To the Wild Card Game We Go -- Brewers 3, Cubs 1

The Cubs did not pull through to win the division this year. In yet another frustrating loss to the Brewers, they managed only three hits and one run and will play the wild card game tomorrow versus either the Dodgers or Rockies.

José Quintana faced off against Lorenzo Cain in the leadoff spot, who grounded out to Javier Báez at shortstop. Christian Yelich followed with a single to short, and while Báez was able to recover the ball, the throw did not get to first in time. Regardless, the Cubs escaped with no damage done in the top of the first after Ryan Braun grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

The Brewers started Jhoulys Chacín on the mound. Daniel Murphy led off and entered the game with a 10 game hit streak. This time, he flew out to center. Ben Zobrist ripped one to right that was, unfortunately, caught by Yelich for the second out. Báez struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Brewers got on the board first in the third inning after Yelich singled with two outs to score Orland Arcía to put them ahead 1-0. Yelich stole second with Braun batting, and Braun followed with a swinging strikeout.

Anthony Rizzo responded for the Cubs in the fifth with a solo home run to tie it at 1-1. The homer was followed by a flyout to right rom Jason Heyward, a strikeout from Kyle Schwarber, and a flyoung to center from Bryant.

Quintana was pulled in the sixth after giving up a single to Yelich and was replaced by Jesse Chavez. Q went five innings with six hits, one earned run, four strikeouts, and no walks. Ian Happ also entered the game in center field, and Zobrist moved from right field to left and Heyward from center to right. Chavez got the final two outs of the inning on a strikeout from Braun and a double play from Jesús Aguilar.

Happ led off the Cubs half of the sixth with a walk. Chacín was pulled and replaced on the mound by Xavier Cedeño after inducing a 1-4-3 double play from Willson Contreras. Cedeño faced Murphy, who got on base with a two-out single. Zobrist then walked on four straight balls and Cedeño was out of the game. Báez was first at bat against new Brewers reliever Joakim Soria and he struck out swinging.

Corey Knebel pitched for the Brewers in the seventh and retired Rizzo on a groundout to second and a swinging strikeout from Bryant. Tommy La Stella pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot and grounded out for the third out.

Justin Wilson replaced Chavez in the eighth inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Arcía, followed by a double from pinch-hitter Domingo Santana, and was then pulled in favor of Steve Cishek. Cishek faced Cain and gave up a single, scoring Arcía and putting the Brewers ahead 2-1. Randy Rosario became the third pitcher of the inning and faced Yelich with no outs and struck him out swinging. The bullpen carousel continued with Brandon Kintzler now on the mound. Braun singled and scored Santana but was then caught trying to steal second for the second out. The inning finally ended with a flyout from Aguilar and the Brewers ahead by 3-1.

Heyward led off against Josh Hader in the eighth and struck out swinging. Albert Almora, Jr pinch hit and lined out to second base. Contreras struck out for the third out.

Jaime García pitched for the Cubs in the ninth and faced Jonathan Schoop to start the inning, who grounded out to third. Mike Moustakas got on base with a single that slipped past Murphy. Erik Kratz popped out to first for out number two, and the final out came on a dribbler near the mound that Contreras threw to first from Travis Shaw.

Down to their last three outs, the Cubs quickly found themselves on their last legs. Murphy struck out swinging and Zobrist flew out to right. Báez singled on a line drive to center, but it was for naught, as Rizzo followed with a flyout to right for the final out of the game.

 

WPA CHART


Source: FanGraphs

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  • 95-win consolation prize. Whoop-f'n-eeeee.

  • You ain't gonna win anything if you gotta run the likes of Wilson and Kintzler out there when it matters.

    Bullpen must be a priority next year.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Nope. Gotta score more than 3. Sorry but 1 run doesn't cut it. They need to fix the lineup.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Two would've worked if they had a shutdown bullpen.
    When they have one and you don't, you gotta score early and often.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yup. Three hits in a playoff game? Really! The hitting has been spotty for two years in a row now. Perhaps the Cubs have a bunch of "good" hitters of "good" pitchers, but few if any "good" hitters of "excellent" (read playoff quality) pitchers. They certainly are not as good as we thought. I think the front office should be willing to trade ANY position player for the right return. You are free to think otherwise.

  • In reply to RiJo:

    Not Rizzo.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    It was this yr and all we got was Cishek and a porcelain doll. Any thoughts on who you might get? Cubs aren’t the only team looking for BP help.

  • In reply to stix:

    Relievers are really erratic. I thought it was a good move to bring back Duensing, and he was useless. Justin Wilson looked like a strong trade pickup, and he went south as soon as he arrived. Just ask the Cards about Brett Cecil and Greg Holland.

    Hader is awesome but maybe he’ll suffer from overuse like Andrew Miller seems to have.

  • Give the Brewers credit, as they were red hot in September. The Cubs just haven’t been right all season, yet they were still just a few innings away from the division title and HF advantage. And even if they’d gotten that, I still wouldn’t have expected them to roll to the WS because of all their flaws.

    Baez’s strikeout in the sixth really felt like their last good chance against that bullpen.

    So now it’s on to the playoffs, one game at a time.

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    The Cubs have not been executing on all cylinders since the 2016 season.

    Last season offered the gift of the Nationals imploding plus a dubious call by the ump which helped us get the NL champoinship and then only to be demolished LA.

    The FO tried to address the SP issue this offseason with ugly results for year 1.

    Bullpens are a flightly bunch so I expect every year to be fluid.

    My biggest concern is that the offense appears to be dysfunctional. Bryant being hurt did not help but I think the issue runs deeper as this team is prone to extreme dry spells which most of us recognize. I am not sure of the fix, but I am skeptical that the 2018 version of our offense will carry the water necessary for a long post season run. Of course baseball is not linear, so anything is possibe (though unlikely).

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Yep, this team looked like an offensive powerhouse, but unfortunately the young core that in 2016 looked ready to win multiple championships just hasn’t developed as expected. And I don’t think you can just fire the hitting coach again. You have to start changing the personnel.

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    Chili gets at least some of the blame for the decline from 2017. The hitting was supposed to improve - that's why he was hired. Yeah, they need some different hitters, but Chili goes, too.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I wonder if Chili hurt Contreras and addison russell in particular but think our OF's just aren't that good also

  • This is how it suppose to work, the best team wins. Cubs seem to be just about done do for this year. Even if Cubs make it further, obviously we can't beat the Brewers. Can anybody?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    IMO, whatever NL team makes it to the WS is gonna get their asses kicked.
    The top of the AL is very, very strong.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Is the AL that good or does it matter that the AL had multiple teams with 95+ losses in the process of tanking?

  • In reply to stix:

    I think the top of the AL is really good.
    Houston won last year and got better.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I’m not sure what the Brewers are yet. They’re either a team of destiny or they blew their wad getting to the dance. They went .730 in September and .750 in their last 19 games. That’s unsustainable, but if they’re team of destiny they might be able to sustain something close just long enough. Honestly two days off might not help them. That said I have less of an idea of what the Cubs are. They played 40 games in 42 days with another to go. They could be gassed. If we make it to Thursday though I’m not going to just concede a Brewers win.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think the brewers are simply really good as I've said all year long like I said they very much fit the KC royals model I know the run differential could be better but I think teams with elite pens tend to have lower run differentials as the royals did. That said I still think a cubs brewers series would be just about even maybe you can give them a slight advantage given our unstable bullpen in close games (we'll see about Strop too) but I also know that the brewers are really difficult to beat when they get outstanding starting pitching like that let's see if all 4 of their starters can continuously repeat Chacin's performance though under the bright lights. We're gonna have our hands full but I don't see them as unstoppable we just have to hit the ball well to have a chance and hope the pen holds up. I for one would love to get another opportunity at those guys they haven't won nothing yet but of course I respect them and we need to be locked in and play our best to beat this brewers team. Lets get this win tonight and find out though this cubs team deserves to be knocked in a real playoff series if they're gonna be knocked out of this race

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    In reply to 44slug:

    Except we beat the brewers and had a better series record against them, in a one game scenario, (which is just another way to gain money from ticket sales, otherwise ties would go tothe team with the best head to head record, which we had against them) , anything can happen in a game. You could loseto the worst team in the league in one game. This team is much better in a series format, and we did tie for the best record in the nl. I get it, people are upset, but do try to keep perspective. This team had to grind the last month with one single day off the last 30 days. I don't like it either, but i'm not going to sit here and say all the sudden that a team that has been the best team the last 3 years all the sudden lost all skill, and now stink. It's a streaky sport, throw in all kinds of variables, like they have been playing every day for the last 30 days straight, and it's pretty reasonable to see that they are gassed, especially our bullpen, it was 1 game.

  • fb_avatar

    Game was the perfect summary of the season. Had a total of 3 hits and Joe going to his pen which is much weaker and shorter than the Brewers WAY too early. Then the whole facing Yelich in a 0-0 game with 2 outs and a base open yikes. At this point if I don't see how the hell Chili Davis survives.

  • In reply to Sean Livengood:

    The problem is bigger and more widespread than the hitting coach.

    We have personnel issues that will need to be addressed.

