isn't really a single young player on our roster that I don't believe has a bright future overall that's not to be biased but that's just what the numbers are indicating to me. Almoras going to get plenty of opportunities moving forward as he already has if you're right and he plays far better than happ moving forward then I'm sure He'll play in the big games but I don't see what there is to gripe about we have two young OFs who both have .800+ OPS's. Yes they have very different styles of play but they each bring a nice set of tools to the table.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    He's a rookie practically that hit 24 home runs and 70 rbis in his rookie year in only 2/3 of a year and this year he has a .350 OBP and an .800+ ops. I really don't get why this needs to be a team Almora vs team happ thing and if you're for one you're against the other why can't we appreciate both as prospects. Happ has slugger potential and he just recently started playing the OF he may not be a good ML CF right now but I think he's gonna be a solid defender out there in a few years. We all love Almora but I truly don't get how anyone can say happs a bench player yes he has flaws but he also walks, hits for a ton of power and he's a very good athlete. Even after an awful start his ops and Obp are comparable to Almora don't get me wrong Almoras our starter due to his defense but I don't see a reason to complain when we have 2 young OFs with .800+ OPS's. This is a good problem to have and the kids our youngest player my friend have some patience he's gonna have a nice ML career as will Almora

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I’d rather have Happ learn to play outfield in right or left. He can learn center in spring training.

  • In reply to stix:

    It seems like that's what they've been doing lately I've said many times I think happ can be a gold glove LF in a few years remember he was a 2B his whole career. I do think Almora has earned his ABs and I'd like to see happ take ABs from schwarber and heyward to balance the playing time. The reality is though I think while there was a platoon in CF early on there really isn't a platoon now happ rarely plays CF anymore they only put him out there on rare occasions now. I can understand people's gripes if the playing time was allocated the way it was early on with Almora sitting against most RHPs but I don't get what's the concern now that Joe has practically anointed Almora as the every day guy. He just faced pivetta, Nola, wacha and flagherty recently there's some pretty good pitchers among that group

  • In reply to stix:

    I'd still like happ to get some ABs in CF though remember he's barely played OF abd I think his OF play is an area where he can realistically improve as he gains experience as schwarber has shown being another guy that hasn't played OF very long. We have to remember that theo has drafted a lot of position less players and transitioned them to the OF so there's going to be growing pains. At least OF play though is an area that's fairly easy to transition to happ reminds me of Alex Gordon in this regard

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I wasn’t trying to turn it team Happ vs Team Almora thing. I just would like to see getting Almora chances vs “tough” righties and put Happ in the corner of or 2nd base. I am all for giving rest days but this is beyond rest days. So if joe gonna put best line up on field for October. You either have to let Almora go against a tough righty which he wasn’t had any practice against or sit him. And to me that isn’t fair for someone’s development.
    Has nothing to do with liking Happ. I just don’t think he is a everyday mlb. Will get severely exposed if plays 140 games.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I understand your viewpoint I want Almora playing for the most part as well and I'd like to see him get opportunities vs RHPs but hasn't Joe been doing that? I'd understand your viewpoint Moreso 1-1.5 months ago but joes been showing confidence in Almora making him our primary leadoff hitter and allowing him to start against flagherty, wacha, Aaron Nola, and pivetta recently the latter 3 being top 10 in the NL in pitcher WAR so isn't it fair to say Joe is generally entrusting him with the CF job and aiding his development vs RHPs. Happs stronger side is from the left side (ESP power wise) and he flat out can't handle big league lefties right now on an everyday basis I agree there but his track record shows that he's a dangerous hitter in general from the left side. Frankly, he puts up slugger numbers from that side and power hitters that get on base don't grow on trees. So doesn't he need to get some ABs from the left side for his development especially when Almora is generally better against LHPs anyways and getting as many ABs as anyone not named Bryant or rizzo for the most part? In addition Maddon has made it a point recently to play happ more in the corner OF spots where his defense plays better and it aids in getting Almora more ABs? I just don't get the idea that Almora still isn't getting enough ABs it seems a little out dated Almoras getting plenty of experience and playing well. If your idea is to send happ to AAA or bench him altogether for the most part then I flat out am gonna have to disagree respectively I don't think that's in the best interests of happs development as a young player that you have to remember was just called up last June. He's already playing by far the least lately as it is maddons doing his best on this issue

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I keep seeing people say that Happ just started playing the OF. I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think that’s correct. If my memory serves, Happ was an outfielder his whole career at Cincinnati. I remember John saying when they drafted him they thought they could develop him in the infield also. Looking at his stats his first year at Eugene, he only played the OF. His 2nd year at Myrtle Beach & Tennessee he played both OF & 2B. I remember John doing an article about his defense at 2B saying he had a long way to go but if it didn’t work out he could just stay in the outfield. Again, I may not be correct, but I’m pretty sure he has a lot more experience in the OF than infield

