Game Post 9/13

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Well MLB is forcing the Cubs to play this game so have to do a game preview. The fact this couldn't be moved to the end of the season is really annoying. Chicago will have 33 consecutive days with a scheduled game. Even the day a game wasn't played last Sunday, they had show up and prepare to play. The grind has begun to take a toll, with the Cubs losing six of nine.

The Northsiders arrive in DC with just a one-game division lead over the Brewers. Milwaukee just won two of three at Wrigley Field and are on a tear. Every game becomes huge at this point and the Cubs have no time for complaints, even valid complaints.

Joe Maddon has shaken up his lineup for this one-day road trip. Anthony Rizzo leads off and David Bote makes his first career start in the outfield as a professional. Mike Montgomery has struggled since coming back from the disabled list. The Cubs sure could use a good effort from him today.

Watch/Listen

Thursday: 3:05 pm CT on MLB Network/NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

1. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
2. Kris Bryant (R) RF
3. Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
4. Javier Baez (R) 3B
6. David Bote (R) LF
7. Addison Russell (R) SS
9. Ian Happ (S) CF
Nationals
1. Victor Robles (R) CF
2. Trea Turner (R) SS
3. Bryce Harper (L) RF
4. Anthony Rendon (R) 3B
5. Juan Soto (L) LF
6. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 1B
7. Adrian Sanchez (R) 2B
9. Joe Ross (R) P
Bullpen Usage
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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Joe RossAlthough he has not thrown an MLB pitch in 2018, Joe Ross threw 4,118 pitches that were tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2014 and 2017, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2017, he relied primarily on his Sinker (92mph) and Slider (86mph), also mixing in a Change (85mph). He also rarely threw a Curve (81mph).

His sinker results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers. His slider has much less depth than expected, has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His change generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups. His curve has very little depth, has primarily 12-6 movement, is slightly harder than usual and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves.

Sean's Note: Ross got Tommy John surgery in the middle of 2017 and ignoring two innings that got washed out last Friday hasn't pitched in 2018. He is a fly ball pitcher and got killed by homers in his abbreviated season. Left handers especially hit him well with an average over .300 in 2017.

 

Comments

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  • Would you rather have a day off today or have to play the Monday after the season ends?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Absolutely prefer the day off today. Pay game on Monday the 1st only if necessary.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    The NL wild card is Tuesday.

  • https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.yahoo.com/amphtml/sports/joe-maddon-angry-mlb-cubs-weather-impacted-schedule-025250966.html

    Article on how joe Maddon is angry over MLBs handling of our scheduling. This isn't maddons style in general to complain so tells you something for those of you who won't except excuses in any shape or form regardless if the excuse is legit or not.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    *accept

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    This team has had issues long before this stretch. It isn’t favorable but crying isn’t gonna change anything. Joe has kept the position players rested all year long. Now the bullpen is a different story. Got excited that we are about to make playoffs for the 4th year in a row. When is last time that has happened?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I agree with everything you said actually ESP from the players standpoints except the previous comments about how fatigue isn't one of the primary factors in our struggles right now. I guess As a former player I just saw these fatigue related struggles coming a long time ago at this late point of this 23-30 game stretch and some of you didn't see it coming I've felt this long stretch would be the X factor in this season for some time now. Of course there are other factors like the bullpen and the struggles of certain young players but weve lost at least 3-4 games in the standings mainly because of this stretch and frankly some of the bullpens struggles can likely also be attributed to this long stretch although you'll never hear me call these relievers great when they're fresh or tired. Even after our off day the damage is already done and a number of our players are clearly hurt or playing beat up/injured other teams are nicked up this point of the year too but our guys are at another level in this regard. I think the purpose of maddons comments isn't necessarily to complain but to voice his criticisms of how MLB is handling these makeup games this type of thing isn't good for the game. Injuries are part of the game but it's MLBs job to do the best job they can to minimize advantages for other teams and to ensure that these games are played on a level playing field and they've failed to do that and Maddon wants to bring awareness to the errors of how our situation was handled so it hopefully won't happen to other teams including us in future seasons. I and most of us are happy to be watching this golden generation Cubs group and I think that's why a lot of us are frustrated to see our season get somewhat sabotaged due to MLB not scheduling the necessary off/makeup days as players have been demanding so they can put more money in the owners pockets. I still think we're the best team in the division and our fate is still in our hands but if the Brewers were in this stretch and not us then we would've beat up on them too anyone would be dead tired and mentally fried

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I think it's no accident that kris Bryant and caratini are the only ones hitting the past few games they happen to be our freshest players. But I'll try to stop discussing this subject let's get some wins hopefully lock up this division then I hope we can all laugh about this moment of adversity in a few weeks

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    If the Cubs don't win the division it won't be due to the schedule.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    You can't be serious ! Playing one month straight is brutal !

