The Shutouts Continue v. Milwaukee - Brewers 7, Cubs 0

Tuesday’s matchup versus the Milwaukee Brewers was a dinger party and the Cubs weren’t invited. The home team garnered only three hits and failed to score any runs in the loss. Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacín was on fire, recording 10 strikeouts.

Lorenzo Cain led off with a home run against José Quintana, his third of the season and first of his career off of the Cubs starter. Ryan Braun homered in the inning as well with a two run shot to give the Brewers an early 3-0 lead.

The Cubs put two on against Chacín, including a two-out double from Ben Zobrist, but were ultimately unable to bring in any runs in the first.

Chacín struck out Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras in the second inning, and Quintana followed up with a hard line drive. Unfortunately, it was hit right back at Chacín, who gloved it and threw to first for the final out.

Braun hit another two-run homer in the third after Jesús Aguilar led off with a walk to bring the Brewers up 5-0. The chorus of boos from Cubs fans that usually greets Braun didn’t seem to get into his head today.

Ian Happ led off the Cubs half of the third with a double and advanced to third on a groundout by Anthony Rizzo. The home team did not cash in on the opportunity. Javier Báez struck out looking and Zobrist grounded out to end the inning.

Quintana worked his first 1-2-3 inning in the fourth. He struck out Orlando Arcia and Chacín, followed by a lineout to right by Cain for the final out. Chacín followed up with his own quick inning, inducing a flyout from Heyward to center, a lineout by Tommy La Stella to left, and a sharp flyout to center from Schwarber.

Quintana seemed to regain his control after the early damage was done and went on to retire eight straight through the fifth. He was replaced by Jesse Chavez in the sixth inning, who struck out Hernán Pérez for the first out. Chavez ended the inning with an impressive catch on a hard liner back up the middle from Arcia, but it was overshadowed by the solo shot given up to Erik Kratz one batter prior. The Cubs left the sixth trailing 6-0.

Báez broke his 0-18 streak at the plate with a leadoff double in the Cubs half of the sixth. A bit of drama ensued between skipper Joe Maddon and home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after Zobrist showed some ire on a called strike three. Maddon was tossed, and the Cubs yet again failed to capitalize on a leadoff double.

Albert Almora, Jr. entered the game to pinch hit for Chavez in the seventh and struck out swinging to end the inning.

Jorge De La Rosa took to the mound for the Cubs in the eighth inning and faced Aguilar for the first at-bat. He gave up a single, and Aguilar advanced to second on a groundout by Perez. Mike Moustakas followed with a single to right field, and Aguilar held, likely not wanting to test Heyward’s arm. The Brewers increased their lead to 7-0 with a two-out RBI double from Kratz, scoring Aguilar.

Corey Knebel came in for Milwaukee in the eighth and had a fairly quick inning. He struck out Happ and Báez, with an 11 pitch at-bat from Rizzo sandwiched in between that ended with a flyout to center.

Zobrist was thrown out of the game by Cuzzi at the top of the ninth after a conversation that didn’t appear to be too heated, but a majority of it took place while the game was in a commercial break.

De La Rosa worked a quick ninth, striking out Jonathan Schoop and Cain. Christian Yelich singled, and although a valiant effort with a diving stop was made by La Stella at third, the throw was not in time to first. The inning ended after a long out to left from Aguilar.

Addison Russell hit in Zobrist’s spot against Dan Jennings in the bottom of the ninth and was thrown out by the shortstop, Arcia. The Cubs were unable to break the shutout, with Heyward lining out softly to left and La Stella grounding out to third to end the game.

Today’s game wasn’t pretty, but do not fear, because the Cubs are still in first place. Tomorrow is a new day and another opportunity to remain at the top of the division.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Filed under: Game Recap

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  • Seems like all the air left wrigley within the 1st 10 pitches of the game and it was over when braun launched that 2nd one.

    at least darvish is progressing

  • In reply to bolla:

    I know I am in the minority here but I took no issue in what A-Rod said about Yu. It is kind of funny that after A-Rod made his comments how quickly Yu progressed and how he felt better. It could be a coincidence but............,

  • Another uninspiring game by the entire team.

    Take out one swing of the bat Sunday and makes me wonder where this team is headed the last quarter of the season.

    Their day to day performance is puzzling and indicates to me a potential short run, if they make the post season.

  • Come on Q! God, this starting staff is aggravating.

  • I believe that was the first time Zobrist has been ejected in his entire career. His encounter with Cuzzi didn't appear to be too heated, and someone as respected as Zo usually is given some leeway. But as we know there are certain "magic words" and phrases that get even those of the highest standing tossed. Zo was asked after the game what caused the hook during what appeared to be a fairly cordial discussion. "I told him that's why we want an electronic strike zone".

