Greatest Professor Since Indiana Jones- Cubs 5, D-Backs 1

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Despite a hit and miss offense, the Cubs have gotten a lot of excellent pitching in the month of September. Kyle Hendricks had perhaps the best start of a month of great starts Monday. He totally dominated the Diamondbacks en route to an easy win.

The professor allowed just one hit the first five innings, a bloop double to Eduardo Escobar in the 4th. That was also one of only 3 hits Kyle would surrender all night. Patrick Corbin was able to keep things tied with five scoreless innings of his own.

The Cubs would finally rally in the top of the 6th inning. Albert Almora went opposite field for a leadoff single. Kris Bryant hit a line drive through the wide open right side of the infield to move Albert to third. Anthony Rizzo grounded to second scoring the runner at third, initially ruled a double play it was overturned on replay. Javy Baez blasted a two-run dong just left of dead center field to make it 3-0.

Almora hit a pop fly single in the 8th inning to set the stage for some insurance runs. Jim Deshaies made a bold prediction from the announcing both, he said Bryant was going to hit homer. Given the fact KB hasn't homered since returning from the DL, it was a bold prediction. Sure enough the former MVP smoked an opposite-field line drive homer to right field off of Randal Delgado.

Hendricks took the 5-0 lead to the 9th inning attempting to throw a complete game. AJ Pollock threw a wrench in those plans with a sol0-shot to right field. Kyle got the next two hitters to fly to the warning track, but a weak Paul Goldschmidt single to center ended his night. Bizarrely, Justin Wilson made one pitch and Willson Contreras threw out the Arizona first baseman trying to steal second to record the final out.


Source: FanGraphs

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  • I'm all conflicted. Seriously. I don't know what to think. What I know for now is the Cubs won, again, because of Javier Baez. I'll stay with the course and get this over with, not that it ever gets old:

    Thank you. May I have another?

    I'm gonna piss some people off. This is something I've thought for some time but have kept to myself. I have openly praised Kris Bryant and have unequivocally labeled him a first-ballot HOF'er. He stuns me as I watch him play baseball. And I will say without a bit of doubt that Javier Baez is a better baseball player than Kris Bryant.

    There it is. Hate me and disagree. Give me your OBP and I'll give you every other single skill of a baseball player. Javier Baez is a Unicorn, and I love watching him blossom.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'm so pissed off now. And after that great victory.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    You're welcome.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes indeed, Absolutely agree

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I disagree with you, but not by much. I think when healthy, matching number for number, Bryant is a better hitter and he’s a good defender probably better than someone of his size should be and I like that he never gets too high or too low. In other words a healthy KB is a rock. Baez, on the other hand, is a ball of restless energy whose highs are spectacular and whose lows are frustrating but he makes something happen in every aspect of the game. He literally disrupts defenses when he’s on the basebaths which is rare, he takes the team on his shoulders to win if necessary and he’s a joy to watch, again in every aspect. He’ll also make you crazy and his emotions are maybe a tad more out of control than one would like. So which is better? Hard to say but there’s a boring factor about Bryant that appeals to me and the overall numbers, including yes OBP, are probably always going to be just a little better. I probably take the rock over the whirlwind but neither answer is wrong.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I am glad you changed your mind about leaving us, TC154. Perhaps Cliff will also.

    Nothing like a few good games, a 2-1/2 game lead, and a shrinking magic number to change the mood of the comment section.

    Ever wonder what we would have been like during the Cubs 1969 swoon?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I’ll disagree with you. Cause that’s what I do. :)Baez is more flashy and loud with his skills and personality. Kris is more quiet and humble with his skills set. If you look at 162 game average Kris would average more Hr, RBIs , better average and has him doubled in career WAR.... May I have another :).

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes You May!!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    They're just 2 different players. To me, Baez is like Barry Sanders--every play there's a chance to see something special, but actually Barry S got caught more times behind the line of scrimmage than anyone else. KB is like Gale Sayers--he flows and he's great to watch
    and just so productive!
    Both elite. btw, for those who didn't watch the game last night JD called Bryant's HR before he even stepped into the batter's box. That's Steve Stonian.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Baez IS better than Bryant......THIS YEAR.
    I wouldn’t even try or want to get into a discussion which one is the better player overall.....all I know is:

    They are BOTH ours which is the most important thing to me.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Its tough for me to say as both I believe will have long great careers.

