Cubs @ Brewers: Series Preview (9/3-9/5)

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The Cubs are right in the middle of a stretch of 23 consecutive games without a day off. It looked like it would be the defining moment on the season. Survive it in tact and a division title is the likely result. So far the results have been outstanding. Chicago has gone 10-3 through the first 13 games. The Cubs now head to Wrigley North for an important three-game series with the Brewers.

Milwaukee is currently holding down one of the two wild cards in NL. The rock solid relief unit is starting to falter just a bit of late. The Reds and Nationals both mounted successful comebacks against them in the last week. The offense is still formidable especially at the top where Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich continue to rake.

The Cubs have a five game lead over the Brewers at the moment. The Beer Makers need a winning series the next three days. Otherwise their division hopes may go up in smoke. This is a big moment for the Northsiders to knock out an opponent. Around this time last year, Milwaukee swept the Cubs in a three-game series to keep the race alive another two weeks. Here's hoping that can be avoided this season.

Watch/Listen

Monday: 1:10 pm CT on WGN/670AM

Tuesday: 7:10 pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Wednesday: 7:10 pm CT on WGN/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

1. Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
2. Javier Baez (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Kris Bryant (R) RF
5. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
6. Addison Russell (R) SS
8. Cole Hamels (L) P
9. Ian Happ (S) CF

Brewers

1. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
3. Jesus Aguilar (R) 1B
4. Ryan Braun (R) LF
5. Hernan Perez (R) 3B
6. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B
7. Erik Kratz (R) C
8. Orlando Arcia (R) SS
9. Zach Davies (R) P

Bullpen Usage

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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Zach DaviesZach Davies has thrown 7,006 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2014 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, Spring Training and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Sinker (90mph), also mixing in a Curve (75mph), Cutter (88mph) and Change (81mph).

His sinker has slight armside run and has slightly below average velo. His curve has an exceptional bite, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has slightly below average velo. His cutter results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' cutters. His change has below average velo, has slight armside fade and has some natural sink to it.

Sean's Note: Davies has missed most of the season with injury, having only thrown 43 innings this year. His repertoire is very similar to Kyle Hendricks not very impressive fastball and a great change up. The Professor has been much more successful than Davies so far. In his small sample size in 2018 he has struck out a very low 16.9% of hitters. Two of his eight starts this season have come against the Cubs. He allowed just three runs to them in 11.2 innings pitched.

Wade MileyWade Miley has thrown 20,296 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2011 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Cutter (88mph), also mixing in a Change using a Circle Change grip (83mph), Curve (76mph), Fourseam Fastball (92mph) and Sinker (91mph). He also rarely throws a Slider (80mph).

His cutter has well above average velo, results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' cutters and has strong cutting action. His change is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups. His curve generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves, generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' curves and has a sharp downward bite. His fourseam fastball generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has much less armside movement than typical and has essentially average velo. His sinker generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has surprisingly little armside run, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker. His slider has exceptional depth.

Sean's Note: Miley has been very good since returning from injury in July. He has a 2.18 ERA in 11 starts. He generates a lot of grounders and doesn't strike out many hitters so he relies on his defense. He has dramatically reduced his homer rate, he has allowed 3 in 2018 after giving up 25 of them last year in Baltimore. Lefties have actually hit him for a higher average than righties despite Miley being a left hander.

Jhoulys Chacin: Jhoulys Chacin has thrown 19,475 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2009 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, The World Baseball Classic and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Slider (80mph) and Sinker (91mph), also mixing in a Fourseam Fastball (91mph). He also rarely throws a Splitter (87mph), Change (83mph), Curve (76mph) and Cutter (87mph).

His slider comes in below hitting speed and sweeps across the zone. His sinker has slightly below average velo and has some natural sinking action. His fourseam fastball has some natural sinking action and has slightly below average velo. His splitter generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' splitters, is slightly firmer than usual and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' splitters. His change has slight cut action and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups. His curve is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' curves, has little depth, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves, has slight glove-side movement and has slightly below average velo. His cutter (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 4 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' cutters, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' cutters, has slightly below average velo and has strong cutting action.

Sean's Note: Chacin is yet another pitcher with a strikeout rate below league average. If it feels like the Cubs have been dominated by him this year it's because they have. He has held Chicago to no runs and only 7 hits in 13 innings this season. Left handed hitters fare much better against Chacin than right handers do.

 

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    Javy!!!

  • I don't understand why Maddon doesn't start Almora more. This is the 3rd game in a row he has started Happ over Almora. Is Almora banged up or something?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Wheres Zobrist? He sat yesterday. Is he hurt? He's one of out best players in the 2nd H

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    No idea.

  • fb_avatar

    Hamels looks pretty good so far. Still early but getting outs n keeping the PC down.

    Lets put a crooked number up and really quiet brewer nation this series.

  • fb_avatar

    Again an ump with a crazy strike zone

  • Yup... electronic strike calling please. The call on Schwarber was ridiculous.

  • How far out of the strike zone was that strike 3 on Schwarber?!?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Never even got close to the black. Started out on the white of the RHers batters box. Terrible call.

