Game Post 4/13

Chicago Cubs' Willson Contreras gestures after he hit a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Friday, April 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Series preview is here.


Saturday: 1:20 PM CT on ABC-7/670AM



1. Kole Calhoun (L) RF
3. Justin Bour (L) 1B
5. Brian Goodwin (L) CF
6. David Fletcher (R) LF
7. Tommy La Stella (L) 2B
8. Zack Cozart (R) 3B
1. Daniel Descalso (L) 2B
2. Ben Zobrist (S) RF
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Javier Baez (R) SS
5. Jason Heyward (L) CF
7. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
8. David Bote (R) 3B
Bullpen Usage

Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Chris Stratton: Chris Stratton has thrown 3,897 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2016 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, Spring Training and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (91mph) and Slider (84mph), also mixing in a Curve (77mph) and Change (85mph).

His fourseam fastball has less armside movement than typical, has some natural sinking action and has slightly below average velo. His slider is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has some two-plane movement. His curve has sweeping glove-side movement and results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves. His change is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups and has some natural sink to it.

Sean's Note: The former Giant got shelled his first full MLB season, with a 5.09 ERA. This year hasn't started much better for the righty, with six runs allowed in just 8.1 innings. Left handed hitters crush him to the tune of a .288 average in 2018. He struck out a below average number of hitters last year.

Final Thoughts: The struggling Kris Bryant gets a day off on Saturday. Jason Heyward moves up into the five-hole after his strong start to the year. Kyle Hendricks has not looked sharp early, maybe a home game will do the trick.



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  • What's the date in june that you can start signing FAs without a penalty?

  • In reply to Oneear:

    I think it's after the 2019 mlb draft(june 3-6) when you can sign free agents who rejected qo's without giving up a pick

  • Man Hendricks hasn't looked good to start the season

  • In reply to bolla:

    No, no he hasn't, 2 good starts from Q and Hamels resulted in Wins. Darvish and Hendricks have been bad all year and they have resulted in losses. Go figure. So a 2 game win streak quickly could easily become .500 in the last 4 games. YES IT IS EARLY, but with 16 more games against Milwaukee (where 6 wins would be a shock to me) the Cubs need to win THESE games !!!!

  • I hate to beat a dead horse but if you look at the lineup, the Cubs have THREE hitters, not even including the pitcher, that are career .240 hitters in Descalso, Schwarber and Bote. How do you expect to win consistently trotting these guys out there on a daily basis? Add in a struggling Baez and, even, Rizzo and you have a group of guys today that can easily get shut out. Normally 3 runs with the wind blowing out isn't a huge deal but I feel like it's 10 runs right now.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Then please quit beating that horse. You keep bringing up players batting average. You do realize that BA probably isn’t in the top 4 or 5 stats when rating a hitter, correct? If you want to talk about players hitting abilities, please talk about their OPS, wOB+, wRC+ or even just on base %. Those are all much better measures of a hitter

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    I'm sorry, I thought this was a free country. I can create all kinds of stats to make a player look palatable. Those stats you mention don't mean crap when there's a runner on 3rd base and less than 2 outs. I've been watching baseball for 40+ years and you know what matters to me? Batting average, hustle (effort) and an awareness of the current game situation. Your stats don't help with any of those. But thanks for your positive feedback.. Kids nowadays.......

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Sorry INsaluki. I didn’t mean to upset you. I just know that BA is such an outdated stat. I’ve been watching for 50+ years. The new stats are here for a reason. Your example of the runner at 3rd less than 2 outs, the guy that gets his bat on the ball & grounds out, but drives in the run, that’s an 0-1 that hurts his BA. That’s one reason for the new stats. Would you rather have the guy hitting .250 with a .560 OPS (Almora) or the guy hitting.230 with a .735 OPS (Báez)?

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Now that's a civil apology and sound reasoning to explain your point. Well done.

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    Ok, let's take a step back please. I've been watching for a long time also and while I don't understand all the stats the eye test is good too. Actually Descalso has done pretty well this year, but not Bote or Schwarber has. KB hasn't either. If we watch the games we can tell who's doing well and who isn't. I like OBP and how someone hits with RISP, although I don't know where that stat is.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    In my honest opinion baseball has "created" some stats to adjust to today's players as the batting averages continue to decline. I agree 100% that a stat the announcers should provide often is BA or OBP with RISP.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    'Created stats'??

