Game Post 8/19


Series preview is here.


Sunday: 12:35 pm CT on ABC-7/670AM



1. Tommy La Stella (L) 2B
2. Ben Zobrist (S) RF
3. Javier Baez (R) SS
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Ian Happ (S) CF
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
8. Jose Quintana (R) P
9. David Bote (R) 3B
1. Corey Dickerson (L) LF
2. Starling Marte (R) CF
3. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
4. David Freese (R) 3B
5. Elias Diaz (R) C
6. Josh Bell (S) 1B
7. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
Bullpen Usage

Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Jameson TaillonJameson Taillon has thrown 5,940 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2012 and 2018, all of them occuring in the MLB Regular Season. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (96mph), Sinker (96mph) and Curve (83mph), also mixing in a Slider (90mph) and Change (88mph).

His fourseam fastball generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has less armside movement than typical and has well above average velo. His sinker is blazing fast, has less armside run than typical and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers. His curve is much harder than usual and has a sharp downward bite. His slider is thrown extremely hard, has less than expected depth and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His change is thrown extremely hard, generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups and has slight cut action.

Sean's Note: Taillon has had a good year for the Pirates in 2018. He has very good control with a walk rate below 6%. Home runs are not a big issue and he generates a fair amount of ground balls. Lefties hit him for a higher average, but not better power than righties. Taillon allowed three runs in seven innings against the Cubs in a win at the end of July.

Final Thoughts: The Cubs are going with a bit of a offensive shakeup, hitting Tommy La Stella leadoff. The struggling, possibly injured, Addison Russell gets the day off. He seemed to be in a lot of pain after swinging the bat several times Saturday. Jose Quintana has struggled the last two starts he has made. Even a quality start won't matter if the Cubs can't score runs.


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    Here we go guys. Lets start the game off w some runs. Take the pressure off Q and the O

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    God dang it! . Swinging at the 1st pitch.

    We can't catch a break.

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    Man, another DP. Can't we do something else? I know I sound like a Pirates fan complaining but with Zo up I thought he would take a few pitches at least. Javy and Bote are really swinging and missing, and as I say this Javy just singled. Maybe he'll try for his 20 SB.
    C'mon Cubs!!

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Good call on the SB

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    Javy just joined the 20-20 club

    Time to start moving to the 30-30 clubs

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    Ian Happ is going to find a gap ........lets go

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Only gap he finds is the gap in the sweet spot of his bat. Hahahahaha

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    Thats what I get for having faith in Happ. Makes me look stupid.

    Alright Q. Put up a Zero.

    I know we want to talk about how Q's been off lately, but the Cubs have been shut out in his last 2 starts, so unless he pitched like prime Pedro/Maddux the Cubs were not winning.

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    At least we made him pitch a bit. How can such a talented team (the Cubs) look so anemic sometimes? Q has to learn from Hendricks and start throwing strike 1 for the first pitch. Good things happen when that occurs and now Dickerson just bunted and now is at 2nd.

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    my comment was eaten, but it wasn't that insightful.

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    Tailon wiggled out of some trouble w the help of a DP. Q does the same. Both these offenses in a funk.

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    Schwarber didn't respect 90 there--he was very slow out of the box. The ball respected about 400 ft though. That's a good sign--Shwarbs first almost hit one the other way, waited until he got his pitch and then drilled it. I wish more players would do that. I know it's easy to write that from home and I'm not facing sliders away or a 90 MPH FB.

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    The Schwarbenator strikes again.

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    That ball was smoked by Harrison but Happ got a glove on it.

    Defense looks bad early.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Happ should never play CF. I can’t stand him out there.

    And why dies Joe sit Almora 3 games in a row?!

    And when you’re not scoring runs and need to rely on defense, why does Joe sit our two best outfielders?

  • 53-54 pitches already

  • Can anyone tell me why Joe is not playing Almora? As I said yesterday, his offense stats lately are the best on the team and his defense is great..

  • Darvish threw 19 first-inning pitches in South Bend. He came out to begin warming up for the second inning, called for the trainers who examined his elbow, and was removed from the game.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Not good.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That about does it, don't it? Yu Is not going to help.