  • fb_avatar

    Man its raining like crazy by me. Lucky this game is at Wrigley North !!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    It was pouring by me too but now it’s almost sunny. Our power went off for a minute or so also.

  • fb_avatar

    Hamels needs a 10 pitch inning soon

  • Murphys defense just cost the cubs a run, inning shoulda been over

  • In reply to bolla:

    maybe a the game

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    If your talking about the throw from Rizzo, it was clearly called a balk so wouldn't have mattered if he caught it.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Turns out that wasn't an error to Murphy, it was a balk by Hamels.

  • fb_avatar

    I want the concession of sun flower seeds for Javy Baez.

  • fb_avatar

    Inconsistency with the offense is going to catch up with us

  • fb_avatar

    I just hoping not getting a real LOOGY doesn't hurt us in the playoffs.

  • Rizzo with the 2 run hr to give the cubs the lead, bryce harper with the 2 run hr to tie the cards in the bottom of the 9th.YES!!

  • fb_avatar

    Boy, that sounded so sweet when he hit it. These Cubs are good and they don’t suck!!

  • fb_avatar

    Nice Job CJ, What was that 14 out of 15 straight balls between Aguilar, Braun, and Moose? Lucky ( prob cuz of the call on Aguilar for strike 1) made Braun swing at 2 balls that were outside.

    Joe arguing a ball 1 foot inside when he should have taken CJ out after the walk to Braun.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Edwards should've been pulled Maddon knows that he struggles once he has traffic on the bases.

  • Man edwards has electric stuff but he struggles too much with control.I would of taken him out after the granderson ab,his whole appearance today was stressful.

  • fb_avatar

    Holland closes the door on his former team ( still being paid millions by them too)

    How sweet that must be for those cards fans and organization.

    2 tough no hit innings, A lil redemption for Greg Holland.

  • fb_avatar

    Almora's reflexes too good. That 1st pitch by JJ would have hit me easy !

  • fb_avatar

    CJ just can’t bear down sometimes. As long as things go well he’s fine but when something goes wrong he loses concentration.
    Cards lost to Wash.
    get it done Gore. 2nd 3rd bad throw and he scores.

  • fb_avatar

    Lets see how good of a stolen base artist Mr. Gore is.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Boy he's so fast he slid thru the base!

  • Cardinal bullpen just spit the bit again

  • Not ready for prime time Edwards strikes again. He is tough to watch at times.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I think everybody but Maddon knew Edwards was off today.

  • Bullpen can't throw strikes today for some reason

  • This is the difference between bryant at 3b instead of bote or baez. Cubs deserved to lose this game

  • In reply to bolla:

    to be fair, it's more than that. Walks, HBP and a passed ball didn't help.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Yea chisek and edwards weren't good today and caused this mess but bryant shoulda went home even if he steps on 3rd he coulda went to 2nd. Bote or baez would of made that play

  • I know this is just one frustrating loss and that our pen has been one of our most consistent units on this team. But this game is a perfect illustration as to why I'm extremely nervous about our pens ability to handle the types of lineups that were gonna see in the postseason. We just don't have that ace swing and miss type of reliever that teams need in those big postseason moments that we can ride through the playoffs. I really hope morrow can return healthy because you'd hate to see this talented lineup and resurgent starting rotation go to waste and there won't be a Murphy or hamels type of upgrade this late. It's one loss and the Cubs played hard and could've easily won this game but i can see us having bullpen issues moving forward against deep lineups like the Brewers that have a deep bench to match up with different types of relievers. Just when we all thought the cards were the threat even I was starting to get nervous about their past month I don't know what it is but as a fanbase we're just wired to fear the cards over the Brewers despite how many unproven players the cards have. I still see the Brewers as the chief threat in this division their positional player group and bullpen are a lot better and deeper than the cards. Hopefully we'll start matching Lester and our best starters against the Brewers moving forward I'm tired of constantly seeing Montgomery and Quintana against them every single time let's give them a new starter to get a look at. ESP regarding montgomery he's had some tough starts against those guys ESP last season

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The best bullpen strikeout pitchers are edwards,wilson,chisek strop then morrow.

    Edwards,wilson and strop are all the same they are either good or very shaky.It's one or the other no in between with any of them.Today they were off which makes it more frustrating, you get a 2 run go ahead hr vs hader who hadn't allowed a hr to a lefty all year and give the lead right back because the bullpen can't throw strikes. Chisek was just as bad as edwards. 4 pitch walk then hits the next batter he had no control, edwards yelling at the ump when NONE of the pitches he walked mosutakas on were close throws strikes and stop crying.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Surprising I thought morrow had a pretty healthy K rate but point is we don't have that impact reliever like Davis or chapman with morrow out and it takes strop away as a set up option. I think our pen has done very well this year considering the circumstances and injuries but I'm not sure if there's enough talent and consistency for me to trust them much against deep high end lineups. Stinks bc I feel really good about how our lineup and starters match up with anyone in the postseason after the Murphy/hamels additions. I've long felt that Q and Hendricks would round into form I know you don't like Q but I think he's fine as your 4. I know our starters have been more inconsistent than our relievers this year but these guys have the track records we know the talent was always there

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