Duel--Cubs 4 Nationals 3

This was a well played game of baseball. Well it wasn't a great day at the plate for either team, but it was certainly great pitched baseball. The two offenses each scored more runs in the ninth inning than both teams scored combined in the first eight innings. The legend of David Bote continues to grow and Cole Hamels continues to look like vintage Cole Hamels.

The two pitchers pitched through six and half innings with the two aces (or to be more truthful a current and former ace) matching each other nearly pitch for pitch. The two allowed just two base runners through the bottom of the seventh with two outs. The difference early on was that Hamels started the second inning by walking Ryan Zimmerman. Daniel Murphy doubled to move the slow footed Zimmerman to third base. Mark Reynolds hit a ball deep into right field. Jason Heyward's throw might have beat Zimmerman to the plate but it was offline to allow the first run.

Max Scherzer struck out nine in the first six innings of the game. The Cubs avoided a no hitter early with Kyle Schwarber's two out single in the second inning. Anthony Rizzo singled in the third with two outs. The Cubs wouldn't put a runner in scoring position until the seventh inning. Albert Almora Jr. roped a Scherzer fastball down the left field line for a hustle double. Kyle Schwarber was intentionally walked, but Scherzer struck out Willson Contreras for his eleventh strikeout.

Carl Edwards Jr. was the first Cubs reliever and he continued the trend making quick work of the Nationals in the eighth. Tommy La Stella finally got his at bat in the bottom half of the frame. La Stella rolled a single back up the middle for the Cubs fourth hit off the first Nats reliever. Koda Glover then retired the next Cubs hitters faced. Javier Báez hit a groundball to third baseman Mark Reynold who defensively was known as an occasionally okay hitter. His throw was slow and Javy was initially ruled safe. The play was reviewed and yet another replay went against the Cubs way to end the frame.

Brandon Kintzler was called on to start the ninth inning. Trea Turner bounced a ball down the left field line. The speedy Turner reached third as Kyle Schwarber misplayed a tough bounce off the wall. Kintzler walked Juan Soto and then Joe Maddon elected to face Ryan Zimmerman by walking Bryce Haper to load the bases. Zimmerman smacked a flat sinker back up the middle to drive in a pair of runs. Maddon called on Justin Wilson. The lefties command was suspect at times but he was effective in inducing a pop out from Daniel Murphy. Wilson got Mark Reynolds on a generous called strike on the first pitch count. The damage was done as the Nats now held a 3-0 lead.

Ryan Madson is the current Nationals closer, and looked to be cruising to an easy save with Jason Heyward bouncing a groundball to new second baseman Wilmer Difo. The ball gobbled him up and Heyward reached base. Albert Almora Jr. was hit by a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate with just one out. Kyle Schwarber popped up into foul ground for the second out quickly. Willson Contreras was hit with a 2-2 pitch to load the bases. David Bote was the Cubs final hope. A tough 1-1 pitch was called on the bottom of the zone to move the count to 1-2. He took a pitch outside and then crushed a 95 mph fastball at the bottom of the zone. It was middle of the plate and it was another Cubs walkoff grandslam to extend the Cubs lead to 3 in the divison.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Hollywood Time
I had this whole section written out during the game. The point was largely about the moral victory the Cubs managed to stay close aginst the ace Max Scherzer. That the biggest news wasn't the result but Hamels performance on the mound for a third straight game. Hamels has turned into the steal of the deadline as he provides front of the rotation stuff and performances. Hamels finding his own Ben Zobrist style fountain of youth might be the most needed turn of events for the Cubs right now. There is still plenty of time before playoff baseball begins, but it is hard to not pencil Hamels into one of those four spots in October.

Random Reference
There is no other way to describe this one besides pitchers' duel. The ninth inning obscures what was a tightly fought 1-0 nailbiter. Instead it was a dramatic walk off grandslam. I think I've seen this one before, but as a certain Denizen is fond of saying please may I have another.

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    Mike, that's one of the prettiest charts I've ever seen. As you said, Hamels was magnificent and matched Scherzer inning to inning.
    Bote was, in a word, WOW. He said in an interview with ESPN that that was his first walk off GS. He picked a great time to do it.
    GO CUBS!!

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    How many times when you were a kid were you in the backyard in the exact scenario...? Bottom of the 9th, based loaded, 2 outs, down by 3.....

    Congrats to David Bote is fulfilling that lifelong fantasy!

  • Wow.Just wow. I'm sorry to yell, you may want to cover your ears:

    THANK YOU! MAY I HAVE ANOTHER!!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    YES YOU MAY !!

  • Holey Smokes that was incredible... When Contreras got plunked I had a good feeling. I said to my girls when Happ came out to run... “why, so when Bote walks it off Contreras won’t have trot around...?”

  • WOW!!!!

  • Something I didn't follow at the trade deadline... If someone can help me...

    Hamels has a 1 year option at $20 MLN. After the trade can the Cubs exercise that option? If so how much do they owe? I am thinking that Texas may have paid some of his buyout so potentially that money could be used to reduce his cost.

