Cubs Game Post 6/26

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Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Wednesday: 7:05 PM CT on MLB Network/WGN/670AM

Lineups

Braves

2. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
3. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
4. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
5. Nick Markakis (L) RF
6. Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
7. Brian McCann (L) C
8. Johan Camargo (S) LF
Cubs
2. Kris Bryant (R) LF
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Javier Baez (R) SS
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Addison Russell (R) 2B
8. David Bote (R) 3B
9. Yu Darvish (R) P
Bullpen Usage
screen-shot-2019-06-26-at-3-06-08-pm
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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Dallas Keuchel: Dallas Keuchel has thrown 19,475 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2011 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Sinker (88mph) and Cutter (85mph), also mixing in a Slider (77mph), Change (79mph) and Fourseam Fastball (89mph).

His sinker is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers, generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has surprisingly little armside run, has slightly below average velo and has some natural sinking action. His cutter is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' cutters, has sweeping cut action, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' cutters and has some natural sink. His slider comes in below hitting speed, has exceptional depth, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has short glove-side cut. His change dives down out of the zone, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' changeups and has below average velo. His fourseam fastball is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, is straight as an arrow, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has some natural sinking action and has slightly below average velo.

Sean's note: Keuchel finally caved and signed a one-year deal with the Braves in early June. He allowed three runs in five innings against the Nationals Friday in his debut. He has never thrown hard, his velocity tops out at Kyle Hendricks levels. Keuchel gets tons of outs on the ground, well over 50% for his career. He earned the 2015 Cy Young at the end of a dominant two year stretch in Houston. In 2018, he was solid, just not the dominant form of past seasons.

Final Thoughts: The Cubs offense couldn't get into gear Tuesday night, a good pitching effort went for naught. Joe Maddon has inserted the struggling Albert Almora in the leadoff spot. Yu Darvish was solid last start and has become somewhat dependable the last month or so. Craig Kimbrel will likely be called up Thursday, so a roster move is coming.

Comments

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  • BP looks slim tonight. Yu best go at least 7.

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    In reply to stix:

    He has looked pretty decent lately. Hopefully we can string together some crooked numbers and finally get him a win at Wrigley tonight. I'm baffled by Almora being in the leadoff spot with his .239 obp against lefties this season, but what do I know. I'd rather see Kyle at the top.

  • Yu has had difficulty protecting leads this year. Specifically, he gives up runs within 1 or 2 innings after getting a lead. That's a major reason why he is still waiting for his first victory at Wrigley Field.

    But I really like how he's owned up on this shortfall when interviewed after his last game. He admitted he needs to be better at protecting leads. I really like a player who takes responsibility for any current shortcomings, so much better than shrugging your shoulders as if it's sun spots or just bad luck that explain the lack of Ws. I know Wins is not a good stat to measure a player, but lack thereof with a starting pitcher can provide clues.

    I'm definitely rooting for Yu to get his first Wrigley field victory today as a Cub. He is not a whiner or complainer or excuse maker. This is the kind of guy worth rooting for.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    To borrow a phrase I throw around with another regular, love you, HefCA, but I have to disagree. But where I disagree in regards to Yu's mental state doesn't lead to productive dialogue, so I'll defer. I like what Sean said that Darvish has become somewhat kinda serviceable in his last couple of starts. That's something, I guess. I hope for the best for my team, as always..

    Stale, humid night with no wind. Anyone who pops one out needs to do it on their own.

    There is a new voting system for All-Star starters. The top three at each position are "on the clock" right now through tomorrow. We have 7 (yes, 7!) players eligible to be voted onto the starting roster. I'm a purist and don't vote straight-line for my team so Schwarber, Almora Jr, and Heyward aren't getting my vote(s), but I got Javy, KB, Rizzo, and Willson. Voting on the starting lineup ends tomorrow. We're from Chicago: vote early; vote often.

    Go Cubs!

  • Kimbrel due back tomorrow. Who’s odd man out? Other than Adbert not much option flexibility.

  • In reply to stix:

    I haven't done the 40-man gymnastics today but I've seen it coming. We actually have a lot of decisions soon with multiple options becoming available. I just haven't had time to slice and dice the 40-man. Someone(s) had to go.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think Kimbrel is already on the 40 man roster. It will be the 25 man one they will have to figure out.

  • The new Cubs baseball. Last night they had a double play without hitting a ball in play. Tonight, give up a run without a hit.

