Game Post 4/20


Series preview is here.


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



1. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF
2. Eduardo Escobar (S) 3B
3. David Peralta (L) LF
4. Adam Jones (R) RF
6. Ketel Marte (S) 2B
7. Nick Ahmed (R) SS
9. Zack Greinke (R) P
1. Ben Zobrist (S) RF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Javier Baez (R) SS
6. Jason Heyward (L) CF
7. Daniel Descalso (L) 2B
8. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
9. Yu Darvish (R) P
Bullpen Usage

Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Zack Greinke: Zack Greinke has thrown 37,500 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2007 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (90mph) and Change (87mph), also mixing in a Slider (83mph), Sinker (90mph) and Curve (71mph). He also rarely throws a Slow Curve (68mph) and Splitter (82mph).

His fourseam fastball is straight as an arrow and has below average velo. His change generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups, is much firmer than usual, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups and has some natural sink to it. His slider has short glove-side cut and has some two-plane movement. His sinker is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has less armside run than typical, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has slightly below average velo. His curve comes in below hitting speed, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' curves, has a sharp downward bite, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has slight glove-side movement. His slow curve is a real yakker that's separated from his other curveball due to its big drop and slow speed. His splitter is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' splitters, has surprising cut action, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' splitters, has below average velo and has movement that suggests a lot of backspin.

Sean's Note: The veteran Greinke is off to a very un-Greinke like start in 2019. He has a 5.79 ERA in 23.1 innings thanks largely to a whopping eight homers allowed. Most of the damage is coming from fellow right handed hitters, who are hitting .278 with six homers. So look for a more right-handed heavy lineup against him.

Final Thoughts: Yu Darvish gets the start after his best outing of the season. He has plenty of velocity, the big need is fastball control, which has gotten better each start. The lineup is mostly the same as Friday with Ben Zobrist back in the leadoff spot. The Cubs lineup ground the D-Backs down on Friday, drawing eight walks. It's a promising trend this early season, that hopefully will continue going forward.

Filed under: Game preview

Tags: ben zobrist, Yu Darvish


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  • Beautiful day in Chicago. The sky is high and clear. The wind is in stiff from left, so any taters in that direction will have to be smoked.

    I have high hopes for Yu today. He is mellowing my paranoid thoughts about his health and I think at this point it's all about getting his head right.

    On a bummer note, Morrow threw a bullpen earlier this week, and it's not good. He hasn't "bounced back" as well as was hoped for, and is shut down indefinitely. Something in his elbow joint, I presume. No word on when he may fire it back up.

    No 4/20 jokes today, I promise.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Are the 4/20 jokes frowned upon here?

    Huge bummer about Morrow. Which leads me to a thought I’ve had recently about Kimbrel. If he indeed stays a free agent till after the draft, I think the cubs should go hard for him and try for a 3-year contract (team option for 4th year). Since 2019 would be prorated, I wonder how much cap room the Cubs have this year. It’d be nice to only have to pay him about $8 or 9M for the remainder of this year, because I don’t think that would push them very far over the tax threshold and further, they can easily dip back under it next offseason.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I don't know. We don't want to get too far off track, but I often do. I've never been good at following rules.

    My thoughts on Kimbrel revolve around the draft pick compensation. There are a lot of teams who can use him now. But after June 1st (I think) the compensation pick goes away. So...

    Will there be a bidding war after that point, or does a team value the potential wins/losses through the rest of April and May enough to bite the bullet and give up the pick? It's easy enough to say wait and sign him to a prorated salary for the remainder of the 2019 season, but every team thinks that.

    Your suggestion of a three-year deal is interesting. That would probably seal the deal. We have money coming off the books, so it could be swung. How much faith do you have in his future worth?

    Since we're playing the D-Backs, and they are from the desert:

    "The first thing I met
    Was a fly with a buzz."

  • Brandon morrow had a setback, shut down indefinitely! Noooooo

  • I thought as long as Morrow progressed in a fairly linear fashion, proceeding with the bullpen as presently constructed could work. With this latest news, it's incumbent on the FO and ownership to make a move to solidify the back end of the bullpen, IF they are serious about maximizing this teams potential this year.