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    He was a 2B in college and coming but many scouts thought he'd have to move to the OF but he was an infielder coming up through college but started playing 2B and getting some OF starts in the minors. Even in the minors though most of his time was spent at 2B but he's not going to play there when he's clearly a worst IF than zobrist, Baez and Russell

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    He did play some OF and 2B in college if that's what you meant but he's primarily been a 2B in high school and coming up through the minors. Point is he's considered an inexperienced OF for the most part not to say he has no experience out there

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Almora has the 6th greatest number of AB's on the team, 43 fewer than the leader Baez. I think that indicates he is more than a platoon player. The Cubs have 10 players with more than 160 ABs each. 2-3 teams have 8 players with 160+ AB's. All other teams have 5-7 players with 160+ ABs. The Cubs are a unique group of players with a unique manager who keeps everyone happy with plenty of playing time.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    "Almora collected three hits, recording his first career two-double game and driving in two runs in the Cubs' 4-1 win at Wrigley Field. He is now 7-for-9 with five extra-base hits and 10 RBIs in his last five games, and the majority of those at-bats have been against right-handers" including Wacha and Flaherty (RHPs deadly against RH hitters.

    "Maybe he's doing so well because we're putting him in the right spots," Maddon said.

    Yep, Maddon is so great at putting the guys in the right spots that the CUBs were shutout in 3 of the 5 previous games because of lack of hitting (the very same games that Almora was hitting in).

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    These quotes were taken from a Carrie Muskat report 09/16/2017 (https://www.mlb.com/news/albert-almora-swinging-hot-bat-for-cubs/c-254600830)

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I'm sorry, but that whole post made no sense except to bash Joe. I could pick apart the factual errors (Wacha has reverse splits) or the assumptions (the very same games that Almora was hitting in), but I have to mow the lawn before game time.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    If you can pick it apart, HAVE AT IT. Don't just say you can.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    First of all, I'm sorry if my reply seemed rude.

    I still can't make any sense of the quotes you're using, which is why I said it doesn't make any sense. I understand they came from Muskat, but you gave no context about when they were made, other than a reference to September 2017 (I haven't checked the link).

    Flaherty's numbers are tough on RH hitters, but with a very small MLB sample size. Wacha gets hit much harder by RH hitters, by a long shot, hence my "factual errors" statement.

    Because of the way you structured your comment, I couldn't tell when Almora was on that hot streak, or even who it was against. That's why I thought you made assumptions about the games that Almora was hitting in, that we got shut out in, or ?. I still can't figure out what any of that means.

    Hopefully Almora crushes it and wins the WS MVP. That will make us all happy.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I see what your reasoning is now and I can understand what you're saying. I keep hearing how Almora can't hit RHPs even though he has been hitting them better than most CUBs going all the way back to last year. I apologize for my "sharp" response also.

    Please understand, I am not on a crusade just to play Almora more. I just think when a player is HOT, he should play until he cools off, then substitute him. I would say the same thing about Happ or any other CUB when they are HOT, that's all.

  • Another thing I was wondering about is why is bass up over mazzoni. I get that there's no perfect options with the team currently utilizing multiple AAA relievers but maybe it's just me but I felt a lot better about entrusting mazzoni compared to bass he seems to have a solid slider and enough velocity to complement that plus pitch. Don't get me wrong I'm not particularly high on either but I've never been a fan of bass he's a journeyman reliever who is what he is and I have zero trust in him in any high leverage situation. At least mazzoni despite his pedestrian stuff showed the ability to get the job done when he had the chances

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Unless there was an addition to the DL , Mazzoni needs to be off the ML roster for 10 days.

  • In reply to stix:

    Gotcha stix that explains a lot and good to learn something new about the option rules

  • Over/under the # of Chatwood's BB's tonight? My rational brain says a fair number would be 4.5. Because I'm a hopelessly optimistic Cub fan, I'll go under. I also think he allows 3 or fewer runs over 6 full innings and the W will be flying in all it's glory over Wrigleyville.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think Vegas even has the over/under at 4.5. I'd take the under too, and the W, hopefully... Wanna see Chatwood take another step forward. I believe the Dodgers have some patient bats and take walks, so this should be a good test for him. Hopefully our LHB have as much success against Maeda as he's given up all season with his .292/.354/.487/.841 slash line against lefties.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Last night you were loving on Chattwood. We will be rewarded if we are patient with him. Tonight placing over under bets on walks???? Maybe we should take bets on the over/under time barley flip flops. Hahahaha

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Given the radar it looks like Chatwood won’t be walking anyone tonight. So I’ll take the under.

  • In reply to stix:

    Good call... zero walks for Chatwood tonight.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    C'mon now. I made a rational guess at a realistic O/U number, and I said I'll take the under. I also said he has a QS going 6 strong innings, leading us to victory. How is that flip-flopping?

