Cubs Game Post 7/17

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Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Wednesday: 1:20 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Lineups

Reds

1. Nick Senzel (R) CF
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
4. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
5. Derek Dietrich (L) LF
6. Scooter Gennett (L) 2B
7. Jose Iglesias (R) SS
8. Kyle Farmer (R) C
9. Sonny Gray (R) P
Cubs
2. Javier Baez (R) SS
3. Kris Bryant (R) LF
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Addison Russell (R) 2B
8. David Bote (R) 3B
9. Yu Darvish (R) P
Bullpen Usage
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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Sonny Gray: Sonny Gray has thrown 16,204 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2013 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 (94mph), Curve (82mph) and Sinker (93mph), also mixing in a Slider (85mph) and Change (90mph). He also rarely throws a Cutter (93mph).

His fourseam fastball has much less armside movement than typical and has essentially average velo. His curve has sweeping glove-side movement, is much harder than usual and has a sharp downward bite. His sinker generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has less armside run than typical. His slider sweeps across the zone and has exceptional depth. His change is thrown extremely hard and generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups. His cutter is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' cutters, is blazing fast and is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' cutters.

Sean's Note: Gray has allowed just three runs in his last three starts over 21.1 innings. One was against the Cubs where he gave up two in 6.1 innings. He is getting tons of strikeouts and ground balls this year.

Final Thoughts: Yu Darvish pitched well in his last start, but got another no-decision. Yesterday's walk-off hero Kyle Schwarber gets the day off. For some reason, Albert Almora is leading off. Based on the numbers Almora should never ever hit a top the order. Of course that being said, he'll probably pick up three hits today.

Comments

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  • Is no Garcia and no Schwarber a matchup thing?

  • Kris Bryant with that easy power!!!

  • If it wasn’t for the crazy seasons of Bellinger and Yelich KB would be in the running for his second MVP. Still not out of the question

  • In reply to TC154:

    I could care less about any Cubs winning the MVP this year. We have some really great star talent, but they're not performing near the "out of this world numbers" that Bellinger and Yelich are. But we have a chance as a team to win something way more special than an MVP, so I want to see that.

  • In reply to TC154:

    If he hadn’t been hurt, Tatis jr. could be right there too.

  • Will this finally be the day that Yu gets his first W at Wrigley? Sure would be nice especially coupled with actually taking a series against the Reds... Let's hope the Cubs bats make the Sunny sky turn Gray for the Reds.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Do we know if Strop, Cishek or Kimbrel are available? I imagine strop and Cishek may well be out this game

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I would think Strop and Cishek are not because they pitched the last couple nights. I think if it came to it, Kimbrel can be leaned on for an inning (day off tomorrow), but I'm counting on the bats playing some screw the closer today. Remember that game? It was nice when this team played that game all too often.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Maybe Kintzler can be used to get a batter or two. Hoping we see Darvish pitch 7, and Chatwood mops up the last 2...

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Yeah I hope Darvish continues this and goes deep as I imagine Maddon would like to avoid going to his top 3 relievers including Kimbrel despite only pitching yesterday (25 pitches though). Some more runs as this game goes on would be nice as well

  • Nice to see Dietrich get hit and have it hurt.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Lol I am too seriously tired of him leaning into pitches against cubs pitching overall this season

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Nothin’ like a .220 hitter with an attitude :)

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I think a rule change is in order that if you stick an armored elbow into a pitch and get hit that it's just a ball.

    I am serious.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    That rule already exists. The batter is supposed to make an effort to avoid being hit. Dietrich does just the opposite over and over and the umps don't call it. I said earlier, I don't know how bit a fight the Cubs want to make of this, because they might bring closer scrutiny to Rizzo.

  • at work, must have hit Dieterich in the one place he doesn't have armor on. That's a shame.

  • baseball karma dietrich, hit you where there werent any pads.

  • I think the next few games will be important for Yu Darvish going forward. While his performance has been trending up (with some lapses), and his last outing was good (despite no W), if he can string together some good starts, and assuming he stays healthy, we might see the pitcher we signed.