  • In reply to ItFinallyHappened:

    Fire up the Kimbrel rumors.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Is Kimbrel Morrow 2.0? Maybe Darvish 2.0 or even Chatwood 2.0? How have those signings turned out and why do you think Kimbrel isn’t on his downside?

  • In reply to stix:

    I'm not campaigning for his signing. Actually, the opposite. I've been against it all along.

    But, hey, the longer he stays on the market, the more attractive his terms become. We can't afford not to, right? This theory worked out so well with Darvish.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Not to the Cubs

  • To bad about Morrow. Opponents have not hit him much, but apparently he might be damaged goods at this point.

  • Here I go talking about Darvish. I should have honored rb's moritorium.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes. We have spoken about this.

  • I think the bullpen is going to get a workout this weekend. Chatwood going tomorrow.

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    The only thing high about Darvish are the fly balls out of the park.
    If he can "hold" them to 2 I'll feel better because I can't see us being held to 2, but even with his good stuff they're hitting him. I'll go back to my Edwin Jackson comp, very good stuff but can't consistently get batters out.

  • Rough 1st inning for darvish smh! Hopefully he settles in after that, the cubs starting pitching has been great(all quality starts allowing less than 2 earned runs) the last 10 days.

  • I love Zobrist. A pro's pro and he has meant so much to this team for all of his time here. One of the greatest FA signings of this regime.

    But, man, that was a weak throw home.

  • The fact that we have to dig our hardest to look for positive signs about Darvish just proves he stinks plain and simple. I would be surprised if he finishes the season.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    There are so many things in your first sentence that are true, but we can't say.

    I hope you're wrong on your second.

  • Did yo see that tag Javy put on Walker at 2B when Willson threw behind him? Behind the back, with no shot. That's having fun playing baseball.

    Much has been made of "playing the right way" and the "unwritten rules" following the Anderson incident. I've defended Javy, saying his show-boating is during the actual play, an extension of his love of the game, and not a pre-concieved or post-play "Look at me", as is so often the case.

    Have fun. Let the kids play. But there is a right way to do it. When it gets conceited and selfish, everyone notices.

  • Rizzo's at bat, so I'm speculating on Javy.

    This one's for you, Cubber.


  • Has anyone else noticed that our guys will swing at "garbage" with 2 strikes on them but will hardly move on a pitch anywhere near a strike? This especially applies to Schwarber with 2 strikes. Is there a stat showing what batters do with 2 strikes on them?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    There are multiple sites, fangraphs and baseball-reference premier among them, that allow you to figure anything imaginable, but you have to know how to navigate and work for it. I wish we could Google "Contreras stats two strikes".

    This is totally improvised, I didn't plan on this response, but I'll say it. Any fan who doesn't know the lingo, or understand the current stats, don't be scared. I didn't know, and now I do. We're not born knowing this stuff, you have to learn at some point. The beauty of the internet is you can learn, anonymously and at your own pace.

    Go to fangraphs, baseball-reference, baseball savant, Brooks baseball, or any number of other sites. Spend time and learn. Don't be afraid. If you're a baseball fan, which I know you are, it's enlightening. Figure it out at your own pace.

    Back to your point, clarkAddson, I agree on Schwarber. I think he needs to be more agressive earlier in the count, as he seemed to be a couple years ago. He seems to have some Rizzo rubbing off on him, working deep counts, but Rizzo is a far better two-stroke hitter. Schwarber needs to grip and rip.

    We all remember the ill-fated leadoff experiment when he thought his job was to become passive. Passive is not Kyle Schwarber.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Agree, some hitters need to by aggressive in the strike zone. He should be the left hand version of ARam.

  • Did I miss something? Why did Joe take Darvish out? I thought he was doing good the last 3 innings.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    They were down 3-0 with Darvish’s turn to bat. He was already near 90 pitches, so you hit for him trying to get some offense going. That’s another reason why I like the NL & no DH, because a manager has to make that decision. But I’m guessing 15 out of 15 would make the call Joe did

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    I probably would also if anyone was on base but with 2 out and nobody on with Greinke pitching, he should've left Darvish in since he was pitching pretty good at the time. Now instead, they are down 6-0.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I thought maybe he would let him hit & give up on the inning, but, if the pinch hitter gets a hit & the top of the order is able to put some runs on the board, you’re back in the game. As I’ve said before, fans can 2nd guess almost every decision a manager makes. It’s what makes baseball the greatest game