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    In reply to JK1969:

    Very true some things need to be addressed there as well.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    It may be bigger in total but Davis has to be considered a major factor. Look at the regression throughout. Z had a higher average but little power, Schwarber was a joke and Happ was just a big K while Russell stunk. Even Murphy succumbed after being in his presence for a short while. Add Contreras to the mix and it becomes pretty clear that first priority is getting shed of Davis.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Agree. Any team has to rely on internal development to help its existing core improve. New players - yes, but the ones that stay need to get better, too.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Davis may have to go, but you can’t put Murphy on that list. Davis didn’t try to change anything with him.
    No excuses at this time of year, but no one has ever had to play 42 games in 43 days. I don’t think people who haven’t played have any clue how mentally & physically exhausting that is. And then add in all the traveling, they played 11 straight days in 5 different cities. I have no doubt that played a part, maybe even big part, in their bats going so silent at the end of the year. They were inconsistent earlier in the year, but look at the difference in numbers pre-September to the last month.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Who is gassed? Bryant, Heyward, Almora, Happ, Contreas, Zobrist? I don't think so. Baez, Rizzo and the BP maybe.

  • In reply to MilwaukeeRoad:

    Baez is gassed, Bryant is hitting with one arm. the rest of the team is just worn out. 42 games in 43 days. Imagine how you feel when you work that many days in a stretch, I imagine many of us have at one time or another and it ain't fun.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I agree that KB is hurt. Then why didn't Joe play Bote, a better defender at 3rd base ?????

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Because even at 75% you start Bryant over Bote. Every single time.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Schwarber's back is still f'd up

  • Bummer. That bit the big one. Disappointing, frustrating, anemic, describes the offense lately.

    Let’s see how they react tomorrow w/their backs against the wall. I believe big Jon gets the bump tomorrow.

  • It’s hard to play better than Brewers are right now. They are on a roll. They will cool off. Cubs best two high leverage arms are out. The bats are slow. The path is harder but not impossible. They will go as far as the starting pitching takes them.

  • Joe choked in the 6th inning. Happ was on first with no outs. Contreras up. Murphy and Z next. You have to give Murphy and Z a chance to drive in a run. If we get a run and take the lead, the Brewers change the whole approach to their bullpen. I don't have the stats, but my eye test says Contreras hits more grounders than any other Cub (the only competition is Almora) and I am pretty sure he leads the team in grounding into double plays. You simply have to bunt there, to make sure there is a runner on for your best hitters. Instead, weak grounder for double play. Then, of course, Murphy singles. Huge mistake by Joe.

  • In reply to jeffalson:

    This is where the lack of a good bullpen comes in.
    If you know you can shut them down in the 7th, 8th & 9th, you can play for one run.
    The Cubs don't, so they try for crooked numbers.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    I agree with that logic in the regular season. But with the wild card game "backup" tomorrow, one run means everything as Counsell had said that he would not pitch Hader if behind. You have to play for one run there to try to get the lead. Plus, you can still score multiple runs with a runner on second and your best hitters coming up. Contreras is a perfect DP candidate.

  • In reply to jeffalson:

    As I said a couple of days back, Contreras is the Cub hitter that has surprised me the most with his step backward from last season.

    It could be the league adjusted to his 2017 season this year and he was unable to make the is season adjustment in response. My eye tells me that his approach needs to change going forward otherwise he is a bottom of the order hitter that cannot be counted on as a key contributor.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    What part of Contreras approach needs changing and why don’t you text the cubs with the obvious problems with his approach?

  • In reply to JK1969:

    I think Contreras is wore down. He plays hard and Joe had him in the lineup most days the first half. By the time that he started getting rest he was already fatigued. I don't think that his poor second half is the real Willson. Others like Schwarber, Bryant, Heyward, Russell and Almora also had a rough second half. Maybe for different reasons. Schwarber might have been fatiqued due to his heavy off season workouts.

    Finally, I'm not convinced that lack of off days didn't take its bite out of the team's edge in the home stretch. This is a team built to win, it's just unfortunate so many things have gone wrong. Lots of folks comparing Milwaukee to Royals World Champs.

  • In reply to jeffalson:

    YES! You are absolutely 100% correct. You MUST bunt there. We weren't hitting. It was a tight game. One run coulda made the difference. And, yes, Contreras --who offensively is one of several big disappointments - leads the team in GDP. Joe was no idea how to manufacture run or play small ball. I was livid and predicted (I have the text to my brother) that Contreras would GDP. And, of course, Murphy singles.

    Then, Joe pulling Q with on 64 pitches. WTF! Livid! Like we got a shut down bullpen. I don't want any bullpen arm on the bump over Q with less than 110 pitches -- other than Chavez, who shoulda taken the 9th or maybe the 8th if Q faltered.

    Joe is a moron. I used to constantly defend him. No more. I really want to see him get fired. I am really sick of him.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I'm 50/50 on Joe Maddon. Joe didn't draft Schwarb a prototype American League player. Joe didn't make a half hearted attempt to acquire Christian Yellich. I wrote to the Cubs to get Yellich but all
    I heard was they have plenty of outfielders, none of which however were of Yellich's ability.

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    In reply to jeffalson:

    I agree. Why bat him 9th if your not willing to have him bunt in a big spot.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    What is the logic of batting pitcher 8th? I’ve seen numerous times that move has backfired. I wish joe could explain with empirical data, what edge he thinks he gets? Just another maddonism I guess. Agreed, as I’ve said all 4 years this guy needs to be fired. Win or lose tomorrow I hope he’s gone.

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    In reply to jeffalson:

    I'd rather have Almora at the plate than Contreras. Almora has been a way better all around player this season. Almora is always relaxed, and Contreras is so hyper active that he makes himself press too hard every game. Plus he needs soft hands behind the plate. The only positive about him is throwing out runners.

  • Pitching Pitching Pitching. Drafting and developing TOR and closers has eluted team Theo over the past 7 years and it could close this WS window quickly. Looking at the current Cubs 25 man roster and what pitchers has been drafted and developed by the Cubs versus the position players drafted and developed by the Cubs. 7 position players mainly starters including Contreras versus 2 long relievers.
    2 top pitching prospects shut down in 2018, I don't see any help from the minors in 2019.

  • In reply to Rock:

    Is the pitching problem lack of development or lack of talent? Theo has always said hitters first and then trade or FA pitchers were their goals.

  • In reply to stix:

    I'm sure it is a combination of both draft and development problems not to mention health issues.
    Unfortunately the minors will not bring much in the trade market and the Cubs are hitting the luxury tax so FA will be another Chatwood type gamble. We all still have faith in team Theo but they need to pull a TOR or closer out of their hat.

  • In reply to Rock:

    How do the Mets look to you? Forget pitching. You build sustainable teams through offensive players.

    Glad Theo runs this show.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    That’s exactly right. Boston was built exactly the same way. Sometimes teams that build with pitching avoid the pitfalls of it but they are few and far between. Atlanta might be one of those but they built with both pitching and offense. You cannot build with pitching and then sign hitters. It doesn’t work. Ask the Mets.

  • Why did Maddon pitch to Yelich (who is the hottest player in the league) with a man on third two out and first open in a scoreless game? Anyone? Bueller?

  • In reply to Rock:

    Because Braun was on deck. Braun HR=three runs would be difficult to overcome, as was evidenced in the game.

    Judgment call--I think Joe made the right call. Remember that Yelich struck out in his last AB. He's not superhuman; well, maybe superhuman but not 100% infallable (;-).

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Braun also just recently had a two hr game against Q.

  • In reply to Rock:

    Bueller would have pitched to Yelich with Braun on deck, too. He's a good hitter, but not a 1.000 hitter.

  • Tough loss. Frustrating that a .230 hitting shortstop went 4-4 and scored 2 runs. Ok, now to tomorrow, win the game and get another shot at the Brewers. Go Cubs

  • I was poking around baseball reference trying to figure this regular season out (in general) and I noticed just how much of a drop off there was in HR this year:
    2018: 167 HR, 761 runs scored
    2017: 223 822
    2016: 199 808
    2015: 171 689

    That’s 56 fewer HR and 61 fewer runs..and they still won more games because they allowed 53 fewer runs than 2017. That still seems like a drastic change and a significant factor in how this regular season turned out.

  • In reply to JTWilson:

    Add to that the red sox had a huge power surge this year and their owner said the key to their offseason was getting a new hitting coach and it's hard to be happy with Davis. It seems like he's preaching a small ball approach contact oriented approach that not only diminishes our players home runs but without much improvement in batting average or situational contact hitting

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    That’s a good point; here are the numbers on hitting in general between this year and last:
    2018: 1,450 H, 573 BB, 1,380 K, .259 BA, .334 OBP, .411 SLG, .745 OPS
    2017: 1,402 H, 622 BB, 1,401 K, .255 BA, .338 OBP, .437 SLG, .775 OPS

    Also, the team hit .247 with RISP this year and .253 last year..but the percentage of hits that were HR (if that’s a stat) fell from 15.9 to 11.4.

  • In reply to JTWilson:

    Interesting that the batting averages are almost identical while sacrificing significant power and slugging. I hate to say it but maybe it's not in some of our hitters DNA's to go with this contact oriented approach theres a reason why these kids were expected to hit lots of home runs. It's funny because Yelich and cain are literally exactly what we need contact oriented hitters with power and patience stinks we have to play those guys 19 times every year

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Generally agree with you but Cain had less than 15 hrs. He’s just a better hitter than our OF not a power hitter.

