Game Post 6/12


Series preview is here.


Tuesday: 7:10 pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM



2. Jason Heyward (L) RF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Ben Zobrist (S) LF
7. Javier Baez (R) 2B
8. Addison Russell (R) SS
1. Eric Thames (L) 1B
3. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
4. Travis Shaw (L) 3B
5. Domingo Santana (R) RF
6. Jonathan Villar (S) 2B
7. Manny Pina (R) C
8. Orlando Arcia (R) SS
Bullpen Usage

via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Chase AndersonChase Anderson has thrown 10,487 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2013 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph), also mixing in a Change using a Circle Change grip (83mph), Curve (77mph), Sinker(92mph) and Cutter (89mph).

His fourseam fastball has essentially average velo, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has some added backspin. His change has an obvious armside fade and has a lot of backspin. His curve has a sharp downward bite. His sinker has little sinking action compared to a true sinker and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers. His cutter results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' cutters and has good "rise".

Sean's Note: Anderson has not had a good year after an excellent 2017 season. His 4.57 ERA is actually significantly lower than his 5.81 FIP. Another pitcher who gets his outs in the air, the righty has been badly hurt by the long ball. 13 allowed so far in 2018 is only one less than his total allowed all of 2017.

Final Thoughts: Jason Heyward has hit an amazing .338 since coming off the DL last month. He is suddenly driving the ball with authority. He and the hot-hitting Albert Almora make the top of the Cubs order look very scary. Anthony Rizzo has three homers in his last six games and he loves to play in Milwaukee. The wild-card in Tuesday's game is of course the Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood. He walked seven and hit a batter in 4.2 innings last outing. After going extra innings Monday, a relatively deep effort would be nice. Getting anything more than 5 innings from Chatwood, however, seems like a big ask at this point.


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  • Can anyone define "gutsy performance?" I always hated when people said it.

  • It's possibly when your inards become your outards!

  • I express a lot of concern about home plate umps being forced to do an impossible job, and therefore not being as accurate as I would like. Thanks to Baseball Savant and Fangraphs, I’ve been able to put together some data for us to chew upon. Get your appetites ready!

    For the 977 games played this far by all teams in 2018, the following are true:
    1. There have been a total of 147,264 called balls (98021) and called strikes (49243).
    2. According to Baseball Savant, 7957 of the 49243 called strikes were actually balls, an error rate of 16.2%.
    3. 6110 of the 98021 called balls were actually strikes, an error rate of 6.2%.
    4. The overall error rate has been (7957+6110) / (49243+98021) = 9.6%.
    5. There have been a total of 977 games, and a total of 14067 missed calls, or an average of 14.4 missed calls per game, or approximately 1.5 missed calls per inning.
    6. The above data do not subdivide into borderline calls, which I guarantee would have a much higher error rate.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Do you think that this 9.6% error rate has affected the outcome of any games? If so, how many? 9.6%? 1%? .1% How many is too many?
    2. In what lines of precision work would a 9.6% error rate be accepted (banking, machine tolerances, work attendance, CF performance, etc.)?
    3. If there existed in the above activities the ability to correct, in a straightforward fashion, that 9.6% error rate, would those responsible for reducing the error rate work toward correction?
    4. If the individuals responsible for correcting the 9.6% error rate failed to correct the rate, how long would those individuals keep their jobs?

    Thanks for listening.

    Bon Appétit!

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Blow up the Brewers and their bullpen era some more!

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    In reply to wthomson:


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    In reply to wthomson:

    The 9.6 % errors are bad but what about the 16.2% of missed calls. No company would allow a division to have that many mistakes. We have the technology, now is the time to use it, especially with the data you gave us.
    Thanks for all the work!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Jonathan, I probably wasn't clear enough. 9.6% is the overall call error rate--6.2% in calling balls incorrectly and 16.2% in calling strikes incorrectly.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    The analysis ignores non-judgment calls (foul balls, HBP, etc.). Only balls and judgment called (not fouls) strikes are considered.

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    In reply to wthomson:

    Ok, I thought you meant errors by position players. As you said, 9.6% is unacceptable.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Interesting info, sir. That incorrect rate is unacceptable and absolutely influences the outcomes of games. I like my wins and losses determined by the players on the field.

    We just talked about Javy and how his problems may be the result of hubris at the plate. That is the only reason I can think of as to why balls and strikes are not called by lasers or whatever the heck they use. When those pitch-boxes first appeared on our TV screens 15 or so years ago, I didn't trust them. It was literally a production member pushing a spot in which he/she thought the ball crossed through the zone. Technology has come a long way.