  • Off topic but the nationals just acquired kelvin herrera from the royals!

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yep. This irritates me. Especially hearing that hisbprice was too extreme only to see them give 3 guys not one of whom is a top prospect.

    I posted last week I wanted Theo to go get him as it was apparent Joe is going to this new “bullpen baseball” game where starters are gone after 5. Herrera would have been a terrific add and lengthened our pen even more in front of Morrow.

  • Nats traded for Kelvin Herrera from the Orioles. They now have a nice bullpen.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I mean the Royals.

  • What’s the weather report up there locals? Are we gonna play tonight?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    No.

  • fb_avatar

    I am 3-4 miles from Wrigley and not a drop for the past hour plus, but temp has dropped and has gotten windy so its coming this way.

    In other news, Nationals just picked up Herrera from the Royals for 3 minor leaguers ( BA #10, #11 and a non ranked)

    What was a weakness for the Nats has improved big time.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Hope the price isn't as cheap as it looks like it is on paper surprised they'd take that little given Herreras consistency. Huge move for the nats

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Plus its not a top system anymore w graduations and the Eaton to Sox trade.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yup the relief trade market has really reset itself after everyone saw what an overpay the chapman deal was despite us getting the result we wanted and getting our WS. I can't bash the trade bc we got our WS but It stinks that we didn't really have alternative closers as many teams weren't selling closers and the Pirates weren't trading us melancon being in the same division so the Yankees had a lot of leverage with not many closers being available but I think it's safe to say that we didn't do a great job allocating our top young assets in trades. I know we got the result that we wanted winning a WS but I'm just saying I think it's fair to say that we could've got a lot more for the young assets we've traded lately. Not to bicker there's not a guy I'd rather have leading my team than theo but it's pretty amazing that we trade our number one prospect for a rental and the nats don't even trade a top 10 guy for an ace reliever. Give the Yankees credit for using the leverage they had on us with no other closers available for the most part besides Miller melancon and chapman

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    CAshman can go to his grave always knowing he at least fleeced Theo in 1 deal in his life. Not many can say they won a deal w him let alone a fleecing. Regardless it brought us a title, so thankfully we don't have to look back at in sadness as Gleyber is hitting cleanup at times for the best team baseball ( % wise)

    I try to look at it this way. The Cubs scouting the INTL market so well w Gleyber and Eloy that some of the guys in our minors are going to be impact players once they get here !

    Great potential plus our future classes could bare some real MLB gold !

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I know we won the WS and I am happy for Gleyber. But the way so many feel about Jiminez is the way I feel about Torres. I think that trade is going to hit me in the gut for a long time. I believed it when it happened. I still believe it now. Many people upset about the acquisition of Chapman were upset because they disliked Chapman and what he had done and what he had been accused of doing. I was stung by the giving up of that one player for what was likely to be rental. Then to have the Indians get Miller with multiple years left on his contract for, IMO, quite a bit less a couple days later just rubbed salt in the wound.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    OMG, really? Chicago Cubs, 2016 World Series Champions! "If not now, when"? (Theo Epstein) This was not only one of the boldest and gutsiest trades ever, but one of the greatest trades in Cubs history and, like most trades made at the deadline, this wasn’t about trying to “win the trade” with the Yankees, but was made to make the Cubs better and increase their chances of winning the World Series…which, if you remember, they did…mission accomplished, bottom line, end of discussion. Theo Epstein deserves all the credit in the world for having the guts to make this trade. Epstein knew he was giving up on a top level prospect for a three-month rental, but, his experience in winning two previous World Series gave him the belief that the Cubs needed the “best closer they could get at the trade deadline” to win the World Series in 2016. “If not now, when”? Even if the Cubs lose game 7 it was the correct move. Just like in poker, sometimes you make the correct move playing the percentages and still lose, but it was still a very gutsy move based on giving the Cubs the best chance to win the World Series, not to win the trade with the Yankees, but to win the World Series.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    There was no way of really knowing Chapman would wind up being considered a “rental” either. Epstein very well may have had intentions of signing him long term but the price of poker was going to go up also with a WS win. We got the win so I will never question what Theo did or who he gave up to get that win. Ever.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I was gonna post about the Herrera trade, but I see others have beat me to it. Thanks for posting the other players BA rankings. Those are some highly ranked prospects for 4 months of a great relief pitcher. Or are those rankings just according to the Nat's own system? That would seem to make more sense. Definitely helps to strengthen their biggest weakness.