    I don't want to get too far ahead on this. But indeed these 3 starts look like the Hamels of 3-5 years ago. If he is recharged from this trade, he may be someone we want to have in the rotation next year as well.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    I agree. I loved the trade before, during & after it happened. And I think he could help us next year for sure. He competes & embraces the big games. That’s a quality I like.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    Yes, Hamels' $20M 2019 option is available to the Cubs. The financial implications were quite complex, and I honestly don't think anyone in the media have put a definitive finger on the exact numbers. From what I've gathered, the Rangers are paying the $6M buyout of that option. I don't know if we've already received that cash of if it is to be paid later. Either way, we do get it, so if we decline the option it costs us nothing, or we can pick it up and get him for $14M.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    My understanding here, which could be wrong, is that if the Cubs pick up the $20M option, then the Rangers don't have to cover the $6M buyout. So it would cost the Cubs $20M. Maybe they can negotiate some of that back from the Rangers? (i.e. if we sign him, you save $6M, so maybe give us $3M to do that?").

  • In reply to BerthaB:

    When the deal happened and for a couple days afterwards many reporters tried to pinpoint "Cole Hamels and cash", then the story faded away. The best set of concrete numbers I could find was Hamels is under contract in 2018 at $22.5M with a $20M club option in 2019 ($6M buyout). At the time of the deal Hamels' remaining prorated 2018 salary was $7.86M, and with the $6M buyout, was due $13.86 in guaranteed money. The Cubs picked up $5M of that, with the Rangers covering the rest. But again, the story faded, and I never saw a definitive answer.

    The biggest reason these numbers were dug into so deeply (regarding who is paying the buyout) was because everyone, and I mean nearly EVERYONE, assumed there was no way the option was going to be exercised. I remember saying that may not be a certainty and we may well bring him back if he performs well.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Thanks Barley, that may just be an option we want to pick up.

  • WPA wise, that's the play of the year so far, but I don't think any stat can measure the emotional impact of winning a game/series like that..just speculation on my part, but it's probably a good thing there's a day off tomorrow if just to come down off this high for the Milwaukee series.

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    In reply to JTWilson:

    You are correct on both counts. It is hard to get a higher WPA than "Down 3, down to the last strike and bases loaded." And no stat can measure emotional impact. For better or worse. And none, to my knowledge, claim to be able to.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I heard on the radio that was the first time a player had hit a 2-out, 2-strike, down-by-3 walk-off GS (not sure if pinch-hit was in the equation) since 1936.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I don’t ever remember a walk off down 3–0 slam........ever.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Samuel Byrd, Reds: May 23, 1936 vs. Pirates

    https://www.mlb.com/news/pinch-hit-ultimate-grand-slams/c-290126376

  • In reply to BerthaB:

    I just did some digging, and here's what I came up with:

    The last Cubs player to hit a walk-off GS down by 3 runs was Ellis Burton on 8/31/1963. Burton started the game in CF and hit his bomb with the Cubs down 5-2.

    The last time any player hit the "ultimate grand slam" to erase a 3-0 deficit was the Reds Sammy Byrd on 5/23/1936. Brad came into the game as a pinch-hitter, but performed his heroics with nobody out.

    Given the rarity of the event, I would assume Bote is the first player ever to hit a 2-out, pinch-hit GS to win 4-3, and when you add in the 2-strike count, it's even more amazing.

    Now he'll have to do it in a Game 7 to top himself. :)

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Confirmed, Bote's GS was the only down 0-3 with 2 outs and 2 strikes, while Byrd's was with 0-outs. What matters is that it happened and is a cause to know that when the winning run reaches the batter's box it can happen.

    Now I said this earlier. Bote now has firmly placed himself on the 25 man roster regardless of the others when Bryant comes back, though that is looking more and more likely not happening until the rosters expand. The question then is during the playoffs. If Bote is still performing he is one of eight of the best position players but where would he play if Bryant has returned and Zobrist is still performing? Interesting question. In the WS he is a natural to move Bryant to the OF but in the NL series does one move Baez to SS and Bote to 2B or move Bryant to RF/LF and play Heyward in CF?

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    In reply to JTWilson:

    I almost wish we were playing tomorrow. Brewers traveling coming off a very tough series in Atlanta ( losing a game they had 19 hits) and their pen on fumes vs the 1st place Cubbies who just won in the most incredible way imaginable.

    Bury those tired Brewers why they are emotionally down and we are high!

    Although I am sure we could use the rest too.

    Either way, Tuesday both teams will be as rested as you can be this time of year so no excuses. Showdown for 1st place

  • Harry be singing up there, “Bote, Bote David, king of the pinch grand slam... Bote, Bote David...”

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    In reply to Milk Stout:

    He’s also saying Bote spelled backwards is Etob. I loved when he did that.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    “Divad Etob... Ah hah hah. Have another Budweiser...”