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    In reply to stix:

    Cain is what Heyward was supposed to be but w less power.

    Are we getting that from Heyward?

  • In reply to JTWilson:

    Haven't run a statistical test, but those numbers above look pretty similar to me.

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    In reply to JTWilson:

    They were preaching on the Score that its on Theo and Joe who said in the winter how they love John Mallee and he's a great hitting coach, but there was 1 guy they thought was better. They said Chilli was going to help this team not rely only on the homer, use an all fields approach, and hit better w RISP/situational hitting.

    They had to know the power would take a hit ( Look at Boston last yr) but they obviously didn't think it was disappear.

    I am not shocked that our hitting w RISP is down this year, but they made it seem on the score that we improved in that area, but the HRs and walks are down so we don't see it. They obviously didn't look at the numbers, lol.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The key to the Red Sox HR surge was signing a player that hit 43 HR's not a new hitting coach

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    is there any way that WaitUntilNextYear and WaitTilNext Year can Paper, Rock, Scissors on who keeps their name and one changes to ILoveJoeMaddon instead? I can't keep your comments straight!!!

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Gets confusing for me. I’ll come across the screen name and I think I don’t remember typing that and have to look again.

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    In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Holy crap!

    I always thought it was the same person all this time. OMFG, this is insane.

    Of course neither of them knows each other too

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    True, but most of the Sox players are each having a career year. I'm more curious about the high power output of the Yankees. I know Stanton and Judge are a big part of it, but the whole lineup has power. It makes me depressed watching Torres emerge as a superstar batting at the bottom of the order

  • This game was reflective of most of the season and exposed our weakness. Joe again for not letting starter to go past 5 inning and bringing in mediocre relief pitching. For not bunting with 9 hitter and letting Jason hit vs hader. Pitching to Yelich with base open. Offense struggles to put up runs that aren’t via Homerun. Starting pitching was good. Hope we bounce back tomorrow.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Exactly this game was a snap shot view of our issues in a nutshell going back to last year even. Hate to say it but I don't have high expectations it's hard to win playoff series if you don't have the relief pitching to win these tight late high pressure games. Unfortunately you can point to any roster and say it's hard to see them going far without their best 1-2 relievers

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    FWIW, opponents have a .933 ops against Q his 3rd time through the lineup. That's why Joe pulls him. And we all know he's a stat guy.

  • Jealous watching walker beuhler no hit the rockies thru 5 in game 163, man the cubs have nobody like this in their system.

    by the way where are all the justin wilson supporters? dude is a bum

  • In reply to bolla:

    Like I said before it's looking more and more like the brewers and dodgers are on a collision course this year. Agreed on Justin Wilson I looked at this as his audition to prove that his decent year by ERA was for real. If you can't rely on him in big games in a contract year then when can you rely on him the guy just doesn't have an outpitch and superior hitters like Lorenzo cain can hit that heavy fastball. Hate to say it also but jesse chavez matched up a lot better with that portion of the brewers lineup than Wilson did all those guys hit lefties well just a by-product of going to chavez too early and not having enough relief options

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I lowered my expectations a while ago, so I’m not really upset about today.The cubs offense is the real issue but I never trusted Wilson in big spots. He had a good run for about a month but I still never trusted him.

    It’s looking like the Rockies will be the opponent tomorrow so we’ll see what happens.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think we'll have a good shot at beating colorado at least I hope but wouldn't be surprised either way the reality is the brewers and dodgers have looked like far superior teams in the 2nd half. I think if Joe would stick with our starters when they're pitching well then that would give us a much better shot though

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yea just ride the starters until they get in a jam or the pitch count is too high.

    Lester has been hit or miss lately though,that's my concern.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Lester has not been hit or miss lately.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    I believe we can beat Colorado too, but I rather not see us lose to the Brewers in the NLDS. I think the Rockies would give the Brewers a better series.

    As much as I hate saying it, I rather not get embarrassed like those Lou Pinella Cubs teams in the playoffs.

    Then again part of me thinks, " hey anything can happen rt?"

    Maybe Murphy, Rizzo, or Javy can get hot and carry this offense. Doubtful because even if you only have 1 guy hot, the others have to at least have good ABs, walk, move runners, sacrifices, ect.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I actually wish we were playing the Dodgers.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Chavez has been the only bright spot in the pen this year. I'll say Cishek also, but he was way overused. Just like Chapman in 2016. Oh yeah, Strop is the other bright spot.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Agreed and to a degree I give the bullpen a mulligan because we'd feel a lot better about those guys if we had morrow and strop to go with chavez, cishek, edwards, wilson, rosario, etc. That said I think it's clear we need to address the pen this winter these guys generally seem to do well in the regular season and then we get to the playoffs and the only guys we can rely on are Chapman, Wade Davis, and this year Chavez surprisingly. That's why I wanted to stick with Q I get his splits the 3rd time through the order but a lot of that damage came in the 1st half when he was in lesser form. I just trust our starters in playoff games over our relievers to me our bullpen while they put up decent regular season numbers generally have shown they can't be relied upon in playoff games. I really wish Maddon would be more adaptable with his pitching changes we lost games 1-3 against the dodgers in a very similar fashion with Edwards and Montgomery getting blown up when maddon went to his pen too early.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yes, the Cubs need to add 2 really good and reliable arms to our bullpen this offseason. I am 100% open to re-signing Chavez. If next year our bullpen was Morrow, Strop, Cishek, Edwards, Montgomery, plus 2 more reliably healthy arms with at minimum above average impact (at least one being a lefty), plus the unfortunate Chatwood as our long man, I'd be okay with that, but only because we should have some good arms moving up to AAA who can be the extras to fill in the spots when necessary. Maybe we need to actually address the closer role with one of the two guys I want, just as to not be stuck in the same situation when Morrow is likely to go on the DL again next season.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agree. You would think just by accident, the cubs organization would run into at least one pitcher that either met expectations or one that surprised everyone. Just one.

  • Looks like we get the Rockies. Wondering if they go with Freeland on 3 days rest

  • Strop will be available tomorrow

  • In reply to bolla:

    Hope strop can go 3-4.

  • In reply to bolla:

    We'll take it honestly I'd rather go out with him than Kintzler or justin wilson

  • Most games this season with 1 or 0 runs scored:

    40 Orioles
    39 Cubs
    37 Marlins
    36 Giants
    35 Mets

    this is the real issue, 4 of these teams are last place teams(mets 2nd to last place).

  • In reply to bolla:

    Brutal

  • In reply to bolla:

    Yes, that’s the crucial stat..it ties in somewhat with the drop in HR and runs scored that I elaborated on above but that illustrates perfectly how badly the offensive inconsistency hurt this team as only a small fraction of those games are going to be wins no matter how good the pitching is.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Wow

  • In reply to bolla:

    Think about that stat,;

    24% of all the games the Cubs played they scored 1 or no runs.
    and they still won 95 games.
    Not sure if I should be impressed or upset.

    2 Years ago I said we should trade for Yelich but everyone was so high on Schwarber the thought of giving him up for less than a TOR pitcher was insane. Just sayin..

  • In reply to Peanuts:

    Lol you're preaching to the choir about schwarber.I been wanted him gone.Nice guy but he is not as good as the fo thought he'd be.

    I have some more mind boggling info

    2018 cubs 39 games 0-1 runs
    2013 cubs 31 games 0-1 runs
    2012 cubs 40 games 0-1 runs

    That's crazy when you think about it.One team is built to contend the others were built to suck and had fringe mlb players outside castro and rizzo.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    Honestly I miss Castro. I know I was in the minority of those sad to see him go. With Russell, Baez, Happ, and Torres all coming, I understood it. Theo basically gave him away when he "tossed" in Warren in the Chapman trade when Torres should have been more then enough.

    Now our Barry Larkin is gone. Happ is an OF Torres is mashing in NY.

  • In reply to bolla:

    No bolla, it’s the bullpen. Just read above.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    That's the whole reason our BP was gassed the past month+. Overuse. You can blame the offense for that, not Joe.

  • We'll win tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to a showdown with the Brewers. They are on fire, have been, but anything that burns that bright for that long eventually flames out.

  • What difference does it make when you can only scratch out 3 hits in a critical venue. Big gag reflex.

  • Let's give credit where credit is due. Brewers are en fuego. Yelich us putting up video game numbers the last 30 games. Tip the hat and bring it next game. May the best team win.

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    Absolutely. We've seen the mentions of the Cubs' collapse, but that didn't happen. We played very solid ball through an unbelievably difficult stretch. They played better. Hat tip.

    Yelich is the MVP. He's the best player on the best regular-season team. Javy didn't lose it, Yelich took it. Hat tip.

    But now I'm pissed. Let's win tomorrow, because I want another shot at the Crew. I bet the Cubs feel the same way.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Amen Barley, let's delivwr the goods tomorrow. (Feel free to insert Judas Priest reference)

  • In reply to Denizen Kane:

    Well done. Sound message from an acceptable era. But my growing hatred of how this season played out is leading me to darker places. The way the Brewers seem to think this is done and they have slain the mighty foe bugs me. The Milwaukee fans showed up today; good for them. But they think this is over. They think they have won. They think they have subdued and defeated the threat.