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I am guessing Zo is super frustrated and it tipped a boiling point. I will admit I didn’t see the pitch that cause the issue. I am to the point where I’d like to see a electronic hitter or starting pitching. Haha

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Schwarber was upset with a called 3rd on him as well. I saw Heyward frustrated on a called 2nd strike during 1 ab. I saw Contreras hold his mitt w/out moving after some balls were called. Didn’t look as though they were happy w/home plate ump today on both sides of the ball.

  • I'll admit that I've never been a huge proponent of the electronic strike zone/robo ump, but at this point when I've seen too many missed calls that effect the games I watch (and pay for the MLB extra innings), I want to see the calls made correctly. It's just happening too much lately. And if I see it happening in the games I'm watching, I'm pretty sure it's happening in many of the other 14 games taking place each day.

    Especially with Zobrist's at bat, that pitch was never a strike from beginning to end. There's no way a pitcher should be rewarded for that. And I gotta say, it was amazing because if you watch the replay (from the CSN broadcast, at least), when Zobrist walks over across the plate to point out where the pitch went, the pitchtrax thing was still up, and he literally put his finger tip pointing right at the circle up on the screen where the ball went. So Zobrist even shows that he knew exactly where the ball went, which looked like there was a good 4 inches between where the closest point of the ball was to the corner of the plate. If Zobrist feels that he has to swing at that pitch, even if he puts the bat on the ball, that's gonna be an easy out.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    My biggest hesitation with going to a electronic strike zone is pace of play. Baseball is already getting slower. I want the system to be the same speed as a human ump. Waiting 5-10 seconds kills the mood of the situation.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I feel the same. But the feedback we get from pitch trax is instantaneous. Of course when there’s malfunctions, the default should just be going back to crappy ump calls. Even with an electronic strike zone, the ump should still be right there behind the catcher.

  • I wish someone could get into Javy's head. Instead of taking a walk, Javy insist on swinging at junk pitches striking out. Until he stops swinging at junk pitches nobody is going to give him anything decent to hit.
    This isn't the first time the Cubs have had a run in with with Phil Scuzzi.
    Its a disgrace MLB refuses to address the issue of calling balls and strikes

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Hmmmm is anyone gonna tell this guy to give it a rest? because he's he's pretty redundant with the baez criticism.Especially when baez has been great this season and got one of the 3 hits chachin allowed today.

    Btw this the cub009 person you guys were missing so much.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Sorry I hurt you're feelings but I'm correct. I want nothing more than to see Javy improve. Swinging at pitches out of the zone does nobody any good. Teams are taking advantage of him getting himself out with pitches out of the zone.
    Its like the Cardinals doing this to Sammy Sosa all over again.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    You didn't hurt my feelings lol, and I actually agree about baez plate discipline but it what it is.Baez is not gonna ever have the plate discipline bryant,schwarber,rizzo and zobrist have. He's a free swinger and has been very productive doing that so I don't see the point in constantly complaining about it. Especially in 2018 when at times he's carried the cubs offensively

  • In reply to bolla:

    My point is Javy has the will and want to improve and I'm sure he can accomplish this.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think the criticisms on Javy are fair. And yes he's had a great season but he is NOT elite when it comes to batting. Problem with Javy is if he's not hitting, he's not doing anything to help this team offensively. Other elite batters still help their teams a ton even when they slump and can't hit for extended periods.

    I will make an example here, using BR, so these stats do not include today's games...

    Javy: 456 PA, 73 runs, 125 hits, 25 HR, 89 RBI, 18 BB, 109 SO, .292/.325/.572/.898, 130 OPS+

    Not-so-mystery player: 506 PA, 75 runs, 95 hits, 29 HR, 72 RBI, 91 BB, 128 SO, .236/.379/.502/.882, 130 OPS+

    Javy has gotten on base 143 times. Not-so-Mystery man has gotten on base 186 times. If Javy got 50 more plate appearances, he'd need to get on base 43 out of those 50 times in order to give his team just as many scoring chances as this other player has. Of course it comes down to what the players hitting behind him do. And the mystery player plays for a team that's had way more problems than the Cubs this year.

    I know there are a lot more variables than this, but when Javy doesn't hit, he does nothing with his bat to help the Cubs offense. If he got on base more by accepting walks, he could force many more errors on the base paths and make Cubs games more exciting. He's proven he's a threat on the bases. If he accepted more walks, the pitchers would actually have to challenge him and throw pitches in the zone, then he'd be dangerous, and probably hit with even more power.

