Game Post 5/12

If you missed it, Michael Ernst had an interview with Buster Olney ahead of tonight's national broadcast on ESPN. The first part of the interview can be read here.

Series preview can be found here.

Sunday: 6:08 PM CT on ESPN/670AM


1. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
2. Christian Yelich (L) 1B
3. Jesús Aguilar (R) 1B
4. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
5. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
6. Hernán Pérez (R) 2B
7. Ben Gamel (L) LF
8. Orlando Arcia (R) SS
9. Jhoulys Chacín (R) P

1. Jason Heyward (L) RF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 1B
3. Javier Báez (R) SS
4. Willson Contreras (R) C
5. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
6. David Bote (R) 3B
7. Daniel Descalso (L) 2B
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) CF
9. Jon Lester (L) P

Bullpen Usage

Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Jhoulys Chacín: Jhoulys Chacin has thrown 20,814 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2009 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason, The World Baseball Classic and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Slider (80mph) and Sinker (90mph), also mixing in a Fourseam Fastball(90mph) and Splitter (82mph). He also rarely throws a Curve (78mph).

His slider comes in below hitting speed, sweeps across the zone and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His sinker results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has slight armside run, has slightly below average velo and has some natural sinking action. His fourseam fastballgenerates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has below average velo, has some natural sinking action and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers. His splitter generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' splitters, results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' splitters and has slightly below average velo. His curve (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 2 of them in 2019) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' curves, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has little depth.

Mike's Note: Chacín is another cast-off the Brewers have tried to Frankenstein into a playoff capable rotation. The Brewers have had some successes and Chacín was a piece last year for Milwaukee. The veteran right hander has quietly put together two solid seasons in 2017-2018 between San Diego and Milwaukee. This year Chacín has a bloated 5.03 ERA, especially considering that he was given the Opening Day nod. Chacín though has given his team a chance in all but two of the games he has pitched. Two starts resulted in nearly half of his runs scoring, and so the Cubs aren't guaranteed a cake walk despite the eye-popping stat line.


Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    With Rizzo out of the starting lineup we have an awesome bench--I just hope we don't have to use it. Let's have a typical Lester day and win 8-0.

  • Is anyone else shocked Contreras is playing today after catching 15 innings?

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yeah, there are a number of guys that could use a day or two, off.
    Hope Zo is back soon - and get Victor activated.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Day off tomorrow plus they’ll likely use Davis for Yus start. I figured Willson would play he’s really needed with Lester to control the run game

  • In reply to TC154:

    Not shocked, but concerned.

    Caratini made his first rehab start with Iowa yesterday, playing 1B. He started today behind the plate, so it won't be long.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Agreed on Wilson. That is quite the work load.

  • In reply to TC154:

    If it was a day game I would be. He’s basically had 24 hours since his last in game swing/HR. With the day off tomorrow, I’m sure Willson will be fine.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Contreras also just had a day off on Thursday. He’s plenty rested.

  • Nice to see Braun out of the line–up again.

  • Need big Jon to give the bullpen a rest...
    Looks like we put ole St Loo in quite the funk since last weekend...
    Harper is hitting .229.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    More random musings...George

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Actually the last game the cards played vs Nats on a Thursday before cub series was the difference. The manager rested a ton of the starters and I think that took their momentum. But the cubs did play extremely well during the series.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I also thought the cards made a mistake taking that game lightly. Why mess up your positive momentum going into a big series? Plus the game had a lengthy rain delay so they didn’t arrive in Chicago for a day game until the middle of the night. I think the cubs sweeping them surely must be contributing to their recent struggles though. One thing with stl is the offense is clearly better with goldschmidt and a rejuvenated Ozuna. But that pitching staff really isn’t a strength right now in the rotation or in the bullpen. I imagine they could get better with Alex Reyes, Carlos Martinez returning and Andrew Miller returning to form. But that bullpen isn’t as good as Milwaukee’s to me, and I’ve never been that high on Wacha, Dakoda Hudson as a starter, or an aging wainwright. I admit I love Flahertys potential but besides that those guys better hope they get reinforcements soon. I imagine they will get back into the thick of the race though it’s still a strong deep roster

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    We talked about this the other day. The Cards are pretenders. Never believed in what their roster has for pitching. 6-8 games back at best.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    You know me rbucato I don’t like underestimating our rivals bc I do think the division is as talented as ever on paper. But despite their flashy offseason, I still question their pitching staff that’s relying on a lot of injury reclamation types. I question their real defense with bader their best defensive OF slumping, and let’s get real carpenter at 3B is a disaster waiting to happen. Goldschmidt is a big addition to any team, but still doesn’t solve their defensive and pitching shortcomings. Personally I came into the year skeptical of bader, DeJong, dakoda hudson and a number of their pitchers, who all fared well last season. Thus far DeJong is the only one that’s proven me wrong

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    *i question their team defense

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    You've hit me before, and I deserved it. I can take it, and I know you can. I can sense some frustration, but that came off a little harsh.