  • Bad news they just said on the Cubs telecast that Yu darvish was removed from the game while warming up for the 2nd inning after one shaky scoreless inning command wise. I'm guessing that this means he's not healthy and his seasons most likely over. In addition I read an article on the athletic about Morrows recovery and it sounds as if morrow and kris Bryant won't be healthy the remainder of the season even when they return. It's going to be a pain management type of deal and they may not even be able to play through their injuries even once they return. Awful news for the team on an injury front this is the 1st season in a while where I feel injuries may make a huge difference in our chances of winning an NL pennant

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    I hope its not another TJ survey coming.

    That would make his contract one for the insurance.

    W/o KB, Morrow, or Darvish. I am not sure we can even make it to the NLCS

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I certainly hope this is just a precautionary move, and we will find out more information soon. The need for another TJS has been my belief throughout this whole process. I think he is trying to rehab his elbow and will retire rather than undergo another surgery and rehab. If that's the case, retirement and salary relief may be the best option.

    I never mentioned this because they were unconfirmed rumors from non-baseball people on Twitter, but back in early June (?) when the Cubs were in St. Louis fans overheard a conversation between members of the Cubs FO/coaching staff having several drinks after a game. They said Darvish does need TJS and was trying to avoid the procedure. I don't know if this is true or not, but a fan tweeted it out, took a lot of heat, but stood by their story.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Interesting. I'm not saying it's impossible but unlikely that members of this front office were out getting drunk in a bar in St. Louis and blabbing away about personnel.

    Rogers just reported that Yu experienced the same pain as before and wants and MRI. So he's not coming back this year. But I have found it curious why they didn't just do this long ago and got the surgery out of the way with hopes of him contributing next year. It would be crazy if he opted for retirement. And also a relief.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Agreed Jim it stinks that it looks like we're not gonna go into the playoffs without our full arsenal of talent and the team really doesn't sound optimistic about morrow or Bryant either even if they play its gonna be a pain tolerance issue. It's easy to forget how big these losses are when we're in 1st place but I think These losses will be more noticeable against playoff teams that's 3 bonafide all star caliber talents that were talking about

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Let’s face it he hasn’t contributed anything this year. So it isn’t like we are missing a 15 game winner. We will continue on with out him.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I think the worse news is that all 3 of our injured players have a negative outlook for the postseason and I do see darvish as a potentially big loss against postseason lineups but more importantly what does this mean for his future. Our injury news complicates our WS odds anyway you slice it

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    Q needed that quick inning. Now he has an outside shot at getting to the 7th if he keeps getting outs.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He'd have an even better shot at that if Happ didn't happen out there in CF a couple innings ago.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    We couldn't win another game on a solo homer could we?

  • This team is hard to watch right now.

    What happened to Almora? Is he in the dog house? It seems like he never plays. He went into a slump around the break but unlike all the other slumping hitters it seems like he doesn't earn the playing time to work out of it. I just don't get it.

    And is it just me or is Javy moving around even more that usual in the batters box? That bat waggle and cock before he swings and leg kick all look really aggressive.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Almora is hitting .183 with a .234 on base % the last month. He’s been in a slump, I don’t know why people keep clamoring for him to play.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Yep I agree

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yeah I just looked at his numbers. I'm wrong, he started a couple days ago, I guess it seems like he's been non-existent lately. Meanwhile, Happ is hitting .170 in August so and Almora is just such a better center fielder. Almora is also just a much better hitter even when they are both going well. AA was key to the Cubs success when he was hitting and leading off.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Check out the numbers for the last seven days. Te numbers show that he was coming out of his slump even while sitting the bench regularly. However, Almora is not alone in the past 30 days but sits the bench more than any of them. BTW his stats are better than Happs and doesn't strike out as much. Give the guy a chance like all the others.

  • In reply to bolla:

    At least he gives you defense.

  • Despite sitting the bench regularly, Almora has hit better than anyone on the Cubs in the last 7 games. He even has 2 walks and one homerun. I am sure you can pick any period this year to make another Cub player look bad also. This happened earlier and when Joe started playing Almora regularly, he was in the top 5 in MLB in BA and the Cubs began winning more regularly.

  • Darvish left after 1 inning requesting an MRI in his rehab start today.

  • Uh oh, they are going to have score at least one more run if they want to win today!

