Game Post 6/17

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Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Sunday: 7:05 pm CT on ESPN/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

1. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
2. Jason Heyward (L) RF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
8. Javier Baez (R) SS
9. Jose Quintana (R) P
Cardinals 
1. Matt Carpenter (L) 3B
2. Harrison Bader (R) RF
3. Tommy Pham (R) CF
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
5. Yadier Molina (R) C
6. Jedd Gyorko (R) 2B
7. Luke Voit (R) 1B
8. Yairo Munoz (R) SS
9. Jack Flaherty (R) P
Bullpen Usage
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via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Jack Flaherty:  Jack Flaherty has thrown 1,144 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 (93mph) and Slider (84mph), also mixing in a Sinker(92mph) and Curve (77mph). He also rarely throws a Change (86mph).

His fourseam fastball has less armside movement than typical, has some natural sinking action, has essentially average velo and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers. His slider generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' sliders, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has less than expected depth. His sinker is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has less armside run than typical and has some natural sinking action. His curve generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' curves, has a sharp downward bite, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has slight glove-side movement. His change generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' changeups, is slightly firmer than usual and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups.

Sean's Note: Flaherty is striking out a ton of hitters in his first full season in the majors, 26%, well above the MLB average. His slider seems to generate a lot of whiffs to create that high K rate. Left handed hitters bat significantly better against him than right handed hitters.

Final Thoughts: The Cubs lineup remains relatively stable as they go for the sweep on Sunday Night Baseball. Albert Almora and Javy Baez return to the bottom of the order, while Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward remain on top. Marcell Ozuna has been the Cardinals best player this series, Jose Quintana should be careful with the slugging outfielder. Quintana has pitched very well his last few starts, he's been much more efficient. The Cubs offense has been clicking this series, if they can keep it going they have a very good chance at the win.

Comments

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  • Happy Fathers Day evrybody. And keep in mind this quote form this morning's USA Today: "67% of women find men with dad bods attractive".

  • Rookies had a 3 run lead in the 9th and Wade Davis blew his 4th save. His ERA is now 4.55.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Yeah, many fans wanted to pay for one of the "established closers" in Davis or Holland. Davis has been bad with his 4.55 ERA, and Holland a little better at 2.63. Oh, wait, that's actually his WHIP. His ERA sits at 9.45, to go along with 2 blown saves and 0 successful ones, all while walking hitters at a higher rate than Chatwood. In Holland's defense, he did throw a scoreless inning yesterday... in AA.

    Glad we signed Morrow.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    The life of many closers. Not many can be lights out for 2-3 season in a row. We still took a risk to put morrow in that spot.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Signing any closet to a long term deal is a huge risk. And to date, signing Morrow looks like a good risk. If I remember correctly, you did not believe Morrow was going to be the closer and thought of him as an over paid middle reliever.

    On a bright note, the Braves are still paying Bruce Sutter on the contract he signed in 1985!!!

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    I was very hesitant on morrow but don’t think i called him a middle relief. Might have me mixed with name similar. I was worried and still am he has never closed before and hasn’t been healthy a entire year. So far so good tho.

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    Man, that's a heck of a lineup we have. Top to bottom.

  • Was that 1st pitch strike call against Bryant really as bad as the pitchtrax says?

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    I’ve already seen at least 3 blown calls and none were close. I don’t care if he does it for both teams—it throws everyone’s eye off. Get it right.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    The number of ball/strike calls that are blown in a MLB game is amazing. It's way higher than the umpires union, MLB, or Manfred want you to believe.
    I try not to hold it against the ump - except Joe West - but it's an impossible job to do, consistently.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    The guys tonight has given the Cards every bit of 1 to 1 1/2 balls off the outside edge. Q didn’t get that much. He even missed the 3-2 fastball on the inside corner that led to a walk to Munoz.

    It’s head scratching how many pitches are missed each game.