    I don't disagree. I also don't believe in the Brewers. They're good, but not Cubs good. I think they are a PED suspension or four away from collapse. We'll all compare notes in October.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Nah, no frustration BP. Yesterday was my birthday as well as Mother’s Day, So didn’t have a lot of time. Just a quick reply after watching the Cards settle in to what they really are. I don’t believe they are a great team. They are a decent team. 85 win type of team. I believe us to be a 93+ win team. In the same discussion with kkhiavi, I also said I am not a believer in the Brewers either. I put stock in run differential and teams do not sustain a great record while breaking even in runs scored and runs given up. They luck into a lot of wins. Their pitching is suspect and they have a few over achievers in the lineup. They are similar to the Cards in a lot of ways.

    All good brother!!!

  • Gonna be a nasty night. Mid-40's, probably wet, and a 10 MPH wind blowing in from left-center. This weather will be over soon.

    Happy Mother's Day! Javy knows it is.

    Just sayin'.

    Go Cubs!

  • I just saw from Jesse Rogers that this isn't just a night off for Rizzo. He's experiencing some back pain. Nothing to worry about, methinks, because this happens frequently. But, yeah.

  • There is an(other) example of an incomplete baseball player. Aguilar just gave us a run, and Javy thought about calling him out for two. Thank you.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    The more I see Aguilar play first base, the less respect I have for him. He just should not be playing on the field. He is so unatheletic and doesn’t play the position the way you are supposed to. His footwork is so terrible!! And after seeing enough of it, I fully understand why Machado decided to drag his leg through his ankle as he covers half of the bag and NEVER removes his foot to avoid possible injury. Manny could’ve made that way worse than it was and I applaud Manny for doing what he did, as passive/aggressive as it was. But he has the right to step that foot right where his ankle was, but he didn’t. Aguilar should thank Manny for taking mercy on his unathletic behind.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    In my never-ending quest to improve the WAR stat, I hope they penalize that lapse as much as they reward an Aguilar solo HR. For now, it's not even close. But it's equal on the scoreboard. And you know where I stand on what numbers truly matter.

  • I just want to get this out of the way:

    Happy Mother's Day, Nelida Agosto, and I hope your son makes you proud today.
    I know he's going to do his best to honor you. That's what he does.

    Thank you for blessing me with your son.

  • I know his numbers could be worse but the overall lack of progression from Schwarber is underwhelming. I think it’s clear his strong defensive metrics from last year were a little fluke despite taking obvious strides in his defense. But the overall inability to be a contact hitter in rbi spots is my biggest concern. He’s hands down one of the guys I loathe having up most in any rbi spots. Hope he improves soon I’ve always supported him but he just hasn’t progressed to my expectations given his outstanding minor league numbers and pedigree

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Agree. Seems to me, he will never progress until he learns to use the entire field. I love the guy, but it seems he has become way too pull happy - to the point his swing needs to be reworked.
    Not all these guys should be as concerned with launch angle or exit velocity. A lot of that comes naturally to certain hitters. Schwarbs should be trying to make adjustments in other ways. He'd be a more valuable, dangerous and complete hitter by not trying to hit everything to RF.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I think he is trying to swing using a larger launch angle than his natural swing. Instead of just meeting the ball like he used to, his swing is more rounded due to trying to swing up. The Cubbies should not have messed with his natural swing. He has enough power to hit it out without it.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I saw Schwarbs and Vogelbach a number of times when they played in Kane County. Yes, it seems his swing is definitely different. Both used LF regularly.
    That defensive shift is absolutely eating Schwarbs up. Yet he continues to hit, into it. He needs a wake up call! Iowa seems to be having a positive effect on Happs KO issues.

  • Big Jon got this.

  • It's not getting any better. In fact, it's going to get worse. I don't know what I want to happen here.

    "You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows."

  • Wow. Big Jon.

    When I was talking about Aguilar earlier, I wanted to mention that Javy sees him as an easy target. He has no respect for him, he can beat him on any play. He just did, but I didn't want it to be so painful for Willson.

    Everything seems to be OK.

    Keep going, Big Jon. Our starters outclass theirs by far. After a marathon like last night, this is where you win games, and divisions.

