Two Touchdowns Beat One--Cubs 14 Nationals 6

It was the best of times. It was the blurst of times. The Cubs played two different ballgames in nine innings tonight in Washington. They won both of them in strange fashion even though it only counts as one win in the standings. Two veteran aces went head to head and left the game having grinded through half the game.

Max Scherzer walked Kyle Schwarber to start the game. It was the first of four walks issued by Mad Max in a quality start that felt like a disappointment for the number 1. Kris Bryant singled, but Anthony Rizzo grounded into a double play to give Scherzer a chance to escape without surrendering a run. Javier Báez ripped a double to put the Cubs ahead 1-0. The Cubs would never look back from this point though not without drama.

Cole Hamels put up a zero the hard way. Trea Turner singled to start the game. Victor Robles and Anthony Rendon made outs to put a zero on the board quickly. But Howie Kendrick bounced a two out single to keep the inning alive. Hamels lost Juan Soto to load the bases, but a Kurt Suzuki fly out to Albert Almora Jr. ended the inning.

Daniel Descalso flew out to start the second. Jason Heyward dumped a single into left center, and he trotted home on Almora's blast in the next at bat. Scherzer would retire the next two batters on his way to that bare minimum quality start. Mad Max struck out 8 while walking 4 over his 6 innings of work, but left on the hook for the loss.

Cole Hamels ran into trouble to start the third inning. He plunked Robles to start the inning and Rendon launched a two run shot to cut the lead to one. Hamels retired the next three, but was in trouble again in the bottom of the fourth. Brian Dozier drew a walk with some favorable borderline calls on the final two pitches of the plate appearance. Michael A Taylor morphed into playoff Michael A Taylor and smacked a line drive double to put the go ahead run in scoring position with no outs. Hamels punched out his counterpart for the first out. Trea Turner hit a pop fly into shallow center that couldn't drive in Dozier, and Adam Eaton grounded out to end the frame.

Hamels was done after five having already racked up over 100 pitches. The fifth included a lot of high stress pitches. Juan Soto singled with two outs and Kendrick drew a base on ball. Brian Dozier beat out an infield single. The play was reviewed but the call stood with the bases loaded. Hamels struck out Taylor on a 3-2 changeup to leave the game still in line for a win.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

The bullpen game was even wackier than two top of the rotation starters slightly off their game. Kyle Ryan took over in the sixth inning. He retired Adrian Sanchez, but Trea Turner hit a line drive single up the middle. Eaton earned a free pass and that ended Ryan's evening. Brandon Brach entered the game to face Rendon who bounced the first pitch into an inning ending double play.

Justin Miller was the first of many Nationals relievers. Addison Russell hit a single to start the frame. Kris Bryant drove him on a bomb to extend the Cubs lead to 5-2. Miller had to leave the game with an apparent shoulder injury. Joe Ross loaded the bases but a Jason Heyward fly out to warning track in right prevented any further damage.

Brandon Kintzler entered in the seventh for the Cubs and got a quick ground out on two pitches. Three straight hits and the Nationals had a run in and the tying run on base. Taylor flew out for the second out. Carl Edwards Jr. entered the game to face Gerrado Parra. He balked on a controversial call to make it a 5-4 ballgame. Dozier advanced to third on the call with two outs. Edwards then uncorked a wild pitch that everyone in the ballpark thought got past Willson Contreras. Parra waved Dozier on home. The home plate umpire and Willson Contreras both frantically looked for the ball behind the plate to no avail. That was because the ball defied all known laws of physics and bounced back toward Edwards. Dozier froze half way down the bases and got caught in the most awkward run down imaginable. He was eventually called out of the baseline for the final out.

The Cubs broke the game open against Kyle Barraclough. Almora singled to start the inning and Russell made an out. Kyle Schwarber then engaged in a lengthy battle that resulted in a 3-2 ball being returned over the fence. Kris Bryant did the same to make it 8-4. Lefty Dan Jennings was the next victim and he allowed the first four Cubs to reach which made it a 10-4 game.

