AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *deep breath* HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!--Brewers 5 Cubs 1

The Cubs did the minimum in their important series against the Brewers. Unfortunately the offense's deep freeze continued and the bullpen continues to be leaky as the Brewers leave town down a mere game. Curtis Granderson was inserted into the starting lineup in the leadoff spot, and it shows the difference between the hands Craig Counsell and Joe Maddon are playing with right now. The extremely likeable veteran bat tripled to lead off the game. He would score on Lorenzo Cain's single.

The Cubs managed to make hard contact against Brewers starter Chase Anderson, but they found Brewers gloves more often than not. Chase Anderson walked three Cubs in the first two innings, and the Cubs even placed the tying run in scoring position in the second inning. Javier Báez led off the second inning with a walk, but was thrown out trying to steal second. Albert Almora Jr. flew out for the second out, but Anderson's control wavered once again against Willson Contreras. Kyle Hendricks hit a two out single to give the Cubs a chance to tie the game, but Addison Russell flied out to right to end the threat.

Hendricks surrendered another run in the third inning. Chase Anderson was retired easily enough, but Granderson, Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain all singled to load the bases. Travis Shaw hit a hard fly out to center to drive in Granderson. Hendricks induced a groundout from Moustakas to keep the Cubs in shooting distance, but it was too late by this point.

Chase Anderson was pulled after just four innings, but he left with a 2-0 lead. The Cubs cut the Brewers lead in half in the fifth inning. Jacob Barnes was the first Brewers reliever. Tommy La Stella hit a groundball to short, and ended up on second with the error by the Brewers shortstop. You won't believe it that Addison Russell and Daniel Murphy made outs, but Kris Bryant hit a ball off the basket. It was correctly ruled a double and the Cubs had to settle for just a run in the inning with Rizzo grounding out.

The Cubs managed just two more singles the rest of the night. The Cubs bullpen continued its struggles as the game went on. Carl Edwards Jr. started the eighth inning. He managed to get two outs, but with runners at the corners Joe had seen enough. Steve Cishek entered the game to get the final out of the inning. Cishek did that, but Cishek going back out in the ninth gave up a solo shot to Curtis Granderson. Brandon Kintzler and Brian Duensing combined to allow another pair of runs while recording two outs to end the game earlier than the 27th out.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Random Reference
I'll be fine in the morning but let me wallow tonight.

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  • Theo has been in love with his over valued draft picks (Schwarber,Almora,HAPP) while the brewers and cardinals swoop in and grab Cain Yelich and Ozuna. They will haunt us for years.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Almora adds value with his amazing D and his offense has really improved, but Schwarber is a below average OF in the MLB. Lots of power, low BA with many KO's in critical situations. Happ really doesn't offer much, except versatility and potential power. Either way, I would take Cain and Yelich over any of the aforementioned players.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Exactly, and all those good young players we traded away will haunt us for years to come.

  • The sad thing is that they could have traded any two of the three to the Marlins for Yelich and signed Cain as a free agent. Instead they opted for Chili Davis. As old as I am, I have never seen a team take more down the middle fastballs and swing at pitches in on their hands. The offense stinks with Russell, now Almora, Contreras, Schwarber and Mr K himself, Happ. Thanks Chili.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Marlins were looking for prospects for Yelich which the Cubs did not have and Cain's length of contract for his age was mocked when it happened.

  • In reply to veteran:

    If Chili and the offense are so bad, why are we only 1 run away from tieing for the league lead with Atlanta and LA?

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Stats like that are worthless. Everyone knows the Cubs offense scores a lot - sometimes. At other times, they get shut down. The average looks good on paper, but what do the Cubs win for "the league lead with Atlanta and LA?"

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    All teams have there ups and downs with scoring. No team scores 4 or 5 runs consistently every game.

  • In reply to veteran:

    This is my greatest point of frustration as well, Veteran. Maybe Chili has Cubs hitters doing sequence-guessing?

  • The Magic Number holding at 16....

    MIL off today. StL starts a 4-gamer at home vs LAD.

  • RELAX...........I hope!

  • For those of you who have been here, I have always had issues with our offense. And you can’t win a lot of games scoring 1 run. I expect changes this off season.

    But our bullpen is hemorrhaging. Every stinking game we are giving up runs. I think our bullpen is going to cost us. We just look terrible back there right now.