    "All hear my warning.
    Never turn your back
    On the Ripper."

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    In reply to Denizen Kane:

    You really think Chacin and all those pitchers we have faced the past month are so good and thats why they are dominating our hitters? Nope, majority are journeyman or avg pitchers, its our offense thats brutal right now.

    Yes the Brewers pen is dominant at the back end and deep. Yes, Yelich is en fuego, but if we are playing anywhere close to our best ( even w our injuries) we can compete w them.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Man for man and player for player I do not think the Brewers are better than the Cubs. But they are showing up when it counts. For that, you tip the cap. The Cubs were and are the team to beat. And they rose to the occasion today.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I wonder if derek johnson the cubs former pitching coordinator and former vanderbilt pitching coach is just that good. I've been wondering if this brewers rotation would fall off all year and it hasn't happened even with all these average guys. Makes me wonder if we should've done more to keep johnson around I remember John was really high on Johnson as our minor league pitching coordinator

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    If thats the case, then the Cubs are idiots for letting him go, and he deserved a HUGE raise.

    Anyone who can turn journeyman "bums" for a lack of a better word borderline TOR arms should be compensated properly!!

    I am not even sure 20 million a year is outrageous, because imagine the money you can save on your pitching staff? Look how much money the cubs have invested just in the starting rotation?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yeah it was one of those things where he was a guru at vandy who worked personally with david price and many star pitchers. John was really excited when we hired him as minor league pitching coordinator I believe the results didn't bear fruit with our minor league pitchers but I also think we just haven't had many high end pitching talents outside of Dylan Cease from previous drafts at least. The brewers made him a good offer and we had a pitching coach in Bosio that was well regarded at the time and I remember John saying he was sorry we lost him one of those organizational members that we would've liked to have held onto but milwaukee to their credit pried him away and gave him his shot as a big league pitching coach and he's done a tremendous job there

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    It's got me thinking that it's too bad the Cubs didn't offer Johnson that major league pitching coach job, that he obvioulys was well qualified for.

  • Go look at nolan arenados splits and look at his #'s vs the cubs in 2018.I am not looking forward to facing that guy 4x in a do or die game

  • In reply to bolla:

    Sucks on the road. Thank God they are in Chicago.

  • Bolla i will go one step further on the 2018 Cubs offense:
    • Cubs scored 3 runs or less 76 times this season.
    • Of those 76 games the Cubs lost 52.

    This off-season the FO needs to address this on-going problem. Cubs have had a difficult time hitting with RISP for several years in a row now. Driving in runners from 3rd base with less then 2 outs has been a big issue with this team as well.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    I agree 100%. This is why I said chili davis is being scapegoated, this has been a issue for 3 years now.Situational hitting or hitting with risp the cubs struggle with both.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    I been preaching and crying situational hitting like a broken record for YEARS. All of been hit w is resistance and thats not how the game is played. OBP and homers is all you need. The homers covered it up some, but like Bolla said its been a weakness for years.

    Even this phenomenal pitching season couldn't cover it all the way up. It was close, got us to the playoffs.

    It took a couple years, but now we are seeing it at its worst, bottoming out.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Mode in statistics is the most common result on a large data set.

    The Cubs’ mode for runs scored in a game this season is 1. This means the Cubs scored only 1 measely run most often this season.

    ‘Nuff said, I think.

  • fb_avatar

    We saw the MVP in the NL today. As Denizen Kane said, the numbers Yelich has put up in the last month have been incredible. He is the reason Milw has put up the numbers they have.
    We played well, but their bullpen was better. Javy had a great AB in the 9th and I hope tomorrow will start this team in a post-season run. There have been WC teams win and we still have a very potent lineup but we seem to get team hypnosis when it comes to hitting. Either we hit a lot or nothing. I don't know and it probably confuses the FO too.
    I hope not for the last time---Go Cubs!!

  • fb_avatar

    In all seriousness. If we win the WC, We'll have home field advantage for all 5 games of the NLDS.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    No the brewers do, they have homefield for the whole postseason until the worlds series

    Nothing would make me happier than winning the wc and eliminating the brewers at miller park.After that I couldn't care less what happens.

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    In reply to bolla:

    I know. It was a joke because there's always way more Cubs fans at Miller Park than Brewer fans. I was just trying to lighten the mood.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Lol yea it was obvious too, it completely went over my head.

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    In reply to bolla:

    It's cool. I'm still trying to get over the Cubs lack of offensive production the past 5+ months also. It's mind boggling how they can be so streaky most of the season. Injuries and slumps didn't help, but it's still not an excuse for their underperformance. I think the FO is going to make a few big changes with position players this offseason. I've been wanting a trade for Whit Merrifield for the past month, but LeMahiue as a FA signing is looking more realistic. Along with a Schwarber, Happ trade for pitching. Sign Harper, put Heyward in CF, & Almora in LF. Or Harper LF, Almora RF.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Yea changes are definitely coming this offseason ,this consistent offensive ineptitude is unacceptable. I can’t wait to see what Theo does this winter.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Funny thing though, but it sounded like there were more Brewer then Cubs fans in the park today.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    You might be right. It was hard to tell because all I saw was blue. But I was a bit drunk also.

  • Who would pitch tomorrow for Colorado?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Hopefully someone we can get good AB's against.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wickdipper:

    It would be Senzetela's turn, but I would be stunned if he starts. I think they go w Kyle Freehand, their "ace" who was 17-7 w a 2.85 ERA pitching half his games in hitters paradise. He did pitch 6 innings Friday.

    Its going to be all hands on deck anyway.

    They said Joe may go to Hamels after Lester.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I was gonna say Freeland or Gray. Freeland should be on normal rest, and maybe Gray piggybacks? They don't have much in the SPing department from what I can tell. Marquez is not an option for tomorrow. If our Offense actually shows up, we should get an easy win at long as they don't let Arenado kill us.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Freeland pitched Friday. I don't think we see Jon Gray tomorrow. He's as Heckyl Jeckyl as out offense. I think he's the one who got rocked which is why they had to play in LA.

    Its going to be Freeland and a lot of relievers.........Hopefully we wont have to see our ole pal Wade Davis

    All hands on deck

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yep.....I see Lester and even the possibilities of both Hamels and Hendricks. Hendricks actually warmed up today.
    We have to score quick and get ahead early and let Lester roll.....look out for Arenado though.....he gone deep in most of the head to head games this year.

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Hendricks warmed up today cuz today was his throw day. I would be surprised to even see him on the roster tomorrow. I think him and Q wont even be on the WC roster.

    Rockies even though they only had 4 hits, Arenado and Story both going deep off Jansen in the 9th gives them a little juice. A lot better then being completely shut out

    Today was nerve racking for me.........i can't imagine how tomorrow is going to be

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Ahhh ok :)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wickdipper:

    My problem is that Maddon always goes for the win no matter the cost. After Q was pulled, he should have put out Lester or Hamels for 2 innings, then went to Chavez.

  • I’m not pitching to arenado, he will get the bryce harper treatment from that may ‘16 series I’m walking him every.single.time

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    In reply to bolla:

    I have been against signing Harper for awhile, but after seeing every team scared to death to pitch to him, I'm starting to get on board with signing him. Schwarber and Happ can get us a legit closer & relief pitcher. We just need a contact hitter to man 2b. DJ may be the guy. He's also way better defensively than Murphy.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Prefer machado over harper and to acquire merrifield in a trade.The cubs need better hitters, guys who pitchers will be wary of.They need more power, more speed,more contact.

    Don't get me wrong I'd take either player but machado has no comp pick.Harper would be perfectly fine because teams can't pitch around rizzo,bryant,harper,zobrist. Throw baez in there and hope contreras bounces back and that's 6 dangerous and/or patient hitters.Add say a merrifield or jed lowrie guys who make contact and get on base and now we're talking.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    I did prefer Machado, but the more I watched him play, the more I saw him as a free swinger. Especially swinging at 1st pitches. Don't get me wrong, I'd love the Cubs to sign him but where would he play? He already has said he won't play 3b. Javy is way better at SS. Would he be willing to play th 2b? S few weeks ago I was all for Machado at 3b and signing Merrifield to play 2b, but if Manny doesn't want to play 3b, what is the point of trying? Unless Theo sells him on the fact of winning rings with him at 3b.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I think Theo could sell Machado on playing 3rd base with about 5-10 starts at SS (and some WS rings) to give Javy a break (and more if Javy gets injured/god forbid). I'm still not totally sold on Merrifield as he'll be 30 already next year, and this truly is his first really solid season. But if they're willing to swap Schwarber for him, I might be okay with that. Then that would mean Bryant could play LF.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Just have to pray the Dodgers don't decide to break the bank for him.

    Yea, they have Seager but they know what kind of impact he's made on this team.

    Yankees are hopefully don't decide to trade Andjuar or Didi for pitching and sign Machado.

    Hopefully the Redsox give Devers 1 more year and if he fails, then go after Arenado in 2019.

    Leaves the bidding for Machado for Cubs, Cards, Phillies, and maybe some wild card teams like Mets, whitesox, and 1-2 mystery teams.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Don't forget about the Braves being in on Manny & Harper also. They're an attractive young team with money to spend.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Oh yea, I was going over all the teams and I knew I missed a good one.