    Anthony Rizzo slumped terribly for half the season, and even missed time on the DL, yet he's even been on base more than Javy. Anthony's been great as a lead-off hitter, yet if Javy would accept walks, he'd be exceptional in that position. But Anthony promises a quality at bat every time he steps in the box. If Javy could do the same, it would be nice to see Rizzo hit behind him. And we keeps seeing how the top of the order keeps coming up in big spots late in the game. I think the Cubs should have Rizzo first, and Zobrist bat second in the lineup just for that reason. Really, either can be in either spot. But Javy's been making way too many outs lately.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    These are all good points although I could argue that Javy is having a more productive offensive season than Bry-, er, not-so-mystery man, but that's an argument for another time.

    I'd just like to remind everyone to take a step back and savor the ever-shrinking areas of critique in Javy's game. In just a few short years he's gone from "no one in baseball history has succeeded with his K rate, he's a bust" to "he's got a decent floor as a glove-first utility player" and now "if only he would walk more often, he's Manny Ramirez with speed and GG defense".

    I want so badly to see Javy clean up that last remaining slop in his hitting approach, and I know he will continue to do so. I just think we get so caught up in the flaws, we sometimes fail to enjoy the progress. It's sort of like not seeing a young niece or nephew in years and being blown away by how they've grown, but the parents don't notice because they are there every day. Let's enjoy what we are witnessing.

    Javy will continue to improve. He'll never have the plate discipline of Joey Votto, but he doesn't need that. The damage he can do by hitting the baseball is reaching unique levels. As he further refines his offensive approach he will reach even higher levels, which is growing increasingly difficult because Javier Baez is running out of levels.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Oh man... I had a great reply all done for you and then I accidentally did the wrong swipe on my mouse pad and lost the whole thing! Here's a shortened gist of it... Javy was incredible and unsustainable for 2 month period. I believe if Javy would lay off those low and outside pitches, he would get his OBP to about 50 or 60 points above his BA, and we'd see him play with a slash line something like .320/.375/.620/.995. If he did that, I'd love to see him bat leadoff with Rizzo and Bryant behind him. The run production of this team would be ridiculous. The pitchers have adjusted to Javy again, and it's his turn to adjust back. At least Javy's hot streaks are getting longer (Jun 13-Aug 6, 48 games: .369/.404/.699/1.103) and the slumps shorter (Apr 26-Jun12, 41 games: .221/.233/.403/.635), but at the same time, I still question whether Javy's just having a career year, or is this at least who he'll be moving forward? That we won't know till next season. If he becomes more patient, this will be just a stepping stone to who we will see moving forward; which would be a once-in-a-generation type player. I appreciate all Javy has done for us this year, but I know we both recognize that he's got the talent to be even better. Hopefully he matures into that player before 2022.

    One last thing. I believe Javy is our Dex of 2016, as in "you go, we go." He is the heart of this team, and when he hits well, the Cubs can look unbeatable and you've seen the pressure he puts on our opponents and how they look like "preschoolers playing against professionals." I believe it may have been you or khavi who said something like that. But that's just it, Dexter just had to get on base to ignite the team (hit or walk), but now we have to rely on Javy being mature and swinging for the team in order to look like we can play championship baseball. When Javy is right we can overcome the poor starting pitching. But when he's not, it can be hard for us to score just a run or two. When Javy's right, that confidence and swagger becomes infectious to our entire lineup. But when he's not, we look like we're up against Cy Young. At no point in 2016 did Dex's OBP ever drop below .377. He was the match that started the fire. That was the most consistent team any Cubs fan has ever watched play! Now that it's Javy, we have to rely on a guy who at his hottest stretch can have an OBP of .404, but while that may be what he can provide for about 60% of the season, we have to rely on a guy who will have an OBP of .233 for that other 40%. Here's the million dollar question when all our championship hopes pretty much rely on him igniting this team... Who's gonna show up, the Javy from 2016 NLDS and NLCS who hit .375 and .318, respectively, or the Javy who hit .167 at best between the 2016 WS and the 2017 NLCS. Either way I hope it's not the Javy who didn't even get a hit in 5 games of the 2017 NLDS.

    Have said all that, I do appreciate what Javy provides offensively already, but I really want to appreciate another Championship even more.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    So much for the shortened gist...

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    That's all perfectly reasonable, and I want the same things. I'm as high on Javy as anyone so his shortcomings hurt that much more, if that makes sense. I just don't want anyone to lose sight of the glorious fact that not only is Javy nearly unanimously hailed as the most exciting player in baseball, arguably the the best/most impactful baserunner, and universally praised as an elite defender at multiple premium defensive positions, we are now having serious discussions about how he matches up with the very best hitters in the game, and having to dig deep into advanced numbers to make our cases.