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    What level did you play at?

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I played high school catcher, pitcher, 3B and the outfield and I can never imagine playing or even reporting to the ballpark 30 days straight

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Congratulations on your high school playing career. As a former player as well. I agree 30 games in 30 days seem like a lot. But I am confident in saying if cubs would have had today off it wouldn’t make them better hitters or get hurt less. Most of injuries we had had before this stretch. This time of year everyone is tired and battling nagging injuries.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    If you don’t mind saying what level did you play at? Sorry, a dangling participle.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I was a closer at a small college. My Sr year I was actually all conference.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The 30 games in 30 days narrative explains the BP's struggles but not the position players. None of them have started all 30 games, have they? I do not for a second think it isn't mentally exhausting, I don't think for a second that it hasn't had a negative impact, but to say the Cubs struggles are all, or even mainly related, is incorrect in my humble opinion. The Cubs have had offensive struggles like this for a long time, including the 2016 playoffs. This is the team that we have, they go hot, they cold. When they're hot, they're very very good, when they're cold.....well you're looking at it.

  • Cubs have 5 infield pop ups through 3 innings. That's pretty unbelievable

  • Yes!!! baez got an rbi, he was stuck on 100 forever it seemed

  • And Carrot drove him in. Like what he is doing for this team.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Need to sit Willson for a while

  • Contreras does not need to sit. The solution to slumps always seems to be to sit. Players rather hit their way out of a slump and keep playing on a regular basis.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Totally. If he hasn't hit his way out in the 2 months since the all star break, the best thing for him is to give him another month.
    The Cubs can't don't have time to let guys hit their way out. They need to play the best players.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Agreed on contreras that's why he wasn't included in my list of fatigued players. He's just slumping and rolling over everything he has played a ton of games compared to other catchers especially over the 1st half but his hitting issues are clearly much bigger than fatigue related I have no excuses for him

  • Baez Back! YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!

  • Baez is back. Way to step up

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    Javy Javy!! Maybe he’s back in a groove. When he does the Cubs win and this is the perfect time.

  • Both baez hits to right field and he drew a walk 3 games in a row.Great signs

  • In reply to bolla:

    Javy has really stepped up at the plate. He won't let pitchers take advantage of him swinging at the low outside pitches. A big step forward !

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    Surprising fact of the day (for me at least.) Bryce Harper has never driven in 100 runs in a season. He had 99 in 2015 and has 94 this year, but for as great a player as he is that’s surprising.
    With Murphy not hitting he’s hurting us out there. Soto’s ball went right under his mitt.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Murphy is a disaster waiting to happen, on defense.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I need to see another angle to be 100% sure, but from the angle they showed ( plus I watched it 3x) , it looked like he dove after the ball was past him.

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    What the Cubs need is a 10-1 win or something like that. A game that they take an early lead and keep adding to it.
    These pitchers are feeling the pressure every pitch because there’s no margin of error.
    Now Russell swung at the first pitch—why not take a few, he could throw a couple of balls and then grooves one to you.

  • EDWARDS AGAIN!!!!!

    I would really like to never see him or Russell play in another game in ‘18.

  • So deflating

  • In reply to bolla:

    Hate to say it but we may need some major renovations in the pen it seems like every year our relievers have a good 1st half only to implode the 2nd half and especially late season. Maybe Maddon needs to stop this practice of having a quick hook for his starters I'm sure that doesn't help and cishek is worn out which we all knew was coming but the reality is we haven't been able to rely on any of these relievers in the previous postseasons we've always relied heavily on chapman and wade Davis something needs to be done about this pen because these guys already got exposed last year in that Dodgers series when their relievers owned us and now they're killing us again. I think the rotation and lineup are mostly set even though we could use an impact bat but I'd like to see some impact pen additions as well

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yea I'm pulling for carl , but when I saw him warming up in the pen I was smh. I understand joe wants to get him back on track but you can't keep putting him in critical situations until he shows consistency. The cubs can't afford to experiment now.

    And yes the cubs need to some strike throwers who can get k's this offseason. When one of the only guys they have that can do that is off the pen looks bad

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    It’s hard to rely on them when our starters are only going 4 or 5 inn at the most. Pitchers have got to limit their # of pitches so they can go 6, 7 or 8 inn. I’m not even going to hope that we get complete games anymore.
    Last inn, first and 2nd no outs and we can’t score. 2nd and 3rd with one out and we can’t score. Our season in a nutshell.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I agree w you, but I am fairly confident Monty didn't need to get pulled so early. His PC was low and I would have given him a little more rope.

