Inexplicable--Pirates 2 Cubs 1 (11 innings)

This year has been simply inexplicable. The Cubs have done something that has literally never occured before. The Cubs went four straight games hitting exactly one solo home run. Strangely that was good enough to net two wins in a series split in Pittsburgh. The Cubs had one of the largest comebacks ever earlier in the year. And most impressive is that the team finds itself in first place in the middle of August with their three most expensive free agents either hurt right or a disaster with Kris Bryant missing near half the year.

The Cubs still find themselves with a sizeable division lead. It has shrunk to 3.5 games, but it is another day off the calendar in first place. The bigger long term story was Jose Quintana. He was better than his final line of 5 innings and 1 run given up suggest. He pitched into the sixth inning, but ran out of steam after his pitch count was elevated due to some defensive miscues.

The Cubs offense sprung to life early against electric right hander Jameson Taillon. Tommy La Stella singled to start the game, but Ben Zobrist killed the rally with a double play. Javier Báez singled on a groundball to the left side. Báez created with his legs yet again. He officially joined the 20-20 club with a stolen base. He advanced to third on the play with an error by Adeiny Hechavarría. Anthony Rizzo drew a walk, but Ian Happ struck out to end the inning.

Quintana made it stressful right away as Corey Dickerson bunted for a base hit. Quintana threw the ball away allowing Dickerson to move to second. Dickerson remained planted at second base though as Q retired the next three Pirates hitters. Kyle Schwarber provided the Cubs daily tally with a leadoff home run in the second inning. The Cubs would not place a runner in scoring position until there was two outs in the eighth inning. Taillon pitched six innings.

Elías Díaz hit a ball hard that Báez misplayed to allow him to reach. Josh Bell flew out and Díaz was thrown out trying to steal. Josh Harrison doubled and Quintana walked Hechavarría to raise the bloodpressure. Taillon struck out to end the inning and Q kept the Cubs up 1-0.

The two offenses struggled to make any impression in the middle innings. Quintana ran into trouble in the sixth inning. Dickerson reached on a groundball single to second. Q walked Starling Marte, and Gregory Polanco hit a hard double to tie the ball game. Carl Edwards Jr. came in and wiggled out of another jam. David Freese hit a ball that Rizzo was able to fire home for the out on Marte running on contact. Díaz walked to load the bases. Bell flew out but not deep enough to challenge the canon of Schwarber. Josh Harrison flew out and the game remained tied heading into the seventh inning.

The Cubs moved a runner into scoring position for the first time when Báez doubled with two outs in the top of the eighth inning. Keone Kela intentionally walked Rizzo to face pinch hitter Victor Caratini. The victory carrot has been less than fresh recently and struck out to end the threat. The Pirates had an even better chance in the bottom half of the eighth. Steve Cishek pitched a clean inning to send the game to the ninth inning tied at 1.

The very good lefty closer Felipe Vázquez was called on in the ninth inning. He struck out Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras but another sign of the apocalypse occured when Jason Heyward doubled. David Bote flew out to center to end the hope. Steve Cishek started the inning but walked Bell. Maddon turned to Pedro Strop. Josh Harrison bunted and Strop fired to second for the out. Strop walked Hechavarría and then hit Adam Frazier to load the bases. Corey Dickerson hit into a double play to end regulation with the game still tied.

Pedro Strop didn't pitch a clean tenth inning either. Polanco hit a one out double, and Strop hit another batter in Freese. However, the Pirates couldn't break through against the Cubs finisher. The Cubs tried to score twice in one game for the first time in a week. Richard Rodríguez pitched a clean tenth inning, but Addison Russell hit a groundrule double that I had to triple check in the box score actually happened. Kyle Schwarber was put on intentionally, but Russell moved to third on a wild pitch. Unfortunately, Russell was picked off for the second out. Contreras and Heyward walked back to back to load the bases. Albert Almora Jr. struck out looking to preserve the Cubs monorun streak. Brandon Kintzler came in and retired the first two batters. Adam Frazier hit a blast to end the game to earn the Pirates a split.

