Not as Advertised--Cubs 7 Mets 4

The series had two premier pitching matchups to start it, but the first one was hardly as billed. Jon Lester struggled with his fastball command early. Amed Rosario jumped on the first pitch for a single. He turned it into a double with a stolen base. Austin Action Jackson rolled a groundball single back up the middle to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead. Lester got his first out from Willson Contreras' arm on a stolen base attempt. Wilmer Flores and Todd Frazier hit back to back pop flies to second for the end of the inning.

However, Thor was also not nearly as sharp as you'd expect with his stuff. Daniel Murphy hit a double to lead off the game. Javier Báez singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. Báez really wants that 30-30 season and took off too early on the deliberate Syndergaard. Thor threw behind Javy for the first out. Anthony Rizzo doubled to tie the game. Ben Zobrist singled, but the inning fizzled after that.

Michael Conforto crushed a pitch to lead off the second and untied the game once again. Lester retired the next two Mets, but his command struggles continued by walking the number eight hitter and opposing pitcher. Amed Rosario swung on the second pitch he saw that night, and extended the Mets lead to 3-1.

Thor put the first zero on the board in the bottom of the second. Something happened as Lester settled in after that point. He pitched a Lackey where he somehow managed to gut through a quality start despite the 3 runs given up. Thor ran into trouble in the third inning. Báez doubled to start the inning. He moved to third on a Rizzo groundout. Ben Zobrist grounded out to first for the second out. Jason Heyward coaxed a walk to keep the inning alive. A wild pitch scored Báez to cut the Mets lead to one. Willson Contreras singled to bring Jon Lester to the plate. Lester floated a ball into left to score a pair of runs to flip the score 4-3. A David Bote strike out ended the third inning.

Thor and Lester settled into the game we thought we were getting at the start. Zeroes went up on the board through six innings. Lester had the more eventful frames. Lester picked off Rosario with a snap throw to first in the fifth inning. The last out came on a Jose Reyes smash right back at him. The game was still 4-3 heading into the seventh inning. Steve Cishek was the first reliever in the game and he was greeted by Kevin Plawecki absotuley crushing a pitch. Cishek retired the next three batters to keep the game tied.

Jeremy Blevins came in to face lefty Anthony Rizzo and the strategy backfired as Rizzo hit a ball exactly on the left field line. Originally the call was foul, but review confirmed the ball clearly landing on the line. Umpires correctly placed Rizzo at second. Ben Zobrist switched places with Rizzo by smacking a double off the ivy on the fly. A Jason Heyward infield single ended Blevins evening.

Drew Smith didn't fare much better. A Willson Contreras groundball scored an insurance run for the Cubs. Schwarber singled, but Smith didn't break any further. The Mets coughed another lead up with the score 6-4 in the eighth inning. Carl Edwards Jr. made quick work of the Mets in the eighth inning. Daniel Zamora recorded two quick outs to start the bottom of the eighth inning, but Rizzo launched a home run to extend the Cubs lead to 7-4.

Pedro Strop was called upon once again as the Finisher. This was another struggle as he walked Jose Bautista to start the inning. Jose Reyes bounced into a fielder's choice for the first out. However, Plawecki singled and that was enough for Joe. Justin Wilson entered to face pinch hitter Jay Bruce. The plan didn't work when Bruce singled to bring the tying run to the plate with one out. Jesse Chavez was the last Cubs pitcher summoned. Chavez struck out Rosario swinging and Jackson looking to close it out for the Cubs sixth win.

Another day off the calendar and the division lead only continues to grow at this point.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

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  • W.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Good to see you here.

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    In reply to Cubs09:

    Haven't seen you in a while. I missed your "W" comments.

  • My pithy comment was trapped in the ether. So I will repeat it: W,

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Good to see you back:)

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Ditto! Welcome back, sir.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Glad to see you back.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Thanks all!

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    Great recap as usual ! Small correction but after Willson's infield single, they walked the Schwarbenator to load the bases for deadly sweet swinging lefty Mr. L who lined a single to left center !

    DeGrom is going to tough tomorrow and the wind should be blowing out for 1 more game before we get a "cold" wave !

  • Both StL and MIL were idle last night, so the Cubs’ Magic Number is now 28.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Nice. And like Mike B says, another game off the calendar. Keep that number shrinking.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Cubs now 16-8 in August, 22-15 2nd half, playing .667 in the dog days and almost .600 after the ASB. Typical Maddon Cubs.

    Cards now 4.5 up on the Cards, who have picked up 3 games since the ASB but still 5 up in the loss column and play the inconsistent Pirates.