    Will both make it to the HOF?

    Will one make the HOF?

    Put a gun to my head, I will have to go w KB as I believe when there careers are over, KB will get that huge 250 million dollar contract and thus have more career earnings.

    I will tell you though if Javy has another season like this, you can't blame anyone for picking Javy.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Baez is my favorite player on the team and I generally agree with you right now and I think Javy is clearly a more impactful defender and baserunner although I do see Bryant as an elite baserunner as well. I do think Bryant's recent offensive stats aren't his ceiling remember he had 20 home runs last year in June before his wrist/hand injury turned him into more of a contact/OBP hitter in the 2nd half. This year his power numbers were a little down in early June when he suffered the shoulder injury but his OPS and OBP were still MVP level stats up until his shoulder injury. I already know Bryant can hit but my concern is he's now had 2 years in a row where he's gotten beat up and went to the DL and then lost his power following his return he has to show that he can not only stay healthy but put up the type of power and run production that we saw in 2016. I still think assuming good health that we'll see bigger years from KB then we've seen in the 2017-18 seasons. While Baez is one of the most well rounded players in baseball and is having an MVP caliber year I still think it's a little early to conclude he's a better HITTER than Bryant although he's clearly been the teams best hitter THIS YEAR

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Baez has been better than Bryant this year. Lets see how they compare going forward. Past few years Bryant far superior.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Not really. In 2015 baez lost his sister,then broke his finger he didn't get called up til september it was a lost season for him. Last season baez had 6 less hr's and 2 more rbi's than bryant in 156 less pa's and baez is a superior baserunner and defender he had more drs at 3b than bryant in like 900 less innings played at the position.If baez is producing more at the plate what exactly does bryant have an advantage over baez in?

    2016 was the only year bryant was better than baez. Glad to have both but it's not some clear advantage like you make it seem.Baez also delivers in crunch time more than he doesn't, can't say the same about bryant.Look at baez #'s with risp compared to bryants last year(similar sample size in ab's) .281 to .237.Besides draw walks and plate discipline bryant does absolutely nothing better than baez

  • In reply to bolla:

    I love KB as well as Baez have both of their jerseys so not taking sides here at all but another thing I'd add is that most of us that followed these guys minor league careers had a hunch that Baez maybe slower to adjust at the plate in the big leagues as his approach needed refinement despite his insane bat speed and hand/eye coordination he was less polished than our college hitter draft picks. KB was about as polished of a young hitter coming out of college as this league has seen in a while and with his extremely advanced approach at a young age he was thought to be an obvious rookie of the year candidate. I personally still take KB's 2017 offensive season over Baez because of the huge gap in their OBP's while their power production is fairly similar but I'd say Baez's impact in 2017 was closer to Bryant's than their WARs indicate. I do think bryant's injury issues the past 2 years also have to be taken into account with his lower home run totals he basically stopped hitting home runs last season after a very hot start following his hand/wrist injuries. Now that both players are entering their primes and Baez's approach has become somewhat refined it's going to be interesting to see how they do moving forward. But they were my 2 favorite prospects to follow in their minor league careers and I'm very excited to have them both on this team.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Said this in my response to bolla, but Bryant's 2017 was miles better than Baez' in every offensive category that matters.