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    Watching Q bat and all the movement by the infield why doesn’t Almora try to steal 3rd? The SS would have to run and cover and the pitcher would have to throw a perfect throw to get him?

  • Horrible at bat by Bryant. C’mon!!!!

    2-0 94 MPH fastball belt high down the middle and you swing thru it? Let Flaherty off the hook.

  • That inning sucked in more ways then one. Way Baez acted it might be broke.

    What was ump and KB talking about??

  • As Bryant has done his whole carrer..
    chokes when it matters. Two fastballs right down the middle... not close to either one. And he knew they were coming..

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Wow!!!!! Are you serious. Rookie of year to MVP and now a choker???? Go away!!!

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Reallly. Face it Bryant can’t hit power pitchers.

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    If we can’t score at least we’re running up the pitch count but I don’t like us blowing all these opportunities with RISP.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Jesse Rogers published an excellent piece at ESPN earlier today breaking down how the Cubs are scoring and included many insights from players and coaches. We lament the fact that we leave too many RISP, but in reality we've actually scored the 2nd most runs in that situation in the NL. We have the highest OBP in the league, giving us far more chances than anyone else. The guys we leave on stick in our mind, but that's partially due to having far more opportunities. One line was something about we're scoring plenty, we just wish it would be even more.

    The one area we are really bad at is driving in the man on third with less than 2 outs. That is an area we need to improve.

    Sorry no link, but give that article a read when you get the chance. Lots of good stuff.

  • Is Baez okay?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Left elbow bruise, x-rays happening now is what I just heard.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Thanks.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    You're welcome. I'm not a religious man, but a commenter slipping in a sincere expression of their beliefs in context with what they are saying doesn't bother me at all. We don't want any attempts at conversion or anything approaching that level, but you've never came close to that. I don't mind at all.

    I mention this cause my boy Javy just took one in the elbow. I don't pray, but in a time like this, I'll gladly accept all the help I can get! :)

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Thanks Barely, I appreciate that; God-willing it's just a contusion, and prayerfully he won't need to miss any time............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Amen, brother...

  • Wasn't this past off season, when Bryant was working on hitting to RF? Evidently he got some bad advise.
    I think it's time for his dad to back off.
    Personally I think all this concern over the ideal 'launch angle ', isn't for everyone. Or in some cases, taken too far.
    I want more contact.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Taking a jab a Bryant's dad on Father's Day? All sentiment aside, I disagree with that part. Kris's father Mike created Bryant (see what I did there for Father's Day?) and is a highly-respected and sought-after private hitting instructor. His work with his son has made Kris what he is, and I'd trust no one else in the world more than him when Kris needs guidance and support. I'm sure Kris feels the same way.

    I agree the launch-angle approach isn't for everyone, but it has always been natural for Bryant, and was nurtured by his father after he had been schooled by Teddy Ballgame himself. Bryant is a client of Red Bull, and they occasionally release short video clips. The latest edition, released a couple days ago, is a mini-documentary with Kris and his father talking about how Kris grew up and learned to hit in his private home batting cages. Mike Bryant created Kris in more ways than one, and is and will always remain his paternal hitting instructor.

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    I know we all complain about hitting with RISP and as BP said we have more on but I’d like to know what %of our runners are stranded.

  • Lots of game left but why Bass????

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Ernest T Bass.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Billy the Bass was my favorite

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    That was 2” outside and called a strike. Happ doesn’t need help to SO.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yep. And then he waves weekly at garbage in the dirt.

  • The feast or famine cycle continues.

  • A-Rod harping on Russell for not going to third......I don’t think he would have got him at third. Still mute point if we get shut out...

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Easy play is to go to 3b.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Looking at replay, I think Russell gets the out at 3rd. That was his best play & ARod is correct, it was a mental mistake. It’d be 1-0 now after Carpenter HR, but you’re right, it doesn’t matter if we don’t score

  • Duensing doesn’t have it this year. His WHIP is 1.5. And he BB/K is 1:1. I really liked him last year. I hope he finds his groove again.