    I would love to see the Cubs make a move for Jacob deGrom, but still feel a better and less costly move would be to try and pry Brad Hand away from the Padres. Just thinking about post season rosters, if the Cubs had him included with all their other relief pitchers, that is some great depth for games when it seems our post season starters would still be pulled after 4 or 5 innings (except Lester). If the 9 relievers to go with 4 starters were Morrow, Hand, Strop, Cishek, Edwards, Duensing, Montgomery (if he's not a starter), Wilson, and maybe Rosario (or whomever the hot extra arm is at the end of the season), those are some quality guys to get big outs, especially remembering that they will get some days off and be available for almost every game.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Would love to see Hand as much as the next guy, but if Herrera (pending free agent) cost a #10, #11, and another solid prospect, then Hand, who is cost controlled for a couple (3?) more seasons after this one, and is regarded much higher, will cost significantly more, and would be quite painful. Not sure the Cubs would want to further deplete the top of their already-weak farm system for ... a reliever (who wouldn't even close). Plus, if Wilson keeps this up, and Duensing picks it up, and Monty already in the pen come playoff time, then maybe it doesn't make sense to have to carry four lefty relievers.

    I'm keeping my eye on Adam Ottavino of the Rockies. He's having an absolutely ridiculous year, and with the Rockies 6 GB and struggling, they could be sellers this year, and with a big financial commitment to the bullpen already, they may not choose to re-sign the 32-year-old who is a free agent this off-season. He would make a LOT of sense for the Cubs.

  • Ok thanks Jim

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wickdipper:

    They must feel like its going to rain then stop and then they have a window to play. I am not sure thats accurate.

    Personally I think they should have started to play. They would at least have gotten an hr plus in, but maybe w tomorrow a night game, the best plan is to wait.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yeah, I find it odd they've let an hour pass already. Like Chatwood could've started and walked enough guys to throw too many pitches so that when there's a rain delay mid-game, he'd already be getting pulled so it wouldn't effect our starter.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Thats realistic thinking right there !

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Just started drizzling by me. Wonder if its so bad at the stadium. With the white sox game on, they are not giving any updates or I am missing them switching between games.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Jim there is a video of it raining on bleacher report. It is pouring very hard there.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Here's the link.
    https://twitter.com/PWSullivan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbleacherreport.com%2F

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I just meant to point out that it was raining that hard at Wrigley and it was only drizzling where you are 3-4 miles away.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I know, I saw that but thats from a little bit past 8pm local time.

    Your right though, that was some serious rain, so my first guess may be what they were thinking. Rain would come hard shortly after the scheduled start and then stop so they could get it in. Hope they are right.

  • Odirakallumkal spelled backwards is: howdahellupronouncethat?

    Hey Look! There’s Marla Collins!

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Love the drunk Harry reference, but with all due respect to Jim, I don't know how to pronounce that forwards. :)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Its actually not as bad as it looks. Its fairly phonetic...... Although the 1st days of school growing up were always interesting.

    Ooh-Dear-Raa-Kull-OOM-Kal

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I have an unusual last name as well. I feel your pain. When I was a teenager, every Friday night was pizza night. We had our favorite place we always ordered from, and they always knew us as "Davis". It was so much easier than trying to spell or explain.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Thanks for posting the pronunciation, Jim.

    I live in an area with lots of Ukrainians and Polish. "Could I buy a vowel, please, Pat."

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wickdipper:

    I checked and the backwards spelling has some typos in it as it. Some letters different or missing or added. Funny spell-check didn't find it. LOL

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Lol.....I wasn’t poking fun at him plus I know he is one of the best Denizens here always adding good content. I was trying to decide if I was going to stay up and wait out the rain.....
    Not crazy about being forced into this doubleheader today but we have no choice.....let’s get another series!

  • This rain delay is like MLB's version of Inception. A rain delay within the coverage of a rain delay, so Cubs fans were first getting a White Sox game, but then slumbered deeper into the dream to get White Sox rain delay coverage of a game that was being shown due to a rain delay; a rain delay within a rain delay! At least CSN got on top of it and are showing Cubs related rain delay material now. Not really watching any of it as I've got the Nats/Yankees game on, but I just checked and fast-forwarded through all of that to see if there are any more updates.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Cards n Phillies game just got interesting

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yeah, got that on now... Was hoping the Nats could've pulled off the comeback. Hoping the Phils can still win this, but that young team definitely has some issues still.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Chapman looks terrible. He's going to blow this save

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He shoulda blown it, looked like the old Cub days when he couldn't locate and Turner just missed the wall and Harper coming up to win it with 2 on...

  • Doubt this game gets played tonight. Huge cluster of thunderstorms up north. Just schedule a dh tommorow

  • Mile away from the stadium and rain has stopped here for the past 10 or so minutes, should get started shortly.

  • In reply to TheoBeliever83:

    Fingers crossed...

  • Robert murray(fan rag sports) reported a source close to machado said if he were traded to the cubs that's one team he'd consider re-signing with before free agency.

    and another reporter said machados friendship with almora would make the cubs a frontrunner in free agency.