    I am all for getting the most basic of calls right. It affects how the game is played. I see the umpire's objections as the main hurdle, but it doesn't have to be. The home-plate umpire could instantly get the call and still make the call on the field. No one would be the wiser. I don't get it, except that it is stubbornness like Javy.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    It seems to me that the technology could be ultra-simple. Just have a strike vibrator in the right pocket, and a ball vibrator (no lascivious comments, please) in the left. The ump would make the B/S calls and also be responsible for swings, foul tips, interference, etc. I would offer this to umps on a voluntary basis to start, and go from there. If I were an ump, I would snap it up in order to do a better job and quell arguments with the players.

    Even if you want to make the system completely independent of the umps' calls, it would still have the distinct advantage of providing immediate reinforcement (as a former research psychologist, the best kind) as a learning tool for the ump.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Interesting data wthomson. I am with you on this. They have the technology already they should use it. Or get rid of the pitchtax on the tv screen because it gets very frustrating when the home ump is missing the calls and pitchtax is confirming it.

    Another way they could signal the home plate ump is to use an iwatch or similar device and have the screen turn green or red for a strike or a ball.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    That’s some good work there sir......a good synopsis...
    Good would think there is no doubt some games have been affected BUT.....this also has gone on since the inception of the game and some over 100 years ago was done purposely because of the graft and gambling involved. One of the human elements of the game. Will they change it electronically eventually? Probably so but yelling that the machine sucks just won’t have the same feel as telling the ump. If you beat on the electric eye with a bat does the machine throw the player out? I’d miss the old days....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Maybe if you hit the machine too hard, you would get a shock or something....

  • In reply to wthomson:


    Is that pinball reference too old?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Of course not--and there must be some appropriate Tommy lyrics for this situation. You da' lyrics man....

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    In reply to wthomson:

    One of my favorite bands. Who’s Next is an awesome album and I actually saw them live in Amsterdam many years ago.
    If Chatwood gets a win tonight he will be a wizard. See how I brought that back to the game.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    (Unfortunately, not for me)

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Good info, w. Thanks for sharing. The #s are alarming. The opposition to technology would argue that the calls even out... But there’s no definitive proof of that.

    I said in another article/comment reply post that at least a laser type pitch trax of some sort would be a lot more or “way more” consistent than over sensitive umpires who don’t like being told that they blew a call. That goes for pitcher/catcher vs ump & batter vs ump.

    There would be virtually no arguing calls because they would be definitive & same for both sides. And thereby less ejections. If it’s off from 1 game to the next, that is more manageable than from pitch to pitch & batter to batter... So I’m for it.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    which individuals are the cause of the greater error rate. Perhaps they don’t need roboumps but better human umps.

    Any idea what rate would you consider as acceptable? Baseball has been played for over 120years without roboumps and I imagine the error rate was never zero.
    Why not just use robots rather than actual hitters and let them call balls and strikes while they are at bat? Then we wouldn’t have batters like
    Baez who swing at anything that looks like a baseball. Think of the fun the game would be if only robots participated in all roles and humans were only allowed as fans.

  • In reply to stix:

    As for acceptable error rate, let's leave as many of the errors as possible to the players, not the umpires. If robots could call a game perfectly, I'd be all for it. There's plenty of drama by the players.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    One big problem, didn't Manfred say that as long as he's commissioner, that he's definitely against any form of robo-ump.
    That' alone, makes me want to get rid of Manfred.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Well done sir!
    There is someone on Twitter (@CubsUmp) who tracks calls in game with graphics.
    It certainly seems to be getting worse instead if better.

    The Hardball Times does a few pieces every rating umps, it will blow your mind.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    What's more alarming is that this data does not account for 'obvious' balls or strikes. A pitch thrown down the center of the plate is going to be called a strike 100% of the time, and a pitch thrown in the dirt or over the batter's head will always be called a ball. The obvious calls bring the "correct call rate" up, but no ump would ever miss those anyway. That means that for borderline/non-obvious calls, the error rate is MUCH higher than 9.6%

  • Off topic but Patrick mooney of the athletic is reporting that the Cubs are closing in on a deal with 1st rd pick nick hoerner at about slot value (2.724 million). Not that I care because I'm sure we'll sign the guys we want but I thought he may accept a little less being projected to go after the 1st round but I trust the Cubs organization when it comes to these type of details

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I’m good with it. Organizations often vary their draft ratings from the “experts” opinions... The more I’ve seen of Hoerner the more I like. He seems the prototype of player that Jed n Theo talked about having in the batting order when they 1st took over. I watched a high lite of him jumping in air & in seemingly 1 motion transferring & throwing to 1st base before landing on the ground & getting the batter runner.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Agreed theos an extremely detail oriented leader and you can bet that a lot of thought, analysis, and number crunching was put into how they wanted to allocate their draft pool money. I have a lot of faith in theos ability to handle details such as these especially compared to previous regimes

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I feel like most of these deals are likely predetermined before the selection is even made as well you'd think they have the frameworks of an agreement in mind

  • Do we know for certain that the various pitch trackers work? Or which of the systems works best?