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    The Jody Davis song. "Hits the ball a mile." Classic.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Summer, 1984. Men's room under the left field bleachers. Hot and humid and smelly. ~100 inebriated, sweaty, shirtless fans lined up for the "trough", all singing the Jody Davis song together. Priceless.

  • In reply to BerthaB:

    Ha ha! Nice visual... :o( But I remember those days all to well. Fun in the sun & brews... Coming up with the funniest heckles towards the opposing Left & CFers.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I loved when Harry sang that... He was awesome. The stuff he came up with. Ha ha!

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    That's one of those pieces of trivia to determine if a fan is legitimately a life-long die-hard.

  • When I first heard Len mention David Bote earlier in the season, I thought he was saying, "David Bowie." So now I just call him David Bowie. Indeed, he is a lad insane. Excuse the bad humor to the classic 1973 album, but I love the cubs and Bowie...and now Bote. His emergence kind of reminds of some of the guys from the '89 division team like Dwight Smith and Jerome Walton.

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    In reply to Bill Buckner #22:

    Joe's 1st comment in the Post Game was " I was kinda disappointed he didn't come out to Rebel Yell"

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I think it was "Rebel Rebel" the song from David Bowie. That would be great.

  • Tho the Cardinals have gone 9-2 against weaker teams, they now enter a 10 game stretch with 7 at home with the Nats and Brewers followed by 3 in LA and 3 more in CO following a day off. One way or another, they are going to shape the pennant races.

  • In reply to veteran:

    I hope they sweep the brewers and go .500 in all the others.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Agreed my cards fan friend asked me if I'm sweating their recent resurgence and to me the schedule has been the main factor of this resurgence. Their upcoming schedule is a win-win for us either they lose and fall out of the race or they do damage to the teams that personally concern me like the dodgers, brewers or nats. After watching the nats this series I'd rather keep them out of the postseason field nobody wants to play that team with a healthy roster come playoff time I'll take my chances with the phillies or braves

  • Forget the Cardinals. One of their starting pitchers just cut a finger on his pitching hand on a tray. Let's concentrate on the team from Wisconsin.

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    In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    Yup, leave the Cardinal dreaming to Simmons.

    Lets bury the Brewers and let them know after this series, there best shot at the playoffs in the wild card game. He didn't pick up the pitching they needed so In essence proving their GM right since he felt they couldn't keep it up

  • Everytime I see a Peterbilt in my mirror I think of that movie......good pick Dabs :)

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    And I'd like to thank Dabs for the shout-out. I'm now officially "a certain Denizen".

    "I must be in the front row!".

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That you are Uke.....yes you are:)

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    I'd like to know if any team ever in the history of baseball was down 3-0 in the bottom of the 9th and won the game while only getting one hit the entire inning? Crazy win!

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    In reply to Rick Rariden:

    I can't think of a time that it has ever happened. Even last night there were 2 hits (the scorer deemed Heyward's a "hit").

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    Matt Wieters' reaction to Bote's slam was horrific. He looked like he was somewhere between punched in the stomach and vomiting.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I thought the same thing. He knew by the sound of contact it was going about 440 to dead center. Probably second guessing his pitch call screaming “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

  • And with that, Bryant becomes Wally Pipp. NOT!!!

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    But Ian Happ is becoming a more realistic trade chip!

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    In reply to JohnCC:

    I am not so sure. Obviously Bote is doing really well. But he is hitting better in MLB than in the minors. This is certainly possible and he wouldn't be the first but it is exceedingly rare.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I've been skeptical of Bote's success but I'm starting to become a believer. To go from organizational depth to legit prospect to MLB is not a road a lot of guys have taken but this kid plays hard, knows the game and seems determined to stick. I want to see how teams adjust to him and how he adjusts back which might start this year but it won't be until next year that he will have been thoroughly scouted and teams have usable data on him. We'll see of course, but you would have to be awfully jaded not to be very impressed with this kid.

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    In reply to TC154:

    I am absolutely impressed by Bote. But I am not ready to trade Happ. Happ certainly has his holes (for instance, he strikes out a lot). But he has extreme versatility in the infield and outfield, though he doesn't play any of them extremely well. He is also a switch-hitter which allows Maddon to carry another specialist as he doesn't need another LHB unless he wants to (e.g. TLS).

    Part of the beauty of Bote is that he still has all of his options left. So the Cubs can use him and send him down as they see fit for a couple more years. By the end of that time we should be relatively confident, for better or worse, just how good he is.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I do not suggest trading Happ because he's a flop or bum or bust. Rather he is a young talent with all of the pluses you mention, which makes him a valuable trade chip but I don't see him fitting very well anymore. I've posted before, I just think that the Cubs need to diversify when it comes to experienced players. We keep hearing about how this is still a very young team that is still learning...great, except they are also in their peak window to win championships.

    If the Cubs can trade a young guy like Happ and improve the ML roster at the same time, then they should. That's all. David Bote proving his maturity, discipline and focus (he's been up and down three times already?) and versatility on the IF would help ease the lose of Happ.