  • Well that was a nice come from behind, extra-innings walk-off win for the Phillies over the Cardinals!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Really? I haven't seen any highlights. But I would like to be in full control of our DirtyBird manipulation.

  • fb_avatar

    Was listening on the radio from people at the game and it sounded like Cubs purposely didn't start the game cuz the right field lights were not working at that time.

    Apparently they fixed that issue during the rain delay, but now no more rain and as they were getting the field ready, the RF lights went out again.

    Poor fans.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    That's got to be frustrating! The phonetic spelling of your name does really show how easy it is to say. Rolls off the tongue nicely too. What nationality is it?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I was just watching that Astros games too. I gifted they were prob 3-1 to win to start off the inning (IMO) After the leadoff walk, 50-50 and then after 2 were on and none out, I put them at 95% to tie and 75% to win. Then after the sac bunt, 100% to tie, 90% to win. Then the gift ( bad call IMO on interference) Springer, that was all she wrote for the poor rays.

    Rays announcer really mushed themselves when they said "Bregman has a 29 game on base streak at stake" Might as well turned off the tv !

    Easy to say name, although my parents say it real fast and you would have no idea how to pronounce it. My parents are from Kerala, a primarly Christian state in India which is the most southern state in India. ( bottom of the peninsula)

  • End of the Astros/Rays game has bases loaded, 1 out, bottom of 9th, Astros down by 1, with the Rays opener (I mean closer) struggling! Catchers interference loaded them up... Astros fans going nuts!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Alex Bregman walk-off double. 12 in a row for the Astros. They're pretty good.

  • Rain delays suck. But we're finding other things to talk about, kind of like the old highlight films they've always shown on WGN.

    I've given my conspiracy theory on how to doom the DirtyBirds. Now Cubber Lange tells me the Phillies are interfering. Get out of the way and let nature take its course:

    "Dribble off those Bobbie Brooks
    Let me do what I please."

  • fb_avatar

    I just saw that Duensing has gone on Bereavement leave. He has to be gone at least 3 games to a max of 7. Rob Z (talking about last names hard to spell) will be here. That means another chance to bring Maples up here wasn't taken. He must not be ready with his control to be up here. I like Rob but am excited to see Dillon one of these days.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Plus they prob wanted a lefty !

    I am excited for the day when Dillon gets some control

  • There is a great interview Jon Greenberg did with Jed Hoyer before the rain out yesterday at Wrigley. Unfortunately it is on the Athletic paid web site, but his answers to Greenberg's questions were excellent and shed light on why Theo said last year he wouldn't get rid of Joe Maddon "in a million years." It wasn't an article in defense of Maddon's managing, but rather touched on myths many fans have about the Cubs in general. Some of the topics were lineup construction, bullpen management, and not having starters pitch more than 90-100 pitches each game. Basically Jed's thinking on these subjects and others explain why the Cubs front office are behind Maddon in why he does what he does with the above mentioned items. Sorry if I'm encouraging others to check out a site many may not have access to, but if you are able to read the article please read it. I thought it was an excellent!

  • In reply to David23:

    That's gotta be bad news to the Maddon bashers here at Cubs Den who were hoping for a management change. Looks like we get to look forward to lineup bickering for a long time to come! Personally, I don't see how the backup bat boy will ever develop those essential bat retrieval skills unless Joe gets him more opportunities...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Got that right Cliff, that is bad news.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Take yourself back to 2011 when Theo was hired. If someone had told you that 8 years from now the Cubs will have a manager with an actual .600 record through his first 550 games (and more playoff success than any Cub manager in 100 years), and a large sector of the fan populous would be calling for his replacement, what would you say to that person?

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I would say he is 100% spot on. I think Maddon is well liked by his players and does a great job of keeping the players relaxed and ready. I just don't think he is a very good in game manager. I think the .600 record and getting into the playoffs is because of the talent on the team. I know I will take some heat for saying this but, I think Rick Renteria would of had the same success or better. Sorry I just don't like Maddon.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    The Cubs were built to win and would probably do so under any number of managers, but I believe Maddon has been responsible for enough extra wins to make a difference. His methods are unorthodox at times, and I certainly understand some disagreement with the way he does things. It just seems to get over the top sometimes with pronouncements about the lineup hours before game time.

  • Summary:

    KB's lack of production with RISP -- not true, just cyclical. He was tremendous in 2015 (.292/.417/.489 with a .395 BABIP and 63 RBIs in 175 plate appearances with runners in scoring position). In 2016 playoffs he did a great job in every series.

    Pitch counts destroying baseball -- In the 50's you had major league teams signing a ton of guys for their 15-20 affiliates (now 4 or 5 affiliates). There was a gauntlet of players running through the system and only the outliers survived. Lots of good players we never heard of because they weren't the outliers. Also, using Bob Gibson as an example, his magical season he had 7.9 SO/9IP. Pitchers are different in today's game. More stress on the arms. Jed said much more.