Inexplicable.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Random Reference
As Cubs fans we have seen some things. This year feels as though it has packed more of the highs and lows than any previous campaign, but in thinking about the craziness we've seen in decades makes me feel like I am about to give this soliloquy.

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  • This season has definitely been a roller-coaster ride, and the events of today are no different. Not much to celebrate in Cubs news today. Quintana's solid start? A DirtyBirds loss? We lost a tough game so move on, right?

    Of course there was potentially huge news today that impacts the organization far more than dropping a game in bonus frames. Yu Darvish walked off the mound in South Bend with a questionable elbow and even more uncertain future. I think you can close the book on 2018 but there are many years and many dollars remaining in this relationship that appears as strained as a frayed UCL. From a purely baseball standpoint I think Darvish spends the offseason building strength to give it another go in spring training. My personal belief is that he needs another TJS and isn't willing to undergo the procedure and subsequent rehab and this whole episode will come to a head next March, unless the MRI forces the issue before then. What happens next will have a major impact on our current competitive window.

    I think it is very telling that Darvish immediately requested yet another MRI. I totally understand a person wanting a second opinion on such a life-altering ailment, but IMO this is getting to the point of distrust between the two sides. I can't help but sense a disconnect. I think Darvish wants to know if he should continue his effort to pitch again or if he should contemplate other options, including retirement. I also believe the Cubs are growing increasingly frustrated. I sat out the A-Rod comment controversy. A-Rod is an attention-seeking asshat and most of his narrative was way off (the idea that Darvish should be in Arizona rather than with the team, etc.), but there was some truth to his comments. Like nearly every discussion in America today the truth isn't in one extreme or the other but somewhere in the middle.

    I think there is a massive division between Darvish and the Cubs and it isn't going to end well. The apparent distrust in medical opinions also makes me wonder if there aren't questions about the honesty of everyone involved during contract negotiations. Who new what, when, and were all communications on the level?

    My prediction is Yu needs another TJS and decides to retire. Or that is my hope if that is a medical necessity. Darvish could ride out his contract and cripple the Cubs for years, but I think there will be some sort of negotiated buyout to get his salary off the books. But I sense a growing animosity between the two sides and I hope that doesn't get in the way of an amicable split.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I was thinking that if he or the organization believed he needs another TJ surgery, he should have either done it already ( or do your plan although i think the chances of that are very low, but I like it) or did what Tanaka did w the Yanks last year. He got some platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections and then rest. Yes, Tanaka didn't return to his previous form, but he did return the same season to help the Yanks down the stretch n the post season. He's also pitching fairly well this year.

    Its all very puzzling, but hopefully we will have some answers soon. We could really use about 20 innings from him in the post season to get where we want to go. Now w Monty's return questionable and Walkwoody absolutely useless, this Cubs teams is 1 more injury away from being a mess.

    We don't even want to talk about the offense.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    For me I wanted darvish back as an extra playoff option/chatwood replacement but I have a lot more confidence in Q, hamels and Hendricks then our replacements for KB and morrow. despite their off years these are guys with experience and track records so I still think I'd prefer to get Bryant and morrow back we simply don't have the depth to replace what these 2 all star caliber talents bring to the table. I guess for me I'm more concerned on how we're going to replace morrow and Bryant's production I sure feel uneasy about these players hoping that they can manage 2 injuries that won't heal during this season. For me at least these injuries concern me much more than a 2 game losing streak where Vegas oddly listed us as underdogs in both contests.