    You wonder if this is sustainable or if his streaky nature will simply make this performance a career year. So do I. But this performance hasn't come out of nowhere, it has been slowly building, and the progress continues build upon itself. As long as he keeps moving forward at his young age I see no reason to think this is it. It's funny you mention adjustments because I've been digging into a bunch of trends and numbers that I'm trying to gather into a rational theory and will try to post that soon. It mostly has to do with early-count aggressiveness and how the pitchers are already adjusting by not throwing him first-pitch strikes and he is mostly, to his credit, adjusting back by taking those for ball one.

    We all want the same thing. I kind of equate the critique of Javy to that of some long-time Cubs fans: we endured years of horrible play and now that we've reached the top we wonder why aren't perfect, annihilating the competition and existing on a higher plane than mere mortals. Javy has flaws that are worth pointing out, but they are rapidly disappearing. Some think this is who he is and he has reached his peak; I believe he is still improving and we are witnessing the birth of a unicorn. I enjoy the dialogue.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    This is a good post and again I agree. Baez had an ab vs the royals that bothered me in the game the cubs lost. He worked the count 3-1 or 3-2 and the pitch he swung at was a ball wide right outside the zone he got the tip of the bat on it and flied out weakly to rf.

    At the time the cubs were down 2-0 and needed baserunners and instead of being patient and accepting the walk he swung away.The pitcher wasn't trying to give him anything to hit that whole ab. So he needs to recognize this and take advantage.It can be very frustrating to watch at times.

    That being said again, he is what he is all cubs fans needs to accept it.Best case scenario is baez has an on base % in the 340-345 range. Hoping he becomes rizzo etc is just not realistic. And quite frankly baez is much more productive than the players who do have great plate discipline and make less outs so habitually complaining about him is weird. This is who javier baez is

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    In reply to bolla:

    Baez defense is generally solid. His baserunning is elite, IMO. When he is hitting he is an MVP. But when he isn't getting hits, especially XBH, his value drops significantly. If he isn't on base his baserunning is irrelevant. And very few players can make such a contribution on defense that it over-rides them making outs at the plate.

    As I've said for a while, his OBP is .325. I can accept that. If it is .335+ I am very happy with that. If he is in the .340-.345 range I am THRILLED. He has enough power and baserunning and defense to make him an extremely valuable guy. But when (if?) his OBP falls below about .320 I start to wonder if he starts becoming a much more mediocre player. Still a solid contributor but it is easy to be blinded by the things he does well and forget all the times he gets himself out.

    I agree that he will likely never have an OBP of .380+, though it isn't impossible. There is certainly value in what Baez does. But there is also tremendous value in what players who get on base do, too. I would rather have a team of guys who are constantly getting singles and doubles with occasional triples and HR than a "boom-or-bust" team.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I don't really expect him to be Rizzo like in having an OBP that's 100 points higher than his BA, I just want about 50 points. It really would go a long way in helping his power become even more effective in helping produce Cubs wins.

    See my long-ass reply to Barley for my whole story on the situation.

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    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I agree w 100% of what your saying, and I think part of Javy's problem is not having any protection. When he's in the 2 hole, whose behind him? Heyward? When he's in the clean up spot? Whose behind him? Contreras ( not lately but you get the point)

    We need to move Rizzo back down into the middle of the lineup and have him hit cleanup or 3rd if Joe magic 8 ball wants Javy batting 2nd.

    We need someone else to get hot. We can't just depend on Javy all season. Yes, Heyward and Russell got hot, but not for long enough. I really shouldn't even complain about Heyward considering what he did last yr and what I expected him to do this yr.

    David Bote seems hot, but Joe wants to save him for big spots to see if he can 1 up his walk off grand slam from Sunday night. I am not sure if anybody noticed in the post game interview Sunday night Joe said something along the lines of, I could have PH Bote earlier, but I chose to save him for this moment. I couldn't stop laughing. It was a great night in more ways then one.

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    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    How dare you put Javy in the same sentence as that underachiever Bryce Harper!

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    That’s whats so odd about it. Javy’s best season to date is the equivalent of Bryce Harper having a “bad year.” How you and Barley figured out who the not-so-mystery man is is really amazing. I think you guys deserve an award!!

  • In reply to bolla:

    I'm as big a Baez fan as anyone, but what he said is valid. I disagree to an extent, because Javy is in a slump and comments like that aren't made while he's on fire, but that's ronvet's opinion and he's entitled to it. I didn't find anything offensive in the way the point was made, and I don't think we should tell anyone to give it a rest just because we disagree with an opinion.