    Bullpen management -- pitchers are sore and may need rest, Joe won't say anything, but this factors into his decision making. Jed understands the fan's frustration, but there are so many more factors involved that Joe knows about and fans aren't aware. Joe is making decisions with big picture in mind (players health, season long grind).

    Line-up construction -- Jed's biggest pet peeve. He learned from Bill James in Boston the idea is to get the best guys hitting the most in each game. Don't obsess about it, a waste of time. Has very little to do with an outcome of a game.

    I believe there are legitimate gripes at times, but if fans had all the info Joe has this forum would look much different before/during/after games. Probably just stirring up the pot, but thought worth commenting.

  • In reply to David23:

    All excellent points David AND correct.
    One thing fans always do is second guess, that’s normal but what some lose sight of is we are getting filet now everyday. I don’t care if the temp is only 155 degrees instead of 160.
    The agreement that every team will win 60 and lose 60 every year is now normal. It’s what you do with the other 42 that sets you apart. Plus the game is changing rapidly, I’m not sure for the better but look at the differences in approach just in the last 5 years alone?
    I, myself, don’t care if a game is 3 hours long. Factor in a commute for so many and everyone knows it winds up being a full day deal, the game actually being the shorter part of it. Some worry about lack of interest and not cultivating it for young kids....pffffft.....franchises are cash cows, baseball isn’t hurting.....I’ve seen games at Comisky with less than 1000 people and also been to Wrigley when the entire upper deck was closed. If any game at all is in trouble it is football.
    We all have more now to digest with baseball but that is also one of the things that makes it so great.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    In the 50’s and 60’s closed upper deck was quite common.

  • In reply to David23:

    GREAT comment, but I'd much rather use Fergie Jenkins as an example over one of the hated Cardinals (even if it was an awesome one...)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to David23:

    I don't want to be the bad guy, and I prob do not disagree much w what was "written" but what did you expect him to say? He can't tear down or even criticize his manager in the middle of the season in the heart of a pennant race. It would be silly and a borderline team wrecking fireable offense.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I understand where you are coming from. I'm sure there are times during games when they say, "What is Joe thinking!" It has to happen because lots of decisions are made every game and Joe can be unorthodox at times. My main point especially related to bullpen usage is there is so much info we as fans aren't privy too and if we were we'd understand better some of Joe's decisions. Also, I found it fascinating what Jed said about todays game related to starting pitchers and pitch counts. He explained well why pitchers aren't pitching nearly as many pitches or getting complete games like they used to.

  • fb_avatar

    I was going to do a new game post, but since the lineups are the same I'll leave this one up.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    Dog days of summer already hit ya?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KJRyno:

    Well I'm not going to lie that is a factor haha. Mainly I'm going to do game post before the nightcap so don't want to overwhelm you guys.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    Don't blame you at all....

  • Time to get the bullpen up.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    So, the Rickets were smart again by enclosing the bullpen. That way we can tape a loop of the bare bullpen, feed it to the bullpen camera feed but realistically have someone warming up 24/7 anytime Chatwood is on the bump?

  • Sitting at work. Anyone know the transaction/25th player for today? I know Zastrynsky was in for Duensing bereavement. Who else they call up?

  • atta boy KB

  • fb_avatar

    Wow......Thank you wind for blowing in or that Pederson fly ball is a 2 run shot.

    Walkwoody walking a tight rope...... what else is new?

    Cubs have the lead in the bottom of the 4th.

  • fb_avatar

    Maeda pulled before Walkwoody....... Who would have guessed ?

    Lets beat that bullpen up in the 1st game ! Come on Rizzo, could be a key spot w 2 on and 2 out here in the 4th

  • fb_avatar

    RIZZO is en fuego !! team leading 47th RBI w 2 outs off a lefty..... 3-1 cubs !

    Now if Happ can keep it going........

  • fb_avatar

    Wow..... Never thought I would say the umpire is helping Walkwoody. That called strike 3 on Turner was def a ball but a combo of bad umping and good framing gets him a big 1st out after walking leadoff batter on 4

  • fb_avatar

    If Walkwoody can get umpire Trip Gibson every time he pitches, he could make it thru 5 innings more often then not.

    I hope Joe pulls him now. Have to be happy w 5 inning of 1 run ball no matter how it happened even w another game tonight

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Lets score about six more and send him back out there. Maybe a 130 pitch outing is what his right arm needs to get "locked in".

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yea the umpire was inconsistent in a consistent way (if that makes sense). Early the strike zone was big then it shrunk then went big again. So inning to inning inconsistent but within the inning it was consistent.

  • Count me in the group that would rather have seen Kemp stay in, Hernandez kills us I think. It's either Kike, Enrique, or Gigi. Or all of them.

  • This Chris Gimenez is awful. Can't even lay down a bunt. What is he doing on the 25 man roster.