    I certainly hope what barleys saying about darvish isn't true. I know it's not from a legit source but as someone that's gone out of his way to defend darvish from some of the unfair criticism he gets regarding this injury, I think that would be an incredibly inconsiderate move to hold off TJS knowing that if he needs it down the road and can't make a full recovery then he's essentially burying us with his contract if he has to miss next season bc of delaying TJS. This is all speculation so I'm not jumping to conclusions but if it's true then I hope that he retires or the team can get some savings from insurance. I will say if I was the team and recommended TJS and he refused then I definitely would think that we'd make a bigger deal out of it. I doubt theo would be cool with a guy putting off an inevitable surgery that could potentially have major long term ramifications if he needed to miss the 1st 2 years of a mega deal although I know tanaka did something similar but these are different injuries. I trust barleys credibility but I'm a little skeptical this is true and if it is then our organization and darvishs camp deserve any criticism that would come their way because I personally wouldn't jeopardize the 1st 2 years of a 6 year mega deal for a 31 year old pitcher. Shouldn't we have protections in the contract if a guy isn't complying with our medical staff I just can't see this being true I sure hope not

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    We’ve gotten basically nothing from both Chatwood and Darvish so luckily Hamels takes on the Darvish role and Montgomery the Chatwood one. That’s all we have.....is what we will have to live with.

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    To me Chatwood is basically EJax with one less year on his contract. Was Chatwood's walk rate this high before we signed him?

  • In reply to Terry Rosdail:

    No, but very different road/ home stats which was overlooked because of the supposed Coors Field inflationary credit players get. There have been a lot of good career pitchers on other teams that have real good stats there, the bad ones wind up with big contracts on other teams.

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    I thought at the time Chatwood was going to be a good sign. But just like EJax, he can't get out of the 5th inning. I remember Tyler pitching a 2 hit, 7 inning gem against us last year at Wrigley and I don't remember him struggling with control of the strike zone. All that talk about spin rate and ground ball rate and his numbers away from Coors sounded promising to me. The only thing spinning is his control out of the strike zone. He said he was in a good place going into Saturday's start, but he only managed to give us 2 innings. I didn't get to see the game but for Joe to lift him after only giving us 2 innings and "only 3 runs tells me something

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    In reply to Terry Rosdail:

    about the lack of confidence Maddon has in him. Chatwood is a decent hitter for a pitcher and he must of been coming up in the top of the 3rd, and so he was pinch hit for, but maybe that's a reflection of how Maddon feels about our lack of run scoring lately.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I know people keep mentioning insurance, but insurance for MLB contracts comes with pre-existing condition exceptions. Meaning even if the team has insurance Yu's contact, it's likely not going to cover injuries to his throwing shoulder due to his previous TJS. I have no idea if the Cubs even have insurance on Yu's contract (the premiums are incredibly expensive so they may not), or if they do what the particulars are, just saying that's how it typically works.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I asked a doctor friend of mine last night what he made of all this and he unequivocally said that it’s the UCL. He said it’s not unusual at all for a strain not to show up on MRI particularly if it’s on the backside of the ligament and there is no overt tear yet. The obvious answer now is to shut him down and try alternative treatments until or unless the year shows up on a scan. One thing is for sure, Theo has work to do this winter.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    No way Darvish retires unless the Cubs pay him every penny of his 126 million dollar contract.

  • fb_avatar

    Today's loss sucked, but look at the positives from the game. Q pitched very well. For the series even though we scored 4 runs we won 2 of them. Our pitching is coming around, and as much as we could have used the AS Yu from a few years ago, he's only won 1 game this year. We've not had KB for a long time and Morrow either and yet we've got a 3.5 game lead on Aug 19. Our hitters are in a slump (except for Zo) but you know that won't last. We have talent and experience. A top 5 bullpen, the 2nd best offense in the ML, and post AS game our pitching staff is the 8th best.
    Our ledge is on the horizon and I get a feeling that despite all the criticisms I read here I believe most think we'll win the Central.
    Today was disappointing, tomorrow they rest and then start another winning streak on Tues.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    By horizon I mean it’s very, very far away. I don’t even see it.

  • With 6 weeks left in the season, it’s time for the official Unofficial CubsFanInNorway Magic Number Countdown! I can just feel the excitement!

