Cubs Game Post 7/13

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Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Saturday: 1:20 PM CT on WGN/670AM

Lineups

Pirates

1. Kevin Newman (R) 2B
2. Bryan Reynolds (S) LF
3. Starling Marte (R) CF
4. Josh Bell (S) 1B
5. Melky Cabrera (S) RF
6. Jose Osuna (R) 3B
7. Jung Ho Kang (R) SS
8. Elias Diaz (R) C
9. Jordan Lyles (R) P
Cubs
1. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
2. Javier Baez (R) SS
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Addison Russell (R) 2B
9. Jon Lester (L) P
Bullpen Usage
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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Jordan Lyles: Jordan Lyles has thrown 14,492 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2010 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph) and Curve using a Knuckle Curve grip (82mph), also mixing in a Slider (88mph) and Change (86mph). He also rarely throws a Sinker (92mph).

His fourseam fastball generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has essentially average velo and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers. His curve has a sharp downward bite, is slightly harder than usual, has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves. His slider is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sliders, is much harder than usual and has less than expected depth. His change is slightly firmer than usual and has slight armside fade. His sinker is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sinkers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker.

Sean's Note: After Lyles dominated the Cubs in April, they crushed him on July 4th. They hit three homers and plated seven runs in his five innings pitched. Kris Bryant in particular saw him well with a homer and a ground-rule double.

Final Thoughts: Jon Lester makes his first start in a week, his last outing was a quality effort against the White Sox. The bottom of the Cubs order is still very shaky. So the top of the order will have to pull pretty much all of the load. Kris Bryant is putting in excellent work and hit Lyles hard last week.

Filed under: Game preview

Tags: jon Lester, Kris Bryant

Comments

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  • How 'bout BIG days for both Almora and Russell today?!!

  • The other day Jesse Rogers criticized Maddon’s lineup construction, particularly batting low OBP hitters at the top of the lineup. Schwarber (.317) and Baez (.324). But if Bryant doesn’t want to bat second, I don’t see a lot of options.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Good point. I'm not criticizing the players, but they are human, and have their own approaches and preferences. I have heard KB say he doesn't particularly like batting second, it goes against what he has done his whole life. He won't say it publicly and make a fuss, just like Javy is a SS and wants to be so. I remember Heyward talking of how he isn't comfortable in the lead-off spot many years ago. I think forcing Schwarber to the top of the order has done his offensive development no favors. But as you say, what are the other options?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I haven't ever made this correlation before, this just dawned on me. It's a plain fact that signing Kimbrel solidifies the closer role and pushes guys like Strop, Cishek, Kintzler, and Edwards back to more comfortable roles. They are able to perform at more natural levels without the added pressure of increased expectations. I think everyone can agree that is a good thing.

    We've debated here for years the definition and value of a true leadoff man. Some prefer the traditional bat-to-ball, speed guy, while others point out the numbers show you just have to get on base and not make outs. I'm not arguing that topic, just thinking that if we had a true leadoff hitter it could move everyone else back to more comfortable roles, just like the pen. Not so much the impact of the leadoff man, but the impact of everyone else being more comfortable.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    So who do you put in the leadoff role? Trade target or someone in the system?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Boomchacalocka, if the did nothing but sign Kimbrel and found someone to help out with leadoff, they would as good as anybody.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I thought Baez was doing well batting fourth. And Bryant’s.404 OBP and great base running plays well in the two hole.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    I think Bryant is an ideal #2 for the reasons you mentioned. But what does Bryant think? I have seen comments from him over the last year, moreso recently, that lead me to believe he'd rather bat in a more run-producing spot than table-setting. He has mentioned that he needs to adjust the approach he has worked on his whole life to adapt to a different role.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I love Bryant, but I honestly don't care what he likes or doesn't. Your best hitter needs to bat second, every analysis of modern lineup construction says so. If batting second helps Baez get in a groove that's fine but I want Bryant back there down the stretch. As far as Schwarber leading off he was moved there because his OBP WAS high at the time. He has inexplicably stopped talking walks in the last month or so which is maddening (no pun intended). The problem with the Cubs is Bryant is both their best hitter and best OBP guy which is why I've been advocating for a .350 or better OBP hitter to leadoff. Ideally you'd put Heyward there but for whatever reason that seems to hurt him as a hitter statistically.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Totally agree. Bryant is a #2 with modern lineup construction. He is your best hitter and an incredible baserunner. But I have seen passing comments he's made about changing his approach when he sees empty bases in front of him. He feels he needs to dial it back to just get on and pass the baton to the next guy rather than focusing on his strength, crushing pitches for power. Maybe he needs to get over that?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    My preference is Rizzo batting second, Bryant third. Leadoff continues to be a chronic issue. Where’s the new Bobby D?

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    Any order of Heyward/Contreras 1/2 problem solved. At least get Schwarber out of the leadoff spot its getting ridiculous.

  • In reply to Sean Livengood:

    Heyward says he feels uncomfortable at the top of the order. No idea how much that would impact his production.

  • In reply to stix:

    It has cooled him before. Comfortable is just another word for 'relaxed confidence'. Not everybody can be Zobrist or Beaz.

  • In reply to Sean Livengood:

    I always thought one necessity for any good leadoff man was that they run well......with above average wheels.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    That's been proven mostly false though. It certainly doesn't hurt to have speed there but OBP is the #1 requirement.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I guess so.....makes sense actually......but just wish we weren’t so HIDP susceptible...

  • In reply to TC154:

    Correct, it's not speed, tho it's nice at the top. No 1 is on base %, but its nullified without comfort. This is where the rubber hits the road on the stats and human factor. A this level the edge goes to the player in his comfort zone.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed. Also to clarify, I do think your leadoff guy ideally should be a good baserunner which does not require above average speed.