    I believe that's called 'progress' and it also promotes better understanding of the game. At least for people with an open mind.

  • Here's some El Mago goodness for your enjoyment from batting practice prior to today's game, courtesy of Tony Andracki from NBC Sports:

    First, a couple no-doubters from the left side, then almost clearing the jumbotron from the right side.

    You're welcome, Cubber.

  • Kasper just said how good an 'eye' that Zobrist has. True!

    However good a batters judgement is, of the strike zone - doesn't matter AT ALL, if an umpires 'eye' isn't good.

    Zo's AB perfect example. Instead of Cubs having runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs, there are 2 outs and no one on base.

    Get technology to call balls and strikes. Enough of the pitiful calls being protected by their union.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Amen, amen, amen!!!!!

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    Why can't we get the robo umps? These umps are trying their best, I'm sure, but as we can see they make a lot of mistakes. When I was working I couldn't have made as many and still kept my job, and some of their mistakes could cost millions of $ depending on where and when they occur. We have all this technology and don't use it, but then spend 10 min to see if a fingernail touched the base--don't get me wrong, I like the reply because we need to be as correct as possible, but the place most mistakes occur is exempt.
    Doesn't make sense to me.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Do you think robo jumps would actually ever be implemented? I'm all for it.......

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Well said Jonathan. These guys are often missing 4-5 pitches each half inning.
    And I still believe an automated system would speed up the game - because pitchers wouldn't 'nibble' as much - so they'd have to get the pitch in the strike zone.

  • Jeez Hendricks only had like 82 pitches is Maddon gonna ever learn that our starters are more reliable then our relievers has he not seen this teams middle relief. His refusal to ever adapt no matter how many times his quick hook strategy backfired is frustrating. That’s why you don’t see many veteran managers like him around the game anymore. These veteran managers like Maddon think they’re always right just because they’ve won games with loaded rosters while working with hall of fame GMs like Theo and Andrew Friedman. His pitching management stinks

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I just logged in to write basically the same thing, this has been so frustrating since 2016............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I’m not even pushing for Maddon to go I think being a manager involves a lot more than pitching changes, and Maddon has his strengths and drawbacks. But I’ve heard some members of theos front office have been frustrated by maddons refusal to be more collaborative in certain areas. It’s just hard to tell a veteran manager whose won a lot of games to adapt and change aspects of how they manage a game. Joe tries to be forward thinking and understand analytics but the reality is he’s not a guy that admits he’s wrong often. So it can be hard for guys in the front office to work with him on certain issues. It’s a problem and it’s why I think he’s more likely to lose his job then a lot of cubs fans want to believe. You look at Houston, Boston, the Yankees, the brewers, and the dodgers and all of these teams got better after they fired their veteran managers in order to go with younger managers that are more open to collaboration between the front office and coaching staff.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I think exactly the same thing, being a manager also means delegating; or recognizing when someone else might be better at something than you. He could have the pitching coach have the final say on pitching changes, like the ability to say: "Hey Joe, let's do this instead ".......

  • ‘See Bartman’s cousin was at the game today......

  • Speaking of beating a dead horse, I'll say it again: I love the tribute to Harry by the video of him singing "Take Me Out to the Ball game" during the seventh-inning stretch, but really wish they would diversify from this single, over-produced, sanitized version they use exclusively. Harry left so much material, and that quirkiness and diversity based upon the score of the game and his blood-alcohol content is part of the charm, IMO.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Hey look! There’s Marla Collins! First time I’ve ever seen without her shorts!

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    In reply to Wickdipper:


  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    AFAIK, they can bury that dead horse. Harry's gone, let's start another tradition.

  • Here's a chance to make your presence felt at the big-league level, Zagunis.

    Close enough. Beautiful AB.

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    Mago Mago!!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    He WAS NOT thinking 2B out of the box. He turned it on rounding 1st when he saw the CF lollygagging. Only Javy does that, in that situation.