    Pitchers that miss extended periods of time for injury -- Tommy John surgery for instance -- take time to return to form. The first season they are back is generally not great as they regain strength and command. It the the later part of the return season or the following year. that there is a return to form. Darvish essentially missed last year. To regain strength and touch on his 6 pitches takes time during the season (off season and spring aren't real games). He is pitching well so far, he may be finally turning the corner to become what we had hoped for when he signed.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    I agree and certainly hope you're right. If Darvish pitches more like a 1 or 2 like we should expect from his contract, then this team might have a shot in the playoffs. Meanwhile, has anyone noticed how poorly Arrieta has pitched lately?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Huge escaping that inning unscathed without our main relievers. We still need a shutout outing from yu with a short handed pen, but that’s huge to get out of that with no runs. Hopefully this offense takes the game into their own hands and gets him a W

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    He is trending way down now but supposedly has bone chips loose in the elbow.....it’s all if, dog, rabbit now but if he was a Cub last year they win the division going away with his production compared to what Darvish gave.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Arietta pitching with bone chips in the elbow, I believe.

  • In reply to stix:

    Thanks for the info stix and Wick! I cancelled my cable so am not quite as in touch with the rest of the news around the league lately.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Good points Darvish actually said that he changed his fastball arm slot last year because he couldn't throw his fastball without pain in his elbow. After missing just about all of last year he said that it took him almost 8 weeks into the season to correct his arm slot in order to find more consistent fastball command. That also helps explain why he had the highest walk rate in baseball through the 1st month and a half of the season.

    I know Darvish hasn't exactly endeared himself to cub fans and I know fans hate hearing these types of excuses. But sometimes that's baseball and little problems like a pitcher not being able to find their fastball arm slot can lead to major command issues. TC and I have been saying that Darvish's form has clearly been improving over the past 11 starts or so with a drastic improvement in his walk rate recently. The results were at times frustrating with Darvish pitching well but unable to hold leads at times. But hopefully he's found his form and is ready to become an asset to this baseball team. He's clearly in midseason form.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    He has done well......much better now for the first extended period of time since we signed him. So much so that I would even give him the veteran pass on his next clunker.
    His interviews are becoming good tv....you can see the frustration leaving as if the weight of the expectations is lessening. He doesn’t need a 12 whiff shutout everytime he goes out (I think HE thought that).....if we get good consistent QS out of him more often than not then it places him in upper tier ranking.
    2 things I noticed around the league......the Reds pitching has improved greatly under Johnson......and somebody in LA is really teaching them how to cut down on their strikeouts...

  • Cubs need to score some runs against this Reds team. Two doesn't give them much chance of winning.

  • That was good quick thinking and nice throw by Bote, and good on Caratini to make sure that balls in his glove before tagging the running. We need more confident defensive baseball like that.

  • I can't believe Joe took Darvish out.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    There goes darvishs win lol I’m kidding but I may not be frankly

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I wish somebody would take Maddon out. He is one of the worst managers in the MLB. Maybe even the worst. Always has been. The Cubs are at a major disadvantage with him as their manager. 83 pitches 6th inning 2 hits no walks.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Right. That's why he will be in the Hall of Fame one day.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    The Hall of Fame LOL. No way. Maybe the basketball Hall of Fame everybody gets in that one.But not the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Just a question, have you ever managed ANYTHING? Just wondering. Thanks.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    What does that have to do with anything. Go bother some one else.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    You're the one bothering people because you have no clue? Saying Joe won't be in the hall of fame? Wrong. Saying nobody takes out their pitcher after 6 inniings giving up only two hits. Wrong again. Just crazy hot takes? Yeah.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Just stating my opinions. You don't like them don't read them. Just because I don't agree with you does not make me wrong.

  • I don’t agree with removing darvish from this game at all. This is exactly what I’ve talked about with maddon giving his starters quick hooks when they’re dealing. This pen is very short handed and joe is taking a huge risk putting this game in the pens hands

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    Any reason given for Darvish being taken out? He only had thrown 83 pitches. I know Joe probably wants him to feel good about his outing, but with our bullpen, and Kimbrel a maybe, I wish he had gone at least 1 more inning.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    The radio guys said it is hot and humid and they thought 85 or so pitches would be max for any starter, not just Darvish.

  • yes, has to do with the heat

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    And you know this how?

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Because I have pitched, played and coached in this type of weather.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    "But first, are you experienced?
    Have you ever been experienced?
    Well, I have."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    "If you got the notion, I second that emotion"

    Hilarious. Tip of the suds.

  • Unbelievable, Joe took Darvish out as good as he was pitching to put Ryan in?