    I still hold out that we can get hot over the next 2 weeks and ride it to a title. Get hot at the right time. That is all it takes.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I have been saying for awhile that this is not a bullpen of a serious contender. What is amazing is watching the brewers bring in arm after arm that hits 95. Cubs may have 3 arms in the normal pen that can hit 95??? We don’t have that strike out guy. Last night we bring Duensing in with bases loaded and 1 out. Yes he gave up weak contact that had eyes but we needed a strikeout. Same thing with Yelich play in the last series. Yes he got the ground ball but we needed a strikeout with 1 out. I still believe offensively we will be ok and as well with starting pitching. But the pen is very weak.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Cubs need Morrow back and they have a bullpen of a serious contender

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    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I agree 100% as long as he's a combo of the Morrow from last yr and the one we saw in a Cubs uniform. ( we are prob going to need him to be able to go b2b games).

    Either way, I think this stretch is prob what this team needed. A little adversity. Hopefully this galvanizes the team and they can band together and go on a " Us against the world aka Manfred" and win the title and give a single finger salute to Manfred as we win the World Series !

    Honestly there are only 2 ways to go from here. Up or down. I am thinking we have too much talent n experience to go down so my money is on up up up !!

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Not sure I'd buy that. The 7th and 8th inning guys aren't scary. Morrow is a big if but he isn't a big time closer.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    The offensive woes are nothing new, but we've counted on that 2nd-half surge to get into the playoffs. This year, the surge started late and fizzed quickly. I hope you are right about changes for 2019. AFAIK, they can start with coaches Hickey and Davis. A few players have reached lower ceilings that we predicted. If they won't get better, they need to get gone.

    Absolutely, the Cubs could still get hot and take it all the way. The clock is ticking.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    No evidence you need to be hot going into the playoffs. Many teams have won it all playing poorly the last couple weeks of the season.

  • I think our pen COULD have been the strength of this team, but having to pitch WAY TOO MANY INNINGS as a result of starters only being able to go 5 innings has weakened them. Add the 30 straight games and you have a recipe for disaster, as we're seeing now. This team needs to somehow get through the remainder of the season and win the division so they can get some rest !!! I think that's all the BP needs.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Last night's game was a perfect example. The Brewers pulled their starter early, trusting their bullpen to get it done. The Cubs rode theirs as long as possible to keep from using their BP.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I still think the wise move for this team right now is to move Monty back to the pen for the rest of the season. His flexibility would help Joe out tremendously. I would even take the two starts and give them to Walkwood if need be. Even though I hated watching him pitch, for some reason we usually won when he did.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Agree 100%. Unfortunately, Joe has to choose between a hole in the bullpen and a hole in the starting rotation...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Hendricks was pulled 5th after 77 pitches!!

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Well it sure didn't happen because Maddon trusted his bullpen more than Hendricks, now did it?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Why else would he pull Hendricks after 77 pitches?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Hendricks spot in the batting order was leading off the inning. It was that hit that started the inning and the only run that scored. Unfortunately, when the offense isn't getting on base and hitting with guys on base, a NL pitcher gets pulled after 77 pitches.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    They haven't played 30 straight games. They had a couple days off due to weather. They have been resting players all year. This team is not fatigued so the excuses need to stop.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    They have showed up for work for 30 days straight. The game is actually the easiest part of their day. They have not got a day away from the ballpark in a month. I work a lot of hours at my job Mon-Sat (about 60-68) but at least I get away every Sunday.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    This day 24 being at the park in a row, not 30. It will be 30 when the Cubs get back from AZ.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    They haven't had ANY "days off." This team is fatigued. That's not an "excuse," it's a fact. Today, they get to play at 3:00 after getting into Washington after 5:00 AM. I suppose you'd say they all "rested" on the plane!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Exactly let's not take away from what the Brewers did they're better than many thought and they're hungry but don't try to tell me this team isn't fatigued after having to report to the park more straight days than any other team in baseball this year and we played a double header which mitigates that off day if you can even call it that. Our core star players that have basucally played every day this stretch like schwarber Murphy rizzo Baez and zobrist are gassed and beat up and that played a big factor in this series. There's a reason why murphy, rizzo, Lester, heyward zobrist schwarber have all gotten these minor injuries here lately DURING this stretch. Yes we have a number of struggling players and a thin bullpen that the Brewers exposed but at the same time our star everyday players are extremely fatigued. We played ok and give them credit for taking this series from us but I think the whole Cubs locker room knows that we'll be in a better situation to succeed the next time we may potentially play these guys. I understand saying we lost this series for more reasons than just fatigue but fatigue was a primary factor still

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Rizzo was quoted saying this stretch has been really tough on their bodies but they're just taking It one day at a time and trying to just worry about playing the games but at the end of the day no matter the makeup of the team were all human

  • The dog days of summer are ending and it seems like in the last 3 years, the Cubs have cooled off with their hitting with the colder weather.

