Cubs @ Giants: Series Preview (7/9-7/11)

e272debb2e514e8f98af3bfc30ab2a0d

With two hard-fought victories against the Reds, the Cubs wrapped up a 7-1 homestand against three sub-.500 teams. It was a stretch the Northsiders needed to make hay out of and they did. They were able to come from behind in most of their wins, including down 7-2 on Saturday. The offense has been clicking on all cylinders, especially Javy Baez and Ben Zobrist who have been red-hot. Now the Cubs head west for six-games before the All-Star break.

Chicago's first opponent is the San Francisco Giants, who welcome them for three starting on Monday. The Giants are hanging in the race despite injuries to their top three starting pitchers. Brandon Belt, back from getting his appendix removed, is the best hitter on the team, with Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford also having good years. They have used nine different starting pitchers so far this season, with Johnny Cueto and Madison Bumgarner back the rotation has stablized.

Despite being a season-high 15 games over .500, the Cubs are still 1.5 games behind the first-place Brewers. All they can do is win as many games as possible and pressure Milwaukee. Starting pitching is one area that could stand to see some improvement, allowing early runs that consistently put Chicago in a hole. They have the ability to rally back from these deficits, but it's not a great long-term strategy for success.

Watch/Listen

Monday: 9:10 pm CT on MLB Network/NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Tuesday: 9:10 pm CT on ABC-7/670AM

Wednesday: 2:45 pm CT on MLB Network/NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

2. Addison Russell (R) SS
3. Javier Baez (R) 2B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
6. Ben Zobrist (S) RF
7. David Bote (R) 3B
8. Ian Happ (S) LF

Giants

1. Steven Duggar (L) CF
2. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Alen Hanson (S) 2B
8. Hunter Pence (R) LF
9. Andrew Suarez (L) P

Bullpen Usage

screen-shot-2018-07-09-at-1-58-52-pm

screen-shot-2018-07-09-at-1-59-08-pm

via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Andrew SuarezAndrew Suarez has thrown 1,185 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2018, all of them occuring in the MLB Regular Season. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph) and Slider (90mph), also mixing in a Sinker (93mph), Curve (78mph) and Change (87mph).

His fourseam fastball generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has slightly above average velo. His slider is thrown extremely hard, is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has less than expected depth. His sinker has well above average velo and has less armside run than typical. His curve is slightly harder than usual. His change is thrown extremely hard and is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups.

Sean's Note: The lefty Suarez generates a lot of ground balls, 52.2% in 2018. He has very low walk rate under 5%, so his control is very good. Left handed hitters struggle against him, but right handed hitters mash him with a .300 batting average.

Johnny CuetoJohnny Cueto has thrown 29,717 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2008 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Slider (84mph), Fourseam Fastball (91mph) and Change (83mph), also mixing in a Sinker (90mph). He also rarely throws a Curve (79mph).

His slider is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His fourseam fastball has slightly below average velo. His change dives down out of the zone, generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups and results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups. His sinker is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sinkers, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has slight armside run and has slightly below average velo. His curve (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 15 of them in 2018) results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves, has little depth and has primarily 12-6 movement.

Sean's Note: Cubs fans have come to know Cueto very well over the years. An elbow injury cost him over a month, he just returned last week against the Cardinals. His change up is still a devastating pitch especially against left-handed batters. So expect a right handed heavy lineup against the right handed pitcher.

Dereck RodriguezDereck Rodriguez has thrown 705 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2018, all of them occuring in the MLB Regular Season. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph), Sinker (92mph) and Curve (76mph), also mixing in a Change (86mph) and Slider (87mph)

His fourseam fastball generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has essentially average velo and has slightly less natural movement than typical. 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 little sinking action compared to a true sinker. His curve is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves, has a sharp downward bite, has slight glove-side movement and has slightly below average velo. His change is slightly firmer than usual and has slight armside fade. His slider is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sliders, has much less depth than expected and is much harder than usual.

Sean's Note: For those who don't know, Dereck is Pudge Rodriguez's son. He has made seven starts so far in 2018 and done pretty well with a 3.09 ERA. He has a below average strikeout rate so he is a pitch to contact type of guy.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    KB is 1-3 with an RBI so far tonight. I hope he's pain free tomorrow.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Me, too. My worry is that one hard throw to 1st could re aggravate his shoulder problem. It may be something he has to nurse all year, and that doesn't bode well for his hitting.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    It's his left shoulder not his right that is sore.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Don't know how I missed that. I hope he's healed up and ready for a big 2nd half.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Same here.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    And a HR in the 7th. 3-4, 3 RBI. Maddon has confirmed he will stay in TN through Tuesday and will be re-evaluated. Could be in SF Wednesday or surely SD by Friday with no additional soreness.

    Darvish played catch in SF today for the first time since his cortisone shot. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is to me. It tells me, at the very least, the Cubs aren't hiding a definite TJS diagnosis.

    Weather reports say there will be a 20-30 sustained wind blowing straight out. Unfortunately Suarez isn't prone to HRs but maybe we change that. Hendricks has been prone to HRs so hopefully he changes that.

    W.

    Go Cubs!

  • fb_avatar

    I was just going to write about KB. We couldn’t have asked for a better game from him, and as I said above, if he is pain free tomorrow that would be the best outcome.
    Kyle H just had a 1-2-3 1st inning and I can’t remember that happening. That’s a very good sign too.
    Btw, Milw-Miami are in extras.

  • fb_avatar

    See that—that’s the way you change the shift.

  • fb_avatar

    Javy missed an opportunity last AB. With the lead off double almost any contact could have moved Addy to 3rd and we could have had a much better chance to score him. That was a shame. Hendricks is like the 2016 Hendricks. This is fun to watch him pitch.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Agreed. This is by far the best Hendricks has looked this year. Would be up 1-0 without the 2 errors by Riz

  • Can't win without scoring some runs! Hendricks was great tonight, needs some hitters to back him up!

  • Wait, what is going on here? Is the starter allowed to pitch in the 9th inning?

  • Best game of the year for Hendricks, and probably any Cubs SP. He has mentioned he was off mechanically and he should be able to fix it. Of course Chatwood has said the same thing all season, but I have faith in Hendricks. Hopefully he keeps it going.

    I am far more concerned about Rizzo. He does not look good. I'm worried his back is a bigger issue than we know, and this may persist the rest of the year.

  • fb_avatar

    I mentioned last time that although Hendricks gave up 2 runs in the first the hits were bloops, not very hard contact. You could see he was sooo close. Today he got closer and this was the result. If we lose this one game but get Kyle back I’ll take it.?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Agree, but I sure hate to waste a great start like that.

  • fb_avatar

    No ? Meant. I wish there was a delete here, especially after my mistake a few days ago.

  • Well that sucks.

  • Maybe it's time for Chili to call another "hitter's only" meeting. One run in 12 innings doesn't win many ball games.

Leave a comment