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    Albert needs to play if only for his defense. Q has pitched a good game but now is the time to shut down the Pirates and hopefully hold them to maybe 2 runs.
    I love Javy, but he sometimes takes his hitting woes to the field. He did misplay one and the one he tried to barehand he couldn’t—a tough play but great fielders make that play.

  • pretty much the whole offense is collectively slumping. 4 Solo hr’s in 4 games and before this series took a walk off grand slam to win a game they were being shutout in.Just gotta hope they can snap out of it, the pitching has kept the cubs in these games

  • How much of this can we attribute to chili davis? Do hitting coaches even matter at this level?

  • That Darvish news is pretty dejecting , barring a miracle he’s gonna be done for the year.

  • GREAT job Needsasammich!!!!

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    I thought they would have given up more than one. You can see how our aggressive base running makes a difference. Yes we get thrown out occasionally but we succeed much more than not. The Pirates could lose this game because of a lack of it.
    This could be a huge inning for us if we could score—they’re down and we should take advantage of it.

  • Wow that was ugly but effective. We easily could have lost the game there. Big hat-tip to Edwards Jr. for backing up that throw to the plate. That's basic, fundamental baseball but pitchers, especially relievers in high-stress situations, often become spectators on that play.

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    I think we are going to lose this challenge

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I was concerned as well, but that was an excellent effort from Contreras. Him blocking the slide with his foot reminded me of a kick-save in hockey. I'd bet Willson could train for two weeks and play goalie in the NHL.

  • This should not be a "reviewable" play. It's a judgment call by the ump.

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    Boy if the Pirates catcher did that to our player, I would be like wtf, where is the lane?

    I will take it though, LOL

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I guess I don’t 100% get the rule. I didn’t see Contreras give him a lane and he blocked plate before he had the ball.
    Why would u slide head first on that play????

  • As soon as Javy starts looking the other way, he hits. He rolls over or pops up trying to pull as they pitch him away.

  • 4 games, 4 solo HR’s. We should have been swept.

    4 Games, 2 SO, 1 game with 3 runs, and 9 innings with 1 run. We should have swept them.

    What a frustrating team.

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    I love our defense!! But now we’ve got to score. Their pitchers just don’t walk anyone and we can’t hit.

  • Wow, nothing like some great DP action!

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    Starlin Castro was 6-6 today. He might be the first player to have 3,000 hits and not get into the HOF.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    He gets to 3000 hits and if every tom d and harry are not getting to 3000 hits, he will be in. Maybe not a 1st balloter, but they won't keep him out.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Have the Cubs ever had a 3000-hit guy? Cap Anson in the 1800's. Ernie, Ron, Billy, nor Ryno ever got there. Brock and Palmeiro but I don't consider them Cubs. I haven't really thought about that before, but I can't recall a true Cubs doing so in the modern era.

  • Strop is lucky he got out of those jams he was lookin real shaky in both innings

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    Imagine how the Bucs fans are complaining about they’re offense!
    Russell! No! First Willson swung at s ball above his head and that changed the whole inn.

  • Are you kidding me?

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    Wow, we go from a golden opportunity to score to 2 out runner on 1st.

    Boy we need a break

  • Wow Russell, all the talent in the world and no brains or heart.

  • I swear I was just about to praise Russell for some heads-up baserunning for taking 3B with the ball in the dirt. I often knock him for boneheaded baserunning and wanted to be fair. But alas...

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    Poor Almora......if he could take a walk, this might be a good spot for a free pass.

    This pitcher is all over the place

  • Turned a 3 Run inning into a Goose Egg

  • That looked outside

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    How many strikes do you think Almora got in that AB? 1? max 2 ?

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    Alberto really bad time at bat. Ugh

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    Not a strike!! Baseball has to get it right.