  • fb_avatar

    So Matt V took the easy way out. He explained why the Cubs fans boo Braun. He said “in part because he wears them out” but didn’t explain the other part. I’ll bet because Alex is sitting right there and he didn’t want to bring up steroids.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    You know me, Jonathan. I love baseball, and baseball history. I hate PEDS with all of my baseball soul.

    And just like that, karma. KB with a long shot. I think, as I've said, he ain't done.

    And Javy walks. I'm quitting while I'm ahead with this karma thing.

  • fb_avatar

    That was his 2016 swing. Well done KB.

  • WASHED-UP KB is Definitely BACK!

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Or not. Because players in their mid-20's with legit 1st-ballot HOF talent who have dealt with documented, debilitating injuries that totally and completely explain their slump are never going to return to their pre-injury, 1st-ballot HOF levels. Or something like that. I read a little bit about baseball one time.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    LOL. That could be true. He may just raise the bar instead.

  • KB is the man!!!

  • Hahhahhaha Kinzler! Milwaukee......just go to the airport!

  • Watch Schwarber swing. His swing will go down, loop and come up. He used to swing directly at the ball which I believe everyone should be doing. The launch angle is good only for a few.

  • How about that play by javy to nail Aguilar at the plate. He made that play look simple and routine, but common fans don’t see if javy got flat footed whatsoever it’s a tie game. Those are the types of instincts you can’t teach, there’s literally no way starlin or I doubt even addy make that play. He may not get credited enough for the impact of that play according to WAR, but those are the types of plays that are the difference between regaining momentum and losing momentum. Let’s see yelich do something like that defensively

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Have you been listening to me, throughout this thread or the last five years? I don't mean that as a dig at you, but watch baseball!

    Javy had Aguilar pegged in the first inning. Probably way before, as they've played before. Javy knew he was outmatched, and waiting for the personal battle(s) to prove it.

    I almost feel for Aguilar in this case. My brother always said "I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

    I almost feel bad. That's a lie. I don't feel bad at all.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    LOL! And the funny thing is that’s a very routine play by cubs fans expectations of javy compared to other highlight reel plays that he has made. Even the play aside how many other Shortstops play that passively in a huge pressure-filled game changing moment like that. Just another display of his fearless playoff tested makeup. Also happy for KB as well they have the hand the man NL player of the week

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I think we're agreeing. I do respect you, kk. Do you drink? I do, often, and that usually explains my incoherent posts. I'm trying to figure out yours.

    On something I know we can agree:


  • I made a bold prediction following the DirtyBird sweep. I wasn't feeling it, and admitted that at the time.

    I feel better now. Give me Meatloaf.

  • fb_avatar

    It looks like it’s really rainy. This has been a miserable couple of days to play baseball and yesterday was about 5 hrs long. They have my admiration for going out there, especially Willson for catching every inning. It would be tough enough if it was just cold, but add a consistent rain, well, I’ve seen better conditions on
    Deadliest Catch.
    I admire all but Braun, I hope that’s understood.

  • W, baby!

  • Uh, Oh... now the secret is out!. The Media is seeing what we have been seeing the last 20 - 30 days. GO CUBS!

  • I never like to refer to any series as a statement series in May. But that’s as close to one as you’ll get this early. As Buster Olney stated in his interview with Michael, it kinda felt like the brewers were gaining a mental edge on our cubs. That said, last year is last year this current cubs group has a number of guys playing much better baseball then they did in 2018 esp in the 2nd half. Proud of this cubs group that was some old school gritty, grinding, hard nosed baseball. It seemed like a chess match all series and kudos to this group for a huge series win. And let’s keep in mind I don’t believe our current bullpen is what it will be come playoff time. I expect a big addition in addition to strops return. If morrow returns successfully then this goes from a good pen to an outstanding one

  • Last year the Brewers played out of their minds while we were mired in a major slump. I think that, in itself, proves we are the better team when all things are equal.

  • fb_avatar

    KB and Jon Lester, your table is ready.

  • Ten series in a row, twelve of fourteen, best record in the NL and third best in MLB. Here I thought the season was over in April and KB was a bum...;-)

  • fb_avatar

    We all know that the season is 162 games, but how many times when the Cubs lose 5 of 6 or 3 in a row we all (almost all) think the season is over. These last 2 weeks should show us all that we just need to sit back and relax and not loose faith.
    These are the 2018 Chicago Cubs!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Agreed, except These are the 2019 Cubs.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to clarkAddson:

    I stand corrected. Thanks.

Leave a comment