    It all depends on $$$$ and how some of these playoff teams do

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I would trade Schwarber straight up for Merrifield if Harper is already signed. Happ and a couple prospects would be more ideal. Save Schwarber+ for a legit closer & RP .

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I would trade Schwarber for a bag of practice balls.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Machado had 70 BB’s and barely over 100 K’s. That is not a free swinger.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    No doubt, Machado/Rizzo/Zobrist b2b2 is 3 really really professional hitters who don't get themselves out or K too much.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    I just meant that Machado is a free swinger on 1st pitches from what I've seen if him in his career. Not like Javy. Sorry if that came out the wrong way.

  • In reply to bolla:

    They have Story behind Arenado. He has had a real good year. He was second to Arenado in homers and top 5 in RBI.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Story has an ailing elbow, a 26% k rate and a 30% k rate for his career. I rather take my chances vs him he also has a 34% ground ball %

  • Freeland is pitching tomorrow, just announced

  • Just read arcia is hitting .183 vs 4 seam fastballs this season.So wilson goes 0-2 with fastballs then throws a slider.A slider he pretty much abandoned since joining the cubs.He was supposed to bury the pitch, also read arcia has the lowest wrc+ for anyone not named chris davis from baltimore. Yet this guy goes 4-4 in a critical game.

    Just bad execution

  • Non Cubs in 2019
    Russell
    Murphy
    Duensing
    Garcia
    De La Rosa
    Gore

    All minor leaguers returned to Triple A with some competing for spots in ST

    Possible goners via trade will be Happ, Almora, Schwarber, Chatwood

    5 actual new spots will be filled

  • fb_avatar

    Merrifield
    Baez/Bryant
    Machado/Harper
    Rizzo
    Bryant/Baez
    Zo
    Heyward/Almora
    Pitcher
    Contreras

    Maybe flip flop Heyward/Almora with Willy depending on production.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I am not sure 2 players are enough esp an aging one coming off a career yr unless we get some marked improvement from Heyward, Almora, Contreras, and Bryant back to MVP form.

    I am not even sure we can depend on Zobrist to keep playing at this elite level.

    I like your idea and I agree some big changes are in order.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I’m not on board with Merrifield. You keep beating that drum. Who knows if that happens. I don’t care for guys age 30 who’s HR total shrunk by 50%. Another right handed hitter is not what this team needs. I’d bring back Murphy or grab Gennett.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    I would love to get Scooter, but no way the Reds trade him to us for what he's worth. They are going to want an overpay plus he K's a lot for the amount of walks he takes.

    The Reds actually think they are on the cusp of being ready to compete. I think they are 2 yrs away, but they believe the offense is pretty much ready and its hard to argue w that.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I thought Scooter is a FA. Maybe I got that one wrong. Fangraphs has his contract as a 1 year $5.7MM for 2018, so I thought he may be available.

  • fb_avatar

    The Mesa brothers are having a workout on Oct 5. I don't know how much money we have to sign IFA but if we have anything close I'd love to sign the older brother (Victor) who is the #1 FA prospect.

  • Wonder if there is a stat for team k rate with risp. Can anyone point me to the right site.

  • Okay, this will not be a favorable opinion, but here it goes...

    I question whether Javy can ever have as good of a season as he had this year. And it's a shame he seems to become baseball-stupid when he steps into the batter's box. The only reason I have been this hard on him is because of the potential I see, and we shouldn't settle, as he can be elite, but he needs to put together good at bats EVERY TIME OUT THERE, and not just selectively. He actually had a couple good at bats today, but he should've had a better AB in the 4th inning. There were 2 outs, nobody on, we're down by one, his goal should be to just get on base. How many times does this team put together 2 out rally's starting out of nothing? It happens quite a bit actually! It's that simple he had a 3-0 count and swung at an offspeed pitch at the top of the zone and inside. Made the 3rd out, when he could've been on first for Rizzo. And I know Javy is a bad ball hitter, and if that pitch was waist high and inside, I'd be much more okay with him taking that hack at it, but that wasn't the kind of ball you can hit out. Not a guarantee, but Rizzo hit the home run when he lead off the next inning. That was the Cubs first opportunity to take the momentum in the game, and Javy took a big swing at a ball that the pitcher wasn't even challenging him. He gave them the out and ended the inning with Rizzo and Bryant on deck and in the hole.

    It just irritates me because then he comes up in the 9th and has an amazing at bat against a guy who's really hard to hit. He proves over and over that he knows the strike zone and he can recognize pitches he's seeing, but it's selective. He needs that approach every time out there! It's the only way! It's too selfish to give away at bats when pitchers are willing to put him on first base, where he's so dangerous once he's on the base paths, but he seems more concerned with the machismo big swings and hitting home runs than he does in doing what he should do to help the team win, and that's passing the baton to the Rizzos, Bryants, or Zobrists who might have great success hitting behind him. It's just selfish and it needs to stop. Remember in July when Javy was so Hot and hitting everything? Remember how he'd selectively take a big hack, and then reel it back in, and shorten his swing and go the opposite way? Well I haven't seen that in a while, and feel like that cost the Cubs the division. Lot's more than that actually cost us the division, but he simply could've been the difference just by doing more for the team, instead of being the guy with the big swing who wants to only hit home runs.

    Hell, if we had another reliable player to play SS, I'd say trade him for deGrom now that he's at his highest value.

    /rant... please prove me wrong Javy, over the next month.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Hey Cubber! I think we've done this before. I learned from you. I hope the feeling is mutual. But it may be time to refresh.

    First off, we all hurt. That is understandable. In times like these people lash out, sometimes without sense.

    You are upset, as am I. But it ain't over. We still have a shot. I never quit, and We Never Quit. This season hasn't gone as planned. Planned being we totally dominate all of baseball and roll over all other franchises as if they were nothing. They don't exist. But they do, and they try as hard or harder than we do.

    We have had an unfortunate season due to injury and underperformance. I don't need to remind. But you know one thing we cannot gripe about, a topic that left us disappointed, something we can honestly blame for our sub-par performance? Ednel Javier Baez.

    We've been through this, or at least I have. Baez came up to historically bad results. Many called him a bust, his career was over. He persevered to be known by those in the know as a possible glove-first utility man. But, damn!, look at this boy play. He might make it as a short-side platoon.

    Holy Cow, Javy could be an everyday second-baseman. He sucks and will never hit, but his floor might be that of a second-division regular.

    Now here we are, and he still gets blamed. An MVP-worthy season isn't enough. Carrying this broken team to a 95-win season falls short. The fact that this worthless, over-hyped bust nearly put this team on his back to will them into the playoffs isn't enough. He should have pitched, and broadcasted the games, and controlled the weather, too. El Mago my ass.

    We're still playing. I don't want to get into "next year" just yet. But I will have some things to say about what to expect from our favorite pin cushion. I understand people are upset, but damn, it's not over. And taking out your frustration on Javier Baez for this team's lack of domination is foolish.

    Javier Baez is not "this is who he is". You ain't seen nothing yet. But I cannot comprehend anyone blaming this year's failures on him.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Thank you, the constant Baez nitpicking is ridiculous.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Barley- Please know that I really enjoy reading your posts and respect your opinion and knowledge in this game that we all love so much. Seriously if I had to list a top 3 posters whom I look forward to reading their Cubs thoughts here, that list can change from day to day, but you are always on the list.

    Right near the end of my post, I stated, "Lot's more than that (Javy's all too many poor ABs) actually cost us the division." the "lot's more" was meant to encompass all the other stuff (i.e., injuries [Darvish, Bryant, Morrow, and Strop], rain outs/scheduling, busts [mostly Chatwood and Duensing]), so please know that I do understand there's way more to the equation than just Javy. But my point is that most of the stuff I just listed is uncontrollable, while Javy is 100% in full control of his actions, just like the rest of us, and it seems that he goes up to bat in a selfish manner, instead of with the team first attitude that guys like Rizzo, Bryant, Zobrist, and Murphy have every time they step into the box. So no one can control all the injuries and baseball stuff that happens, but they each can control how they approach each at bat. Rizzo is Mr. Consistency with his 100 RBI's year after year, as a direct result of his approach. Bryant's numbers have been much more consistent than Javy's too. That is all I expect from Javy, consistency.

    You are right that Javy's hot streaks have gotten longer, and the cold ones are shorter. He's been hot for months at a time when he shortens his swing and locks in going the other way and hits doubles and triples galore also allowing him to wreak havoc on the bases, all while still putting the ball out of the park at a great rate. But then when pitchers refuse to throw him strikes, he gives away one or two (sometimes even more) of our precious 27 outs in almost every game. Again I'll point to Rizzo and a healthy Bryant, because they just don't do that for 3 to 4 or 5 weeks at a time like Baez does.

    When this team was clearly gassed in the month of September, you gotta expect your star players to pick up their game and carry the team, Rizzo did exactly that, but Javy seemed to be more concerned with wild swings at stuff out of the zone in hopes to score 6 runs at a time. I don't think it's coincidence that in the month when we needed the best from him, he had a 32.8 K rate (his worst of the season), which was acceptable in 2014 and 2015, but not in a 2018 pennant race. If he reeled it in and showed better discretion and control while in the batter's box this September, could we have won 1 more game and avoided today's tie breaker? I think the answer is a resounding YES!