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    In reply to JohnCC:

    As you are no doubt aware Happ and Bote are VERY different players in their skill-sets. Not necessarily level of ability but simply where those abilities are. And I get that you are not saying "Get rid of Happ" as if he's a worthless bum. He will have value to other teams for the reasons I say he has value to the Cubs. I would say I want a very good pitcher/pitching prospect for him. Anything less than that and I hang up the phone.

    Maddon has shown a propensity to have a large bullpen which means he, by necessity, has to have a "short" bench. This means that he needs to stock it with players capable of playing defense in a variety of positions. It also means that achieving a balance of RH and LH batters has to be done with relatively few players.

    As you also know if there is a 13 man pitching staff and 8 defenders (+ a pitcher for total of 9) this means that there are only 4 spots on the bench. From these spots we need to have a back-up catcher, at least 1 back-up for each defensive position, at least 1-2 batters from each side of the plate. Happ's ability to play CF (as far as I know Bote does not possess this, even at the below average level that Happ shows) as well as Happs better running speed and, I think, greater power (though this could be argued) lead to me wanting to keep Happ.

    I have said it before, the guy I see as more expendable is TLS. He is an even worse defender than Happ, is restricted to only the IF, and still has years of team control as well. While he isn't worth as much in trade as Happ, possibly, I think that the return for Happ would have to be much higher. And I am not sure he would bring that much more back.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I think this is a great post and an overall intelligent conversation about how we should view our surplus of positional players. I can understand why a lot of fans are pushing to trade Happ he does seem somewhat expendable given our surplus of positional players and the pitcher that he can bring in may have more value to our organization than Happ does especially given Bote's emergence. My thought process on this is it absolutely makes sense to at least explore what you can get for Happ but I certainly wouldn't just trade him for the 1st decent available pitcher because he's a depth piece and not an everyday starter for this team. If I'm trading Happ I want it to be for a piece that actually makes a difference and not a JA Happ type of rental or some of the similar types of decent not great pieces that were available this past trade deadline. I don't necessarily think we have such a huge surplus in the outfield as well when you really analyze our outfield sure Heyward is having a nice bounce back season, Almora has had a nice year but he's been slumping for a while and doesn't carry the highest OPS, and Schwarber is having a nice bounce back year but you'd still like to see him increase that batting average. Are any of these guys really having such outstanding years that we're willing to anoint them starters of the future with no competition? I think I'd rather have Happ around as insurance in case one of these guys has an off year or just isn't as good as anticipated. My point is we definitely have a surplus in the infield but I'm not so sure about our outfield. If you're asking me I think Happ and Almora actually complement each other really well. I like Happ's swing from the left side vs. RHP but I really don't like his swing vs LHP and that's where Almora can spell him. On the other hand, I've always loved Almora vs. LHP's but not as much against RHP's although to his credit he's really improved in this regard but I still like them splitting time against righties as Happ has been really effective in his career vs RHPs. I was ready to anoint Almora as the CF of the future after his outstanding start but after his recent slump I'm not so sure how confident I am moving away from this current platoon. I think I'd rather keep a young athletic OF with pedigree like Happ around just as an insurance policy unless I'm really getting a nice piece back I think there's still a place on this roster for Happ due to his ability to play CF. In addition, I know Bote is the toast of town as he should be but I also don't want to overreact to Bote's start by trading Happ because Bote's had a few good months. In short, I support exploring offers to Happ but I wouldn't just trade him for the sake of making a deal. Other teams have tried to low ball us in the past when we've had good prospects or young players that were blocked and I'd rather hold out until we get a piece back that's equivalent to Happ's overall value as a talented young player with many years of cost control on a rookie deal.

  • In reply to TC154:

    In David Bote's post game interview, he pointed out how the "adjustments" and "counter-adjustments" have already started. The Nats had been getting him out on balls low in the zone, so he was looking for another one. And, BOOM.

    Your move, Mr. Pitcher.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    The old expression a team is 'not as good as they appear when they are hot, and not as bad when cold' probably works for players as well. For sure, Bote is a 'ballplayer' who hit the ground running and looks to have future in the mlb.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    The old expression certainly works for players in my opinion. Bote is a ballplayer. He is well on his way, if he isn't there already, to "cult-status."

  • when they show the bench in this video, watch Rizzo and Lastella. Think Tommy predicted the bomb the way Rizzo reacts. I have watched it 100 times. Love the reactions.

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/nationals-vs-cubs/2018/08/12/531186#game_state=final,lock_state=final,game_tab=videos,game=531186

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    Anyone have the feed from the Nats broadcasters ? Or any reactions from them?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    FP SanteAngelo said just before the pitch that Bote had a very high exit velocity average. Next pitch Bote showed him just how high.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    Oh that FP Santangelo is a homer of all homer. That must have been a priceless listen. Kudos for the Cubs for working w Bote to raise his swing plane and credit for Bote for doing all the extra hard work.