    As for ronvet69 being someone else, I couldn't care less and bringing that up seems petty to me. For the record I and someone else asked about CubsWin09 because we hadn't heard from him in awhile. I don't think this is the same person, judging by opinion and writing style, but again I don't see what that has to do with anything.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Thank you . I don't hate anybody. My opinion is that if Javy is more selective at the plate and starts taking walks, he will be a bigger help to his team and maybe starting to get better pitches to hit.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    "but that's ronvet's opinion and he's entitled to it."

    But when I talk about quintana's underwhelming/garbage outings I'm told to give it a rest, there's some blatant hypocrisy and a strong double standard on this site.

    Don't know what you're even talking about in the 2nd paragraph.I was pointing out that's the person people on here were asking about.Same person new name

  • In reply to bolla:

    That's a fair point. No one should tell anyone else to stop voicing their opinion, and I know you have been on the receiving end of such comments. But to be frank, these types of comments are usually directed at people with a history of inflammatory rhetoric. I personally had a massive, embarrassing blow-out a few years ago towards another regular contributor. It wasn't the one comment that set me off but the building frustration from many previous comments. This is all completely avoidable if we would simply respect one another.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Agreed. That's what I'm aiming to do personally

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    If Im being honest, I felt their was a different tone in what you said when I asked you to give it a rest, more mocking and disparaging of the player himself. But you’re right, in general, I should have let it go because you do contribute a lot to this blog.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Who???

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Not you. If anything, I often stuck up for you and your pessimistic, sky-is-falling narrative.

    C'mon, Stubbs. :)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Cubs losing. Stubbs is back

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    You are honestly doing a good job and I, for one, appreciate the effort you are putting into your posts and keeping them respectful.

    As for why is what ronvet said any different/more acceptable than you saying Quintana's "underwhelming/garbage outings" to me ronvet described Baez swinging at "junk pitches." The "junk" applies to the pitch. He is not saying, "Baez is junk." In your example you are describing Quintana's effort as "garbage." One is applying the negative comment about the offering of the other team. The other is describing one of the cubs as "garbage" in an over-generalized way.

    But that is partly semantics. As for Quintana he had a bad outing today. That was obvious. You are welcome to have the opinion, and express the opinion, that you don't think Quintana is as good as some others do. You are certainly entitled to express your opinion that you think the Cubs overpaid for him. That is not an uncommon sentiment (I can think of a lot of posters who have said, from the beginning, that that was a gross over-pay). I happen to have the same view of the Chapman deal (I think the Cubs way overpaid for him). That's my opinion.

    Good rule of thumb. If you want people to accept your opinions that are sometimes negative about Quintana please remember that some people will have negative feedback about Baez. As long as the opinion is express respectfully, and, again, you have improved greatly in this and should be commended, it can lead to fruitful discussion.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I agree, I don't think ronvet69 is CubsWin09. First of all, I don't think CubsWin09 is ambitious enough to spend time creating an alter-ego for himself on this board. I too miss reading his insights into baseball in general and the Cubs and Giants specifically. And, as you said, the writing style is completely different. I can't put my finger on it but I can tell that it isn't the same person. Or, if it is, it is an extraordinarily good writer to be able to change persona's that completely.

    As for the complaints of Baez during a slump, to me it isn't any different than people wanting to hand him the MVP when he is on fire. Javy is a streaky player. He always has been. To his credit his "slumps" have become less frequent and shorter than they were in the past. But every time he goes 5-12 in a 3 game series with 3 HR things drift into a Baez love fest.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I thought Javy was put in a tough spot early in the game. He took 2 chest high sliders, that I would normally want to see him take, but they both were called strikes (the later ringing him up, with a runner on 3rd).

    Then later he was chasing chest high fastballs he had no chance of getting. To me that's pretty clear cause and effect. What bothered me most about those calls was they weren't called on anyone all day. It bothered me more than the Zobrist backdoor breaker.

    Javy will never be a Zobrist style AB-grinder. I just want to see him giving the pitcher gifts, by chasing brutal pitches. He has improved in that area, and that's all I can hope for. Continue working on approach and we'll see the positive results.

  • Alexander ovalles is the player to be named later in the hamels trade.

  • In reply to bolla:

    He’s pretty young still, but seems like he could be a pretty good player in the future.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Javy looks to be pulling his head lately. I know that's pretty basic, but looking up to see how far that it's going to go. I like Javy in the cleanup spot as he seems to be more selective with someone on base. He needs to be in rbi spots apparently.