    Even with the gloom and doom of the Cubs’ current offensive woes and the Darvish news, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we are still in first place. This means that every Cubs win and every loss by our nearest pursuer(s) brings our team one step closer to clinching a third straight NL Central crown. And that is what will be counted down, the number of Cubs’ wins and nearest pursuer losses that clinch the NL Central title. I will not focus on the Wild Card situation for the moment, as there is essentially no difference in that situation and the division title.

    Our nearest pursuers are both MIL and StL, since both have the same number of losses. That MIL is 3.5 games back and StL 4 is simply a reflection of the number of games played by each club.

    Putting all the numbers into the complicated formula (ha-ha), the Cubs’ magic number is....

    35

    I will update this daily, usually in the game report comments, unless there is no game to report on, in which I will find an appropriate post to comment in.

    Finally, I will simply inform that the blame for my lack of engagement on this site this summer is laid at the feet of the Chicago Tribune. In late May, the EU initiated new regulations regarding internet privacy. This has caused nearly all firms to review and clearly define to the citizen how any data shared by the citizen is later used by the company collecting it. The Tribune’s response to this was to shut down all access to their web sites from Europe. Even though it has now been three months, Cubs Den is still not available via a standard internet access. Tired of the Trib’s inaction, I have finally installed a VPN proxy to access my favorite Cubs web site. Hopefully someone from the Tribune will see this and they will get their finger out (to translate a crude Norwegian phrase for inactivity).

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    It's good to have you back, CFiN, and thanks for jumping through the (un)necessary hoops to rejoin us!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I’m glad to hear from you again. Welcome back! I love those magic numbers!

  • Next 10 games are important. Detroit, Cinc, NYM. Time to make some hay.

  • This team still strikes me as one that has what it needs to win but is restricted by intangibles. Sure, the Pittsburgh series was a disappointment, but the pitching was great all the way around (except for Chatwood...) A starting rotation of Lester, Hendricks, Hamels, Quintana and just about anyone else should be more than enough if Darvish never throws another pitch. The Cubs issue is and has been situational hitting. I'm at a loss as to how to fix it, but I won't be surprised to see some deals to change it for 2019.

  • I don’t think Darvish will need tommy john unless the mri’s are missing something , he said yesterday he still wants to comeback this season. I honestly don’t know what the issue is. I hope he hasn’t been misdiagnosed , it could be a pain tolerance thing, he threw multiple bullpens, a simulated game and had no issues.

    Everyone obviously appreciates this current competitive cubs era, but Theo and co inability to draft and develop homegrown starting pitching is rearing it’s ugly head this season. I understood the strategy to draft hitters but they have 0 pitchers who can come up and spot start or fill in for a few weeks. Alzolay woulda been that pitcher but he’s injured and he’s only one option.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I watched Darvish’s flat ground throwing session on video. The 7 or so throws he made simulating his mechanics told me he is in trouble. I would not be surprised if he indeed needs TJS and blew his elbow. When his stride foot was landing his arm was not in good position. His palm was facing down meaning his arm was “late” and he was putting tremendous strain on the elbow. His arm should be up hand towards the sky with his palm facing 3B. It was ugly to watch and it’s no wonder he’s hurting.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Well I hope not. That would be a disaster if darvish needed another tommy john. The only reason I think(hope) he doesn't is because the original mri showed no issues with his ucl, then he had a 2nd opinion with the doc who performed his tommy john surgery and was diagnosed with the elbow impingement. Multiple docs/trainers wouldn't miss a partial or fully torn ucl. This whole saga is strange

  • In reply to bolla:

    I mentioned above that I spoke to a doctor friend about this and he said that it would be very possible for a UCL issue to go unnoticed through multiple MRI and that the problem is that until a tear is discovered treatment is a guessing game.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I really really hope it’s not another Tommy John , that would be the absolute worst case scenario and Darvish would be out until 2020.