    2 things I took from the post game conference/interviews. One from each. Joe said Bote is a very hard worker and is always preparing and working on his swing and studying the pitchers he may face. I guess this is why he has the quiet confidence that Joe speaks of. If you work harder then the next guy and your more prepared then the next guy, you should be successful and that should breed confidence.

    Next was what Cole Hamels said. They asked him if he knew Bote. He said he was the first guy he met, because as a new teammate Cole was showing up very early the first few days so he could get to know the guys. The guy who he met first was the guy who was in the clubhouse first everyday and thats David Bote.

    Good for this kid, he deserves all this. Hopefully Joe doesn't sit him the next couple days looking for another big PH spot for him.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Bote also gave props to Zobrist & LaStella for their guidance & support & being professionals towards him, but also to the whole team for some influence or another as well.

    Saw this on social media somewhere but I laughed out loud, “#everybotein”...

  • Cole Hamels 3 starts on the cubs 1.00 ERA (2 ER), 18.0 IP, 11 Hits, 4 BB, 20 K,.0.833 whip, 10 k's per 9, and 5 so/w ratio

  • In reply to bolla:

    Don't want to get ahead of myself Bolla but you may have been onto something with your thought process on Hamels being reinvigorated. He's throwing faster, getting more K's, and the changeup is in the best form that Hamels has seen in years. He honestly could've had a no hitter yesterday even that Murphy hit was just an awesome piece of hitting by a cub killer

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Hamels has been very impressive so far. Last night he was great vs a very good nationals line up. I'll wait for a bigger sample size but he's looked better than any cubs starter has in months. Hamels has two 9 k outings since being acquired which matches the cubs starting staff in 2018

    I read hamels had more 1-2-3 innings last night than lester has had in the 2nd half

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yeah I want to see a larger sample too it almost seems like he doesn't go as max effort in certain games it's weird reminds me kinda of Roy Halladay who used to throw slower against bad teams to save bullets. It seemed that Hamels stayed away from his changeup and was throwing slower more hittable fastballs against the royals yet he still had a solid line. But I felt his stuff was better in his starts against the pirates and nats. It's almost as if he's saving bullets for bigger games. I'm extremely optimistic though what I saw last night was ace like domination not just some crafty lefty getting outs and making pitches when he needed too.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Might have had Adrenalin rush vs pirates(first game for cubs) and nats(first home game).

  • In reply to bolla:

    Twice as many. Hamels had 6 1-2-3 innings last night, and Lester has 3 since the break.

  • When the Hamels trade was announced I was, not thrilled. I questioned here and in other places just what help he could be. I didn't think he would be good enough to be Darvish insurance and I questioned whether it would make a difference in a division I though (then and now) that the Cubs would win relatively easily. I didn't think the move hurt anything, but neither was I convinced it would help. My word was i ever wrong. One thing I always seem to forget is how some players traded at the deadline from losing teams to contenders tend to pick up their play in a new uniform. Verlander was good for Detroit last year but became an ace for Houston for example. Much was made that Hamels top line numbers outside of Texas were very good but his peripherals didn't reflect that optimism. Nevertheless he has posted a 1.00 ERA, a .830 WHIP and a 1.93 FIP since his arrival here. Opponents are hitting .173 against him and his wOBA against is .198.Last night's performance was nothing less than masterful. If Scherzer hadn't been just a tad better last night the headlines today would have been about Hamels and Bote and indeed they should have been anyway. Hamels best pitch has always been his nasty changeup but he was not using it much in Texas this year and last and you wondered if it had ceased to be effective for him.Guess not. Sometimes I love being wrong.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I was for it. But I saw both sides. I understood some of reasons against it... but I felt there was something still there. They couldn’t afford the Archers, DeGromms etc.. So the cost relative to the guy they were getting w/his pedigree was a no brainer for me. They couldn’t wait/hope on Darvish & Smyly or hope Chatwood suddenly figures it out. Easy roll of the dice for me to get Hamels.

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    In reply to TC154:

    I was in favor of the trade and hoped it would be made, especially when saw what the Cubs gave up. It was an extremely low risk move.

    If things worked out, then it is a great trade. If things don't work out it only costs the Cubs some money, a marginal prospect and a guy with upside of "swing-man." Probably irrationally I value swing guys, but even I could see the fact that Butler was out of options and had no plausible "injuries" so he was likely to be a headache for the Cubs as his role is usually better suited for someone you can throw on a bus to Iowa to rest his arm if necessary.