  • Darvish must be injured. there would be no reason otherwise to take Darvish out.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    As the radio & TV guys said, the heat is the reason. Plus, leading off an inning and only up 2 runs, you want to try to get some more runs. Schwarber gives you a much better chance hitting than Darvish

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    After taking Darvish out, They are probably right that it will take more than 2 runs. Darvish only gave up 2 hits, no walks and just struck out the last hitter he faced. He didn't look like he was having a problem with the heat.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Yep. And I t was reported that he dialed it up to 97/98 vs. Puig. Probably knew it was his last inning so was able to let loose. That was a key out.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    He did. And did you see Darvish reaction after he struck Puig out? It was obvious he knew that was his last batter. I’m sure he was told before the inning started that would be it

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    They had a saebetmetrics guy on the radio break down Darvish. Said when his velocity dips, even down to 94 MPH, he is not nearly as effective because his location is not great.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I wonder if he would have been removed if he wasn’t the next hitter up and /or if it was more than a 2 run lead. Also if Yu had shown that he’s reliable past 6 innings, no matter how well he’s pitched before then

  • Only 83 pitches too all I have to say is wow I hope this doesn’t bite us but Kyle Ryan vs Ervin is already an unfavorable matchup

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    They pulled Gray after 85 pitches and 8 K’s too. Schwarber has been hot so why not use him there. It wasn’t a bad move.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    With Gray they had no choice though with 2 runners on and that being their best rally of the game down 0-2. For me I would've pulled Yu if they had RISP but not leading off. For me I'm also factoring in that Strop, Cishek and Kimbrel maybe unavailable today (Kimbrel maybe able to pitch but 25 pitches last night). I just didn't trust this pen to hold a 2-0 lead and frankly Kyle Ryan is extremely fortunate he didn't blow this game. They had him on the ropes and Kintzler even let in 2 runs. No harm though Caratini bailed them out and they're in a good position to win this game.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Taking Darvish out didn't make sense but three starts ago most were complaining he couldn’t hold a lead. Why would today be different given the heat and prior performances?

  • In reply to stix:

    Already had his shutdown innings after the cubs scored so I figured that barrier was cleared lol but I understand what you're saying about how a Jon Lester has earned more leeway vs. Darvish

  • Almora leading off is an interesting call. What about trying Heyward?

  • Whew! Thank goodness for that pickoff because that inning didn't seem to be going in a good direction. I figure Darvish only was gonna go 7 innings anyways so glad to get through that inning unscathed.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    83 pitches, bottom of the line-up, not seeing why to take Yu out there? Its not that hot. They survived, no harm, no foul.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Yeah I was just outside my office for lunch and it's humid but not some crazy hot day. I think Maddon just doesn't give Darvish as much leeway as Lester, but as long as they keep putting up zeroes it's alright. The way I see it Darvish had 1 more inning max anyways so no harm done. I didn't agree with the decision and practice of pulling dealing starters in general, but at least they save some bullets for Yu with Darvish's form improving in a hurry. Hopefully this pen holds and gives him a well deserved W

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Yu was scheduled to be the next hitter and only had a 2 run lead.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Heyward has gone on record that he’s uncomfortable in the top of the order but he couldn’t be worse than Almora.

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    I believe he could be affected by the heat. We’re not in the clubhouse so we have no idea how he’s feeling and with only a 2 run lead I’d rather he come out an inning to soon than too late. Think if he pitched one more and let up 2 or 3 runs. We’re not exactly tearing the cover off the ball yet.
    I love those back throws—they are more exciting than a throw to 2nd to nail a runner.
    Not a good AB by Caratini—his job there is to move up the runners.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Here's the thing. This coaching staff has babied Yu since coming back from that horrible year last year. They have now got him to a point (Heyward just continues to come up big). where he is throwing good. At this point, you really don't want to overuse him. Keep him fresh and throwing the way he is. Days like today with the heat and for the next month and a half you have to rely on your entire team to do their jobs. Yu did his. Ryan did his last inning. Just need two more innings of pitchers doing their jobs and we will have another winner. 24 men are on the roster. Managers and coaching staffs have to use all 24.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    I believe there are 25 men on the roster.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Yes. If you would have read his post it says there are 24 other men on the roster besides Yu.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Maybe you should reread the post. I do not see the word other in his last post.

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    The Cubs need to extend the screens. Heyward has now hit 2 screamers into the stands and someone will get hurt.

  • Hot, Hot, Hot, Heyward!