  • Time to cut the fat this offseason, it’s time to move on from some of these overrated young hitters. I have no idea if ricketts will spend more this winter because of Lester,heyward and Darvish contracts but I want Machado or Harper I’m tired of watching Almora,Schwarber, Happ, Russell.

    I can’t believe torres was traded over Schwarber what a terrible decision by Theo.

  • In reply to bolla:

    This is not directed to anyone in particular but instead to a whole bunch in general/ Why does Joe get all the credit when the Team is doing good but when things go bad, its the FO's fault? This is the time for the Manager to manage the team and get them back in the right direction.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I think when things are going good the players,joe and the fo get praised collectively. I'm not blaming the fo at all, this is obviously the best run in cubs history and genuine cub fans appreciate the ownership and theo without a doubt.

    But theo has made some questionable moves post world series , I think he overpaid in some past trades that are hurting the cubs now(no high ceiling prospects to call up that can give the team a jolt,no good prospects to trade) and overvalued some of the young players.The walkwood and darvish signings have been disasters in year 1.

    add the fact that the brewers are simply getting more value from their players for less.Yelich and cain are better than heyward,almora,happ,schwarber and make less combined than heyward makes.

    Chacin and miley have been good starters for them and cost nothing.Aguilar is another productive player that is costing them nothing.They have burnes one of their best pitching prospects pitching out the pen.They have found value for cheap, cain is their highest paid player and has been great compared to Heyward who was a flop his 1st 2 years.

    The cards are the same they have young pitching all cheap, and will get reyes back next season, the cubs aren't getting value like either of these teams.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    in what world do you see Joe not getting drilled when things are going bad? Heck, he catches flack when they are winning let alone losing.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Actually, those trades and off season moves made sense to me at the time, and I'm still not convinced that they have not worked out. My biggest regret is that the boys couldn't figure out a way to grab Yelich. Available cost controlled talent of that level is extremely rare.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Where would you put yelich and who would be gone from the cubs?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Exactly, it was a tough fit.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Earlier this year, when Almora was close to leading the league in BA and Joe was even using him against RHP, it appeared the Cubs had their "Yelich." Regression happened...

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I loved yelich when he was on the marlins, I wanted him on the cubs for years. I think he's honestly one of the most underrated players in mlb.

    The cubs simply didn't have the prospects to get it done.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Way overpaid for Chapman. Was taken to the cleaners considering the Indians gave up less for Andrew Miller. If we were going to be fleeced, we should have gotten Miller or just gave up Torres ONLY for Chapman.

    Maybe your right and the reason he got fleeced is cuz he wouldn't trade the Schwarbenator. Cashman prob knew that that if kept asking for him, Theo would keep ponying up cuz he loved the Schwarbenator.

    Least we won a title. Imagine if Joe blew that series. This would be a very very angry fan base on all fronts and levels.

  • Let's just say it's not a pretty picture. The pen is on fumes and we strike out way too much. Cubs have had a couple shots in the arm with Hamels' starts', Murphy's bat, and Chavez good pen work, but the Brewers have our number. Too many of our young players are disappointing. Somebody needs to step up.

  • As a final thought, the schedule and weather have added insult to injury. No way that the Cubs should be traveling today. Mlb administration made decisions ignoring the best interests of the integrity of the game. At this point, 'just go play' won't do it. Only rest can fix fatigue. The team needs to dig deep, but let's win this thing anyway.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    How do you know the team is fatigued? Any time the team or player is performs poorly the excuse is they are tired and need rest. The players are ready to go for todays game based on interviews they gave.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    And what would you expect them to say in an interview? "I'm pretty tired and really don't feel like playing today?" Seriously?

    You can argue how much the fatigue is impacting the player's performance. You can't argue that they aren't fatigued.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Travel fatigue is a bitch when one is trying to be at their best. It's mental and physical.

  • The changes we need to make are in the rear view mirror. Nobody will give us much now for are 240 hitters. These trades should have been made after 2016. The only way to improve now is through free agency. Minor leagues are depleted. I really doubt if the rickets family wants to spend much more money than Theo already wasted.