  • In reply to bolla:

    It is a clear advantage. Bryant is clearly better. The only thing Baez is clearly superior at is defense. Even baserunning, Bryant graded out better in 2016 and 2017 by fangraphs' Bsr metric, which takes into account things like % of times taking an extra base (this year Bryant has been slightly negative while Baez has been fantastic).
    Offensively in 2016 it wasn't close, but you conceded that so...
    in 2017 Baez' HR% was 4.5% compared to Bryant's 4.4%. Bryant had him in XBH%, OBP, SLG, wOBA, wRC+, and ISO. And the margins weren't close for any of these numbers. Bryant outpaced Baez by a lot. In 2017, Baez created 350 outs, for an Outs/PA of 68.9%. Bryant created 408 outs for an Outs/PA of 61.3%. I know you've said you don't care about whether a hitter creates outs, but NOT creating an out is the single most important thing a hitter can do so... agree to disagree I suppose.
    Even this year, for the time Bryant has been on the field, one can argue he has been a better hitter than Baez. Baez has him beat in wOBA .371 to .368, and in wRC+ 133 to 131. It's very close. Bryant's OBP is .384 compared to Baez' .328. Bryant has created an out 65.2% of the time, compared to Baez' 68.2% of the time.
    Baez has been fantastic. I think he deserves the MVP. But Kris Bryant is a better player.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Bryant has also struck out fewer than Baez in every year as well, by a significant margin.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    They're both awesome. Let's enjoy them both. We don't need to denigrate one player to enjoy the other. The whole post is a troll post. Let's stick with song lyrics and can I have another.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    "May" I have another. It shows politeness and respect.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    All you proved is kris bryant is a better HITTER which everyone already knew.All that better on base,woba,iso,wrc+ etc etc and baez still drove in more runs in 2017 in 100+ less plate appearances. Driving in runs is necessary to win games. Since baez makes more outs and is still was equally as productive last season I couldn't care less about the sabermetrics.Now when you add preventing runs with how baez tags runners attempting steals,how baez routinely guns runners out at home whether as the cut off man or from ss/2b on infield grounders and his defense in general and add the fact he's a decent hitter despite his flaws and his baserunning then baez has advantage as an overall baseball player.Which was my point

    I don't even want to get into this discussion and make it seem like we have to slight one or the other, we can respectfully agree to disagree.

  • In reply to bolla:

    But you argued that Baez was a better hitter last year and this year.
    Who's not being respectful? No one is denigrating anyone. I think we agree they're both great.

    I'm arguing Bryant is such a better hitter that he is an overall better player. They are comparable baserunners (or they have been historcially - Baez is clearly better this year). Baez is a better fielder. As far as driving in runs, Baez would have a lot fewer RBI if Bryant weren't on base so frequently for him. Look at their runs scored over the last 3 years. Driving in runs is necessary, but how much credit should a hitter get for driving in a runner from 3B who got there by hitting a triple? Didn't the guy who hit the triple create a larger percentage of that run than the guy who drove him in? That's why runs created is a better stat than RBI.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    On a cubs team that seriously struggles at times to score with risp driving in runs are paramount.You made valid points but everyone is saying the same thing.Bryant is clearly more patient,with a better approach at the plate.That results in better offensive numbers but there's too many things baez does that close that gap.AND he's productive offensively too.Bryant has missed approximately 2 months this season and 70 so games and the cubs still maintained.If baez was out that same span I do not see the same results.I think the brewers would be in 1st right now.At one point in late july baez had driven in 16 of the cubs 28 total runs

    I haven't even mentioned the tagging or sliding ability.Baez has made tagging an art form look how many times he gets guys at 2nd russell,zobrist,murphy don't do that.he avoids outs with his slides,he's stolen home twice including once when the play was sniffed out.If baez can ever get some decent plate discipline this kid would be a monster and he's improved drastically with his discipline(still could be better).Regardless of how anyone feels baez is in that contreras,bryant,rizzo untouchable category.He's way too valuable to this team like the other 3.In my opinion baez is the best overall player on the team.Key word overall

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I agree Bryant has been the clear superior offensive player thus far in their careers but with the way javy is coming into his own at the plate this year I think it's premature to say Bryant is the better overall player. In fact if I'm being honest I'd probably say I consider javy to be the most indispensable all around player on the roster even though rizzo and Bryant are probably more consistent hitters. I say this respectively too as a guy that is very high on both and As a guy that expects Bryant's power to return once he returns to full health