  • The internet just posted the pitches that

  • The internet just posted the pitches that Ben Zobrist was called out on. Its a joke that MLB allows this substandard ball and strike calling to exist.

  • I was at that debacle today. Lack of execution to get any of the 2 leadoff doubles in. Milwaukee had everyone played perfectly, as if they had a crystal ball of where the Cubs were hitting to. And they hit it right into the shifts. It was painful.

    Before this seaso I could go either way on the laser strike/ball calls. As of now, I’m all in favor of it. These guys are not consistent. That’s all the teams want...

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    The cubs are now in full blown choke mode. The cubs simply do not have a post season caliber starting rotation.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Can you please look at the standings and tell me which team is in first in the NL Central? Or maybe you “simply do not have” enough intelligence to accomplish that simple task

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    In reply to Mnozilman:

    Do not waste your time responding to him. The guy has no heart which is fine, as well as no guts which is not fine. If you can run your mouth all over this board, and not respond to any questions/comments/concerns esp when your wrong ( or right) then your living a sad sad existence and bring absolutely nothing to this forum and should be ignored.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Should be banned so we don’t have to even see it, IMHO.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I'm with you and would have pulled the trigger already, but I also understand the difficulty of policing comments while allowing as much freedom as possible.

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    Well, we've got 44 games to figure it out. If Yu is throwing pain free then that would be huge. I don't count on KB or Morrow for the foreseeable future, but without them (and Yu) the Cubs have done pretty well. Bote has exceeded all expectations and I want to see him at 3rd the rest of the season. Albert A is pressing and Javy is too. But Javy struggling in 2018 is 10x as good as Javy struggling in 2016. What we need is the team psychologist to spread some positive vibes and this turns around. The talent is here, it just needs to focus more.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I agree 100%. I want to see Bote getting 95% of the starts at third until KB comes back. If he slumps or the league figures him out, fine then play the match ups, but ride the hot hitter. This offense needs as many hot bats as it can get !

    I bet 3 of my friends monday that Bote would be sitting today vs the Brewers. I got myself a free lunch, a bottle of scotch, and free fantasy football entry this yr. Thank you Joe for being you.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Good call!!

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I disagree somewhat. I don't think Maddon matchup' s cause inconsistency, I think he plays them because our young talent is inconsistent. Much of it anyway. Tough matchup' s could cool Bote off in a hurry. He has been pretty hot and Joe wants to keep him that way. I like to see Javy get a day on occasion. Happ, Schwarber, Almora and Contreras too. It's good for the team and their development. Depth is our strength.

  • off topic, baseball america has an article (not subscription content) that explains why the cubs lost serrano, the ifa pitcher signing from last year. turns out, he, as some other mexican league players also have, had a clause in his contract with tiujana(misspelled) that would allow him to collect 50% of any bonus from a major league club not the standard 25%, therefore he was to receive 600,000 dollars of the bonus not 300,000 which meant he was over the penalty amount of 300,000 max. mlb investigated the contract and never approved it so tiajuana never got their money. mlb determined the cubs were not aware of the contract clause and assumed serrano got the 25% or 300,000 therefore the cubs were not penalized by mlb and ,in fact, were given an extra 300,000 this year to spend as the 2017 signing period was over when the discovery was made. after any agreements with the mexican league as far as signing ifa's is done the cubs could still sign serrano back. interesting read.

  • In reply to DLROBERTSON:

    Thanks for the info, I'll have to check that out. The international market, especially the pipeline from Latin America, is of particular interest to me. Generally speaking the Mexican leagues are simply monetarily corrupt, but the pathway to pro ball in the U.S. from other Latin nations is horrid and boarders on human trafficking. The corruption in the Mexican system has led to MLB establishing a temporary ban on any signings, but that seems like picking low-hanging fruit to me. The whole international market needs to be cleaned up, and that is a tall task. An International draft would help but is far from a solution.

  • Joe just continues to ignore reality. He ruined Schwarber last year by batting him leadoff and if you look closely has done the same thing to Rizzo. Granted his leadoff #'s are good but what has happened to his power? He's now pooping the ball to LF on a regular basis and his HR power is non-existant. Guess we all knew Joe would not play Bote today. #'s 4-7 went O-fer. Baez was hitting great at clean-up but since being moved to #2, not so much. Joe's ego just cannot leave a good thing alone. As I said before it's gonna be a long Sept.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Chacin dominates right handed hitters that’s why bote didn’t start

    Maddon always bats slumping hitters lead off, Rizzo has been in a groove since leading off he’s back in clean up spot today.