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    In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Why not? The Ricketts are just minting money hand over fist. They can surely spend if they want to go into the luxury tax.

    Imagine Scrooge McDuck's money vault !

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Haven't we learned by now spending a lot does not always equal winning?

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    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Did I say they should spend like a drunken sailor? I just stated they could do anything they want. To be in that position is a beautiful envious thing. ( well I guess we could be the Dodgers w that position along w a farm system)

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    No. You said, "Imagine Scrooge McDuck's money vault !"
    But remember, Scrooge McDuck's money vault was full because he DIDN'T spend...

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    I guess I should have been clearer. I was using the "Money Vault" simply as an example of how much money the Cubs have.

    Money Vault was large and full of gold coins, ect i.e. Cubs have a lot of money.

    I hope thats clearer.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    The cubs are getting a new tv deal after 2019. They'll have huge amounts of money to spend on payroll just off that deal alone and they are a cash cow right now. They will probably have to exceed the luxury tax in 2019 but then zobrist,morrow,chisek come off the books.Lester in 2020(if he doesn't vest the option) and they'll go under again.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Just because the have money to spend the cubs have to find the right people that can perform.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Hindsight is so wonderful...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Seriously. "Should have traded players after 2016." If only Theo and the rest of us had the foresight to trade core pieces from a 103 win juggernaut with no visible weaknesses.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Yea, scratching my head on that one......who dismantles a World Series team? Loria, doesn’t count.......he’d sell his mother.

  • Guys, it's been fun. Cubs Den has been my first destination nearly every morning for six years. John and his staff helped get me through the rebuild with a greater understanding of the game, development and philosophy than I ever had before despite being a fan for well over four decades. Now it's time for me to step back. Not going to say I'm never going to post again but probably not frequently and maybe not for a while. I think as a group we've lost site of the love of the game and our love of the Cubs. We don't need to be eternal optimists (although I try to be) but the negativity has overwhelmed me. I have some other places to share my thoughts and engage in baseball discussion and for now I'm going to do that there. I harbor no ill will and everyone is free to be whatever kind of fan they want, but it did used to be different here. Good luck and Go Cubs!

  • In reply to TC154:

    Best of luck, TC. I'm not far behind.

  • In reply to TC154:

    TC154, you expressed my feelings exactly. We all love the Cubs and these are anxious times, but the constant negativity and blaming by some posters really takes the enjoyment out of reading Cubs Den. I’ll have to stay away from the comments for awhile and just read the wonderful articles. Go Cubs.

  • In reply to TC154:

    You are right. The "comments" section is very hard to read after a Cubs loss. Fortunately, today we are starting a 10 game winning streak and the sun will resume rising in the mornings again.

    Best wishes, TC154. And leave room to hang your 2018 Cubs WS Championship shirt.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Hope you stick around TC this site needs more people like you not less. There's always gonna be fans that are down after a stretch like this that's just sports buddy I don't know what about the vast majority of these posts is so offensive and I haven't posted on the subject of replacing players but it's natural for fans to call for certain players to be replaced with the way some of our positional players and relievers not carrying their weight. Even as a balanced thinker I think Theo may need to make some renovations to this team. I don't think most are unappreciative of what this group has done but we just want to see this core of players win another WS which they have many of the pieces to accomplish and some additions to our pen and replacing a few positional players may very well help our chances

  • Come on 154 reconsider that. We have always had some negativity. It's human nature. We will miss your knowledge and logic.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    And Cliff.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    You too, Barley. If you're not on deaths door. We need you.

  • Every site gets collectively negative when things go bad. Cubs Den is far from alone in that. Of the 4 or 5 sites I frequent, all of them are in panic mode.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    If not in the full panic mode, the majority of posters are. Just luckily some majority is 55%-60% where some majority is 85% plus

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    IMO, there's a big difference between the rational discussion of what's wrong / how to fix it and the "So-and-so's an idiot who shoulda got Babe Ruth when he had the chance" nonsense that appears on this site after every loss (and some wins). I know that the current administrators of this site are trying hard and I'm grateful. That said, the characteristics that separated Cubs Den from sites like Bleacher Nation and others have faded away.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Eh, I disagree. There are more emotional and reactionary comments here than usual, but this is the biggest Cubs regular season low point in 4 years. There's still good discussion happening here.
    BN's comment section has maybe 2 posters contributing any substance.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    I didn't even know rational straight up people still commented/ read BN comment section. That was news to me.