Mike Montgomery took over to finish the game in the eighth and he pitched a clean frame to start his outing. Matt Grace was the final Nats relief pitcher to suffer at the hands of the Cubs murders row. Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras both his two run home runs to make it a 14 run night for the National League's best offense.

Monty didn't pitch a clean ninth inning, but who cares. The Nats got a couple of meaningless runs and the Cubs maintained their lead of in the Central.

Random Reference
This was a weird game with a score that deceives. The stat lines don't convey the oddness that took place. I am left at this point trying to sum up this one.

Comments

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  • Watching this offense tonight I was like.. "uh.. oh!". Almora and Schwarber are getting going, and we already have Rizzo, Contreras, Baez, and Bryant, in no particular order.

    This is really bad for everyone who is not us. There is a very high floor to this offense already.. and the ceiling is crazy.

  • Two different games, indeed. I was listening on the radio. I like this medium at times, not only for nostalgic reasons, but because it forces you to focus on the game. No on-screen graphics to track balls and strikes, baserunners and outs. You have to pay attention to baseball.

    KB, of course. I know that some have been poking at another poster, but how about not? Not that he doesn't deserve it, he does. He's brought race into the occasion many times. I don't care where racism comes from or whom it's directed towards, whether from John Rocker or Joe Morgan, we just don't need it. Celebrate Sparkles for his big night and resurrection without hating on anyone else.

    I won't attempt to approach Manette and the French Revolution. I'll stick with some good old-fashioned American rock and roll, courtesy of the late Chris Cornell, who gave us a preview of tonight's outcome:

    "I'm looking California.
    And feeling Minnesota."

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    A 3 HR game for Bryant was bound to happen. I didn't see all of his PAs but I did see both Baez BBs. They were what I have been wait to see. He was leaving pitches outside the zone go. His K looking was a borderline pitch. He got fooled. It happens.

    What I liked most about Baez's BB was that he looked under control. He wasn't passive. If the ball was in the zine he took a patented "JavyHack" but they were pitches he could do damage on. But he also got on base and I believe scored both times he BB.

    I don't know if Schwarber is the answer at lead off but he didn't make a bunch of outs. And look at the final score. When the guui at the top--whi obviously get most of the PAs--aren't making outs you will frequently score a ton of runs.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I pity the fool...

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    That was meant for BP, of course...

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I too thought Javy looked great laying off the pitches just off the corner. I think he only scored one of those times though.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I’m sorry BP, but I do gotta point this out as I predicted “by the end of the week” back on Tuesday...

    Sparkles .986
    Unicorn .994

    Glad they’re both on my team!

    But don’t look at the clutch stats...

    But here’s the crazy part, KB has 31 RBIs in 190 PA, where he’s had a total of 102 runners on base for him. The average MLB player with 190 PA, will have driven in only 22 runs (9 less), but will have had an average of 112 runners on base (10 more than Bryant’s actually had on base). So KB is driving in 30% more runs than the average player, while actually having 10% less base runners than the average player.

    But like I said, don’t compare their clutch stats...

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Geez, I can’t do anything right...

    The true numbers...

    Sparkles .986
    Unicorn .984

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I pity the fool... who can’t put his fat fingers on the right numbers.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    It's all good. I understood.

    I remember early last season, before KB's shoulder injury, I questioned who was the best baseball player on this team, Javy or Bryant. I took some heat, but I was being honest.

    I'm glad they are both on my team, and enjoying the hell out of watching this baseball porn.

    I pity the fool pitcher that has to go through this lineup.