    Now I’m gonna be nervous until we get some updates

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Obviously, I do not know you from Adam or Barley Pop, but I am puzzled by your analysis.

    From what I read (and it is only what I read), Madden, Hickey, Theo, and a cast of 1000s watched Yu's 3 inning simulated game Wednesday. All I read were positive reports that he was throwing very well. Surely, the viewing experts would have spotted what you reported.

    Understand why I am puzzled?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    No they wouldn’t. They are looking at it from a different viewpoint. They are watching the result of his throw and seeing if there is quality in the pitch as well as asking if he has pain.

    I am speaking about a breakdown in mechanics that with certainty results in injury and a lot of time surgery.

    Chris O’Leary.com - the best guy out there on mechanics, IMO. Read “flat arm syndrome” and what I am saying will likely make more sense. I studied mechanics for 3 years and O’Leary is great.

  • In reply to bolla:

    He had the entire offseason to rest his arm and could only pitch into May, and that ineffectively. Since then, he's been "resting" the arm for 2 1/2 months and still experiencing pain. But, somehow he's going to come back in a month? A "pain tolerance thing?" The last thing he should do is keep throwing and just "tolerate the pain."
    I strongly suspect that the best advice for Darvish is to stop with the self-diagnosis already and let the doctors do their job. It's not just about this year any longer, if he needs surgery he's already impacted the Cubs rotation for next year, too.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    During one of the bullpens darvish threw 10 pitches and said he was in extreme pain, then changed his mechanics and was pain free the rest of the bullpen. That's what I meant by pain tolerance, like I said I before I honestly don't know what's going on. Darvish was originally diagnosed with triceps tendinitis then tried to return and had pain, got a 2nd opinion then it was an elbow impingement.He's rested for 2 months and still has discomfort after multiple bullpen sessions with no pain, whole situation is confusing.

  • Inexplicable to me how an entire team offense can get into a long slump. I certainly don't have the answer but you would think someone(s) in this organization has a clue...and if they have an idea you would also think they would have a good idea on how to correct it.

    This last series that if you leave a pitch in the middle of the plate the Cubs will likely take you deep, otherwise no worries. Truly pathetic. It may remind you of the NY Mets Championship series in 2015 (the Cubs bats were nowhere to be found), however the Mets were throwing very good pitchers at the Cubs. I don't think anyone can say that the Pirates pitchers this last series reminded them of the 2015 Mets.

    Not giving up on this team as no NL team has yet to take control. Just very frustrating.

  • In reply to MilwaukeeRoad:

    Seems like everyone is waiting for someone else to get it done, doesn't it?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yes

  • In reply to MilwaukeeRoad:

    I think we will see some changes to this core group of hitters this off season.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Wouldn't be surprised at all. We've reached a point where "potential" is much closer to "reality" and a change or two could make a big difference.

  • I not looking at Bryant and Morrow as saviors because they are injured, and probably won't be much help at mlb level at less than 100%. I do see somewhat less mixing and matching down the the stretch unless we clench. I'm impressed with Zo at second both starting and turning the double play, and expect to see him there more with Javy in the hot corner. Bote has returned to earth. Also, I look for Heyward to be manning right and a resurgent Almora in center with a Schwarber/ Happ in left. Woot, of course, behind the plate. It's our best defense and offense. If Russell doesn't hit some, we will just have to carry his offense. Go Cubs!

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Willy not Woot.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    So Happ plays when there is a LHer pitching and Schwarbs when a RHer is on the mound? Why is Happ and Heyward seeing more time in CF than Almora? What caused Joe to look at Albert differently? Almora is one of our better hitters at taking the outside pitch to the opposite field. That pitch he got rung up on yesterday with the bases loaded was off the plate and should've been called a ball. I'm with you in hoping Albert is manning CF the rest of the way.