    I've always loved Baez from the first day I saw him hit a big bomb in his first spring training at Hohokam Field after Jim Hendry drafted him. I think that ball is still flying! I've always had high expectations of him. I have patiently always been a fan of him from the start, and have never come down on him for his faults until just this season. I've accepted all the bad with the good, frankly because I wasn't sure that he could live up to my expectations. I knew he's a young and wild untamed horse, and as you have taught me, he actually is more of a unicorn even. He is a rare and truly special player, so shouldn't we expect him to bring his best on a daily basis, just like we've learned we can expect from Rizzo and Bryant (again, when healthy).

    I don't know if it's a concentration thing with him, but I think he needs to at least set better goals with what he is to accomplish when he steps into the box. It shouldn't be the wow factor, big swing/big blast, put on the show, the "I'm here to hit home runs and not take walks" mentality that he spoke to the media about early in the season when he first got hot. It should be, "What does this pitcher throw and how can the team benefit from my ability to handle a hittable pitch if he chooses to throw one over the plate. And if he's not willing to pitch to me, I can stand on first base and trust the next batter to move me over, and WE will score runs that way." His 2018 season has proven to me that he is capable of exactly that, but unfortunately he only looks to have that kind of approach, maybe only about a third to half the time. That is what is unacceptable to me.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Yeah. Javy is the problem. Please.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Javy is not the problem, but he is inconsistent at the plate. He seems so capable of quality at bats and gives too many of poor quality. Honestly, I don't understand it.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I'm glad you understand what I'm saying. The big thing is he's the leader, and we should all look to him to do his best every time for this team. He should be setting an example. That is exactly what Rizzo does every time he steps into the batters box, although he doesn't have the ceiling of Javy. Rizzo is a true leader and he meets my expectations with every at bat. Bryant has also done that alot in the past when he was healthy. Javy does not do that. Look at Rizzo, he had a terrible first 6 weeks with back problems and yet, he came through for the 4th season in a row in driving in 100 runs. That is no easy task.

    To the others here, who disagree, or think I'm blaming only Javy for our offensive consistencies, should we expect less from Javy when he steps into the box, even though he has the ceiling of a potential Hall of Fame baseball player? Because I think it's strange to expect that of others like Schwarber, Happ, Contreras, and Heyward, but then let Baez off the hook when he is by far the most talented guy on the field! We will only go as far as our leaders will take us, and Javy should be held accountable to that level. I want to see him put in consistent great at bats every day, almost every at bat of each game. I know there's gonna be some clunkers, and that's okay, but he just has too many of them, too often. In 2016, Rizzo and Bryant gave us great at bats every time out, which really helped carry us through that season and to win the World Series. Javy has proven he is just as good or better than them, so why shouldn't we expect the same? Especially in seeing people here bash Rizzo when he was slumping and injured early this year, and the same with Bryant, even though we know he's had a boatload of issues effecting his play this year. But let's give Javy a pass...

    Look at the at bats that Cain and Yelich give the Brewers. Every time they're never an easy out. They battle for their team every time they step in the box. They don't just get up there to battle for themselves and hit home runs.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I agree. I can't believe that Javy gets all this praise when he so clearly is not perfect. He's great in so many ways, the most exciting player in the game, has won the more game for the Cubs in so many different ways and is so clearly the MVP of the team. But yeah, he needs to be better. He needs to be perfect. Hey, let trade him for a closer while he's a peak value.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    The other more personal part of this issue for Javy is, that he will never get the respect that he could until he fixes that hole in his game, unicorn or not. Sori had the same problem.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Cubber, Inwould point to his 4 straight years of improvement that say we have not seen the best of Javy.

    For me, I’ll take him for the next 6 years with 35 HR and over 100 RBI hitting .290. There is a lot of value there. Guys like KB and Rizzo and Contreras get back to normal seasons, we could live with a .330 OBP from Javy with all his SLG. He carried this team and shouldn’t have had to. I tip my cap to Javy.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I get what you're saying but this is what he is he's always going to be a bit streaky but his good is going to far outshadow his bad he's still a superstar and a big key to this teams success I really don't get why anyone would even consider trading him given how important he's been to the defense that's one of the main reason that we're built for sustained success to begin with. Even if he hits like 2017 frankly he's still one of the best players on this team because of his overall impact. And Degroms value isn't as high as you think he's 30 with only 2 years of cost control. The mets would give us Degrom and then some to get baez they'd pack Degroms bags themselves if we traded Baez. The reality is Javy's always gonna have weeks of brilliance that maybe followed by an ugly game or 2 but who cares if he has those ugly games with all the good that he brings.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Preach. The Baez bashing is becoming annoying.

  • In reply to bolla:

    you have a peculiar definition of bashing. Nowhere has anyone been "bashing" Javy. People are all saying he could be even better if........

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    I have no issues with anyone saying Baez would be better if had more consistent plate discipline, because I agree with that

    The constant complaing about his ab’s or saying he needs to show up to convince certain people he’s an mvp candidate is ridiculous. The kid just had the only 40 double,30+ hr and 20 + stolen base season in cubs history. He also had one of 3 hits in yesterday’s game vs arguably the hardest lefty to hit in mlb(at least top 2-3)and kept the cubs alive. I don’t see the same criticism or expectations for other players, I do see a lot of excuses though. The whole offense has collectively struggled not gonna criticize the ONE consistent productive hitter because he didn’t come thru at certain moments.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Well, in all honesty, you don't see the same expetations for "other players" because maybe they don't have the ceiling that Javy does. David Bote might not ever be a MVP canidated. Same for Schwarber. Happ. Contreras. Heyward. People see the sky is the limit for Javy and want him to get there. That is all.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    That's true.I get emotional and defensive when it comes to baez, I agree.

  • In reply to bolla:

    bolla- I'm really not advocating for trading Baez...

    "I have no issues with anyone saying Baez would be better if had more consistent plate discipline, because I agree with that"

    So you agree that he should strive to take a better approach in each and every at bat, and if he had achieved that in the style of Anthony Rizzo for this season, that maybe this team probably would have won one more game and we wouldn't be in this scenario? Because that's all I'm really saying. I know it seems like I'm being really hard on Javy, but it's because he fits the mold of the player on which to project those expectations. Yes, there's blame to go many places in why the Cubs didn't win the division, but when you see Javy have those great at bats in about half of his plate appearances, doesn't in frustrate you to see him throw other at bats away? That is all I'm saying, in my mad and frustrated, venting way. It's very critical thinking about our favorite player, and the truth hurts. I think Javy has all the potential to become that player and just put up ridiculous numbers. If he didn't have the season he just had and shown us he is capable of building great at bat after other great at bat, I wouldn't be blaming him at all for losing the pennant race. His 32.8% k-rate in September is right there with Schwarber and Bryant, 2 players I continually see you harp on here. Javy is and should be better than that, especially when we need him most. If Michael Jordan had a terrible playoff series, and the Bulls didn't win those 6 championships, would we be blaming Horace Grant, or MJ?

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Now this is a much more honest and reasonable post. For me the trade Baez part of cubbers post was where I was kinda like cmon man I know it's been a rough week but trade one of the keys to this teams recent success over the past few years. I know we have high expectations for this team but the answer isn't to trade the main core pieces that contribute to this golden generation cubs team. And I know you and cubber are intelligent balanced thinking fans but I agree with Bolla in that some posters not really you guys necessarily tend to pick on Javy whenever he has one of his rough weeks. It's almost as if at times the haters that wanted to trade him years ago start to have their incorrect and unfounded doubts about him again every time he has a few bad ABs where he swings at garbage pitches. I think people have to understand that he's always gonna have his stretches or individual AB's over a long season where he looks clueless at the plate but then he'll have stretches where he can carry a team as well we have to take the good with the bad and despite his approach he does a ton of damage when he makes contact and he's doing a much better job of making contact compared to past years. He may not have Kris Bryant's patience and elite approach but he does a lot of other things that Bryant and Rizzo don't do either. Players have different strengths and weaknesses and I get fans have their preferences but the reality is Javy is one of the best players on this team and he's going to remain one of the best players on this team because he contributes in so many different ways. Let's just enjoy some of the great players that we're lucky enough to be able to watch on a daily basis and hope that this team can surprise us and make a playoff run.

    Our stars aren't the problem in baseball you have to have a deep enough roster where guys step up when stars have off games it happens all the time in the playoffs. Let's not forget that Anthony Rizzo was awful in the 2016 playoffs until the end of the dodgers series in the NLCS and it was a young and raw Javy Baez and Willson Contreras that got hot and picked Rizzo up. Role players and others have to step up this time of year it's baseball you're facing high end pitchers and stars have bad series all the time it happens to numerous stars every single postseason

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    kkhiavi- just so you know, I really was not advocating to trade Javy. I said if we had a capable SS, then we should trade him. The truth is we don't, so no way do we or should we trade him. And being able to calm down after being so upset about it, that statement was definitely an over reaction.