  • All I have to say is what a game it was just a pleasure to watch as a fan of the game I'd go as far as call it the game of the year hands down 1st ever walk off grand slam WITH 2 OUTS. In some ways Hamels isn't getting the headlines that he deservesbecause of Bote's moment but what a performance. I wouldn't have been mad losing that game to a locked in Max Scherzer either way but even when we were losing that game 0-1 I couldn't help but be marveled by Cole Hamels performance that maybe one of the best if not the best outings that we've seen from any of our starters all season in my view. It wasn't just that he got nice bottom line results it was how he dominated this potent nationals offense. He only gave up 1 walk and 1 hit on what was a good pitch to Daniel Murphy and we know that Murphy may as well be Babe Ruth against the cubs. He struck out 9 batters and Hamels has now shown an outstanding swing and miss changeup in 2 of 3 cubs outings including that pirates game. That's relevant because he wasn't using the changeup as much with Texas. I thought Hamels had no hit type of stuff last night and I don't want to get ahead of myself it's 3 starts but that trade is already looking like a POTENTIAL home run for the cubs. Hamels has a 20 million dollar option that I thought we wouldn't accept due to luxury tax concerns but how do you not consider it at this point if he continues to be one of our best starters moving forward. Getting Hamels on what essentially amounts to a 1 year deal sounds like a potentially nice value to me he still looks like a guy that can contribute to a playoff run.

    And I don't have much to add on David Bote as you all have it covered but how can you still count this kid out at this point. He has a level of poise and maturity that are beyond his years and his experience level. Honestly I was even impressed with his postgame interview on sportscenter. 1st interview on national tv and I thought he seemed very comfortable in his own skin and carried himself well. This kids makeup seems different to me and I know that he's not as much on the prospect radar as some of our other young guys but he wouldn't be the 1st prospect to prove the industry wrong and how can you count him out after what he's accomplished already what a moment for him and this team. Let's go show the brewers what championship baseball looks like and stomp on them while they're a little down.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Correction 1st walk off grand slam with 2 outs and down 0-3

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    You guys need a good laugh, go over to Brew Crew Baseball. They consider us the luckiest team of all time and have an unhealthy cardinal hate of us fans. ( Not just the team)

    They sure have the little brother mentality/ nerdy shy girl that nobody noticed/asked to dance down to a tee to the 10th power.

    I am scared what a 2 game sweep will due to them.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    They don't realize a short while ago, we were the team that would find a way to lose a 3-0 lead w only 1 ball leaving the infield the whole inning.

    Crazy. 1 freaking ball left the infield and it was the big one!

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Madson HIT as many batters as got hits off of him.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I think JHey got some home cooking on his “liner in the book”... That was a huge non-out.

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    In reply to Milk Stout:

    It was COMPLETELY a home-town scorer call.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Ha ha! He did respect 90 there, so props to him. Even the Nats fans were saying that was an error. They also want Davey & their Rizzo (GM) launched. Glad we’ve been winning these past few years & get to read the other teams crying for a really nice change... :o)

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    For anyone to call an established team that's been to 3 straight NLCS's, won a WS, and is currently in 1st place in the NL lucky is just absurd to me. We've actually under performed our pythagorean record and they've over performed theirs. I've been saying this brewers team has been undervalued since April Jim you know I'm far from a hater but to me they've had a lot more fortune than we have thus far this season. Sounds like some fans are understandably bitter at our success I hope we send a message to them this week with a 2 game sweep. As for the fanbase all I have to say is at least our fans actually show up to the games go to a cub brewers game and you're likely to get half cub fans. The reality is Wisconsin is a packers town nobody cares about the brewers.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Are the Cubs lucky? Maybe. But in the sense that they have a propensity to win games in the last innings. But some of that is due to skill, too. There's a lot of talk about Bote's HR, and that is certainly justified. But remember, the Cubs also had to get 3 runners on base or it would have been chalked up to a "teaser rally." They did that. Heyward hustled (Respect 90). Almora and Contreras both battled and got on base (though, admittedly, not through any particular "skill").

    To me I really wish Hamels could have gotten the win in the game. He certainly deserved it.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Luck: When preparation meets opportunity. And given all we're seeing about how hard Bote works, I guess that grand slam was pure luck.

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    In reply to TTP:

    Exactly. Other teams get that HR. Not all teams get guys on in front of it to make it meaningful. That is the "preparation" part of the formula that teams fall short on hoping that "luck" in the form of opportunity will come through for them.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Not to toot my own horn, because I'm usually far off on my pre-game predictions, but prior to yesterday's game I noted that we would have to stay in the game and capitalize on the Nats' miscues to pull out a W. It was certainly a bit of luck, but we hung in, they faltered, and we pounced. Good teams do that through preparation and confidence.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    To clarify, I'm only off on my *specific* pre-game predictions. I call for the Cubs to win 100% of the time, and we are winning at a .581 clip. :)

    Go Cubs!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    LOL. Well said.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Brewers fans are just like white sox fans. They're obsessed with the cubs, I go read their reddit and brewers forum all the time.

    That's all they do is talk about the cubs, they hate the cubs with a passion. I'm dead serious when I say they're like white sox fans with their obsession

  • In reply to bolla:

    No 'fandom' is obsessed with the Cubs- as much as Chisox fans are. And some writers like little Paul Sullivan is, LOL!!!!!

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Just read their thread. That was hilarious.