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    That's totally fair. I think those arguments can be made. That's why we're all here on this site. I'd disagree, and say that Bryant is better, more indispensable, whatever.
    I'd say both of them are pretty darn untouchable.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    My few qualms with Bryant as a hitter is even when he's on I feel like he does a lot of his damage against bad pitching he's always been the biggest reds killer in previous years. And I know some of you think RBI's is a meaningless stat and I get it's influenced by luck and your supporting cast and spot in the batting order but I still value RBI's I think it's a skill and the Kris Bryant I've seen the past couple of years seems to be great with the bases empty but he constantly seems to blow RBI spots for a hitter of his caliber. He rarely comes up in pressure clutch spots which has been a frequent criticism of his game and I personally don't think it's an accident that his RBI totals are lower than you'd expect for a hitter of his caliber he's flat out not as good in those spots as Baez is now and Rizzo has been throughout his career. In addition, we all love KB's baserunning but I think the metrics paint his defense as a lot better than his fielding really is. He has good hands which allow him to play close to average at 3B but he's not my idea of a good 3B let's get real there's a reason why scouts thought he was an outfielder he doesn't have the fluid movements of a natural infielder and he literally can't throw a baseball to 1st base without that little hitch in his throw that has cost the team several outs in the past. That's not to denigrate Bryant there's a reason why this is a fun debate to have and that's because we have 2 stud young players heading into their primes that have different strengths and weaknesses. Bryant is a fantastic player and hitter and like you I think it's a necessity to have high OBP type of hitters exactly like Bryant that see pitches and work great professional AB's and do damage when pitchers try to pitch to them. But that said I take Bryant's offensive body of work over Baez but with the way Javy has advanced at the plate I definitely can't say KB is still the better player although time will tell.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Maybe there is something to the whole "clutch" argument with Bryant. I don't buy it yet though. Using the clutch metric, Bryant rates poorly, but the metric is flawed. Why is a 2 run HR when you're trailing by 1 in the 9th any different from a 2 run HR when you're the 2nd batter of the 1st inning?
    Maybe Bryant hits a 1st inning grand slam, and the Cubs win 5-1. Not very clutch, but so what? If you're doing your job as an offense early in the game, you don't need to be clutch later in the game.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I don't buy the clutch argument either I think it's as simple as young players are gonna have some developmental pains regardless of how good they are and Bryant's struggles in these spots are in part a by product of being a young player and partly just a matter of random chance. He was great with RISP his rookie year then he was good for the most part in the 2016 playoffs. I don't think he forgot how to hit with men on base I just think maybe the league adjusted to him in those spots now he needs to adjust back and I think he'll get better in these spots with experience. My one thing is his defense and his lack of rbis. I know some of you disregard the rbi stat but I don't think it's a complete accident that should be disregarded with Bryant's low RBI totals for a hitter of his caliber. He just hasn't consistently come through in those spots the past couple of years. I don't think he's unclutch though Ben zobrist says pitchers pitch hitters different with men in scoring position and I think some of his struggles in this area are simply growing pains for a hitter we forget hasn't played very long

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Thank you, this post needs to be framed and hung on a wall. Great analysis

  • In reply to bolla:

    It's funny when one takes a smaller sample size to make their point. Let's just look at their career MLB stats, and it's really not that much of a debate.

    Baez: 11.5 WAR, 1734 AB, 248 R, 464 H, .268 BA, 79 HR, 263 RBI, 49 SB, .309 OBP, .471 SLG, .780 OPS, 103 OPS+

    Bryant: 21.7 WAR, 2065 AB, 373 R, 592 H, .287 BA, 106 HR, 323 RBI, 30 SB, .387 OBP, .518 SLG, .905 OPS+

    I'm pretty sure Bryant will have some more of his 2016 type seasons. I really hope Baez has more 2018 type seasons, but maybe even better. He has so much more potential! If he just stops gifting opposing pitchers with the occasional outs by swinging at stuff when he's not being challenged and actually makes pitchers pitch to him, the sky is the limit. If he accepts the walks when guys don't want to pitch to him, it will positively effect all his other numbers. Also, great points have been posted here about how much of a threat Javy is when he's on base, so maybe he needs to learn how to got on base about 30 to 50 more times via the walk. That's up to 50 more chances for him to make other defenses look stupid and gift us runs. That's the kind of stuff that changes momentum in games, and demoralizes other teams. I'm not saying he should be hunting walks, but just accepting them when pitchers don't give in to throwing strikes. He's proven he actually knows the strike zone really well, but it seems like he just chooses to ignore it half of the time.