    I am all in on robo-ump but I do wonder when I see the little boxes on TV.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    None of us general folks know that answer... But I do know from watching a lot of baseball that are pretty close & at the very least, pretty darn consistent. And that’s all the players & managers want... consistency.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    That's a good question, and the reason I haven't been on the "Robo-ump now!" bandwagon. As I mentioned earlier the boxes that began appearing on our TV screens a decade ago were initially props. A production member would put a dot on the screen where they thought the ball crossed the plate, not unlike an umpire's opinion (though certainly less skilled). Often that dot was simply placed where the catcher caught the ball, which we all know is nowhere near where the ball actually crossed the plate.

    All that is to say we need confidence, and I think the technology is there to do so. We would need uniformity throughout every park, but that could be easily achieved if it isn't already. We would also need recourse on an egregiously missed call through computer error, which is sure to happen. What then?

    It all makes too much sense. It will happen, it's just a matter of when.

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    As for things have always been done this way, well, for thousands of years people walked or rode horses until the car was invented. Also, it’s not that this would be the first electronic device used in baseball. We already are overriding the human element with replay. This is one more improvement.

  • Well.....on the bright side....he didn’t walk anybody in the first...

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Or second.

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    Thames has almost as much armor on his arm as Barry Bonds used to. Rizzo gets hit more than almost anyone else and doesn’t wear any—how has he not been injured? I was going to write hurt but I’m sure he’s hurting after he gets hit.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I would like to propose that if a player wears elbow armor and leaves it hanging out to get hit, i.e. doesn't make a serious attempt to get out of the way, they do not get first base.

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    In reply to JohnCC:

    I agree.

  • What? I'm listening on the radio and trying to visualize what the hell just happened.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    You don’t want to know

  • I think I like your answer best, unfortunately.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Poor execution of a rundown & indecision at the very end. Cost em 2 runs.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    You’re gonna have to see the replay.....basically Chatwood fell asleep...

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Actually Chatwood was expecting two runners on second, so he was going to tag them. Why throw? Cain just outsmarted the Cubs. Cubs had at least 5 players at 2nd and no one at first.

  • In reply to stix:

    That wasn’t smart by Cain... that was just plain ole dumb by Cubs, pure & simple.

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    Now that is embarrassing

  • Gotta hand it to baseball

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    No, that was poor execution from the get go. One, the 1st throw was too soon, then it was down hill from there with way too many throws... then the very end with no throw at all to 2nd base to get the out & nobody covering at 1st to get Cain retreating all the way from 2nd.

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    Dumb baseball by cubs. Chatwood shouldn’t even be in the play. Maybe backing up third

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    I don’t blame Rizzo for covering Home no one was covering. The pitcher had no reason being in the play.

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    You should have 1 or st the most 2 throws and the Cubs went back and forth. Smart running by both runners to keep it going although Cain was at 2nd and if someone got behind him they could have tagged him or forced him to 2nd when Yelich was going back there. We’re giving them chances like they usually give us.

  • So what do we prefer from Chatwood: 2 BB and 4 runs or 7 BB and 2 runs? I'm just being silly but it's a sincere question. I know our defense let us down and it sounds like we are just being out-play today. Don't get me wrong, it's only the 7th. We never quit!

    I'm just curious of Chatwood's approach. I can't see it, I'm listening to Pat and Ron. I wonder if Chatwood was purposely taking something off his pitches to have better command and thus getting hit harder than usual. It sounded like he pitched a decent game. As long as he's trending in the right direction I'm happy.

  • Remember when Chatwood gave up 4 walks and 2 runs, instead of the other way around?

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    What puzzles me about Javy is that he has an off the charts baseball IQ in the field and in base running but not in batting. He should realize that if he has 2 strikes or 3 balls the next pitch will definitely not be in the strike zone. If he watches any tape either he should know it or the hitting coach should point it out. It has to be tempting but laying off pays dividends and a walk is better than striking out.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Couldn't agree with you more, does anyone watch film? Does Chili talk with Javy?
    Or maybe not walking is Javy's fashion statement, like Anthony Davis' unibrow.
    Sometimes I feel like Javy's Michael Jordan in Space Jam, when the catcher is telling Michael what pitch is coming, and saying to him: "Don't swing". But Michael swings anyway, and says: "I couldn't help it".......

  • Interesting Chase Anderson ERA splits for 2018:
    vs. ARI 3.00
    vs. CHC 1.35
    vs. CHW 4.76
    vs. CIN 6.75
    vs. CLE 6.23
    vs. MIA 5.06
    vs. NYM 5.40
    vs. PIT 8.44
    vs. SD 0.00
    vs. STL 9.00

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    In reply to Denizen Kane:

    Shows why pitcher wins can be so misleading as he was 0-2 in 2 starts vs the Cubs this yr going in........ Not many K's vs us but not many walks at all

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