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    Wow Wow Wow. To paraphrase Harry, what’s wow spelled backwards? It’s Wow!
    Terrible at bat for Willson. That’s really where he had to get a bat on the ball.

  • Oh, wow.

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    OK. This game has been played for over 100 years and there still is no rule about what is or isn't a check swing. I think we think it's either breaking the wrists or having the bat go across the plate but why isn't there a concrete definition of what it is/isn't!
    Why didn't Javy score on that botched fly ball? I didn't see him in the replay.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I didn’t see the replay either but there was only one out, so he may have been going back to 2nd to tag after the catch & get to 3rd if the throw went home. But even if he wasn’t doing that & was halfway, I don’t think the ball got far enough away from Goodwin for him to score on that

  • Awful AB by Contreras but at least he’s been producing. Schwarber has To be the biggest disappointment on this entire roster bolla was right I know he’s gotten a lot of flack for his negative evaluations of Kyle. I have zero confidence in him in big spots the guy just isn’t a good contact hitter and must be one of the worst breaking ball hitters in baseball.

  • A very, very ugly loss. All 6 Angels runs were gifts, with the first three due mostly to awful defense, the next two due to 4 walks, and the last one after a leadoff walk. Total of 8 walks and a catchers interference. And yet they were lucky to have a chance to tie or win in the 9th even though they did not hit a single ball hard. Contreras took a 83 mph hanging curve right down the middle and then swung at two pitches nearly two feet wide. Schwarber struck out on a pitch inside and in the dirt. To see a team so talented and paid so well give away game after game is disheartening.

  • In reply to jeffalson:

    Welcome, jeffalson. I haven't seen you before.

    You make some good points, but I think your point of view is overly pessimistic. We all get a little salty after a loss. I'd love to see you come back without such a cloud and expand upon your ideas. I'll listen.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Barley, I take your point, and I have cooled off a bit. Of course it's a long season and there are going to be clunkers, but of the 9 losses we have already given away 4 or 5 games and that is just unacceptable when we have so much talent and the 2nd or 3rd highest payroll in baseball. Plus, today the Angels were without their top 4 hitters, a weak lineup, and a poor starting pitcher. No one is talking about the horrible defense in the second inning, it was just as important as Hendricks' lack of command. First, neither Bote nor Baez made any effort to catch the foul fly down the left field line. They both got there and stopped a couple of feet away and a fan caught it in the first row. Maybe the fan would have gotten in the way, maybe not, but one of them at least has to make an effort to catch it. Second, Zobrist fires a perfect one-hopper to Bote to nail a runner at third and Bote can't snag it. Third, Contreras makes his third (!) catchers interference of the year, on an 0-2 pitch against Tommy who we all know is good at drawing interference. Then they gave away two more runs in the sixth with 4 walks. And after all of that, we were so lucky to have a shot in the 9th despite that we did not hit a single ball hard in the entire inning. Think about that first pitch to Contreras. He knows he has to put a ball in play to tie or win it, and so he can't be taking any good pitches. If he was paying attention, he should know that Allen had been throwing a first pitch curve to just about every hitter. So, Allen hangs an 83 mph curve right down the middle (like on a tee) and Contreras takes it! Then he swings at two pitches that were nearly two feet outside. Good teams screw up all the time in baseball, but when fate gives you a second or third chance and you don't take advantage, you are just not a very good team. It's a long season and there is plenty of time, but to be 5-9, because of all the walks and errors and lack of situational hitting (how many times have they had second and third with less than two out and failed to score in the last few games?), even when the team as a whole is scoring lots of runs, is an incredibly bad sign. I am 63, and I have supported a lot of Cubs teams that had little talent, but this one has talent and is playing well below their talent. That is unacceptable.

  • In reply to jeffalson:

    Woke up this morning thinking the same just can’t put in words as you expressed. We were told joe was working this spring on situational hitting and the results have been underwhelming so far. 15 strikeouts the other day and this lineup continues to have batters with multiple K’s in one game. Won’t get into a rant about bullpen usage or the defense but as pointed out one the highest paid clubs in the league has not performed and still is in potential mode.

  • Really disappointing to see Willson flailing away at outside pitches. Schwarbs needs to sit. I hate losing a game with the tying run in scoring position and 1 out or less...

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