    I love both players, but KB has a much higher floor that even an off year for him is a great year by any average player's standards. Javy's finally having a great season, in which his OPS of .893 (which I believe to be a pretty good comparative stat measuring hitting ability and power, as well as just being able to get on base; all things that can help your team score runs) is only 3rd best in Kris Bryant's short career.

    Also, since you want to cherry pick the RISP issue, in each of there career RISP: Baez .243/.305/.420/.724 and Bryant .268/.388/.466/.854

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Off the top of my head I can name at least 10 times baez came up in critical situation and delivered.I cannot do the same for bryant I remember the hr vs the dodgers in 2016 and the hr vs milwaukee last season before that it was walk offs vs the rockies and Indians in 2015 . this is why always using numbers is a moot point.No one thinks baez is a better hitter than bryant.You guys keep going to the #'s , What I'm saying is baez is a terror on the bases(lorenzo cain has 2 throwing errors because of baez he has 6 total on the season),a better fielder at 3b/ss/2b and a while he's not as good as a hitter he's still hit 270+ in his 3 full mlb season with 14-32 hr's and 59-100+ rbi's he's a dynamic player.I think his defense alone closes whatever gap separates bryant and baez offensively.Bryant is average to below average defender, bote and baez are better at 3b. So again take away hitting bryant has nothing on baez. Factor in defense and the way baez changes a game with his base running and his offensive production despite making more outs baez is an better OVERALL baseball player.You guys are leaning on offensive numbers and not mentioning run prevention,defense and baserunning. I think bryant is a great base runner btw, he's 1b to baez 1a on the team imo.

    I'm just making an objective case why it's not far fetched to say baez is a better player not hitter but overall player, people are making it sound like it's not a debate.IT IS

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    I am pissed off too

    Very Pissed off !

    Its for a different reason as I really wanted Kyle to get that CG, You don't see too much emotion ( either way from him) but even he was a little upset Joe didn't give him 1 more batter considering a 5-1 lead.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Less emotional than when he was removed from '16 Game 7!

    I was at the game, and he was brilliantly boring, consistently throwing around 12 pitches per inning through 8. Out of more than 2200 MLB games played thus far in 2018, Kyle's Game Score of 83 ties him for 41st place, the top performance by a Cub pitcher this year.

  • Cubs win, MIL wins, StL wins, LAD wins. The Magic Number is now 10.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    The Math constricts further. Cubs still up 3 games in the loss column where the Brewers play game 152 tonight. And because of the 1/2 game in the standings means Cubs still have a make up game on the schedule or Thursday's Sept 28th final match up with Pittsburgh and the schedule is in sink.

    Cubs are (5-5) last ten (11-9) last twenty and 18-12 last thirty (my favorite trend line) or the Cubs regression is between .500 and .600 falling right in .550 + ball. Twelve games means 6 wins (7-5).

    To catch Cubs Brewers need to win 95 games if Cubs win 7/12, they are at 86 wins now or must win 9/11. They are 7-3 last ten , 14-6 last twenty and 19-11 over the last thirty. Brewers regression is between .700 ball twice and .633 or with eleven games remaining or 7 wins.

    7-4 or 8-3 falls short, not comfortable unless Cubs pull a mini streak and sweeping the D-backs or Chi Sox while taking 2/3 in the other. That is 4-1 here on out to Pittsburgh.

    I think Hendricks' game set up tonight and tomorrow nicely for the bullpen where tonight Maddon will be aggressive like a playoff game. Monty provides 5 IP tied or with lead and Maddon goes situational. Same for Hamels into the 6th tomorrow as they have an off day Thursday.

  • Thanks to Hendricks, bullpen got a rest day.

  • Didn't Kavy do the same thing that Contreras did - not run?