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    Well, we don’t have to worry about Yu protecting a lead, at least right now.
    This team is like Bizaro Cubs of 2016. They’re doing the opposite of what they did then. If anyone had seen the Bizaro Seinfeld episode it’s exactly like that.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    OK. I'm not familiar with that episode of Seinfeld (I rarely watch TV except for Cubs games), but in this Bizarro world we are right on track, right? 2016 was magical and seemed imminent, and this season seems anything but. I'm sure I'm off your reference but dang it, I reject your reality and insert my own. This means to me a Championship is a certainty, and my expanding interwebs skills will allow me to post video of drunken snow angels 2.0.

    I'm probably way off, but in my Bizarro world I'm drunk in a snow drift singing "Go Cubs go..."

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    In the Bizaro works you’ve never had a drink and are a Sox fan.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Bizaro world.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I don't like that world! :(

  • As Granville said last night that, Bryant is hitting the top,of the ball like a tennis player. Weak grounder to third again for the double play. Javy comes up and ropes a single off the barrel. Javy is a straight up baller!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Hey, Oldno7, I don't know how else to do this so I'll do it now. I like seeing that you are posting baseball thoughts. We've all had bad times, and I've had some of the most embarrassing posts in the history of this site. I persevered, and we all welcome you to this site and look forward to engaging you in our Cubs' discussions.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Cheers!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Jose Cuervo for me. Cheers!

  • KB is too launch angle happy and he drops his back shoulder making it even worse, but no one says anything and life goes on.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    KB didn't swing almost straight up in his second AB and got a hit to right center field.

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    HWGA.
    Here we go again. When we hit into DP they don’t even have to move all all. We hit their players more often than Cody Parkey hit goal posts.

  • Grrrr...

  • It is what it is....

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    Another great start by Darvish! Tough to win like this!

  • Hate to see a stepback outing like this for darvish after seeing vastly improved peripherals and control numbers these past 8 starts. 36 strikes on 59 pitches and in general feel the command and crispness on his pitches don’t look good tonight. He’s gotta figure out how to pitch in Wrigley the guy just can’t afford stepbacks with his bad start to the season

  • At least there doesn’t appear to be a “ no decision” today for Darvish to worry about. Someone needs to tell Darvish that it’s ok to throw less pitches to “earn” his pay.

  • In reply to stix:

    When I watch Darvish pitch I see a guy with all the physical ability in the world but someone who has no clue how to pitch. With the big contract he is even more self-conscious than ever. He is weak, and I don't mean that in a bad way. That is who he is. It's reality

    I don't see him in the pen for the postseason. Coming into high-stress situations to put out fires doesn't seem to be his bag.

    The Cubs are famous for their mental evaluations of potential signers. This was a miss.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    This is a different guy than I saw in Texas. I think the WS broke him.

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    In reply to TC154:

    Yeah, could be. There was no weakness against the Cubs in the NLCS that year.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Good point TC. I wonder if he was really tipping his pitches in the WS or did he just crack from the pressure. But, he has not been the same guy since the WS.

  • In reply to TC154:

    He should be better then this but I’ve always felt he was a bit of an advanced stats/peripherals darling. A guy that always had a strong strikeout to walk ratio, so teams felt there was more to unlock. He was obviously a different pitcher in Texas, but even there he sometimes got off track one inning bc his command within the strike zone just isn’t all that consistent. I hope he improves but I think he was just never worth the contract he received. I think that’s why the cubs need to be careful about signing guys with strong advanced statistics that aren’t winners despite these advanced stats if that makes sense. Quintana is another guy I felt often found ways to lose despite his poor run support. Jeff Samardzija is another guy that fits that profile to me although he’s much less accomplished then darvish or Q. I don’t value the W/L stat that much but I do usually like to see a stronger overall W-L record when I’m making a huge investment in a pitcher

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Right after the Cubs signed him I read an interview with the Rangers announcers. They said Darvish was the kind of pitcher who would be playing great, have a 2-0 lead after six, need to get through just one more inning, and then would give up three runs. They essentially called him mentally weak.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I never paid attention to him when he pitched in Texas or LA but you’d think there was a reason the dodgers didn’t want him in 2019. Maybe he’s not a big city guy because of the actual or perceived stress.