    Chili Davis wants hitters to go to all fields and focus on contact not launch angles that’s where all the power went.it’s not just Rizzo it’s the whole team not hitting for power (except baez)

    Blaming joe for everything is becoming ridiculous

  • In reply to bolla:

    I still thought Bote should've started personally I don't like La Stella starting in pivotal games he's not a good defender and he hasn't been swinging the bat very well since his hot start in general really. I do agree the blame for Joe is getting ridiculous though we're all perfect for criticizing every thing we disagree with which is common but then we don't give credit when it's due like when Maddon elected to pinch hit Bote over Ian Happ even from his stronger left side in that sunday night game. I don't mind Chili Davis too I know our fanbase is frustrated but we've had a lot of guys that have improved this year offensively. Schwarber, Almora, Zobrist, Baez, Bote, Heyward only Contreras and Russell haven't played to my expectations and Contreras has still been pretty good and Russell has been better than last year. I also don't believe Russell's issues are with the coaching staff he wasn't any better last year. I think Hickey is the guy that deserves the most scrutiny if anybody but I'm not gonna go there I just don't have enough information to make that generalization although I understand the fanbases frustrations with our pitching.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    1.) That wasn’t a”pivotal game”. The Cubs are still 2 games ahead in 1st place.

    2.) LaStella needs playing time to stay sharp for PH & to keep his defense from building serious rust.

    3.) It was a tough RHer on the mound, Tommy’s LH & Bote is RH. Baez & Contreras were both in the Lineup batting RH as it was.

    That was the game to get him in if there ever was one.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I mean every remaining game against the brewers takes on more importance in my eyes than most other series and I agree that La stella needs ABs to stay sharp but I just would rather see him played against inferior teams instead he's flat out our least valuable positional player especially when he starts and he has to play the field. I like La stella especially as a pinch hitter and contact hitter but he loses a lot of his value as a starter due to his poor defense and low slugging %. I understand what you and Maddon are saying about the splits vs. Chacin and I agree that's a fair perspective but I can understand going with the splits when deciding on whether to start Almora or Happ because they're much more comparable as overall players and hitters. I don't think that logic applies any longer on Bote vs. La Stella Bote's OPS is over .900 while La stella's is only .680 that's a massive gap AND Bote is a significantly better defensive player. I just don't like using La stella as a starter (especially in the 5 spot???) in any games with playoff implications don't think he helps us defensively or offensively. Don't get me wrong we got beat up yesterday anyways so it didn't matter who played I'm moreso saying for future reference that I think that Bote needs to start most games over La stella overall especially against good teams. La stella really hasn't been swinging the bat well for a while following a hot start. I'm rooting for him and I like that he's a good clubhouse guy but I just think he's by far our least valuable player when placed in a starting role due to his poor defense and low OPS. Put it this way my brewer fan roommate texted me before the game "why is La stella starting and batting 5th" I think anyone can agree that as an opposing fan you'd rather see him in there than all of our alternatives

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yea I agree about la stella, he's a great pinch hitter but there's a clear drop off defensively when he starts. He's easily the weakest defender of any infielder on the 25 man roster.

    Definitely don't want him hitting 5th, but he needs occasional playing time so he can get a few ab's and even though he has been struggling he's a contact hitter so I see why joe played him. quintana didn't give the cubs a chance yesterday they were down 5-0 after 3 innings so the line up offense doesn't bother me as much as the pitching does right now.Really hope hendricks has a strong start like 7 innings allowing 1 run 3-5 hits

  • In reply to bolla:

    With all due respect Bolla, Maddon is the manager and he makes the lineups. I, for one, do not agree with his lineup shuffling. In addition, saying a pro ball player can not hit RHPs or LHPs is a bunch of "hogwash" in my opinion. If it were true I doubt that player would be in the Pros. How many other managers constantly shuffle their lineup or move their best or hottest hitters in and out of the lineup? I feel Maddon is the BEST manager the Cubs have had in a long while but that does not mean he can't make mistakes or even bad decisions. Noone is perfect.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I wanna be clear I don't necessarily agree with all of maddons decisions. His managing of chapman in game 6 & 7 of the world series and his managing in game 7 overall was head scratching to say the least. He almost blew game 7, but he is better than any manager the cubs have had in decades maybe ever and gets the most out this group. So I can't really complain about the line up shuffling etc

    Chacin numbers vs righties are dominant, I can see why he went with a lefty heavy line up. It's still didn't matter but I understood why.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Fair enough. But just to be clear, when you said "Blaming joe for everything is becoming ridiculous" is NOT ridiculous considering he gets all the credit for when everything goes right.