    The only difference is that this time, it was a home run. Theo and Joe preach process, and the results should follow. Javy is great, but he should have been running. Especially since it was the day after Willson didn't.

    The worst offender of not running is Schwarber. Any word on him?

  • In reply to 2Toes:

    Didn't Javy...

  • In reply to 2Toes:

    I thought the same thing. Curious how they skated around that. Just because the ball went out it is ok? I prefer they run until it goes out and then they can pimp it or whatever they want.

    Time for a sustained hit streak with the bats.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Hot streak

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I don't mind if hitters watch no-doubters.
    It seems like every Schwarbs HR is like that.
    The guy almost never hits a cheapie, so he does a lot of watching.

    Contreras was obviously not one of those.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yes. Because the ball went out... I’m old school, in my late 50s, & wouldn’t do it myself. It’s the new norm, but it better go out. Javy knew it, Len knew it & I knew it as soon as he hit it.

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    In reply to 2Toes:

    I missed the Contreras thing live, but saw the replay. I saw Javy's and he was barking, yelling and screaming towards the cubs dugout as soon as he hit it. Running the bases was secondary on his mind.

    I wonder what pitchers find more disrespectful, that or posing and pimpin' your HR?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    No need to ask Don (RIP) Drysdale, Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Juan Marichal, Roger Clemens, Mario Soto, Kerry Wood, Rob Dibble, ... that question.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I promise Messrsr Drysdale and Gibson almost certainly would have not liked being shown up, they threw up and in a lot already and ask Kieth Hernandez sometimes about how Gibson would have treated such a situation.

  • I don't care who is better Javy or Kris. And I'm not worried about Kyle being an out short of a complete game either, as he looked to be getting tired. No point in over extending him with more games ahead. It was good to see the guys hitting with some authority.

  • Surprised by the teams lack of power all year, overall they ranked 23rd out of 30 for HRs by a team yet still have the best record in the NL.

    Wonder if the new hitting coach (philosophy) has anything to do with this. BoSox have been a hitting terror after replacing Davis with a new HC. Yes they have the ballpark and the DH, but what a turn around from last season.

    Boston wasn't horrible overall but ranked 27th in HRs by a team out of 30 in 2017. So far they are 10th in HRs, the addition of JD Martinez did help out, but overall a nice improvement by the team.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Nice post!!!

    This has been my biggest disappointment. I can live with K’s if balls are flying out of the park. When they are not situational hitting becomes a premium and is something the Cubs struggle with. I don’t know if it is Chili, but I have been disappointed in nearly every hitter this season.

  • That Bryant homerun made me very happy. I remember the prank video a few years when the college coach called Roy (secretly Bryant) a “big donkey.” Well the big donkey may be back! I liked the comment from Baez, who has largely carried the team offensively: “We all know what KB can do here.,,Having him (Bryant) in the lineup, it changes how other teams have to pitch to us.”

    Hendricks is money.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    I noticed that Kris was back to his familiar style of one hand coming off the bat as he finished his home run swing. Hope that left shoulder holds up till we finish off the Red Sox later this Fall. I wonder if he (and his Dad) spend the off-season learning to keep both hands on the bat.

  • Any coincidence that the two Cubs who homered ( Baez and Bryant ) had yesterday off?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I was going to mention that too. And on Sunday, Contreras almost hit one as a pinch hitter. I hope Joe keeps rotating Willy and Victor so Contreras is primed for the playoffs. Contreras will probably go today and Victor will catch Hamels tomorrow, giving Willy two days off. Getting some power from Bryant and Contreras seems vital.

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    In reply to DropThePuck:

    Then Heyward and the Schwarbenator are going to be crushing bombs when they return.

    Almora, Addy, Bote, and Happ are always getting days off, how many homers do they have combined? Just playing.

    I get your point.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I am going to pull a JD and predict that Daniel Murphy , who got the game off last night, has a BIG game tonight.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    A big coincidence. The day off had no impact on hitting a Hr.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Notice how when they win 4 out of 5 there is no more talk of them being fatigued or how they have had to show up 3 weeks straight?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Exactly

  • Let's rewind the time machine to last Wednesday night.