    Yes, the role players need to step up, that is always part of a championship formula. I love the way Javy has improved this year, and I really hope we see even more improvement. I know it's in him to bring those good at bats every time out. Why wouldn't it be? It's like some times he just checks out and forgets what the true mission is when he steps into the box. I said it earlier this year, and I'll say it ago, Javy is the "You go, we go" that Dexter was in 2016 and this team will go as far as Javy will take us. If he's giving his best every time he steps into the box, just like he does when he steps out onto the field or the base paths, he will lead this team to the promised land, the role players will follow his lead and also shorten their swings and go to opposite field and more than likely bring more positive results to the outcome. That's it. But the leader has got to lead.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    As an add on to my previous reply, do you remember when Javy was super hot, how great all our lower in the order hitters were putting together good at bats and just were able to keep the train moving around the bases? That is what I'm talking about. Javy is the catalyst to this team. We need him now more than ever. We can't expect Schwarber October madness, or Contreras to all of a sudden become July '17 Willy, but we've seen Javy's best, and we need it now.

    I feel like Star Wars, "Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope."

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    Happ and a prospect or 2 should fetch Merrifield. Or we can sign DJ to a 2 year contract. Schwarber and Bote could get us a legit closer. Happ & a prospect can get us a legit RP. DJ makes alot of contact, but is stuck at 2b, while Merrifield could play multiple positions. Tough call either way.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    You don't think we can just trade trade Ian Stewart back for DJ?

    I doubt Theo would eat crow by signing he thought had no future as a starter in this league to a guy to big money even if a shorter contract.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    True. I didn't think of that. I have so many baseball thoughts in my head right now, I didn't even think about that.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    If you trade Schwarber you want a bat, not a pitcher. He’s a 3 WAR player and will likely improve. That’s a $24 mil player that will probably not exceed $12 mil in his last year of arb. You’ve got Morrow for another year and you can get a guy to back him up utilizing a guy with less value. I’m not necessarily in favor of moving him but if you do he has to help your biggest need because he is your best trade piece. That biggest need is offense, not pitching

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    In reply to TC154:

    I'm basing this on Machado signing with us and agreeing to play 3b. Then moving Bryant to LF.

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    In reply to TC154:

    It would be really cool to trade Schwarber and Happ to the Yankees for Torres, but that's not happening.

  • Man I want revenge, the brewers celebrated and Cain said “ it always feels good to beat a big market team” they won the division not the nlds,not the pennant not the World Series.the division

    I don’t care if the cubs get swept in the nlcs as long as they end the brewers season I would be overjoyed.

    I know the cubs are reeling offensively and the bullpen is shaky but man I want to win this wc game then take them out.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    Cain should talk smack. Its not like he took less money to sign there or something. If he wanted to stay in a small market, why not stay in KC and sign for the lifer for the minimum.

    I thought That crash davis Erik Kratz was going to pitch a tent and bring his family and move into Wrigley Field. He was there longer then the ground crew......

    I hate the Brewers as a team more then this version of the Cards ( minus Yadi, Carp, and Wainwright). It the Cardinal FANS that I
    detest.

    This Brewers team needs to be taken down a notch. Lets first take care of some Rock Pile business, and then make those clowns resent the fact they have to play the first 2 games in our dome.......

    Please offense wake the F up...........

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    My thoughts exactly, I definitely want to humble them. I’m not sure the cubs can this season, the brewers right now are simply playing better in every aspect. I mean freakin Arcia went 4-4 today. Their worst hitter was on base 4x and got a critical hit. Their bullpen executes they get the timely hits. It’s frustrating because it just seems like their year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    Well I have to give the Brewers credit for what they have done and are doing, but they wouldnt have won this division if our offense didn't hibernate this year. So many of our hitters took steps back vs improving like young players usually do. Even if you take into consideration some attrition where some players will regress and some will improve........ well none besides Baez improved.

    If we don't advance, I am fairly confident the Rockies will give them a real dog fight. The Dodgers will steam roll them like they did us last year. They do not have a 2014-2015 Royals pen and Defense to mask the starting pitching shortcomings. There will be no World series champion w Chacin / Wade Miley as your " Aces" LOL

    Over a long series, a good well prepared, mature offense will destroy those journeyman starters and wear that pen down.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Look how strong that Royals team was? Their team defense was superb, and an offense that was built perfect for their park along w one of the deepest most dominant bullpens of all time. With all that, those Royals couldn't get over the hump until they added Zobrist and got a real ace Cueto to go along w their journeyman starters and a young flame thrower Yordanny Ventura.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Agreed, don’t think the cubs stand a chance vs the dodgers either

    It took several injuries, a slumping offense and playing 41 games in 42 days for the brewers to catch the cubs. Healthy cubs team wraps the division up a week ago

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think the Braves beat the Dodgers in the NLDS so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Wow.I think the dodgers are overall better than the braves,I love acuna and albies though they are both really good.We'll see

    being objective I think brewers or dodgers are going to the ws one of those 2.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think the Dodgers are more talented too, but that’s not always what wins. The Braves are young and don’t have the slightest idea of what the playoffs are about. That either works to your advantage, the 2015 Cubs are the example of that, or you get crushed. I think if the right cards fall the Braves could be the former. Kershaw hasn’t pitched well and the Braves have a strong chance of beating him. Do that and they steal home field advantage. They won’t beat Buehler in game 2 so you do everything you can to win game 1. Go back to ATL 1-1 and the pitching equalizes. I’m not guaranteeing an Atlanta win but I like how it lines up for them. Beat Kershaw, win the series.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I gave the Brewers total credit for showing up down the stretch and getting the job done.

    Regardless of the smack talk, which I believe has no place in the game (but boys will be boys), it does not take away from their accomplishment.

    As for the 2018 Cubs, its clear that they are not as capable a team as their full 2018 record indicates. The 2nd half exposed some weaknesses in our offense that will need to be addressed if the FO is expecting sustained success throughout the season.

    As for Javier Baez, he is still learning and growing. He really does not belong in the middle of the lineup on a championship team until he can improve his plate discipline and OBP. He is an exciting player with a known flaw that he has the power and instinct to correct. Unlike Kris Bryant, who will go off and work on improvements before incorporating them into his game approach, Javy learns and adjusts as he goes during a game situation. He just needs to consciously work to eliminate certain tendencies to take his game to the next level, but let's be fair, he is getting better every year.

    Hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in professional sports, so I try and take a patient approach as guys adjust and grow as baseball is difficult and unforgiving.

    Yr BA OBP SLG OPS
    2016 .273 .314 .423 .737
    2017 .273 .317 .480 .796
    2018 .290 .326 .554 .880

  • In reply to bolla:

    Wait, you mean that the Brewers worst hitter is capable of putting together 4 great at bats in one game, but our best hitter should be let off the hook because he did not do the same? Nitpicking...

    So you know, in Arcia's first three at bats, he didn't swing at one ball out of the zone, and every time he swung at a pitch in the zone, he only missed one, and he fouled off or got hits on the rest. In his last at bat he finally swung at a pitch that was just a little inside, just above the belt and got another hit. I wish Javy would've shown that kind of plate discipline. Shouldn't we expect Javy to give us the same quality at bats as the Brewers worst hitter?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Baez isn’t the cubs best hitter, he’s the cubs most productive hitter this season and he got one of the 3 hits today

    Now where was Kris Bryant and his high woba? Where was Kyle Schwarber and his patient approach that produces nothing? Oh nowhere to be found as usual. You’re being real selective with your criticism. Baez is the last person that should be picked on. When the cubs real best hitter is injured again and that’s the excuse for yet another underwhelming season

  • In reply to bolla:

    Not being selective. Just calling like I see it. Why should he not have to give us as good at bats as our other superstar players? He gives away outs. If he took the walk when he should have and Rizzo came to bat and still hit his HR, it changes the complexion of the entire game. The difference between best and most productive hitter is just semantics.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Yeah I just want another shot at them you know I respect their talent but these guys are acting like they just won the WS and they should be proud of their accomplishment they just won the division over a golden generation cubs team that's won a WS. But that being said if we beat the rockies their win over us means nothing you still gotta show you can beat us in a 5 game series and I just hope we have that opportunity to humble these cheeseheads

  • fb_avatar

    The content on the MLB website has been real hit or miss lately, but there is a very interesting article on the roster construction of the 10 playoff teams.

    https://www.mlb.com/news/how-the-10-postseason-teams-were-built/c-296459836

    A few surprises. With the recent history and all the best team $ can buy noise, who would have guessed the Dodgers have basically a home grown team ?

  • I think if they win the WC they beat the Brewers. The starting rotation has pitched very well and I expect that to continue. Their achilles heal is the BP and in the playoffs you ride Cishek, Chavez, Montgomery and hopefully a healthy Strop. Joe’s got to go longer with the starters. When the Brewers came up against good SP with the Pirates and Cubs they struggled. Didn’t exactly crush Q either. Now I’m not saying they’ll get any further than the LCS but if they win the WC game I do see them beating the Brewers in 5. The Brewers have been enjoying a lot of luck during this winning streak and I just don’t see it continuing, especially with their lack of SP depth.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    l agree that we can beat the Brewers in a 5-game series. You are right, Joe needs to allow the SP, when effective, to go deeper, and then we can ride the relievers that you mentioned. But what the Cubs must do is have some offense and force Counsell to go to his best relievers enough that our offense gets plenty of looks at their stuff and can solve them in games 4 and 5, because even with the Cubs at their best, I can see that going 5 games.

  • If the Rocks shut down the offense again tonight, it will make for an interesting winter.

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    In reply to Hagsag:

    Atleast there will finally be a change if we lose. But there will still be big changes if they win the WC & DS.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    What big changes are you looking for?