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    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I can't go far wrong choosing either one of them. I was pretty sure that Bryant would be getting the lion's share of the laurels today so I simply chose to focus on Javy doing what I ask of him. No one would be able to do that every PA. Not even the greatest of all time have been able to do that. But the more often Javy does it the closer I get to giving him the level of praise many on this board give him.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yeah, I was happy with all 6 of Javy's plate appearances yesterday. His approach just looked better. Even the fact he went 1 for 3 facing Scherzer was a good thing. He got wrung up on a borderline pitch that was okay he actually took it. And even the 5th inning strikeout wasn't terrible. Scherzer challenged him differently that time, and actually attacked an area of Javy's strength, and just showed how sometimes a good pitcher can execute against a good hitter and get him out locating the ball just away from the hitters sweet spot.

    Seriously, even if Javy went 0 for 4 and still had the 2 walks, I would give him props for making the pitchers actually pitch to him.

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    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    When I saw the K looking my thought was "hindsight is 20/20, I wish he'd have fouled it off.". But it just looked like the pitcher made a perfect pitch. Sometimes the batter simply guesses wrong. He didn't look baffled. He just looked like he struck out. Tip your hat and try to get 'em next time.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yeah, Scherzer ain't no slouch, that's for sure. I actually forgot to delete last nights game from my DVR, so I just rewound to Schwarber's HR at bat. What a great at bat that was! And you're right, too bad Javy couldn't foul that one off, like Schwarber spoiled so many good pitches in that AB. Hopefully that's a sign of things to come from Scwhwarbs. Funny thing with Kyle's AB is how Bearclaw just insisted on throwing all those low and away pitches, and as I wondered why he didn't try to throw one or two pitches inside, JD brought up the same question. And on the 13th pitch, the catcher set up on the inside corner, but the pitch totally missed it's spot and went right to the outside corner just like all the other pitches.... and HAM!

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    KB, your table is ready.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Thank God. As CubberLang points out above, what Bryant needs is runners on base in front of him ("table-setters") to really explode for those who still value RBI as a metric to measure a player.

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    What I liked about tonight"s game is that the Cubs didn't just have one inning but several, and when one got going the others followed suit. Javy--what can we say that we haven't said before. Cole pitched well, Schwarbs had a great AB of something like 13 pitches and then jacked a low and away one into LC field, Albert A (who really can hit RH pitchers) did it as always in CF, although he did throw to the SS instead of 2nd base, and Willson going the other way. Generally it seems like when we start hitting oppo we score many runs. We gained on StL and Milw and started a new winning streak.
    KB--just the sound of those hits made me smile. That swing you had in 2016 and early last year is back. So nice and easy. So satisfying to hear and watch, this team is dangerous when you're right and you are now.
    Go Cubs!!

  • Ball was flying out tonight in DC. KB looking like his MVP form is back. Hopefully Schwarber’s 13 pitch HR is a sign of things to come. Willson with more total HRs today 5/17 than he had all of last year.

    This team can really mash !!

  • I feel sorry for Davey Martinez. What a bunch of garbage in his bullpen.

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    That is what happens when you leave a good job for having a title in the name. He was lucky he didn’t get fired last year. He is not a big league manager.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    He didn't make big money as a player, so I am sure he couldn't turn down the money, and you could go to a lot worse team then the Nats as your 1st MLB gig. I can't judge a man for wanting to do something for his family or for trying to accomplish a dream of being an MLB manager.

    I do agree w your last sentence though.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I was never a big fan of his but I gotta feel for the guy and they will scapegoat him. There is something to be said for team chemistry and Washington has just never had it. Keep this same grouping of players and a new manager isn’t going to make much difference, the GM should be as worried as much as Martinez....he’s the one who put all his hopes on starting pitching. Scherzer to me anyhow, is a guy more interested in his own stats than anything else and that is not good.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It’s appalling that a guy would actually consider interviewing and then accept a job offer that is a promotion and pay raise from his current position. Who would do such a thing? Oh yeah, anybody and everybody.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Let’s also keep in mind too that the Washington job also had a team with WS aspirations coming off a heartbreaking playoff loss against our cubs. If they make a deep playoff run then who knows maybe Harper decides to stick around. Davey had some bad injury luck in year 1 and unfortunately that pen has just been atrocious for him. I admit I was a little surprised they fired dusty after he seemingly did a really good job there. But why wouldn’t davey take that job don’t mean to get political but it’s not as if Hispanic born managers are getting manager offers left and right. And anyone Please don’t be angered or sensitive over this last point you’ll get a big no reply from me, but I do think it’s fair to say davey hasn’t been offered managing gigs left and right despite his teams success