  • In reply to Terry Rosdail:

    Well, Albert has been a little off his square of late at the plate. I just trust and expect Almora to turn that around. He has been pressing at the plate trying o produce every time up.
    Joe is giving him a little breather to collect himself. He has shown signs of taking his spot back. Yes, that was tough call.

  • Addison Russell is nothing but darwin barney 2.0 at ss. He's gone this offseason,happ is gone too,possibly caratini and hopefully quintana.

    There will be sweeping changes this offseason if the cubs don't win it all.Only bryzzo,contreras and baez are safe(of the position players)

  • In reply to bolla:

    I wasn't looking that far ahead.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Didn't Barney win a gold glove?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yea In 2012 , Russell has always been one of the best drs shortstops. Both steady defenders and below average hitters , go look at barneys & Russells career numbers. Russell has more power and draws more walks but their numbers are pretty close. Far from the Barry Larkin comparison beane said

  • In reply to bolla:

    I can agree, but for this year, I think defense will be the key to winning a championship. Our starters are more pitch to contact than high strikeouts. Our offense has been inconsistent.. Almora has attitude when the chips are down. Heyward and Zobrist stay in the moment. If they contribute on offense, I like Russell in the lineup.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    That was also at 2B he won it for.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I completely agree. I've had this feeling since the offense began faltering before the break and playing in fits and starts. They are too inexperienced. Outside of the veterans Zobrist, Rizzo, and Heyward, Bryant, Russell and Baez are the next most experienced everyday players, each with right around 2000 plate appearances (Bryant more, Russell and Baez fewer). Contreras and Schwarber have only a little more than 1000 PA. Almora and Happ just over and under 800, respectively.

  • I am as miffed about Russell's hitting as everybody else. That being said, I don't blame him one bit for being picked off yesterday. Even though the safety squeeze has worked a few times for us, I don't like it at all. The times it has worked, Baez or Heyward were on third. Now, I preface my thoughts here with an "if Joe called it" because I am not sure whether Wilson did the three fake bunts on his own or whether that was the play call since Willy does have quite the mind of his own, but I sure didn't like it in that situation. Either suicide squeeze or hit the ball. Tough to be the guy on third with so much to think about. Great bunt- I have to go. Good bunt 50-50, Bad bunt- stay. Only thing I know is in order to score, you have to get a good jump and that leaves you vulnerable to the pick off. The pitch that he got picked off was a perfect belt high outside corner that Sac Fly's are made for. Hit a fly ball.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    No, I can’t fault him for that either. On that play getting caught in no man’s land happens easily. Is why I also think it was Maddon’s call.....does Russell go that far down the line if it is only Contreras’s idea to catch them napping? Doubt it.
    The pitching is what it is now. You only need 4 starters in the playoffs anyhow and Quintana and Montgomery piggy backing isn’t a bad option either. I would like to see them wind up with the best record so they face a WC winner first, but........let’s just get the division first.

  • How does MLB insurance work? At one point, teams took out Lloyds of London policies to cover catostrophic injuries for expensive contracts. I remember Baltimore using insurance to cover the remaining years of Albert Belle's contract after his degenerative hip ended his career.

    Do the Cubs have insurance on Yu Darvish? When would it started paying? And when does his $20M /year salary no longer count against the salary cap?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Insurance does nothing in terms of the CBT. The salary will count against that threshold until the contract is done or the player retires. As far the actual money they're getting about 80% of that back for the time he doesn't play.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think if there is insurance like in Prince Fielders case, the insurance paid does not count for CB Tax Threshold. I was looking at the Rangers cap and it only counts what the Rangers are paying. That is according to Cot's Baseball Contracts site.

  • It’s possible Darvish could of injured himself yesterday, he requested an mri. He said he felt fine after the 1st but labored thru warm ups to start the 2nd and was wincing to throw warm up pitches.If a player requests an mri that’s not a good sign

    Hopefully not but I’m just saying this could be the case

  • In reply to bolla:

    *Inside information*

    Darvish is done for the season, the cubs will target James shields to replace him

  • In reply to bolla:

    Bad news on Darvish. I hate being right about this. Before they traded for Hamels, I said he “may not pitch again this year.” With Monty on the DL and Chatwood being Chatwood, they needed him back. I also thought Smyly for this year was a pipe dream.