  • fb_avatar

    What is it with bunting? I guess Joe didn't think Gimenez could handle the bat good enough to get the ball out of the infield so maybe a SO is preferable to a DP.
    Nice WP, now Tommy has to hit to the right side to get the run in.
    Nope. C'mon KB.

  • I would have liked to seen AA come in to pinch hit for Happ when dodgers brought in the lefty. Left him in and he whiffed. Then a fly ball drops in where AA makes the play.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Exactly! Especially with the wind conditions the way they are.

  • HAPPLESS missed another play, I believe Almora makes.

  • Quick, somebody put a sleeping pill in Joc's water bottle before he bats again in the 8th or 9th.

  • fb_avatar

    Great play by Turner. I wish most of our runners would be as aware and proactive.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Most of our runners are aware and proactive. 3rd best in the majors at the moment.

    https://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=BaseRuns

  • Not going to lie, I don't have a great feeling about Morrow facing his old team in a one run game. Give me some flipping insurance.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Not gonna face his old team this game.

  • fb_avatar

    Thanks for the info about our runners. I know we’re a good running team but that quick decision making I only see a few do.
    I loved Javy’s swing on that single to center—an even not jerky swing. Just trying to make contact.
    Now one of my favorites— Albert A.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Baez and Bryant are two of the best at making quick baserunning decisions and are hardly ever wrong with what they decide.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KJRyno:

    You're right about that.

  • Intentional walk to Heyward! How swiftly the worm has turned.

  • That was an absolute horrendous at bat by Almora.

  • Runner on third, less than two out, have to get a run in there.

  • Pick AA up Riz.

  • We have hit some balls hard today. Happ. Rizzo, Heyward. Not alot to show for it.

  • My gamechanger is broke. Says Wilson is pitching.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    What in the heck is maddon doing this mad scientist routine needs to stop morrow better be unavailable because this is just plain stupid.

  • What is Maddon doing? Where is Morrow?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Morrow might have to pitch tonight. We'll see if it's the right move though. Boy, that looked like a strike to Turner!

  • gotta believe unavailable.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    But he hasn't pitched since saturday very strange I hope he's not hurt because this was our game to win.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I don't even know what to say just one of the most idiotic managerial moves that I've seen in a very long time and Joe just continues to treat games like they don't even matter. This is just flat out awful decision making and I wouldn't be surprised if Joe just brought a sweep of the team with how much he just shifted the momentum of this series. What else is there to say about his in game decisions that hasn't been said. And the funny thing is he left Wilson in even after they used their lefties lol

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Agree 100%! How does Maddon not use Morrow when he knows the cubs have a lead and are 3 outs from a victory? We won't know until later tonight if the cubs will need Morrow..and there's a good chance they won't.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Supposedly he’s not available today... At sometime between games an update on him will be coming. From Len Kasper.

  • Big out and Farmer is all they have left on bench.

  • and they need a catcher anyway if it continues I guess.

  • Amazing!

  • fb_avatar

    05u--4854u4fdroifj@!@@!fdw%$E#$^&&^%#@!!!!

  • Justin Wilson is absolute garbage

  • Remember those bases loaded, 2 outs ......

  • Nice job Joe. Where the heck is Morrow.

  • Bottom line is 5 leadoff walks, a HBP and a home run in 9 innings.

    That and we had many chances to score including in the bottom of the last inning.

  • fb_avatar

    Geesh Joe why didn't you have Almora BUNTING with the bases loaded in the 8th and pick up the extra insurance run and now at least it would be a tied game. Absolutely terrible managing

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Played Cardinal ball today. Pathetic

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    What, and read 1,000 comments about why bunting is wrong, wrong, wrong?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cliff1969:

    I like bunting. With the way this team ( most teams) don't make contact w runners on ( or not on) I think the bunt def has a place and time and not just when the pitcher is up.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I like bunting, too. I understand that in some situations it's a free out, but there is a time and place. With Almora cold off the bench, and depending on how the defense was aligned, a bunt up the 3b line in that situation would probably score a run and had a chance of being a hit, too.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cliff1969:

    A couple of well executed bunts has kept the Astros winning streak alive including last night. Its good enough for the world champs, prob should be good enough for everyone else.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Almora should have stood still and gotten hit by the pitch he fouled out on . Better than a bunt with bases loaded or is the commenter who is loaded?

  • I knew wilson would blow it.There's not a cubs pitcher I'm more uncomfortable with in a high leverage situation than justin freakin wilson.

    That bases loaded bottom of the 8th situation where not one scored may ended up being the difference

  • In reply to bolla:

    Situational hitting. Something we don’t do.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Apparently for run scored off Wilson , it was 11 innings since the last run and the same length without xbh .apparently only the commenters are perfect with 20/20 hindsight. Bad loss but all blown saves are bad losses.

  • Ick.