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    In reply to rnemanich:

    I am paying more attention to that "L" column than the "Magic Number" (though I like that Norway keeps on top of it). Those are games that the Cards can't make up. It means the Cubs can lose 4 more games than the Cards down the stretch and still be the Division champion.

  • The top of the order has been deadly the last week:)

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Joe stated that he thought Javy and Rizzo were benefitting from watching Daniel Murphy bat and how opposing pitchers were attacking him.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I've noticed Rizzo and Murphy seem to have a nice chemistry already. They share a similar approach in that they both crowd the plate yet can turn on inside pitches as well. Murphy, Zobrist, Rizzo, Schwarber, Heyward (soon Bryant) this lineup can definitely grind opposing pitchers.

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Murphy has been fantastic. There is something about playing at Wrigley that seems to bring out the best in him.

  • Last year after 130 games, 70-60. This year after 130 games 77-53. Last year in August they played at a .586 clip, this year .667. The pitching has been very solid, the defense continues to be good and the offense is going off. There are 5 weeks left in the season. The rule of thumb is that you can make up about a game a week down the stretch by playing well. they have a 5 game advantage in the loss column over St. Louis, 6 over Milwaukee and 4 over Atlanta for the overall NL lead. Not insurmountable for any of those teams but getting tougher by the day. I think if the Cubs can pick up another game or two in the next week or so the Division will be effectively wrapped up, likely the overall NL record as well.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yep.......they are in VERY good shape...everybody else is basically running out of time.

  • There was an article on MLB.com a couple days ago where Alec Mills said that last year he suffered the same elbow stress reaction that Yu Darvish is currently dealing with. Alec discussed his discouragement that the injury took so long to diagnose; similar to Yu, Alec felt pain but nobody could find the cause. Alec is now pain free.

    Obviously SSS, but Alec looked really good against the Reds the other day. Good FB and breaking pitches, up and down, in and out.

    Hopefully,
    1) Yu recovers from his injury and comes back good as new next year.
    2) The Cubs look for "stress reaction" next time they cannot find the cause of a mysterious elbow injury. I have no medical background, but I wonder why the Cubs staff did not recall Alec's injury and treatment while trying to find Yu's problem.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    SSS or not, but great to have a great example of a successful return.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Great story Mill hasn't had a great season at AAA which is why I have a level of concern that Darvish won't be as effective next season as he was previously but at least Mills for the most part looks physically healthy and hopefully Mills is just having an off year and his struggles aren't related to difficulties returning from the injury.

  • Very enjoyable game. Jon Lester is a stud. Even when he's not at his best, he usually finds a way to keep his team in the game. It's too bad that the screwy system of assigning W-Ls is dependent on WHEN runs are scored - Jon should have received a W for his efforts.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    those 8 rbis arent bad either. Seeems to get a big hit about once every 3-4 starts.

  • I liked the way Maddon handled that 9th inning last night, giving Strop the opportunity to pitch around his leadoff walk, sending Hickey when the count got to 2-0 on the next batter and then pulling the plug when Strop gave up a single for a 2nd baserunner. I don't know if he intended to use Wilson as a LOOGY, but when he gave up hard contact to load the bases, Joe immediately went to Chavez. That 9th could have easily gotten out of hand. Rumor has it that the Cubs signed a closer to deal with the 9th, but I suspect that's only a rumor as he hasn't been seen...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    That mysterious closer is more like a porcelain doll who’s kept on the shelf until ???

  • I'd really, REALLY like to see Willson start hitting some line drives. I don't know what's happened to his swing, but he's the soft grounder king lately.

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    Well, I don't know what's happened to BP. I hope everything is alright. So, without his asking.
    Yes You May!!

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Ever notice how we don't see CubsWin09 and BP in the same thread at the same time? Coincidence? I think not! LOL

    I miss BP's comments too.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    That's interesting.

  • That's a big win to kick off this series against a guy with ace caliber stuff. Coming into this series I really wanted to get this series win before a difficult 11 game road trip with no off days and in general the cubs have been dominant at home and they're still a little above .500 on the road but we seem to play our best at the friendly confines this season so you want to win at least 2/3. Very pleased with how our offense moved the ball and I think it's clear that Daniel Murphy adds a huge presence to our lineup especially against the elite pitching that we're gonna see this upcoming stretch. Other guys played well too but it almost feels like his presence has reinvigorated this team along with his hot bat. I think this team really needed another veteran type of stud hitter that works good professional AB's and who has the type of high end contact skills where he can hit high end pitchers like Thor and we know what he's done against playoff pitching in past years. I feel really good about our everyday position players moving forward esp. if KB comes back and I even have long felt that our starting pitching would round into form by the playoffs there's just too many guys with high end track records for them not to improve. For me the bullpen is where I'm concerned because I just don't know that we have that one guy that you can ride through October. I know the bullpen has probably been the most consistent unit of this team but you can't help but feel that with no Morrow, we don't have that high end swing and miss type of reliever that teams typically need for a playoff run. Morrow may come back but I'm not counting on it his situation seems shady to me with bicep and elbow pain in his throwing arm sounds kind of like Darvish almost. I think his potential return may play a large part in our team upside because I like Strop, Cishek and our bullpen but I think they maybe exposed against playoff teams in October. I like the Jesse chavez addition though not your typical high leverage reliever but he throws quality strikes and he's versatile. He maybe working his way onto the postseason roster