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    All fair points kkhiavi... So from what you mention, who in their right mind would turn down a managerial position for a team who's got those WS aspirations you speak of? You'd be an idiot to turn down that opportunity.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Agreed 100%. Is it the best potential opening with harpers upcoming free agency at the time he signed? Probably not but it’s not like the better opportunities like the dodgers, cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, Astros, or Indians are coming calling for managers

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Never said it was appalling or he was at fault for doing that. Was just a bad move by the Nats. Some guys are better suited at being the bench coach then being a manager. For a team that had chemistry issues why bring in a guy who wasn’t a good clubhouse teammate during his playing days?

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    I would gladly take Doolittle off his hands. :-)

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    Nats FO needs to take blame too. They traded a couple relievers for pennies. And there’s something outright bad in that clubhouse culture. Maybe too much Fortnite? Haha

  • What a great win. I saw some kvetching about Monty giving up two runs but I agree with the assessment here, who cares? I’m beginning to think that it’s impossible to make most Cubs fans happy. Not me though, I’m ecstatic. As for Bryant, what has always bothered me about his critics is that he’s never really faltered from being an elite player except when he was injured. Now his numbers for the season are quite a bit above his career averages and his BABIP is still fifty points less than his career average. Yes folks, he is actually better than his gaudy numbers show. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more maligned superstar in all my years watching baseball. In the end who cares though, right? We can appreciate him on our own.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think part of it is a fan “homing” for their favorite player versus really disliking Bryant.

    I remember arguing with my best friends as 12 year old whether Leon Durham or Harold Barnes was the better player. I would not give in on Durham. But the players ended the arguments fairly easy for us as we grew older.

    I’ve maintained Bryant is a HOF player. Or I should say “will be” when his career ends. We should enjoy his overall greatness.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yeah, in hindsight, that is a fairly easy argument. Leon Durham was a much better ballplayer than Harold Barnes. Now, Baines, on the other hand...

    When I was 12 I was still seething over the trade of one of my personal favorites, Ivan DeJesus, for an over-the -hill Larry Bowa and some third-baseman who couldn't hit his way out of a wet paper bag.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yea......the guy who started his career 0 for 32.....he really sucked!

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    And your comment just brought the total on this thread to #23.

    Coincidence?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Lol.....great catch!....l.but total co ink a dink

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Totally agree on the HOF part. I've said that since I first started watching him play every day.

    Like many others, I started inquiring when he was in college and I knew the Cubs had the #2 pick. I followed along and ogled his gaudy minor-league stats and saw occasional video or highlights. But when I watched him play on a daily basis, my jaw dropped. Wow! There is so much more to this guy than offensive numbers. He's a ballplayer.

    One of the cues I use to analyze talent is baserunning. Not just straight-line speed, but judgement. It tells me a lot about a players ability to understand the game. Their "baseball IQ". Good baserunning involves anticipation based upon mental preparation, good jumps and good judgement. Many players will stand on a base, waiting for a batter to hit the ball, maybe catching a sign from a base coach. Good baseball players are doing far more than that. They are noting defensive positioning, paying attention to what the pitcher is trying to do with sequencing, and already know who has an arm and who doesn't. They really don't need base coaches. They don't need to turn their heads to see where a ball is going, if it will be caught or not. They already know. Head down, full blast. Javy's the same way.