  • Ask strop to throw 2 innings and 30 pitches which essentially means you're going all in to win THIS ballgame then you let them off the hook not using your closer. I've been watching justin turner this year with how banged up he's been and I don't think there's a chance in hell he would've been able to handle morrow. How do you go all in to win that ballgame with your reliever usage then take the risk of going to justin wilson instead of your closer knowing your bullpen is depleted for the night game if we blow this one. I really hope that Joe didn't just manufacture an upcoming slump for this team because this couldn't have been a worse start for a team that now has to play 17 games in 17 days. Just inexplicable.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    I have to believe Morrow was abducted by Aliens.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Carrie Muskat reported that Marrow's back tightened up. That's why he wasn't available to pitch.

  • In reply to BigChi:

    This can't be true. It would mean that Maddon used knowledge that people here don't have in his decision-making.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    That said, with the information we know now, I would have used Cishek & Rosario differently & would not have closed with Wilson.

    Chatwood only going 5 when the closer is not available is bad... Asking the bullpen for 4 innings is asking for trouble. Not capitalizing for more runs also bad.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    When constantly pull starters after 5 and ask unknown guys to hold it down is risky move. Pulling Q early when u know you have Chattwood and Monty (who has been good) up next isn’t setting up the bullpen very well.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Agreed, but when your starter is near / over 100 pitches there isn't much choice. Montgomery is in the rotation and can't be long-man. Still, there are a couple of relievers that could have given two or three innings and saved the rest. Wilson has had some good outings lately, but sure makes it hard to put any trust in him!

  • In reply to BigChi:

    Yep. Kap & DeJesus said the same. Not available tonight either.

  • In reply to BigChi:

    Jeez that explains a lot then can't really blame maddon in that case just awful luck and awful timing. Our pens now running without Morrow, Edwards, and Montgomery so hard to expect much from them right now. Thinking we may need to add another reliever with morrow's injury history as I just don't think bass or farrel are acceptable options in the long run.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The only excuse that I can think of in my head was morrow must be banged up. I can see using wilson vs. pederson and muncy but from what I've seen this year from justin wilson with his injured wrist I don't think he would've been able to handle morrow. Unbelievable turner has killed lefties this year and has been unable to handle righties I truly don't get what Joe was thinking. The downside of potentially blowing this game far outweighs the downside of not being able to go to morrow tonight and I really hope that this game doesn't carry over into the rest of the series but can you really blame our guys if we get swept after this debacle.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    from justin turner with his injured wrist I meant.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    hindsight is great ain't it . Now that you know the circumstances, do your post is pretty funny. Hindsight is great.

  • Punch in the dang gut...

  • fb_avatar

    Wow.....the Great Greg Simmons has finally shown his face..... Where have you been ? Were you sailing the world on your home made raft off Lake Michigan?

  • fb_avatar

    Morrow had back spasms. Thats why he didn't pitch, I wouldn't have used Wilson in the 9th ( no stones IMO) n would have used him earlier and make Strop the defacto closer. If wilson blows it in the 7th, we have more times to score. Seems like we score when we are down, but not to separate if that makes sense even though it kinda doesn't? Big problem is how many runners and chances we F'd up.

    Have to make contact.....smart contact at times/ Chalk this up to that, but lets please hope this momentum doesn't crush us this series. This was a big game ( in the middle of June) cuz its the Dodgers ( eliminated us last yr, 1st game of a DH, and win puts us in 1st place) but long as we don't get swept, its not the end of the world.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    You’re 1st paragraph, agreed. Use Wilson in the 6th or 7th. Use Cishek &/or Rosario for a full inning. Close w/Strop.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    At least Bryant came through in the clutch to give the Cubs the lead. I really want to see a "shake-up" move at the deadline.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yes he did with a bloop double. He still is not making hard contact on a consistent basis.

    Maybe Arrenado catches the double down the line in the ninth and ends the game with a win.

    Team loss.

  • In reply to stix:

    Sorry stix, but you evidently don't have a clue about what a bloop consists of. He took and inside pitch, hit it off the area of the bat below the hand and lined it down the left field line. Your agenda is keeping you from admitting it. And you probably don't think his second double was hit hard either. lol

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    below the trademark.

  • fb_avatar

    If Walkwoody wasn't getting paid like a above average pitcher I would feel sorry for him answering all these control questions and release point, long counts vs short counts to the media after EVERY freaking start. Then the questions on do you feel like your feeling like your getting consistent and he always goes back to some random start and say, I feel closer. Blah blah

  • **it happens......

  • Joe bashers need to wake up. No Edwards and he hadn't been over used. No Morrow and he certainly hadn't been overused. Joe tried to get through it. Wonder why front office didn't have Maples or Mekkes weren't called up since this was known yesterday. This was a front office problem and a failure to score more runs period.

  • cmon get out of this mess. ....yes

Leave a comment