    Seems as if Theo and free agents don’t mix. He knew Lester and Joe knew Zobrist but other than that he has a poor record on signing FA. Crawford, Heyward, Darvish, and probably Chatwood are high priced swings and misses for Theo.

  • In reply to stix:

    I have a horrible feeling Kimbrel won’t be good.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    I personally can’t bash that signing either way I was shaky on some of their signing but I was all in on kimbrel. Just felt he was worth the risk from the context of the cubs situation trying to retain their top prospects while filling their hole at closer. Fits their window and the cubs need to fill their bullpen with Cishek kintzler morrow and strop being upcoming FAs.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Good points. I wasn’t happy with the Darvish signing but I wanted them to sign Alex Cobb who is sporting a 10+ ERA. So...

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Lol i didn’t want them to sign any tbh I just didn’t like that market, and I felt arrieta was already declining. I’ve defended yus peripherals recently, but he’s at a point where there isn’t anymore time for him to figure things out. I understand early on he was bouncing back from an injury but he’s in midseason form, and it’s time for a turnaround. Q also needs to improve after a horrible month. With the way alzolay was slicing and dicing this explosive braves lineup he’s pitched his way onto the radar imo. Those 2 better start performing bc alzolay has looked too impressive to just brush aside at this point. I think from this point on Q and esp darvish need to be monitored closely, because there’s now a suitable replacement

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Meant peripherals over the last 8 starts not on the season let me reiterate. The peripherals obviously weren’t good when he had an astronomical walk rate earlier in the year

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You know, ask me about Alzolay after six more starts. I always assume the league will figure these guys out after seeing them a few times. The new Baseball America prospect ratings came out and he wasn't even in the top 100.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I honestly don’t get why his rating his dropped so much it’s strange. He was the cubs top prospect last season then he gets hurt and falls off the prospect radar. I believe he was also a top 100 guy last preseason. I’m not Michael but I follow the minors pretty closely. This is just my subjective opinion but now that he’s reestablished his health and form, I actually think he’s now an easy top 50 guy. I’d also rank him as the cubs best young asset given hoerners spent a lot of time on IL, plus he just isn’t a power hitter. Really like hoerner though his other tools easily make up for that, and his bat speed may help him see a power surge.

    But it’s just my personal opinion that Mlb.com ranking alzolay as the cubs 4th best prospect is a ridiculous and outdated evaluation. Maybe I look foolish on this but I feel strongly alzolay is top 2 in the system if he stays healthy (somewhat of a question now). I’d love to hear Michaels thoughts too on his impressions of alzolays oddly low rankings

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Well, he's looked fantastic. I've just seen a lot of pitchers come up and do well and then the league figures them out.

  • Team looks flat a disinterested.
    Darvish works so slow that it is hard to stay focused .
    Contreras looks lost trying to catch Darvish.
    I know it is harsh but Darvish should have more honor and retire. He is not a MLB pitcher.

  • This is just really getting tough. I can’t imagine any of us give the team a shot with Chatwood starting, and with a win tonight I could live with that but these guys need to man up and play to their talent. I’m embarrassed.

  • Time for sarcasm. Terrific situational hitting by Rizzo.

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    Maybe we can get this one rained out.

  • Attack hitters like that all the time Yu. Cubs have a no decision record to extend

  • Its a good thing we have Descalzo. Who else would Joe pinch hit?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Could have used Chatwood but he probably pulls a hammy on his HR.

  • The Cubs are real lucky the Brewers and Cards have been playing on same pace. This team is flat. Not sure what the exact answer may be but Joe should be on hot seat and maybe parting ways would ignite the Cubs. Also the team is full of players that no longer contribute or fit on this club. Monty, Russell, Descalso, Cargo all need to go. Minimal risk in bringing up some of the Triple A hot bats. We have had success in the past with Haap and Bote coming up and contributing. Disappointing YU...he is the new John Lackey in giving up home runs.

    There I am done venting.

  • I'd DFA Descalso for Kimbrel tomorrow. They are going to do it eventually might as well do it now. Descalso has no value now, so let's see how crowded bullpen plays out.

  • We lack a veteran that would cause a stir when one is needed and get in the face of others. Bryant Rizzo Heyward all just nice . We lack a vocal leader.

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    We can gain a game on everyone—again. We keep losing and they keep losing and all three teams can say
    “What if”

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Or perhaps “whiff”

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    In reply to John Winter:

    good point.

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