  • Ken Rosenthal had a nice special on the athletic about David Bote this morning in which he quotes 3rd base coach Brian Butterfield saying: "Butterfield, in his first season with the Cubs, says Bote is the team’s hardest worker by “light years,” describing him as an “animal.” The video of Bote going through his drills, in Butterfield’s view, is nothing less than a coach’s dream."

    The more I read and learn about Bote the more I believe in the guy this guys a worker

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Thanks for the tip. I just read the article. How is this for an unusual comp for a player: Kyle Hendricks.

    Neither were high round picks. Both are considered very hard workers who get the most out of marginal tools (maybe less so with Hendricks' change-up). Both put a lot of thought into their work to make up for the disparity between theirs and some other's talent.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I think that's a very good comparable from a prospect pedigree standpoint Joel. Hendricks had the better overall minor league career from a consistency standpoint year to year but I also don't think that's fair to Bote who maybe a late bloomer. Bote seems to be another success story of this launch angle revolution and what has me encouraged that he maybe for real is the fact that he's among the league leaders in average exit velocity the ball just seems to come off his bat hot. But with Hendricks a lot of us including John looked at him as merely a potential 5th starter and I remember vividly that the question marks with Hendricks were with his lack of an out pitch with 2 strikes which Kyle has proven wrong as his changeup has become an elite pitch. But I'd say Hendricks, Contreras, and Zobrist were all guys that have lived up to an upside that not many saw coming when they were coming up as prospects although Contreras did play himself into becoming a high end ranked prospect after his outstanding AA campaign. I think Bote's story is somewhat similar to Justin Turner's and with his work ethic and makeup I definitely would no longer be surprised if he goes on to having the type of career that none of us could've envisioned in spring training. Good for Bote personally and this is just another success story for our organizations development of hitters.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yes, huge props to the organization for developing the 2nd/3rd prospects & identifying the ones who have that potential to be developed. I mean they almost have no choice, either because the top tiers have already been plucked, traded &/or are still too young to be plucked. They’re supplementing the waves now so to speak.

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    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Exactly, plus pretty much every non hitter early round pick has had issues like injuries, not performing, setbacks, ect. I don't want to call them busts because a lot of them still have a lot of time still and we all know not all progress is linear.

    So it's great that they are able to identify hidden gems w certain talent and skill sets and then groom and develop them into major league contributors.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Bote possesses an air of confidence and that 'I belong' look that fits your 'late bloomer' label. He appears to have blossomed.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Couldn't agree more not many young baseball players have the type of poise and makeup to hit a walk off grand slam in an 0-3 game WITH 2 strikes on him on top of that. The fact he hit that pitch that hard with 2 strikes on him is really impressive and we'll see what happens he has a long career ahead of him but if you didn't take Bote seriously before I don't know how you can't now after a moment like that along with the fact he has shined every opportunity that he's had.

  • I think I wrote this several days back but it bears repeating. Some guys figure out the hitting piece at the big league level. He may or may not turn into a successful ML hitter, but the early sample size on David Bote is encouraging.

    Happ is getting closer to being off season trade bait.

  • Here's a Monday funny for you. From Jon Greenberg's column in The Athletic this morning:

    "The ending of this game was so absurd in the Cubs’ favor, Mike Rizzo just fired Dusty Baker again"

  • In reply to TC154:

    I feel for Dave Martinez. Sure he finally got his shot to manage in the show, but that is a very difficult position. Even veteran skippers have been unable to tame that beast of a clubhouse, and if he doesn't win immediately he's a failure. I haven't followed closely enough to judge his ability to manage, but I would think that when he gets canned it will be a long time before he gets another chance, if ever.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    He won't get another chance, but it won't be terribly easy to fire him either as he's singed for three years. Maybe ownership decides they want Girardi though and compete with the Cardinals for his services. That organization is broken though, this is not Martinez's fault. The thing is if they're smart they'll take Harper's leaving as an opportunity to take the money earmarked for him and spend it on other needs. They have a great young core with Turner, Soto and Robles with Carter Kieboom still coming. That NL East is going to be exciting for years.

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    In reply to TC154:

    Kieboom.......Thats the other young gun I forgot. The catcher so they are set up the middle.

    It's scary to say this, but Juan Soto may turn out to be as good or better then Harper.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I just texted that exact sentiment to a friend of mine this morning, but a lot of his pen management has been questionable at best. Unfortunately like many suspected He was not ready for a big high profile team yet. His first job needed to be like the rays, white sox, royals, ect. A team not ready to compete for a world series.

    Yes, he's had success under Maddon, but thats all. Other then playing for the Cubs, he's never even played for a big market team let alone manage one and he's only managed in Chicago w Joe what 3 yrs?

    He doesn't deserve all the blame, but he def deserves some. Bottom line, The players have to perform but unfortunately the players rarely get fired. LOL. Hopefully the Nats give him 1 more year, and we can see if he learned something from his first year on the job and won't make the same mistakes. Plus I think losing Harper ( ESP If Harper is closer to the player he is this yr vs the one he was his MVP yr) to FA is addition by subtraction. ( assuming they use that money for another big time starter or hitter). They have some studs in Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Rendon, and Turner. If Eaton, Strasburgh, and Murphy are healthy next yr they are still the team to beat. ( even w Braves n Phillies taking steps forward)

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He gone! It's like hit songs. Gold records come from lots of different music, but one knows one when he hears it. Baseball managers are the same and Davy isn't one.

