Game Post 8/18

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Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Saturday: 6:05 pm CT on WGN/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

1. Ben Zobrist (S) RF
2. Jason Heyward (L) CF
3. David Bote (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Javier Baez (R) 2B
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
9. Addison Russell (R) SS
Pirates
1. Corey Dickerson (L) LF
2. Starling Marte (R) CF
3. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
4. Josh Bell (S) 1B
6. Adam Frazier (L) 2B
7. Colin Moran (L) 3B
9. Joe Musgrove (R) P
Bullpen Usage
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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Joe MusgroveJoe Musgrove has thrown 3,998 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2016 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball(94mph), also mixing in a Slider (85mph), Cutter (90mph), Sinker (93mph) and Change (86mph).

His fourseam fastball has less armside movement than typical, has some natural sinking action and has slightly above average velo. His slider results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has some two-plane movement. His cutter generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' cutters, has slightly above average velo, has some natural sink and has strong cutting action. His sinker is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has surprisingly little armside run and has some natural sinking action. His change is slightly firmer than usual and has some natural sink to it.

Sean's Note: Musgrave does generate a lot more grounders than Nova or Williams. He is another pitcher with a strike out percentage well below league average. With a very good walk rate he too has the ball put in play against him a bunch. He pitched seven innings of one run baseball against the Cubs in May, he also had the famous revenge slide at second base in the game after Anthony Rizzo's controversial play at the plate.

Final Thoughts: Ben Zobrist hits leadoff Saturday, it's probably a position he may be in a lot down the stretch. Willson Contreras who looked a little gimpy on Thursday is back in the lineup. Due to Mike Montgomery's injury Tyler Chatwood is temporarily back in the rotation. He was decent not awful out of the bullpen, but it's probably going to take more than one run to win tonight. The offense needs to wake up and produce if the Cubs want to secure a series win Saturday.

Comments

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  • I'm like most other fans in dreading this start by Chatwood, but I'm also delusional enough to expect a positive outcome. Maybe that is influenced by the historical anniversary we are celebrating this weekend, and my mind is as scattered as those hundreds of thousands gathered on Max Yasgur's farm.

    Tyler Chatwood is good.

    "Don't eat the brown acid"

    The Cubs will pull off a late inning victory tonight, much as my man Jimi serenaded the world with the iconic rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner to close out Woodstock.

    Go Cubs!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I agree. We are going to need an A + outing from Walkwoody to give him a shot at starting a playoff game for us

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He is not starting a playoff game for us. He won't even be on the roster.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Was at Woodstock ‘99.....left 15 minutes before they burned the place down.....$4 for bottled water, $32 for a gallon of milk.....wasn’t surprised people were getting mad....

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Wow, good for you. I was at school in Ohio but didn’t hear about Woodstock until it was almost all over. What a great 3 days of music.
    Was it worth all the rain and misery? In retrospect I would have to say yes.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Lol.....no, I wasn’t at the original in Bethal in ‘69.....this one in ‘99 was at the old Griffiss AFB in Rome......hot as the blazes on all those old runway/taxiways (and raw sewage everywhere in place of all the mud 30 years earlier). Music was good though....

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    I’ve got to learn how to read.

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    Nice 0-2 pitch to Frazier by Walkwoody.

    Pirates get their 1st run of the series along w their 1st XB hit.

    Anyone surprised it took this long?

  • Man walkwood doesn't even give you a chance, of course he walks 2 guys this inning and both score. This dude is awful

  • Thankyou Joe for taking WalkWoody out. I was about to turn the Bears game on.

  • Why Didn't they have mills up tonight? Fine, he didn't need to start -- but this 2 inning walkfest was pretty predictable. Mills could be coming in now . . . see what happens.

  • More than thank you, Joe put a fork in Chatwood for 2018 outside of mop ups, sending a non verbal message to the front office that this ship is now salvage.

  • I'm more concerned about the anemic Cubs offense than with Chatwood getting an emergency start. I was hoping they'd break out tonight, but through 4 innings Zoby's solo shot is all they have to show. It hurts to watch Russell bat.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    3 runs in 3 games, all solo dingers. But remember, they're facing 3 Cy Young candidates... :od

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Russell looks lost at the plate. Javy is hitting like he's been taking lessons from Russell. Heyward has regressed into - Heyward. Not very exciting, but they can always turn it on.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I've heard many excuses for Russell. The most recent narrative is he has a bum knuckle. I'm seeing a bum approach, and a bum effort in general. I try to be positive, to a fault, but at some point you have to put the PC crap aside and quit pulling punches. Russell has been given many chances and he has maintained his lifestyle. I don't see him back in 2019.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'm not defending his anemic season, but tonight his hand was clearly bothering him. His bottom hand let go of the bat on numerous swings. Not good.

    But I agree, it might be time to cut bait.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Should have traded him when he was hot like 2 months ago. Now unless he gets hot again, we will be selling low low low

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    They will just be selling who he is. He is still only 24, has the pedigree, and 20 HR season in 2016 as a benchmark. Plenty of value in the youngster... he needs a "change of scenery."

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    In reply to JohnCC:

    In your mind. Hopefully they can find a GM who believes he's the player he was in 2016 and thats who they are trading for. Sort of like Beane telling Theo he just traded for Barry Larkin.