    Guess they could do worse than Shields. He’s had som clunkers but has also had some good games. Another change of scenery bump? Maybe? He eats innings...

  • Interesting (and a little concerning) split between the first half team performance and second half 9after 30 games).
    Not sure if this is an indication of the teams new level of play, but after 30 games, its apparent that the team is not peeking but rather its the opposite.

    Runs scored
    1st half - 476/93 = 5.1
    2nd half - 112/30 = 3.7

    Runs Allowed
    1st half 362/93 = 3.9
    2nd half 137/30 = 4.5

  • Cubs acquired daniel murphy!!!

  • In reply to bolla:

    Cubs really don't need another 2B player - wonder if that means they are planning on moving somebody?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    This is a just buzz, But I read andruw monasterio is going to the nationals

    and the cubs need a veteran contact hitter who can give you good ab's which is murphy.Who also happens to turn into a monster whenever he plays at wrigley field for some reason.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Don't need another 2B, but they DO need a SS that can hit. Javy to short, Murphy to 2B and Bote / La Stella at 2B. Russell goes to - who cares?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Boy....you’d almost think Theo is done with Russell because this guy is a boat anchor out in the field. Look to see the Cubs employing the shift alot more when he’s out there, Murphy just doesn’t move well at all. This is just a NOW move, a 6 week fill-in but a very good bat.

  • Most likely means that Baez moves to 3B and Murphy takes over as the 2B for the remainder of the season.

    If we are fortunate to get Kris Bryant back this year, he may end up playing some OF to keep Murphy's bat in the lineup.

    Its good to see that the front office recognized the team needed another bat, and Murphy is quite a hitter. His glove work is somewhat challenged.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    No, Baez is likely your everyday SS as soon as KB is back.

  • It's official monasterio is going to washington for daniel murphy

  • In reply to bolla:

    Love it!

  • Daniel Freaking Murphy...a Cub?!

    That's it, I'm going back to bed.

  • In reply to JTWilson:

    I know, it's a little rough, but he's our PITA now.

  • 'Gotta say, I'm shocked Daniel Murphy made it all the way through waivers to the Cubs the way he's been hitting. Every NL team passed on a guy hitting .340/.370/.534 since the break. I get most have 2B, but Murphy can play 1B, and for a little over $4M, seems totally reasonable.'

    jeff passan just tweeted this,the cubs need another bat like this in the line up murphy is just like zobrist,bryant,rizzo,schwarber he works ab's and makes contact and again turns into babe ruth at wrigley field.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yes, very true cuz he had to fall a long way for the Cubs to even get the claim through, hopefully he can play some first too but then that means Rizzo ain’t playin’.
    Russell has to be odd man out.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    My guess is that he plays against righties and Russell against lefties unless they send Addi to the DL for the finger. then Bote goes down.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Addi has seen his last meaningful action as a Cub. This move is a direct result of his poor performance.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    He's going to play against lefties. I would say this signals his exit in the offseason though. I want Machado. He was good at SS in the minors and I'm convinced he can get there again and I want that bat.

    As far as Russell goes, he can fit on a team and be a good starting SS in this league. Not every team needs a bat at that position but this one does.