  • I bet theo wanted to give this core one more year together. If the cubs don't win the world series sweeping changes are coming this offseason

    Baez,Contreras,Bryant,rizzo are the only untouchables.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think it's more than that, bolla. Schwarber got healthy and they / we expected to see some improvement. Almora started off hot, vying for the league lead in BA for awhile. Happ was supposed to cut down on strikeouts. Darvish was supposed to be ace-like. Chatwood should have been at least an adequate #5. New hitting and pitching coaches were hired to help everyone perform at their best. I don't blame Theo for thinking this lineup could do better than 2017, but that thinking has to change.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yup and with the new tv deal looming.The payroll will increase significantly which is why I think harper or machado is a legit possibility.Established productive hitters who pitchers fear.

    I think the cubs will be much stronger next season wit alzolay & a hopefully healthy darvish in the fold, along with smyly. Maybe hoerner too

  • fb_avatar

    Sounds like you guys have finally realized that the cubs window is slamming shut and you're getting out while you can. The cubs will be a 90 loss team starting next year and the cardinals with their stud loaded young pitching staff is set up to dominate the NL central for the next 5-7 years. Time to rebuild and hopefully Theo balances the rebuild out with hitters and pitchers. His absolute failure to draft,sign and produce SP cost the cubs a dynasty.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    And, here's an example of what's different. Class 1A assholes like Mr. Simmons who come here solely to troll should have been banned long ago. Administrators, that's a personal attack. Go ahead - ban ME.

  • As a baseball fan I'm picking the Brewers to win the division. The're good, motivated and rested with a favorable schedule and built in rest days going forward. As a 'die hard' I'm pitching my Cubs to win it all. At this point even with game lead, it would be an upset to pull it off. Go Cubs!

  • Now is not the time to relax but geez some of you guys are the reason cub fans get mocked. The brewers are playing out of their ass and our boys just need a day off. Reinforcements should be on the way soon (Morrow, Heyward). I like our chances for the division and even the wild card game if it comes to that.

  • fb_avatar

    Whoever called for Rizzo to go all GLOAT again called it/ got his/her wish. Nice work.

    Here we go

    Rizzo 1B
    Bryant RF
    Murphy 2B
    Javy 3B
    Victor C
    Bote LF
    Addy SS
    Monty P
    Happ CF

    Lets put up a crooked number early !

    Although I hear its raining in DC>

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Ugh, bout time Murphy gets moved. Hopefully that's permanent. I usually can find some reasoning for Joe's decisions, and the lineup doesn't bother me... but why is Zobrist (patient, works counts) batting 4th and Murphy (power, doesn't K, doesn't walk either) leadoff? Does not make sense

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    I don't really have an answer for the Murphy leadoff question. I think Murphy has almost led off as many times for the Cubs as he has in his entire MLB career.

    Re: Zobrist at cleanup. I think if everyone was hitting like normal, it would maybe be different. The way the whole team is struggling ESP w RISP, Joe prob wanted to put Zo ( the guy who prob has the best chance to succeed in a run producing spot) in the spot that got the most RISP chances.

    Hopefully they will snap out of it and he can put the lineup back in a more conventional flow.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I was also wondering about our standard L-R-L-R - ... batting order. Every other batter is at a disadvantage against the starting pitcher, thus reducing the chances of putting a string of productive ABs together. I kind of like the idea of LH hitting Zobrist, Murphy, Rizzo, Heyward, and Caratini coming up again a RHP.

    And since rosters expanded Sept. 1, teams can switch relievers every other batter anyway - again removing any reason to employ a L-R-L-R ... batting order.

  • Too many sensitive homers on here to be honest.Fans are going to complain, especially after losing 4 out of 6 vs the team chasing you not only a team chasing you but a team that offensively and pitching wise looked much better than the cubs. The "it's too negative in here" vibe is ridiculous. Everybody is not gonna have the "go cubs we're still in 1st!!" delusional outlook when the cubs are one bad series away from not being in 1st.

    Go read any cubs site, cubs bleacher report, cubs reddit etc plenty of fans are upset or think the team isn't playing with any urgency.Several fans have complained about the players,joe or whoever.This is what comes with expectations the days of hoping the cubs make the postseason and keeping your fingers crossed that they win a series are over.They are expected to compete for titles annually.Too much talent and resources not too.That's why fans are being "negative"

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yeah, no we get it... But the mood swings are comical. I just hope no one starts booing at the games because we aren't winning the world series every year.

  • Cubs are 5-6 since Heyward went on the DL. Is it a coincidence?

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