    I noticed that right away watching KB. Not only does he have ungodly physical talent, but also the mental capacity to fully realize it. Baseball IQ. And within a month of watching him play every day, I thought to myself (and stated here) "I'm watching a first-ballot HOF'er".

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I saw Stanton, Kershaw and Bryant as they all came through Jacksonville and I didn’t like Bryant’s throws.....too tall I thought and the throws to first were really making the 1B man work.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    More KB porn, comparing the first 41 games of his MVP year to this year

    2016- .277/.356/.512 .868 OPS .371 wOBA 131 wRC+

    2019- .277/.405/.581 .986 OPS .413 wOBA 161 wRC+

  • In reply to TC154:

    Unbelievable and I’m happy for KB, I can honestly say not only do I think he was very hampered last season, but I even think he was pretty beat up the 2nd half of 2017 either with that hand/wrist injury. I think he’s going as well at the plate as I’ve ever seen him the numbers are just video game like during this long on base streak he has going. What stands out to me is he’s not even really a high strikeout guy anymore. His walk rate is almost as high as his K rate, which leads me to believe that he maybe getting better at the plate even. He’s already pretty much caught up to javy with his power/slugging/and RBI totals. Cubs insider actually recently did an article arguing that he maybe better then his MVP season for those interested.

    https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/05/13/kris-bryant-hasnt-just-regained-mvp-form-hes-surpassed-it/

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    As a defnsive connisieur (sp?) like you knows, speed isn't everything. On defense nor on the basepaths. In fact, it can, as often, disguise real deficiencies. Bryant is an outstanding baserunner. He takes such "textbook" paths around the bases. He knows where the fielders are. He stole at least 1 run in the WS in 2016 scoring on a single from 1B because he did everything right.

    Javy is the best I've ever seen, though, at getting a great jump and never hesitating. Just my opinion. He KNOWS that the fielder isn't going to catch the ball. So he doesn't have to "go half way and bounce up and down waiting to see what happens. I have never seen a player score 2-3 steps behind the runner in front of him more often than Javy. And it isn't because he has such ungodly good speed. He is average to slightly above average, I believe. But he is just so knowledgeable.

    I know many on this board think the world of Javy at the plate. I like him but am not as enamored as some. But no one exceeds me in their amazement of him as a baserunner. I don't know that there is a more "disruptive" baserunner in the major leagues. He makes things happen on the basepaths like someone with MUCH more speed.

    He has the baseball IQ of a baseball-rat. I can imagine him playing catch with a coach at 5a, playing baseball all day, and being drug off the field at 2a, only to wake up the next morning to do it again.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Do you really want to get me started? Too late, you already did.

    I like the point you brought up about path efficiency. I wanted to in my comment but didn't want to go too long. Bryant is so efficient, and that gets back to my point of intelligence. There is more there than offensive prowess. He hones into the finer points of the game, and that often separates good players from great ones.

    I have to agree, also, with Javy being a disruptive force. Box scores don't show this impact, and I believe even the most advanced of analytics still have work to do. We had an example the other night, in the bottom of the 13th, Javy on third, tie game, Russell up. The pitcher threw a curve in the dirt that almost got away. Javy was halfway down the line with the game-winning run, but had to retreat. He then had an exchange with the catcher, something to the effect of "try that again!". Russell saw nothing but fastballs after that. That is disruptive.

    Another example I recall was a game halfway through last season. I don't recall the opponent or players involved, but I do remember it causing many comments here. Javy broke from first to steal second, and the situation didn't call for it. The throw beat him easily but was misplayed at 2B, bouncing into CF while Javy cruised into third. People called him lucky, and railed on his poor judgement in such a critical situation. Except it was El Mago. It wasn't poor judgement.