  • Rotten AB by Almora didn't agree with that called 3rd strike but that pitcher was all over the place and I think a more patient hitter takes a walk there. Our CFs need to improve we have several guys in our lineup right now that feel like automatic outs. Russell needs to stop this attempt at becoming a more aggressive base runner also jist doesn't have the instincts

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Cards lost ... finally

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Are you kidding me? Almora would have walked if the Ump could see better. Besides, how would anyone else do put in that situation after not playing for 3 games?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Well 4 people just posted out of frustration of the AB I know he's your guy but he's not swinging the bat well recently even his recent hits have been mostly soft besides his recent home run. Unfortunately happ hasn't been much better but anyways you slice it I think it's fair to say our CFs aren't playing well and I think it's fair to say that was a poor AB

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Name someone who is besides Zo. Almora is not my guy but he should be playing more than he has. Everyone else in a slump seems to play until they get out of it. In fact, some still haven't gotten out of it. Almora has a 297 BA YTD. Is that someone who should be sitting out on this hitless team?

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    In reply to clarkAddson:

    That was an ugly at bat blame the ump if you want.

  • How many at bats were any better?

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    In reply to clarkAddson:

    Not many but they weren’t with runners on. All the cubs are hitting terrible including Alberto.

  • I agree but the other hitters wern't sitting out the last 4 games (counting this one) like Almora has. Everyone has bad at bats but how do you justify sitting a player that has a BA of .297 YTD on this team?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    OPS is only .745 though which makes him a below average hitter in this lineup. I actually agree with you that id like to see him get a more chances it's not like happ is swinging that bat well anyways but I'm just giving the teams perspective given his recent slump. I think he'll play more moving forward don't worry I think Maddon just likes happ against the cardinals reds and pirates he seems to play well a lot against divisional teams although he looked bad this series outside the home run

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yes his OPS is only .747 but about half the guys with higher OPS also have a lot more strikeouts. I much rather have a guy that hits over one that walks but strikeouts a lot more any time.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    You're absolutely right on that one Clark not many look good now and I think Almora was banged up in July and I think that's why he's playing less they're being careful with him and I still think he'd start most of our playoff games unless happ badly outplays him down the stretch which hasn't happened thus far happ clearly has his own issues. But right now I don't trust Almora at all at the plate even a lot of his recent hits were softly hit and results aside from a process standpoint his aggressiveness approach wise is starting to concern me I was really impressed with his more patient approach early in the season even when he wasn't walking he was working better ABs and I think he's gotten away from that plus he's simply rolling over more balls as he's in a bit of a funk mechanically. I think he's capable of rediscovering that form he's shown it over larger samples but i do think it's fair to express concern about how hes looked at the plate recently you never want to see a guy be so batting average reliant he's not taking many pitches it seems like most of his ABs are 3 pitches or less lately which wasn't the case early on. That 1-0 swing at that ball that nearly hit him changed the AB in the 11th to me that reliever would've walked a more patient hitter. Baez can get away with being overly aggressive but he's an incredibly unique talent almora isn't Baez from a talent standpoint and needs to show that he can be a little more consistent with his approach in order to regain his managers trust. I think he'll get more ABs down the stretch too either way but I don't have much faith in happ Almora or Russell right now. They're not the only guys slumping but they're the ones I'm most concerned about personally. Don't mean to pick on Almora either I think a lot of fans are frustrated to not only split this series but more importantly our injury outlook isn't good moving forward with all 3 of our injured players

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I would agree with you if what you state is correct but where are you getting your info? I am looking at the stats for the "last 7" and it shows 11 ABs in 5 Games with 3 hits including a homerun and 2 walks. His OBP is .429, his Slugging is .636 and his OPS is 1.065

    Where is all this negativity coming from? Again, he is batting .297 BA with OPS of .747 and yet he is sitting the bench when no one is hitting on this team. We all know it ain't because of his defense.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    He had the one game where had the 2 walks and a home run but I'm just stating what I've seen from him recently and I think it's clear that Maddon doesn't trust the form he's in right now and I'd agree with Maddon that I don't think he's in good form at the plate currently. Like I said he's had a number of soft hits as well lately and I don't think using a 7 game sample says much overall he hasn't shown me much to make me think that he's suddenly in better form. The Almora I saw in the 1st half not only showed improved discipline at the plate but he was hitting line drives all over the field. Other than the home run I haven't seen many line drives in the air from him lately. I think maddons gonna get him back in there though either way and I support him getting more chances moving forward with happ struggling. At the same time though I don't think it's hard to see why he's been getting less ABs lately he's simply not been in good form for an extended period