    Anyway, he's only 24 but he doesn't have as much control as you would like if your acquiring a "non finished product" which is what you would pray he's not w the season he's had.

    We are prob much different in age, but society now is all what have u done for me lately.......results results results. Its like the want everything .....yesterday. Zero patience

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Pardon my French, but he needs a wake-up call. I love tools and projections. When I see young players with natural ability I look at their makeup. I want to see that burning desire to succeed, to learn, to be the best. I want to see young men who are willing to make sacrifices to become the absolute best they can be. I haven't seen this from Russell this season, or forever to be honest.

    To be completely fair, Addison Russell is a far better baseball player than I even dreamed of being. What he does with that ability is his choice. Some athletes have the desire to dedicate themselves and sacrifice pleasure to reach their peak. Other very talented players chose to immerse themselves in pleasures of the moment with no long-term plan. I certainly won't judge, as I have indulged in copious amounts of celebrity without a fraction of his talent.

    I just wish he would prioritize his life, and I'm placing myself on a pedestal as if I'm the only one to ever notice and offer direction in a reality that I have never experienced and cannot undestand.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Aahhhhhh......it just makes ya shake your head ya know? Someday he will realize it but when you are that young it still doesn’t process for some. Look how his life has changed the last 10 years, he never has had that kind of long green in his pocket or the freedom to do what he wants. It doesn’t seem as if he has a strong support system around him either to keep him straight. He is almost set up to fail, happens to some......lives in the moment and unable to see a bigger picture down the road. Is too bad.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Since July 3rd (not including tonight’s game) he’s lost 26 points off his BA, 30 off his obp & 82 off his ops... He’s just having a bad month & a half. :o0

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    Compare Rosario and Chatwood. RR throws strikes and doesn’t nibble and that’s all that TC does. There’s a lesson there.

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    Addy up in a big spot.

    Cards w 3 unearned runs. Poor Beer Makers

  • Gotta send Chatwood down.....get him 3 starts and make it clear the walks just have to stop. If not.....he sits till next year.

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Don't think he can be sent to the minors w out his permission. Plus I am not sure there is enough time in the AAA season to get him 3 starts. Maybe though

    Regardless, something has to be done. How can it be so hard for a guy w that good of stuff to throw strikes. Maybe he's scared to get hit so thats what keeping him from centering the ball. Or maybe its all psychological

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    At this point, I think it is 95% psychological. He's stuck in his own head, worrying like hell on ever pitch that it isn't a ball. I don't know what the fix is though I'd suggest meditation and acceptance of a trip to AAA where none of it matters.

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    In reply to JohnCC:

    I think that would be a great idea. You would think he wants to get right, don't you? I got to believe he doesn't want to get released, keep getting paid and getting another shot w another team. You have to believe that next team that takes a chance will want him to start at AAA to get right, right?

    Unless of course he plans to go to spring training w a new team and dazzle them and break camp. Who knows. This is going to be an interesting issue to see unfold

  • What does Maddon have against Almora? With the anemic Cubs offense Almora sure can't hurt. BTW he is leading the team in all offense stats in the last 7 days and still sits out.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Curious, isn't it? I've been wondering the same, why does AA Jr get the same playing time to get out of his slump as say Happ? I think Almora getting right is more important to the overall success of the team.

  • Tyler let's the ball go and no one knows where the ball will go, only the shadow knows !
    Another inconsistent Umpire behind the plate. Can someone say electronic strike zone ?

  • Our offense sucks right now. We just cannot score.

    I still lament not getting Machado to start the year. Russell is awful. Sick of watching him hit. He’s pathetic.

    Tomorrow is another day. We are due to get on a tear. And need to NOW!!!!! This is unacceptable offensive baseball.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    The Cubs can sign Machado after the season with out losing a draft pick.
    I don't think the Cubs can sign any high profile free agent with out staying under the luxury tax including picking up the option on Cole Hamels.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    The strategy of staying under the luxury tax threshold was just for this season, to reset the penalties. We are going to blow it out next season. That's not to say we sign Harper and Machado, just that the confluence of incoming cash, the availability of talent, and the foresight of contractual options written into contracts years ago tells me we will not shy away from spending to extend our competitive window. I want to win the World Series before contemplating next year, but the FO has to plan ahead. We don't have many contracts coming off the books, and with such a successful team you would think sticking with the status quo would be the way to go. But I think this offseason will be relatively busy. Most of the young core have a few years under their belts, giving the FO enough time to fish or cut bait.

    This FO is simply legendary. While I want the model to be sustainable success for decades, there is no question this particular core is only together for a few more years. The Cubs will do absolutely everything possible to maximize every Championship opportunity, and make me a happy man.

  • The offense has been struggling since the break.

    Outside of Zobrist, there's no one who is hitting with any authority day in and day out.

    Thankfully the SP saved the team the first 2 games of the series.

    Really nothing to be done at this point as these are the horses that got us here.

    I was surprised to discover that the Cubs lead the league in runs scored.

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    In reply to JK1969:

    The offense has really been bad. I don’t remember all those runs.

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    I would trade Russell+ this offseason, sign Machado, move Machado to 2nd, put Javy at SS. Jmo.

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