  • WILLSON!!!!!

    C’mon. You can’t suck for this long.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Ever since he said he would be as good as Yady Molina he has gone into a major slump .
    Joe Maddon walked Brice Harper ! Stop the presses ! Maybe he learned something !

  • I love Contreras but he hasn't been right. Caratini has had some quality AB. Why did Maddon put in Contreras to hit? Zobrist, sure, but a struggling Contreras? What the heck?!

  • In reply to SenatorMendoza:

    I agree I was wondering the same thing. I also wonder why is Gore in left. Rough game for Maddon.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Yea, I bring LaStella in. He has Taylor Davis left on the bench to catch.

  • Come on Zo ... big spot here

  • This season is slipping away because of lousy bullpen and horrible underperforming hitters by situation.

    Didn’t see this coming.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    BP is still #1 ranked by ERA year n the NL. Shows that you don’t appreciate how good it is or how bad the rest of the league is.

  • In reply to stix:

    Have you been paying attention lately? These guys are on fumes and giving up runs every outing.

    The entire year means squat. It is how they are performing NOW and leading into the post season.

  • In reply to stix:

    and the Cubs lead MLB in shutouts of the opposing team with 16. That surprised me.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    They are all worn out .

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    With one out there all we needed was a fly ball and we bat Contreras who hasn't hit a ball in the air in a month! wtf joe!

  • I dont get that attempted sac bunt DP with one out???

  • Great ... extra innings - just what we needed

  • Is it too much to ask for SF?

  • In reply to stv711:

    Better than SF !

  • Put the team on your back Baez!!!!

  • No idea who is going to pitch in the 10th

  • In reply to stv711:

    I hope it's not Kintzler

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    crazy!

  • Add strop to our injury casualties of this long stretch what is Maddon doing batting him?

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I’m not one of the habitual maddon bashers but that made NO sense whatsoever. None

  • In reply to bolla:

    Exactly Maddon does a lot of good things I'm not a basher either but in game decision making in tight ball games regarding pitching changes ESP is definitely his biggest weakness as a manager

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    I guess he didn’t trust his other guys to close it. But I probably would have pinch hit too.

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    In reply to John Winter:

    Who was left on the bench?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    La Stella and that woulda been strops 3rd inning. Cmon Joe I was shaking my head before the injury even occurred this isn't game 7 of the NLCS

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Rosario, Mills & Garcia.

    I get he wanted Strop for the bottom half because they just got lead, so use him 1 more inning. However, I would not have let him swing. Fake bunt, stand like a statue, whatever, but the take sign is on. Now... They’re down a quality relief specialist.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Or you tell Pedro .... do not swing the bat.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    He's out of his mind having him hit there.

    I thought he gave him that "Wink Wink".....dont swing, take 3 strikes and come back to the bench and close this game.

    When I saw him come out w no batting gloves on, I figured thats what was happening.

    Now Pedro is out for a week at least.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Hammy strain isn't a good injury my friend I've dealt with one that's 4-6 weeks hamstrings are very easy to re aggravate. Absolutely unacceptable decision making by Maddon his typical odd decision making with his pitching changes in these close games

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    if he's out 4-6 weeks and Morrow can't come back or can't pitch b2b games........ The offense needs to hit like the Astros did in the WS last year to have a chance at getting to the World Series.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Pretty much I'm not optimistic about our playoff chances without by far our 2 most valuable relievers morrow can't come back soon enough

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He’s done for the year. Indefensible decision by Maddon, even before he got hurt.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Exactly I was screaming at my tv before the injury pinch hitting la Stella actually gives us a chance to open the lead to 2 or more runs while it's a 4-3 game and I'd rather take our chances on our other relievers like Rosario with a multiple run lead if not more than strop in his 3rd inning in a 1 run game. Aside from that strop is almost 33 and id rather not pitch by far our best healthy reliever this year for 3 innings in a non playoff game with games still to play in this long stretch. I have a lot of respect for maddon but he's easily among my least favorite managers in Cubs history when it comes to pitching changes ESP in tight games

  • Yep I’m extremely nervous right now. Rosario vs the heart of the order

  • In reply to bolla:

    Great win and nice job by Rosario stepping up but I'd rather lose than have a strop hamstring strain ESP given he's really been our only very good reliever

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    What's crazy is this means edwards will be needed even more if strop is out for a significant period.