  • In reply to All W Days:

    J-Hey, holy mackerel!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    It is really gratifying to see him excel. He's one of those guys you cannot help but root for.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I agree, but just think if it wasn't for the FO giving JHey the huge contract we could have signed Harper or Machado. Their teams, after signing them to $300M+ contracts are right around .500. Thank God for Theo and the FO.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Hindsight is 20/20. Heyward was the number one FA that year someone was going to sign him for that kind of money. St. Louis actually offered him more. He was coming off a four year stretch where he averaged 4.6 WAR per year. Nobody could have predicted he would fall off like that. Nobody. Just like nobody could predict that he'd suddenly return to that form after three subpar seasons. Baseball is weird.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I am saying signing JHey was a great move. With me it is not hindsight. I liked the signing at the time and still do.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Same here, although I was surprised that he could command that large of a contract. He never had the offensive numbers you’d usually see from a top right fielder, ie 35+ hrs, 100+ rbis, 300 avg, etc. But of course he is perhaps one of the best ever defensive RFs, not to mention speechmakers

  • In reply to Lildude:

    In all honesty, I was elated that we got him instead of the Cards. I was as surprised as anyone that he fell into such a slump hitting but I always felt his timing was off because of his hitches in his swing. I am curious why it took him so long to correct that though.

  • Heyward-Last 30 Games .327/.368/.555 (MLB.COM)

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Oh, it's better than that. Heyward the last 8 weeks going back to 5/21:

    .304/.371/.532 .903 OPS .375 wOBA 131 wRC+

    SSS does not apply.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I’ll never understand baseball. How can someone be so good and then so bad and then so good again?

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    He is the most unusual case I've ever seen. His fall was crazy and now this bounce-back is just as crazy.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Agreed. Twenty-five year olds rarely just get bad. Keeping with my Tatis obsession, since he’s only 20 and the Padres started him on Opening Day (such a cool move) he should we in line to get a massive contract when he hits FA. Baez with plate discipline, aka the unicorn has arrived.

  • Nice DP to get out of that one. Another run or two wouldn't hurt.

  • In reply to TC154:

    It's over? Phew! I had to close my eyes until Puig's at bat was over.

  • fb_avatar

    Heyward has gone from somone I never wanted to see up to now in a crucial situation I do want to see him.
    He’s moving way up my list of who I want to bat then

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Leadership, character, defense and if his offense stays strong, I see similarities to another favorite right fielder, Andre Dawson. I would like to see J Hey continue succeed, more than just as a Cub fan, also because he is a good guy.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    That's the thing, as bad as he was I have never not rooted for him. He works hard, always hustles and is clearly a good teammate. His defense has been anywhere from good to great and his only sin was being overpaid which wasn't really on him at all. Now he looks like a different guy at the plate.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Ahead of Fernando Kelli? :-)

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    lol

  • fb_avatar

    Kimbrel looks like an Apache Helicopter when he’s leaning over.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I was thinking the Karate Kid, the Crane Technique.

  • Bingo!

    Imagine that, two much maligned players, Darvish and Heyward become the cornerstones of a monster Cub second half. Here's to it!

  • fb_avatar

    Thank you Theo, thank you Craig and thank you Yu.

  • Great team win today! Good pitching, solid defense, a couple home runs and a timely hit right behind a couple walks.

  • Sing the song!

  • 5 outta 6 plus an off day......couldn’t get much better.....
    W!

  • Fun game huge series win against a red team that's competing with confidence against the cubs. Once again a nice start by Darvish with Jhey providing him some run support for the 2nd straight start. Nice games by those 2 plus Kimbrel and great to see the cubs highly paid players doing what they're paid to do.

  • Caught what I could on the radio in my Gulliver's travels. If we keep seeing this Darvish.......They could be 10 to 15% better. If he wasn't on the DL his starts were just draining the pen.

    7 K's and NO BB's. Long way to go. But if Yu continues on this path with JHey doing the same that's two big signings we're finally seeing do what they were signed to do. It's huge.

    You'd have to nuts to count on it. But if Morrow makes it back and the rotation stays healthy the rest of the way the Cubs pitching is going to be real tough. Even more so if they can acquire a big LHRP to complement Ryan.

    Tip of the cap to Russell. Big early dinger.

  • I was on the road, so I'm a little late, but...

    We got Kimbrel and you don't!
    Nana Nana boo boo!

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