    The injury thing is just my intuition i saw him hobbly around the all star break and that's around the time he really cooled off plus Maddon has been giving him more time off. Almora had a history in the minors of getting beat up sometimes as well

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    With all due respect, you have your own opinion but if a 7 day sample is not enough then how about the Year-to-Date? I am not saying Almora is an all-star but I am saying he should be playing more on the current Cubs team. As far as how he has looked lately, I think he has done pretty good considering how little he has played. Name the Cub players that have played any better lately.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I'm not saying he's had a poor season I think Almora really sparked us for a while in the 1st half and even had fans including myself saying hes an all star candidate. But it's been a tale of 2 halves for him we haven't seen almost any line drives off his bat lately and he maybe banged up which maybe a large factor in why they're limiting his playing time even if they're not announcing any injury. I think if he's healthy we'll see him get more ABs moving forward I agree with you that I think he shouldn't be relegated to being a bench player when happs been struggling and I dont think maddons benching him or anything like that. We've faced a lot of righties also lately and Maddon probably went with a hunch to play happ after his home run plus his success against his hometown Pittsburgh team. Almoras gonna get his opportunities though

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    Brandon Kinzler is going to need his A game as the momentum has shifted here

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    Not a surprise..........Kinzler is crap

    Clint hurdle dialed snake eyes in the 11th w the pitch out to get Russell and then letting Frazier hit 3-0

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yep.........Hurdle nailed Maddon no doubt......

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I think this Addison Russell trying to be an aggressive base runner experiment needs to end. Even that wild pitch he reached 3rd was probably one of the only good baserunning decisions he's made. Overall he seems to make a ton of baserunning gaffes and I'd rather him go back to being more conservative out there the guy doesn't have good baserunning instincts

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Outside of solid D, he offers no value to the team. He always has a “deer in the headlights” look to me.

    He is gawdawful on the bases. Just a horrid baserunner.

    He’s not the reason the Cubs lost this one, but his gaffes didn’t help much.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Russells year has been beyond disappointing I'd go as far as to call him this years most disappointing player along with darvish but darvish is injured and Russell has just stunk. I've been saying for a long time that he's the young player that I've wanted to move most for a while due to his shaky mental makeup but now it's at the point where his trade value maybe too low to even consider a trade.

  • Well that sucked.

  • 9 runs scored by both teams over 4 sure wasn’t the pitching.......

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    Good Lord this team sucks. They finally get a good but fluky outing from one of the worst starting pitchers in all of MLB and the offense goes in the crapper. The cubs will finish 3rd in the NL central.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Still will finish 2 spots above the Cardinals.

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    In all honesty, the cubs scored 4 runs in a 4 game series on the road.

    To end up 2-2 is a huge win. Feels like a disappointment due to winning the 1st 2 games, but if we lost those 1st two like 5-1 and 3-1, we would be really happy winning the last two, 1-0.

    Joe thinks he's the king of lineup construction, well I think being mid august and not having a go to lineup is a problem,. The off day is coming at a great time. Lets see how he wakes this offense up. We all know they are never as bad as they look in their worst games or as great at they look when they score double digits.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    After the 9th inning I posted they should have been swept because of poor hitting and equally swept PIT because of great pitching.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Or Pitt should have swept the Cubs with four 1run scored games. I can't believe that we managed a split. Lucky!

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yes, that is what I posted. LOL.

  • Good news Q pitched well even with a bad defense behind him Happ in centerfield is not a good look.

  • There certainly have been some head-scratching signings and opportunities given throughout our Cubs experience recently. One has to wonder about the scouting and motivations behind some if these decisions when deciding whom to bring on board.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes I agree BP. The fact that we were in on Mikolas is great, unfortunately he chose STL because their spring training is nearby where his family lives. But what blows my mind is how much more they had to pay Chatwood to get him to commit. That combined with the changing of pitching coaches and the poor effect it seemed to have across the entire staff really irritates me more than the Darvish fiasco.

    Just in accessing the NL, even how we stand now, if the offense gets hot, at least that might be good enough to play us all the way into the World Series, but it’s hard to imagine us winning it all now.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    or getting past the first play-off game.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    BP- thatvwas pretty general. What specifically are you referring to? You have my ears perked up.

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