  • I don’t know if Alzolay gets back next week. Last night he gave up 5 hits and 6BB in 4.2 innings.

  • In reply to stix:

    The more important question: is he still untouchable in a trade for Merrifield?

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    He had better be. Recent bias shouldn’t play a part. This guy has #3 starter written all over him and it would be nice not to have to pay for that.

  • In reply to TC154:

    This week on MLB Hot Takes they proposed a trade of Bumgarner to the Cubs for Alzolay AND Nico. I literally pictured your head and the guy who begins with “KH” exploding.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Lol. Sounds about right. I would not be happy

  • I'm convinced it's important for the Cubs to hit the ground running, coming off this All Star break. Yesterday was a sweet start and I always feel optimistic with Big Bad Jon on the bump.

  • A Schwarber sighting.

  • That sounded horrible of Rizzo's bat but the result was beautiful.

  • This is fun.

  • Welcome to the 2nd half Mr Contreras. (Btw the carry on the new juiced baseball is great. Contreras has a few oppo HRs this year which demonstrate this)

    Hopefully that squibber by Rizzo gets his bat going...

  • Lyle's has nothing today. Gonna be a long day for the Bucs' pen and that will help us tomorrow.

    Tee hee.

  • It’s so damned nice to see Heyward performing. He’s such a good dude that you can’t help but root for him

  • Sweet swing by Big Jon!!!

    Bullpen day for Pittsburgh

  • ....a double bonus.....a W and I get to take a nap....alright:)

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I need to sleep a lot these days so I can relate. Such a nice feeling to not have a game tie knots in your stomach, knock on wood and all that.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    A nap? With Big Jon on the mound and the offense rolling? Cubs kicking butt?

    "Doctor please, some more of these.
    Outside the door, she took four more.
    What a drag it is getting old."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Lol.......your day’s comin’ young ‘un

  • 7 runs, 5 hits and 3k.

  • In reply to stix:

    Exactly what I thought............

  • now if we can get almora to snap out of it, taking strikes and swinging at balls. if he could come around we wouldnt need to make any trades for position players.

  • Nice to see this team get out of the gate and show some urgency. They should look this way just about every day with the competition they are facing. If they keep this up, I’d start believing in them again.

    And gotta love it when 7 of your 9 starters have already scored runs after just the first inning.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I wouldn't downgrade the Pirates like that. They're a seriously good baseball team having a bad day. I do think the Cubs are the most talented team in the Division but that doesn't make the rest of it dookie.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Well I'm not really trying to downgrade them. I mean, we are 4-4 on the season against them. I understand quite well that they are good enough to beat us, and they have. I agree, the Cubs are the most talented team in the division, but we're not proving that in the W column. The other teams in this division have many more holes than us, but up to this point have gotten better results. So, especially with this series at home (where the Cubs play well), I want to see life and a little bit of domination out of them to prove they are a legit contender. I'll be looking closely to see how we play on the road too, because they've been a sorry excuse for good team when playing on the road with their .400 winning % away from Wrigley. That's inexcusable for a team that's supposed to be a perennial post season contender. If they play that poorly on the road, how do we expect them to win a post season series that they're probably not gonna have the home advantage?

  • I hate to throw out bad vibes, but there is some bad blood between these teams. Maddon suggested prior to the AS break that this series could get interesting. Javy wasn't happy with that 0-2 pitch at his head, and I can't blame him. He barked at the Bucs' dugout and slung his bat in that direction.

    I hope no one gets hurt. But it's coming.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Funny, I was thinking I'd like to see someone bury a pitch right into Josh Bell's shoulder.

  • lester for the cycle! the triple will be near impossible.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Lester might retire with me if the NL gets the DH.

  • Why did Joe pinch hit for Kintzler? Only one batter faced. Why not let him go another inning?

  • Another nice catch by Heyward. Outs are getting hard to get.

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    Note to Cubs..Maybe don't throw Marte batting practice , chest high meatballs
    Not that I necessarily dislike Rosario but why is he on the roster in lieu of other lefties??
    Does anyone else feel addy and javy maybe lost interest when it was 10-0? I probably would

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    and without a doubt if we ever need a left handed bat to pinch hit late in a game I will take Lester over Descalso..How is that a reasonable thought and this guy is still wearing a Cubs uniform? How great must his personality be for Gods sake??

  • In reply to John Nesbit:

    Just noticed Lester's OPS is significantly higher than Almora Jr.'s, let alone Delasco's; he's hovering around where Bote and Schwarber are right now.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Let’s not go overboard . Lester has 28 plate appearances. Probably qualifies as SSS . Befr today he was behind all the hitters.

  • In reply to stix:

    I kid, but not about Delasco; and definitely if it's a bunt situation............

  • fb_avatar

    incredible play to end it

  • In reply to John Nesbit:

    Must have found their lost interest?

  • In reply to stix:

    Yep - goin' home time.

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    In reply to stix:

    Touché. I guess I deserved that.

  • Mills to pitch Tuesday.

  • In reply to stix:

    I'm kinda excited about that. From all recent accounts, he's been as locked in has he's ever been in his career.

  • Mills? Must be a showcase game. Hoping Garcia gets more playing time.
    And why do they need so many pitchers on the 25 man roster? Use one spot for Terence Gore or Billy Hamilton. Descalso also is probably an engagement ring after the divorce. Let it go.

  • And why is Mike Montgomery still on the pitching staff? I really never want to see one of his powder puff curves or middling fastballs in a Cubs uniform. Alzolay, maybe Mills, definitely Chatwood would be preferable.

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