    After the game, he was asked by the beat writers why he had such a mental lapse in such a big spot. He said he was watching the communication between the opposing SS/2B throughout the game, and noticed that when they gave their signs to each other before every pitch on who would cover 2B on a potential steal attempt, the one who wasn't covering would take a relaxing step back into his defensive position. He noticed on this pitch, in this critical game situation, they missed a sign. He pounced. He was dead to rights on the throw to second, but there was no one there to cover.

    I respect Maddon on his baseball worth. He knows baseball, and is a coach and teacher at heart. But I've heard him say on several occasions he learns from Javy. Javy will see things on the field and signal them into the dugout, things that the whole coaching staff had missed. Baseball IQ.

    That's why I put so much stock into baserunning. Like you said, speed ain't everything. I learn a lot by watching a player run the bases. It's like an open book into their baseball minds. Some are good, some aren't, and some rise to the top. Javy and KB are among the best. I love watching it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    To me Bryant is the kind of player that would be the "bad guy" in a baseball movie. A movie about how a player with marginal talent is able to overcome it through effort and heart. Bryant would play the character of the guy who is the epitome of an offensive player (I'm going to leave defense out of it at this moment for hopefully obvious reasons). The guy whose superior skills and professionalism start out belittling the "hero" and, eventually, has to be overcome. Not that Bryant is a "bad guy" but he is so "textbook" in a lot of his game on offense.

    I think you are reading too much into your first example of Javy's disruptiveness. I think the catch got spooked by the breaking ball in the dirt, regardless who was on 3B, and decided to call for FB from then on to minimize the damage. Did they have an exchange? Probably. But I don't think that "crediting" Javy with the subsequent pitch calls is justified.

    Your 2nd example, though, is a perfect example of what I mean by Javy being a disruptive force as a baserunner. He noticed something no one else did. Or few others did. And he had the courage to act on it. Lots of people might notice it, take note of it, "know" it. But it takes a certain courage to actually ACT on it. I am more and more convinced that what we generally attribute to "luck" for Javy on the basepaths is actually "baseball rat." He knows what he is doing. It doesn't always work. But it works more often than it should if it were simply "luck."

    As for the box score not catching things like that, I agree. But that doesn't mean it isn't considered. The play started and he was at 1B. When the pitch ended he was on 2B through HIS effort alone. I am pretty sure th BsR metric keeps track of exactly that. Being on 2B with the same number of outs is more valuable than being at 1B. So it IS actually caught. Moving the 3B might have been attributed to defensive miscue (and the defender docked for it) but I think his "plan" was to get to 2B. I don't think he planned on "creating" an error. Though he was aware enough that he didn't seem surprised and trotted into 3B if I am remembering the same play. I think he had a couple of instances like that against MIL last year in one series. He just destroyed them on the basepaths in the series I'm thinking of. That's why I love watching him on the basepaths. I think he also scored from 2B on a GB to CF that was picked up not far behind 2B. Javy anticipated that Cain would be lackadaisical about the play and scored by simply not doing what everyone else would do and hold up at 3B. Cain fumbled the ball but Javy was already committed. Cain fumbled it as he also discolored the back of his uniform bottoms as he realized Javy wasn't stopping like he was "supposed to." Too often broadcasters talk a lot about a player like Billy Hamilton being disruptive on the basepaths because of his speed. But Javy is MORE disruptive because of examples like mine and the one you posted.

    I can imaging him being a coach when he retires. Imagine the value of someone like him able to share tid-bits like your example of a "tell" that players could get by looking at defenders. That knowledge isn't directly included in the box score beyond SB. But I believe it was very much caught by looking at his numbers, such as WAR (BsR).

  • I went to bed early after a long work week. We were up 5-3. So when I awoke and saw 14-6 I thought my phone had pulled up a previous game and needed to be refreshed. WHAT A SHOCK!!!!

    To see 14 runs on the board in a game Scherzer starts is just surreal. KB—let me steal a Milo Hamilton saying “he’s hitter than a depot stove!!!!” Willson is balling and Almora has started finding his untapped power.