    The Cubs had dropped 4 of 5, including 2 of 3 to the Brewers, and had seen their once 5 game lead dwindle to 1. Afterwards, they were on their way to Washington D.C. for a makeup game in the midst of a 30 day stretch without an off day.

    What's happened since then?

    Thursday 9/13. Cubs win 4-3 as Javy hits a HR and later drives in the winning running in the 10th.

    Friday 9/14 Cubs win 3-2 as Javy makes a spectacular play to throw out the tying run at the plate.

    Saturday 9/15 Cubs win 1-0 as Javy scores the game's only run.

    Sunday 9/16 Cubs lose 2-1 as Javy gets a well deserved day off

    Monday 9/17 Cubs win 5-1 as Javy hits a 2 run HR to drive in the winning runs.

    MVP competition over!

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I think he should be the MVP too. Granted, I haven’t seen all the other contenders, but Baez has really carried the team. I liked Bryant’s comments from a few weeks ago, and I paraphrase: “He’s our MVP and the Cubs have the best record so he should be the league MVP.”

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    In reply to Cubs09:

    I am def a Cubs fan and a Cubs homer, and Although I do consider myself an objective Fan so here it goes........

    Baez is def a MVP candidate, but its hard for me to vote for him over a dreaded Brewer. I know Cain plays great D and changed the culture in that clubhouse as a team leader, but he's no MVP candidate. The MVP of this league is Christian Yelich. Javy had him in base running and defensively.

    .294/.328/.566 w 32 HR 105 RBIs 37 doubles 9 triples 21-30 SBs

    94 runs 163 hits 25 BBs w 148Ks w OPS .893

    Yelich

    .318/.385/.570 w 31 HR 93 RBIs 30 doubles 6 triples 19-23 SBs

    102 runs 170 hits 54 BBs w 127Ks w OPS .955

    I think Yelich even had a short DL stint too. He also has that "signature" moment the media loves w the 2 Cycles and bringing the Brewers back to the post season.

    Hopefully the Brewers miss the post season and have Javy goes on a tear the last 2 weeks and has a 3 homer game or walk off steal of home or something like that..........

    I like the advanced stats too, even thought I like the traditional stats and eye test a tad more.

    War is virtually identical w Javy 5.8 to Yelich at 5.7

    OPS + Yelich's 152 is highest in NL w Javy 129

    OFF WAR Yelich 5.8 is highest in NL to Javy's 5.0

    Unfortunately for Javy the MVP is more of an offensive award then a defensive or all around award.

    I want to say its Javy, but just 1 look at the Baseball Ref NL Batting leaders leaderboard paints you a picture of whose the MVP ( right now)

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Where would the Cubs be without Baez versus where the Brewers would be without Yelich?

    Baez is a better candidate, IMO.

    I could not in good conscience take a corner OF with nearly identical offensive stats over a middle infielder. Night and day the defensive value to a club for Baez vs. Yelich.

    And Yelich has been brutal against the Cubs if I recall correctly so when needed the most to overcome their rival, he comes up short.

    As I write this the voters will probably select Yelich. :-)

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Great point on the defensive values of each player and that's exactly why I hate it when other teams fans try to line up their 1B or corner OF's number versus baez. You just can't adequately measure who's the MVP when only offensive stats are measured especially when you're comparing a player to Javier Baez. Yelich, Freeman, Carpenter and Goldschmidt are having great years kudos to them but these guys are offensive minded players for the most part not multi dimensional types of talents like a Baez who not only is carrying us offensively but is doing so while bringing his typical elite defense and baserunning. I really hope voters factor in those things along with his positional versatility in the voting. I still think whichever team wins the NL central is gonna have their best player represented as MVP

  • That was the best all-around game we’ve seen these Cubs play in a while, and proves what this team can be capable of when Bryant, Rizzo, and Báez all hit and drive in runs. They got all 5 RBIs for the team. Also helps that Almora and Zobrist got hits right before and after them too. Also, good to see Contreras making better hard contact of late. I think we’re gonna see him come out of his slump at just the right time.