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    So when they score 0 for the game when would you pinch hit for the pitcher?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I agree with stix that the pen and offense did poorly. Darvish putting them in a hole against the D-Backs ace doesn’t help either but I’ve saud for a long time that Maddon constantly pulls his starters too early. As you said there were 2 outs and nobody on no reason Maddon had to use a pinch hitter especially given the state of this teams poor middle relief. I also felt darvish was settling in even though I thought his command was off again. My viewpoint is id like to see Maddon stop babying darvish. He’s supposed to be trying to build up his confidence coming off a serious injury not protecting him or whatever he’s doing. What it comes down to is the cubs middle relief isn’t the best option in its current state. That being said the cubs got beat in every phase today so I’m by no means blaming Maddon, just venting about his quick hook.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    I've also noticed that Joe is letting the other starters go deeper, but still has a short hook on Darvish. I thought my concerns about his health we're buried, and the only concerns involved his mental state. Now I only have concerns

    I realize the pitch count was at 100, so that's a thing. I'm just not a fan..

  • RE the Harry video:

    I've said it so many times.

    You know how you listen to that classic rock station, and the only Zeppelin tune they ever play is "Stairway to Heaven"?

    There is sooooo much more.


  • The 2017-18 offseason was not kind to Theo. $185M for Darvish, Chatwood and Morrow ... ouch. I think i have a feeling why Ricketts did not want to give Theo anymore more money this last off season.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    This is very true. People gossiped about the lack of a Maddon extension. "He has to prove himself". I think that's exactly why the Rickettsia turned off the spigot.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    What the heck is "Rickettsia"?. Someone tell me why that's in autocorrect. Ricketts, of course.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:


  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Theo has little clue on free agent pitchers. Remember the $52M man Jackson.

  • In reply to stix:

    He also signed Jon Lester, and while not as sexy the John Lackey, Paul Maholm and Scott Feldman deals certainly worked out well for the Cubs at the end of the day. A GM without any bad free agent deals is a GM that hasn't signed any meaningful free agents ever.

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  • Darvish 5 starts 22.2 innings pitched. Has not reached the 6th inning in any start.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I’d be more concerned about that stat if he was extremely inefficient. He’s had 3-4 shots to go 6 with fairly efficient pitch counts only to have Maddon give him his quick hook. My bigger concern is the drastic decline in command this season. His walk rate per 9 innings has generally been well above avg hovering between 2.0-3.5 per 9 innings over his entire pre cub career. This year his walk rate is almost a chatwood-esque 7.6 per 9 innings almost 3-4 times greater then his normal walk rate. Wow that’s awful and tells me his command is not even close to where he wants it to be.

    I would say that at least he’s never walked anyone at close to this rate before but I give up trying to figure out darvish lol. The increase in walk rates just all too common though when it comes to new pitchers besides hamels coming to the cubs

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    That is strange that when a new pitcher comes to the Cubs it seems like most if not all except for Hamels has their walk rate go up a lot. Especially since the Cubs have had a new pitching coach the last 3 years.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Even besides chatwood, darvish, Justin Wilson and the obvious suspects even a lot of other pitchers with less severely bad walk rates have incrementally declined after joining the cubs. Steve ciskek believe it or not had a career high walk rate last year at 4.91 and he was partially brought in because he doesn’t walk people. Morrows walk rate increased also and even Quintanas walk rate last season was also at a career high last year at 3.51 per 9. I think it’s clearly not just an accident at this point and I hope the cubs are aware of this issue so they can address it

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I think you misread Steve Ciskek walk rate. This year it is 4.91 and in 2018 3.58. Still his walk rate last year was one of his highest for the year. Maybe it the ivy. LOL

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    You are correct 2016 and that was still one of the higher rates of his career for a guy that’s walked almost nobody throughout the years. His 4.91 start to this year would be the worst of his career although I think he’s rounding into form. I can live with darvish and these others just getting beat by the opposing hitters but this staffs walk tendencies outside of a few of their starters drives me nuts

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Wade Davis even struggled more with walks with the cubs as well. His walk rate was also a career worst 4.30 per 9 and that’s yet another guy whose always had strong control with walk rates starting with the number 2 or 3

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