  • The ending of last night's game was exciting. I am 83, it reminded me of my 1st favorite Cub player, Phil Cavarretta. He was a Chicago biy & signed with the cubs when he was still in high school at Lane Tech @ the age of 17. Towards the end of his career, he was the player manager of the Cubs. On July 29, 1951, the Cubs were playing the Phillies (6th place) @ Wrigley. The Cubs were in 8th place (last). Phil started the 1st game at 1st base. The starting pitcher for the Phillies ws Robin Roberts, HOF pitcher. Phil got a triple in that game, drove in 3 runs. Cubs won 5 to 4, no "W" Flags in those days. The second game, the Cubs & Phillies were tied in the 7th inning, 4 to 4. Phil put himself into to the game as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded. Robin Roberts was pitching in relief in the 2nd game. Phil hit a Grand Slam, the Cubs won 8 to 4. Not a bad day for the gutsy Player/Manager a Triple & a home Ronu, 7 RBIs & a double header win. I happen to think about this when Bote hit his Grand Slam. I though Phil's also came in the 9th inning, But aft some research on Baseball Reference, I was incorrect.. Phil made his MLB debut in 1934 at the age 18 +59 days. He played in 3 World Series the first at age 18, then at age 21 and finally in 1945 at age 28.Hiw world Series BA was .417. He won the batting title in 1945, average @ .355. Phil was a 1st baseman, bit playing LF, CF & RF. He was a very good fielding 1st baseman, career @ .990. He played for the Cubs for 20 years. He was fired in Spring Training by Wrigley because he told the truth that the Cubs were not a very good baseball team. Like Ron Santo he played for the White Sox briefly at the end of his career.
    Great memories, I have a great deal of confidence when David Bote is playing. Regards.

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    In reply to Cubs1935:

    Great story and thanks for sharing that info w us. By any chance did you tell us a similar story last yr or the yr before? I seem to remember someone posting a story about a Lane Tech athlete and Robin Roberts. My memory is starting to go a little as I inch near 40. Maybe 2 diff stories?

  • In reply to Cubs1935:

    I love hearing contributions like this!

  • So I took Jim O's advice to check out the brewers blog brewcrewball.com and it really is enjoyable listening to other fans cry about the cubs. I don't know why I take so much pleasure in reading these posts but I really do lol. Some of my favorite posts:

    Man, I despise the Chicago Cubs
    Walk off grand slam for those stupid jerks. I hope some team, very unlikely to be us, embarrasses and shames them in the playoffs. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have like half the Midwest cheering for your team, to have billions in media income available to throw at free agents, and to lead seemingly a charmed existence while mocking or ignoring your competitors. FTC forever.

    As frustrated as I am about the grand slam
    I’m probably even more frustrated that of course Cole Hamels turned back into the 2014 version of himself the second he was traded to the Cubs.

    A walkoff Grand Slam with 2 outs and 2 strikes when down by 3 is the Holy Grail of Home Runs.
    Add in the Pinch-Hitter feature and I don’t even know if that’s ever been done before.

    Posted by Rick Auerbach invites you to 1972 on Aug 12, 2018 | 10:22 PM
    Is there anything good that hasn't happened to that evil team in the last four years?

    Seriously
    If there was any karma still owed to Cubs fans for their pre-2015 suffering, it’s paid back already, geez. Enough.

    Brewers get 19 hits and lose. Cubs get a walk-off grand slam with 2 outs and trailing by 3. All on the same day.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    I told you guys it was grade A laughable material. Bill Murray couldn't make this ish' up !

    I don't know why either kkhiavi, but I get some pleasure but more comedy relief when reading this nonsense. Your fortunate enough to get to take up a whole other level as you have Brewer fan friends. I don't have even one, but I have plenty of whitesox fans, but they are surprisingly quiet this year. I wonder why? I am by far a white sox hater like a lot of cubs fans. I even sent some video of Engel's amazing 3 catches as well as praising some play this past week to my sox friends, and majority of them did't even respond. They are so miserable. God forbid, some negative news on the Cubs comes out or they are not in 1st place, they are ready to fire off. I just don't get that mentality.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I was actually surprised how familiar some of the posts sounded:
    --Manager changes line-ups
    --Manager puts the bullpen guy in too early
    --Manager puts bullpen guy in too late.
    --Too many K's
    --Struggle with runners on base

    Any of this sound familiar?

  • Hmmm, not sure reading other teams blogs posts would be enjoyable as it wasn't that long ago that the Cubs were a 2nd division team who could not close the deal.

    I much prefer to just focus on this team and its issues. Could be I'm just being superstitious or just getting old and disinterested in other peoples angst.

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