  • I'm not so sure. Gotta consider this...
    The Cubs have played every day for a month and a half.
    No one does that, ever. I think they're just tired.
    What won the division for the Brewers this year?
    Their stadium! No rainouts.

    I'm sure that the Cubs are not taxpayers this year.
    They are going to have a huge TV cash influx.
    I expect them to be very active this offseason.

  • I’m still remembering the 2 games Maddon basically threw away around Labor Day by not fielding a competitive lineup. The one against the Mets especially....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    One probably needs to understand that over the course of 162 games, every manager throws away games. Winning the battle/losing the war type of argument, but they all do it.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    With the injuries piling up he had to get guys rest somehow knowing that brutal stretch was coming. The Cubs had won the first two games of that Mets series and at that point in time winning series, not winning every game, was the goal. I agreed with the decision then and I'm not second guessing it now because it forced us into a tiebreaker game. You do not manage to win every game. It's way more strategic than that.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I will add an addendum to that though; if you are a small market team with a limited playoff window and you sense opportunity, like Milwaukee did, you play to win every game. The large market teams risk burnout and injury if they do that and they, by virtue of what they are, have to look at a larger picture.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    How does the manager of one of the deepest teams in baseball field a "non-competitive" lineup to "throw away" a game? It amazes me how many posters try to define that one game, one inning or one decision, and blame the entire season on it. I'd go with the 39-games in which the Cubs scored one run or less, second only to the Orioles for offensive ineptitude. If the offense had showed up for any ONE of those, the Cubs would be preparing for the NLDS.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    It’s easy to do Cliff when you lose something by one game and then something in the past part of the season so glaringly sticks out. After watching both of those games and knowing what his intentions were which I can understand....they mailed it in, which in any baseball game I can never agree with. Every team by that time of the year is tired, every team has injury problems then to a degree....I can see a Baltimore or KC going through the motions but never one involved in a fight for a division.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    You could also make the argument that the players Joe rested during those two games might have performed better during the brutal stretch without a day off. As for "mailing it in," I agree. I don't care if they are fielding their AAA team, maximum effort is the expectation.

  • Several things say the cubs should win tonight and I still don't feel good about their chances.

    This team struggles entirely too much to score runs and that's become a major concern for me.It's not a bad streak it's become a trend

  • In reply to bolla:

    We've been talking about the inadequacies of the Cubs offense since well before the ASB. Those concerns were usually met with a chorus of "first place," "best record in the NL" or statistics showing average runs per game or other "good" offensive numbers. We all hope the Cubs win tonight, but even if they do, they'll be facing tough competition with the same flawed lineup they've had all year. There's always luck, streaks and perhaps the BABIP dragon will be kind, but IMO it's not gonna end well.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yea I agree, just have bad gut feeling.

  • It was Strop’s left hamstring correct? If so, he should be able to go today.....hopefully that is one less inning we have to worry about.

  • Everyone needs to read the Jeff Burdick article at the (cubs insider) web site.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Running Gore for Happ? Nope, dude is crazy. All that would have amounted to was him being forced at second. Then if Murphy led off the next inning with a hit you would have used your only baserunner.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Another Maddon basher? No thanks, we have enough of 'em here.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Exactly, I have managed many amature team's and my biggest mistakes were when I gave too much weight to someone else's opinion. There's only one stallion at a time.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    "there's only one stallion at a time" ??????

    You never had twins!

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    There are numerous male offspring, but only one honcho stallion.

  • There is alot of negativity here now which is understandable but I don’t think we are in as bad a shape as many feel. We did win 95 games which we were expected to do pretty much....just no one saw Milwaukee doing it too.
    I think we win tonight.....really do...and then if we go up there and sock ‘em right in the mouth they fold. If we go up there and bust their bullpen one time....that is what they rely on, that’s their confidance factor.
    Pitch Arenado VERY carefully tonight, hopefully Jon can go a good 7 strong maybe more.

  • Strop is on the wild card game roster, No edwards.

  • In reply to bolla:

    No kintlzer either!!! Yessssssssss

    Gore on wc roster

  • Remember, the roster today will only be for today.

  • Sounds like Edwards has forearm discomfort the main reason for being left off today's roster.

  • The Wildcard for the bullpen if we do advance to the NLDS is Mike Montgomery. We need to remember how tough he was as far as throwing hard for shorter amounts of time than when he paces himself as a starter. The difference in velocity helps the curve as well.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    excited about that additions to the pen and with Strop back even though we don't know what type of form he'll be in that's 2 solid additions to the pen. Let's get this win and give ourselves another shot at the brewers I already knew they were good so losing yesterday wasn't surprising to me but I still believe the cubs know they have a good shot in a 5 game series. We just need to get there winning the division means nothing for Milwaukee if they don't win the NLDS and the playoffs are a new season and we'll see if they can carry their hot streak into the NLDS. I'd sure love to get another shot at them

  • Yeah, the reason I said earlier I would rather play the Dodgers tonight is to me they are probably the one team I don't want to play in a long series. They have both a right handed lineup and a left handed lineup to match anything we throw at them. The also have better pitching IMO than either Mil or Atl. Especially since Ferris has gotten suddenly hershiser great. I would take my chances tonight in a one game against them with no Ferris or Kershaw as opposed to a longer series. But, so much for that idea. I think we can beat the Crew though. Kyle can put their whole team in a funk if he is on.

  • As of 1:25PM there hasn't been a lineup released. Joe was on the radio at noon and said it will be right-handed heavy, which makes sense, because Freeland kills lefties. Rizzo is a no-brainer to start, Schwarber is a no-brainer to sit, and Heyward is on the bubble. My guess is he starts in RF with Almora in CF. That's just a guess, but it leads me to my bold prediction: if it was my call, I don't start Murphy at 2B.

    Like I said, Freeland is brutal vs. lefties and Murphy is equally as bad facing LH'ed pitching. I've dreaded his defense in a big game since we acquired him, and watching him attempt to turn double plays has been painful. The strategy has been to start him, let him get a few AB's hitting lead-off (to get those AB's as quickly as possible), then pull him for a defensive replacement. I don't like that plan tonight.

    Freeland is starting on three days rest, which he has never done before. I think he doesn't go deep into the game, and the Denver pen is almost exclusively right-handed. If the plan is to maximize Murphy's AB's and replace him for defense anyway, that's how I would start tonight's game.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    David Bote Or Zobrist at 2nd then?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    This game is all hands on deck, with 14 position players. I hope it's boring, but it could be wild with all the options. Zobrist has to play all game, so he starts. Happ hits much better left-handed, so he doesn't. I just gave my thoughts on Murphy.

    I'd go with Bote at 2B and Zo in LF to start the game. I think we knock Freeland out early and/or he can't go long due to the short rest. Then the Denver pen will be right-handed. Bring Murphy in for a couple AB's at 2B, or maybe only as a pinch-hitter, depending on how the game goes. Again, I hope for a boring W. But this could get crazy with our long bench in a must-win game.

  • Must be another MLB conspiracy........

    Cubs/Rox play tonight....

    Weather forecast for tomorrow:
    80’s ....wind blowing straight out 20-30 mph

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I know "Chicks dig the long ball", but I like the conditions tonight. Freeland's peripherals aren't great, but what he does is limits hard contact and long balls. With this matchup I prefer to not have to out-slug the Rox.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Exactly.......With the way our offense is struggling, we can't win no slug fest right against the Rock pile right now.

    Problem is when the wind is blowing out, it doesn't mean what it used to mean now w all the video boards and construction. Oh how I feel for those ball hawks. When I was a kid growing up in the 80s, I dreamed of being a ball hawk esp when the "hawk" was hitting the bombs.. Now those poor guys can't find work.

  • Looking forward to winning tonight and having another shot at Brewers. The difference in the two teams is small, but includes Brewers newcomers Cain and Yelich vs. Cubs free agents Chatwood, Darvish, and Morrow, who are not playing. They did a better job of fortifying their team.

  • It seems to me that most of us are forgetting we had the better record against the Brewers and that the Brewers only scored 3 runs against us on Monday. They are not who we think they are. They are very beatable and we can do it.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    People have been predicting that the Brewers will curl up and die like a weed all season long. Sure, we had a better record - early in the year, before they make mid-season trades to improve. The second half, when the Cubs were supposed to hit their stride, the Brewers dominated. The Brewers ARE who we think they are, a 95-win team who beat the Cubs when it most counted. The Cubs can beat them, but they'll need to step up, something they haven't been doing a lot of.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    You have a right to your opinion but so do I. Looking back at the stats on Monday's game, Arcia had 4 hits and scored 2 of their 3 runs. Without that, the "Dominant Brewers" were not so dominant, especially considering we didn't hit and our pitching was so bad according to you and others. Is that who you thought they were?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Who said anything about having rights to opinions? You made a point, I made a point. Is that not how a discussion forum works? We played the Brewers 7 times in September and lost 5 of those games. I don't buy into the idea that the two teams will suddenly revert to their REAL selves with the Cubs blowing them away. I understand that not everyone agrees. Really, I will be very happy to admit I was wrong on this one...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Your opinion: "The Brewers ARE who we think they are" and my opinion: "They are not who we think they are".

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    Terrance—you’ve only got 1 hit in your career, why did you swing at that!

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