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    That's what i was talking about with Lastella still on the bench? Cmon we need this game!

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    2 down Randy. You can do it. Throw strikes and depend on your defense!

  • Gotta tip my hat to rosario there, he did a hell of a job

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agreed. Nice win for the Cubs....

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    Well they do gain an hour coming home and I hope Joe tells them to take the whole day off and not come to the park until 5 or so.
    Yes. Thank you Randy. Now let’s hope Strop isn’t too injured.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Hammy. Out for awhile. A absolutely stupid play by joe and Pedro.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Players are competitors, sometimes you have to protect them from themselves. They are such gamers, its in the DNA. Part of what makes them so successful at this level of the game.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    How many career at bats and hits does he have?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    including today, 4.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    3 at bats, but he was a position player in the minors who converted to pitching, why? Because he couldn't hit enough.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    He also has never gotten more then 6 outs in a MLB game, but Joe was ready to test that

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Was not a good recipe for success.

  • Big win. Hopefully the bats get going now so we don’t need the bullpen & put them in a high leverage situations game in & game out...

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    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Well the bats have to wake up. Not only is the pen tired and some struggling, but now down a key member.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Exactly

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    Cards losing. Dodgers trying to make that 2nd WC race even tighter.

  • Maddon made a lot of questionable move in this game. He may be the one that needs the rest the most. Pulling Montgomery with 4+ innings and 46 pitches. Putting Edwards in a 1 run game. Putting Gore in left and having him bunt. Having Strop swing away.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    All of those plus I think he should have PH for Willson vs Holland. Willson is just not right.

    I understand why he didn't, because he wanted Willson's D in, but I hit LaStella there. Taylor Davis could have caught.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He also should not of pinch hit for Caratini with Contreras.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Very Good Point, but once Contreras was in the game for D ( or whatever reasoning), I can't let him face Greg Holland w the bases loaded w the GPHOAT, TLS ready to hit and all he has to do it basically not K or hit into a DP.

    I get Joe has faith in Willson and wanted him to come thru in that spot to boost his confidence. IMO though, winning the game and not taxing this pitching staff/pen anymore then necessary should be the most important thing. If Willy doesn't come thru, best case scenario is extra innings, and thats not good for a "tired" team.

    He still has Taylor Davis to catch the 3 outs once TLS came thru.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Maddon does this all the time. He did it to Hendricks in game 7 and there was no need to do that.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I still stand by my belief t hgv at the Cubs would have won the 2016 WS without Chapman. Chapman almost blew our run in 2016 multiple times. Jmo. Imagine if we still had Torres. Him at 2b and Javy at SS. But the past is the past.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    *belief that the Cubs

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I can agree with the Eloy for Q trade though. I think the Cubs are going to make a hard run at Harper this offseason, although I'm not totally on board with it.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I disagree. I think they would look at Machado more. He fits better in my opinion. Machado at 3rd, Baez at SS, Bryant to left field.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I meant Baez at second Russell at SS. I know some don't like Russell but I still do.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    We know what happened in 2016. What if they lost? Would that make you feel better or worse about the cubs if they now hadTorres? Can he pitch? If not we might be in year 111 with no BP closer. We know what happened.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    No way the win without Chapman

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Exactly yes he's had more dominant stretches but he closed out multiple 1 run leads in that Giants series, wasn't needed as much in the Dodgers series bc our we had several blowout wins but he did close out game 7 and pretty much was the main reason we were able to close out the Indians the final 3 innings of game 5 of the WS. His bad game 7 was on Joe riding him too hard his velocity was way down but he was basically the only reliever anyone trusted that postseason. I'd love to have Torres back as much as the next guy but we absolutely needed an ace reliever due to late season injuries for rondon and strop that they never came back the same from. I truly think we'd have been eliminated game 5 of the World Series if not for chapman our pen was struggling people forget

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    This team reminds me of Rocky (not the first one because--Spoiler Alert--he eventually loses.) But we keep getting beaten down and get up and get knocked down again, yet we still have the best record in the NL with everything that happened this year.

  • Monty has 3 more starts in regular rotation. How about moving him to BP and mix and match his three starts so the BP has more length?

  • In reply to stix:

    I think that's a great idea. I have wished for years that some MLB team would go with a tandem starter for the #5 pitcher. 4 innings, 4 innings and closer/finisher. I understand the theory that it burns a pitcher on the roster, but maybe it saves pitchers in the long run.

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    Maybe Dillon Maples can control his pitches and take his place in the later innings. I also like Norwood.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Well 1 if not more is going to have to step up HUGE if this team is going to make some noise in the playoffs.

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