  • I don't like to criticize Joe but I hope when KB returns he goes back to a more traditional lineup. Just let Zo, Happ, Bote, or Tommy lead off. Whoever is in the lineup that day. Guys need to reestablish their roles soon.

  • In better news Brandon Morrow expected to throw off a mound this weekend. He said he believe his bicep muscle is fully healed and he's ready to ramp up things. Good news I've been proud of Strop and how well he's handled the closers role but the addition of Morrow really brings an extra dimension to our bullpen and allows us to not place such a heavy reliance on Edwards, Strop, and Cishek. With Strop too you never know with his command but I feel like he's done a much better job this year in general of throwing strikes and not beating himself much.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Adding Bryant, Darvish, and Morrow will be like adding 3 trade deadline studs. I like Morrow at the back as it will definitely lengthen out the pen.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I'm just hoping those guys come back successfully Rbucato I still see us as an obvious NL favorite assuming that we have a healthy roster. Darvish has a long ways to go and we really have no clue about what the outcome would be even if he does return healthy but I'm excited to see him back as well. I think we'd all like to have another potential playoff option with many of our starters not showing their best form this season and at this point I can no longer say that I'd trust Q in a playoff start with the form he's shown this year in general although I believe he's capable of being better he had his best month last September hopefully we see a repeat of that. Darvish and Hamels specifically bring a swing and miss element that's been missing from our starting rotation this year. I really don't think any legit NL contender has the type of talent that we have returning off the DL hopefully by early September. Now the key is no setbacks lets get these guys back healthy and ready to contribute.

  • Cubs acquired Terrance gore(cash considerations)if anyone remembers he’s the dude who looks like he’s 15 years old From the royals 14-15 contender teams

    Super fast Pinch runner

  • the cubs are eyeing an early september return for darvish and he could start a minor league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend although I'll believe that when I see it. Here's a quote by Jim Hickey:

    "I thought he threw the ball well also," Hickey said on the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score on Wednesday morning. "I think he was up to 93 miles per hour in terms of the fastball velocity, which was really good because it's that's not on adrenaline in a 9:45 a.m. type of situation. So that's a good sign. He also used all the breaking balls. The next step is simply to see how he feels today coming in. I would anticipate him feeling OK and then probably throw a bullpen tomorrow. And if all goes OK and he recovers OK, which I do anticipate, he'll probably be off to a rehab assignment next.

    "In a perfect world -- I believe today's the 15th (of August) -- so if he threw his simulated game on the 14th, he'd be eligible to pitch on the 19th, this is in a perfect world now, the 24th and the 29th. And there you go. He'd be ready at the beginning of September if all went well."

    You hope to see the velocity creep up but he's was pitching at 9:45 AM so maybe not the best time to pitch and I can see that velocity creeping back up to 95 with the adrenaline of pitching a live game

  • I'm personally pulling for darvish to continue to progress, return and pitch great down the stretch and hopefully in the postseason.I really want him to silence his doubters

    When the cubs signed darvish I remember a lot of dodger and astro fans laughing and saying plenty of comments about how he sucks.I thought yu handled himself well after the extremely disrespectful gurriell incident and the 2 implosions in the world series cuz of him tipping his pitches

    Dodger fans conveniently forgot darvish pitched 11 innings in the nlds and nlcs and shut down two top 10 offenses in all of mlb in the cubs and d backs with 14 k's 1 walk and 2 earned runs and 8 hits allowed. Darvish had a 1.59 era going into the world series. I've said it before darvish's return is the key to any chances the cubs have in 2018.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Great post and I couldn't agree more with how LA fans use him as a scapegoat because they lost to a better houston team. The reality is they scored a bunch of runs in game 6 of that world series and that was Clayton Kershaws series to close yet he got blown up that game and everyone conveniently forgets that Kershaw who is supposed to be the best pitcher of this generation flat out blew the world series for them that game. I still to this day don't understand why Darvish gets all the criticism for that series and Kershaw gets a pass after his many rough postseason outings. All I know is that I wasn't eager to face Darvish in the NLCS and it's funny to me that people call him a mental midget in the world series yet clearly he was having a great postseason before running into a really talented Houston team that has given him trouble since his Texas days.

    I really hope he shuts some of his critics up as well he brings a swing and miss element that our rotation lacks and he's the only righty so he gives opposing teams a different look. I really think it changes the dynamic of our playoff rotation if he can return and we can leave out whichever starter doesn't turn things around here soon.

  • Check out the stats side by side between Javy Baez and Trevor Story......almost identical.......strange to say at least.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Except for Story has twice as many walks... but that’s crazy they are all basically the same. Just think of Javy got to play half his games in colorado though? I don’t wannna see that.

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