    But about a week ago I went out in a limb and said Schwarber is close to a breakout. He is coming, Cubs Den. The guy we all know is in there is close. I am so encouraged as our OF has been brutal as Heyward morphed back into 2017 Jason. We need Schwarber and Almora’s surge is a nice boost. These guys swinging well means less of Bote which is a good thing. He’s is nothing more than the 24-25 guy on the roster and should be used in small doses.

    This has the potential to be the best offense in Cubs history.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    Bote is a quality guy. But at this point in his career is far more valuable in 150-250 PAs than 450+. Especially if those PAs are selected for maximum impact.

  • How about Russell or Happ for Giles? I think TC mentioned Giles 2 weeks ago.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Giles, Doolittle, and perhaps Brad Hand may all be available. If we keep playing at the level we're capable of, and with Morrow being Morrow, we will be shopping at the highest level. I'm still holding out hope for a month or more of Morrow, which will just be an added bonus. I think he resumes throwing in the next few days and could be back for a postseason run, but again, that would just be the cherry on top.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Colome is another interesting name but I’m not sure the Cubs would be willing to deal with Hahn and company after the PR backlash (mostly undeserved) from the Quintana trade. Still if you could be sitting there in September with Strop, Morrow and one of the guys we just mentioned I’d sure like our chances at another WS

  • In reply to TC154:

    In keeping with the theme of dab's recap: TOUCHDOWN!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Now that Caratini returned I am waiting for Zobrist to get on top of his horrible personal situation and return so that the Cubs can begin working a Memorial Weekend trade. That is the traditional evaluation benchmark at around 50 games.

    With Descalso, Zobrist and Bote Cubs indeed have a bridge to Cubs hopeful Hoerner at 2B and future leadoff man. This trade would exchange $ to roughly a net loss to the Cubs of $700000 against their salary cap ceiling. Now a more even trade is Russell and Edwards both in money and impact (fWAR) plus replaces an arm in the Jay's pen.

    Happ I think is a project and on discounting his swing and miss propensity is more in line of the Zobrist, Descalso, Bote line.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    last point: Watch for Russell to start three consecutive games in a row if trade talks begin to heat up where he gives Baez a rest in those three. Getting a Giles would be a premium Epstein/Hoyer move where Giles has another arb year left, surgically removing Russell from the team but also informing MLB that they don't abandon their players and even in a trade attempt to put them into a position to succeed. Edwards needs a new scenery he is all messed up and tense with this club.

  • Just looked at total Run Differential by Division: AL-East +20, AL-Central -97, AL-West +92, NL-East -111, NL-Central +69, NL-West +27. Makes HOU really stand out; +89 in arguably the strongest Division in MLB. Good thing for the Cubs that they moved to the AL--should be a great series at the end of the month. Six road days of HOU and STL should reveal a lot.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    I’m waiting for the 2019 highlight reel for the Cardinals.....”and they surged out to a 2 1/2 game lead in the division”!!!

    ......and then ::: POOF :::

  • In reply to wthomson:

    remember, it is now who you play but when you play whom. That said I think Maddon getting down in the trenches regarding hitting is paying dividends. Schwarber is showing some signs of going the opposite way with authority which he needs to. Bryant really quieted down his swing and suddenly the launching pad opened for business.

    At this pace (provided Schwarber gets going again) Cubs lineup could sport five players at or over 20 HR's by game 90 (they are nearing the ASB halfway point at game 42, 45 is that point), that is a lot self-generated runs regularly in the lineup. If Almora has developed some newly developed ambush power than what do the Cubs have here but big bat squad.

  • As of this morning the Cubs have three players in the top ten in the NL in terms offense in KB at 4, Javy at 5 and Contreras at 7, and oh by the way Rizzo is at 20 for good measure. That’s good right? ;-)

  • In reply to TC154:

    That’s ridiculous!!

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