  • In reply to bolla:

    That is surprising Bolla when it was reported that an unknown team claimed him I all but assumed he didn't make it to us. Huge addition though I think we can all agree we needed a veteran hitter especially a contact oriented hitter that can handle the type of postseason pitching that you face in the playoffs. Love the pickup overall Murphy is seemingly over his early season injuries and has been swinging the bat well here lately. It sends Addison Russell a message that he better start doing a better job of committing himself to the team professionally and gives us insurance because we can't really be sure that Kris Bryant will be able to stay on the field even if he returns at less than 100%. I'm a little nervous about how this will hurt us defensively with all of these contact oriented pitchers but in any event we needed more offense with KB out and Russell looking lost at the plate and I don't like relying so heavily on an Addison Russell turnaround I like that we're forcing him to earn his AB's moving forward. Now if Theo can find a way to pull off a trade for a high leverage reliever then I'd be ecstatic because I'm not optimistic on Morrow's recovery. Great job by Theo though going out and grabbing Cole Hamels and Murphy to upgrade this team given our bad luck with impact type of injuries this season. Go on facebook and there's a lot of unnecessary and uninformed mocking of Epstein for signing Darvish but not a lot of credit for grabbing Cole Hamels when I'd say 50% of cub fans thought he was a washed up has-been.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I definitely like that Theo is being proactive. I like Happ,Russell and Almora but Murphy is vet hitter who is much better at making contact than all 3 the offense needs a bat like this. I’m still traumatized about what Murphy did to the cubs in the ‘15 nlcs and another game I think last season he had 2 hr’s in a game at Wrigley.

    I don’t think he’s been placed on waivers yet but the cubs still need another pitcher( Darvish most likely done in 2018) like shields who can eat innings, he’s been decent for the white Sox this season especially lately. Doubt he makes it to the cubs though

  • In reply to bolla:

    The 2015 NLCS is a fog in my mind. I remember that season ending with Rondon striking out Piscotty.

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    In reply to bolla:

    I'll never understand why the Cubs never even brushed back Murphy in that NLCS.

  • In reply to bolla:

    He didn't fit very well on any other team. The Brewers have like 72 second baseman, there's nowhere to put him on St. Louis, Arizona, Atlanta and LA make no sense and he would have been difficult to slot in Philly. Not surprised he made it to us at all actually. Let's not forget how absolutely horrific he is defensively before we get too worked up. I like the move, it cost nothing and it means we don't have to face him. That's enough.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Good points on the other teams I'd have probably grabbed him if I were Arizona or Stl. to replace Kolton Wong especially but I understand why they didn't see him as a fit. I'm interested to see how this changes the team having elite middle infield defense has been a big staple of this team but I don't think that Russell's performance and especially recent performance give me much confidence in betting on his turnaround with no insurance in case he's just bad this year.

  • Bryant is supposed to face live pitching tomorrow, which will be his 1st ab's vs live pitching since the 2nd dl trip.

    I think when he returns then bryant will play some outfield(lf/rf),heyward more cf and almora,russell and happ to the bench. All 3 been struggling

    russell to the dl/bench and Baez to ss everyday and/or moves over to 2b late for defense if russell avoids the dl.

  • The abundance of righty pitching on the schedule the remaining way brought this about. Cards, Reds, Crew and Mets are all predominantly right handed. Addy's injury and lack of power caused some of this as well.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Wow what a deal for the cubbies. Hopefully he will give us that consistant hitter near the top of the order that is desperately needed.

  • Murphy is one of my favorite hitters.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I positively despise the guy, but I'll root for him anyway. It will be an adventure at 2B though, if we thought Zobrist was bad there watch the heck out. Murphy is worse.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yeaaaaa, he is a little hard to like for some reason but he does give you a 100% focused at bat, the guy does flat out hit.

  • Hope he caught an immediate flight. DH batting second tonight against the righty?

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    Wow the cubs just picked up another washed up has been. Theo is probably praying that Murphy can do his best "Gary Gaetti" impersonation and play over his head the remainder of the season. God is horrible watching the way Theo destroyed what should of been a dynasty.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Pretty sure you said the same thing about Cole Hamels a few weeks ago so as usual your predictions may as well be prophecy's. Keep the predictions coming Greg we need your voodoo right now

  • I seem to recall the Cubs had a pretty good closer last year. What happened to that guy? The bullpen would look a lot different this year if he were still here. Sorry, just not crazy about rent-a-closer.

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