  • When the A"s traded Addison Russel they told Theo he was getting the next Barry Larkin. What Billy Bean didn't say was that Addison doesn't posses Barry's baseball I.Q.
    Two many double clutches allowing runners to be safe at
    first and tonight Addison didn't know what base to throw the ball !

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    In reply to ronvet69:

    Or his bat.

    Although its still very early as Russell came into the league very young, so hopefully his Offense takes an Arch like Barry Larkin who wasn't the offensive force until he had a few seasons under his belt. Another wishful comp ( although not the defender) is Simmons in Anaheim as he was a glove first player ( prob still is) when he came up, but now he's an offensive force and one of the hardest men in the league to strike out.

    Lets hope one of these or a combo is the future for Addison !

  • Players are still running on Schwarber.

    Raise your hand if you predicted that in mid-June we would all be marveling at Schwarber's defense and Heyward's offense.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'm really glad Schwarber's defense has improved so much, how many outfield assists does he have?
    Definitely feels like an oxymoron with Schwarber the defender, and Heyward the hitter.......

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I've been wondering since the end of last year when people were going to stop running on Schwarber.

    Not only is his arm strong but it's accurate. About half the time on throws from the outfield I think if that throw had been accurate they would have got him. I can't remember once thinking that with Schwarber. Almost all of his throws are on line.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    not me but I'll take it all year long!!!!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Then that happens.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes Heyward has been much better, greater then we could have expected 2 months ago, but he's still not where I expected him to be when we signed him. Honestly, I thought he was going to improve as he came to this team, hit in this lineup, had financial security, and entering his prime, I thought we were going to see the kind of offensive potential/ impact the scouts were drooling as he was a teenager.

    So "marveling" is a word I would def not use, but he is def trending up. I am still hopeful he ends the season w a .290/.360/.480 ( sounds lofty but he's had these and better during his career

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Heyward has hit better then .290 in his career one time. You are right, those are lofty goals. But, who knows maybe he is figuring it out now.

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    Who said Schwarber would win a GG? Whoever it was, it's not an outlandish suggestion--he is 100% better than last year and I would say he's a above average LF, slower than some, stronger and more accurate arm than most.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Agreed, that one play where he made a sliding stop and popped up to nail the runner trying to advance to 2nd (forget which game), amazing; totally would've never imagined that happening last year. Maybe his strong and accurate arm (as Whp1990 just mentioned) is a result or byproduct of him catching?

  • A loss to the DirtyBirds always sucks, but this doesn't bother me. We took 2 out of 3 in their park, so I'm good. I'm actually working on a conspiracy theory that we might be toying with them in order to orchestrate their future destruction...

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I like taking 2 out of 3 from birds. Big story is how long Baez out??? What I don’t like is playing a bad game and then next day it is Chattwood’s turn to pitch!!!

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    What I don't like is no update on Javy. If it's all good, word comes out quick. "Elbow contusion; day-to-day". These slow notices worry me. Hopefully it's just a Sunday night and everything is slow.

    I'm still not giving up on Chatwood. His lack of command drives me nuts as well, but I'm still mesmerized by the potential of his stuff. Baseball is littered with stories of pitchers who switched teams, signed a big contract, and took time to settle in and pitch to their ability. Granted, it is also littered with pitchers who did all that and completely failed. In late September, 2018, Tyler Chatwood could be confidently slated to start Game 2 of the NLDS, or he could be riding a bus in AA for a new organization after being DFA'd. Both of those outcomes are highly unlikely, but I have faith in Chatwood's stuff, and I think we will all be pleasantly rewarded for our patience.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think if Chatwood is starting game 2 of the NLDS that means Hendricks, Darvich and Quintana are injured and the Cubs are in big trouble. But, I do have hope that Chatwood can cut his walks down.

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    I hope this shows Rizzo to wear an elbow guard. He gets hit so much I’m surprised he hasn’t been hurt yet.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Rizzo is made of some product that is indestructible !

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