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Chavez on the post-season roster. To me he has pitched well enough. And that versatility can be huge too. While we all like "shut down" guys in the 'pen sometimes a playoff game isn't a pitcher's duel. Having a guy that can go out there and bridge from the 3rd to the 6th inning can be valuable too.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    With how well he's been pitching with the cubs (love his K:BB ratio) I'd say right now that he has a very good shot of making it. He doesn't mess around the guy throws strikes (usually quality strikes too) and has an intelligent veteran approach to pitching. I give the guy credit because when I saw him come into the league 10 years ago with the pirates I thought he wouldn't stick in the big leagues but he's really worked hard and improved and he has carved out a pretty solid and long big league career. Like you said he's a guy that can come in if a starters struggling and eat up multiple innings and he's done a pretty darn nice job being used as a set up man type too with the cubs. I get nervous because he tends to give up home runs but for the most part he seems to be in really good form this season. I hope the bullpen holds up as they have thus far this season I feel the team has been somewhat reinvigorated by the Hamels/Murphy additions and I feel really good about a lot of aspects of this team as they're not constructed after these additions. My one concern as I previously stated was the lack of a high end swing and miss reliever type.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Chavez has been great and I agree, he deserves a playoff roster spot. But the guy I think, that has not been given anywhere near the accolades he has earned, is Steve Cishek.
    Cishek has been a life saver.

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    In reply to cubbustible:

    He has certainly been good. Last night was a speed bump for him. He has been the guy this year that has come into some real messes and really minimized damage.

    I am just worried that he has been over-used this season.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Just want to keep winning series if possible which we should have done in Pittsburgh but who figured they would go that cold offensively?
    Now you see what the addition of Murphy has done, like a night and day difference.

  • tyler walkwood walked the bases loaded last night then walked in 2 runs in triple a. This dude is a lost cause, hopefully a trade for a "bad" contract happens this offseason. Like for alex cobb, who serves no purpose on a rebuilding o's team & has been much better since his disastrous start to the season and been lights out in august(facing the red sox,indians,yankees twice)

    That may be the only way to salvage this.If the brewers were smart they'd acquire cobb before august 31st since he cleared waivers.Probably would cost nothing, orioles would gladly dump the contract

  • In reply to bolla:

    "Walkwood" is where he needs to be, "rehabbing" somewhere off the 25-man MLB roster. I'm not overly optimistic, but shouldn't the Cubs try to work with him before declaring him a "lost cause" and trading him for a bucket of dubble-bubble? He's never been an ace, but then he's never had the control issues he's had this year, either. I agree that he can't be allowed to hold up a competitive team, but I'd hate to see someone else's pitching coach help him straighten out to become the pitcher the Cubs thought they were getting.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    The issue is on a team trying to contend for championships there's no room on the 25 man roster to work through his problems. He can't work through them out the pen, and he can't start. So unless he's willing to stay in the minors I don't see how.This off season they probably will attempt it thoroughly from scratch to work with his mechanics but that's what they've been trying to so for months in side sessions etc. What if that doesn't work? then what?

  • In reply to bolla:

    They can add Chatwood to the team when rosters expand Sept. 1st. I agree he can not start and I would only use him in relief when the Cubs are getting blown out. This will also save the arms of position players from pitching in relief.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yeah he can't work through his problems on the Cubs but he can in Iowa. Let's see what he can do in AAA where there is less pressure. Would be nice if he could correct his problems there.