    I was at the game with pretty decent seats and it was great watching Hendricks just carve up the lineup. He was masterful! Late in the game we were lamenting the one hit Hendricks gave up thinking “what if.” The HR took care of those thoughts. I was a little irked that Joe didn’t let him finish the game, but In hindsight, rather save those bullets and keep Hendricks fresher rolling into the postseason. And it’s not like Wilson had to work too hard with his 1 pitch save. Thanks Goldie for trying to steal a base at the worst time.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Realizing 5-1 means that wasn’t a save opportunity for Wilson.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Thanks for bringing that good mojo to our Cubbies. Why didn't you tell Joe to give Hendricks 1 more batter? CGs are like unicorns now !
    Whereas CGSHOs are polka dot and striped unicorns !

    Boy oh Boy if Contreras get his bat going and becomes that pre injury 1st H 2017 version ( yea when a lot of us were thinking he's soon going to be the best all around catcher in baseball) then this lineup is an AL lineup and rivals the best like the Sox, Tribe, and Astros. We know Rizzo, Zobrist, and Javy will produce. Now if KB and Willy get their power back and Murphy starts hitting again, thats 6 very dangerous well rounded hitters. Thats not even counting the Schwarbenator, Heyward, Almora, Russell, and Happ !

    We already have the best ( or right up there) starting pitching staff and pen ( when healthy ) in the NL !!!

    So if this offense starts clicking again and the players starting hitting up to their talent level and history...........they are unstoppable and will be like a freight train heading straight to the World Series.......... then anything can happen.

  • Christian yelich has crashed the NL mvp conversation and probably will win it because he has all the sabermetric #'s writers like.National reporters aren't watching every cubs game they don't know the impact baez has on a daily/weekly basis.Baez is definitely in the conversation especially with carpenter & the cards cooling off but you know how these things go it's about #'s & yelich has similar #'s but better ba,on base,slugging and ops he's surged in the 2nd half.

  • What a huge win in a game we were pretty decent underdogs according to Vegas especially when all of our competitors got the wins last night. Kudos to Joe Maddon I said this weekend that I loved Maddon finding a way to give Rizzo, Murphy, Baez, Bryant, and Zobrist a day off against the reds I think all of those guys comprise of the group of players that needed a day off the most smart move to plan ahead for this pivotal series in Arizona with our long awaited off day this Thursday. I think what you saw last night is our core stars responded with a really well played and clean game against a really good playoff caliber lefty starter in Patrick Corbin. It's amazing how Javy can play pretty much everyday in this stretch and he's basically had a hand in almost every one of our recent victories and I definitely noticed that our only loss over the past 5 games was the game that Javy was rested Sunday.

    Boy our starting pitching is really performing outstanding lately this was the dominant starting pitching that we thought was possible all year and it's great to see them in peak form at the right timing hopefully they can keep it up. Hendricks from pitch 1 just looked locked in with his command against a really strong lineup he had no hit stuff and it was great to see with the adversity he faced earlier this season. He had borderline no hit stuff last night and it was also nice to see Jason Heyward back in the field as well. We won the least favorable matchup in this series now lets take advantage and put this division away this dbacks team has been laboring lately and I'd love to see us stomp on them while they're down.

  • The cubs starting pitching has a 2.31 era over the last month which is the best in mlb & the most shut outs in mlb.

    Just need some consistent offense and for Edwards to return to form.

  • In reply to bolla:

    2.53 era over the last month

  • In reply to bolla:

    Right about when Hamels came aboard, no?

  • Who is this snotnose on MLB tv right now who is picking deGrom for the MVP?

  • #s game. If the Cubs go 6-6 to finish up it means that LA has to go 11-0, CO has to go 12-0 and since they play tonight one will be unable to get to 94. In the Central Mil has to go 8-3 and St Lou has to go 11-0. That's to get a tie with the Cubs. St L could beat Mil all three games while Mil could run the table thereafter and you have a 3 way tie for 1st. Cubs need to go 7-5 to clinch a playoff berth regardless of what other teams do.

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