  • In reply to bolla:

    If Murphy were to re-up with the Cubs for 2019+, either Russell, Almora, or Happ become benchwarmer/expendable as Zobrist and Bryant are going to play when healthy, although either could play outfield. At that point a Russell & Chatwood for Cobb and relief pitcher starts to make sense for both: O's rebuild around Russell with Machado gone; Cubs get a more consistent pitcher (with ties to Hickey) for about same money as Chatwood, and maybe O's fix Chatwood. If they opt for one of our outfielders, an infield of Javy, Russell, Murphy, Rizzo, with Bryant, Heyward, Zobrist looks pretty good and that doesn't even factor Schwarber into the mix. Something is going to give but I could live with a Hamels, Hendricks, Lester, Darvish, Quintana, Cobb 6-man rotation with Montgomery and Smyly for long relief.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    I'm not paying Murphy what he's going to get going into his age 34 season. I'd guess 3/$55-$60 mil. If we're remaking the infield I go after Machado instead. More money, longer commitment but a much younger player.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Neither fits under the salary cap. Don’t expect either one on the cubs next yr

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    You realize that Cobb is 4-15 with a 5.00 ERA and a 0.9 WAR?

    BTW, last year's FA pitching class has not turned out all that well, has it? None of Darvish, Chatwood, Lance Lynn, Addison Reed, or Cobb have delivered. Jake seems to be pitching same as he was with the Cubs the last two years; good, but not worth the $180M / 6 years that Boras wanted.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Since the break he has a 2.15 ERA and 1.087 WHIP; all five August starts have a game score over 60. I couldn't care less about his W-L record on a 100+ loss team. And no one is proposing giving Murphy $60M for his 34-36 seasons, although Zobrist will be 38 when his contract expires. Declining 0.5 WAR/yr from his 2017 base (and skipping 2018 due to injury) would yield $35-40M for 3 years at $10M/WAR. He's already produced 0.4 WAR for the Cubs, essentially paying for himself with 5 weeks and postseason (hopefully) to follow.
    Glad you guys didn't veto Hamels also.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    No doubt Cobb has been pretty good lately. Yet I'm still not so sure I'd want to trade for him, plus I don't think the O's take that trade without the Cubs throwing in a lot more.

    I'd rather try to pull off something like Q, Chatwood, Russell, Schwarber, plus some cash to cover half of Chatwood's contract, and let them choose one of our top pitching prospects for Blake Snell in the offseason. That would upgrade the Rays at DH and SS, with cost control, give them a middle rotation pitcher, and the project that is Chatwood. Lot's of upside for them for 2019. In this scenario, it would probably help to have Murphy resigned for year or 2, and pick up the option on Hamels. Just think if our rotation was Snell, Hendricks, Hamels, Lester, Smyly/Montgomery? Although that is a little too lefty-heavy for my liking.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    And next yr why doesn’t Snell turn into Q or worse Chatwood?

  • we beat Thors turn in the rotation, even if we didnt beat Thor in his personal w/l column. BTW Murphy and Hamels ar elooking like probably the 2 best trade acqusitions out there.

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    I think if the Cubs feel like they could use another left hander down the stretch in the pen. I think Francisco Liriano if used strictly as a LOOGY could really be a weapon.

    He's held lefties to a holding them to a .138/.233/.225 slash line. Liriano is owed about $800,000 this season which is not outrageous for a contender looking for a LOOGY.

    Personally I would trust him to get a LH slugger out late in a game more then Dunsing or Wilson.

  • I see that the Cards placed Kolton Wong on the DL with hamstring issue. Tough break for them but, as usual, the Cards can call up a replacement ( Patrick Wisdom ) who has had a fine season at Memphis and during an earlier callup - so they probably will not miss a beat.

    Or maybe Matt Adams can fill in at 2B. I am still puzzled why the Cardinals passed over Daniel Murphy and signed Matt Adams instread.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    The Cards lose Wong for a while and we get KB back soon. Things are trending in the right direction.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    The thought that Murphy got to the Cubs over every team in the NL is a puzzlement.

    The Cards aren't going to hang around for long in the Division race but are a solid WC contender. It's possible to make up 5 games in the loss column in 5 weeks but it isn't probable.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Agreed I get that Wong is a high end defender but he's just a guy for the most part to me he's almost a non threat at the plate. Murphy is an impact caliber hitter that is a cub killer over the years. I think the cards not claiming him when he could've clearly helped their club maybe one of the big FO botches of the entire season

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    Cards make Schlid permanent manager w 3 yr extension

    I hope this doesn't give them another boost. How could they push it to another level?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I actually think Jim that this will hinge more on the Cubs rather than the Cardinals, how long will Epstein stay, how many Cubs remain Cubs and stay productive? There will always be additions and subtractions for everybody but it sure doesn’t seem St Louis is a top destination choice for many. If your in the Cardinal organization now you KNOW who the top dog is now and really haven’t been able to counter.
    Doesn’t break my heart:)

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    I an only thinking about giving those cards a boost for this year. I am not worried about anything they do in the future. This division is ours until we decide we don't want it anymore.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yes sir:).....best run we’ve ever seen.

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