Icky Thump--Cubs 11 Pirates 3

It was getting ugly. The climate of Cubdom was getting as ugly as the play on the field and another clunker would have provided an interminable 48 period ahead of the faux rivalry. Instead the Cubs won emphatically. The offense broke out in a big way and buried the Pirates instead of allowing for any late inning dramatics this evening. Jose Quintana had a very solid start the day after Cease wins his debut. Q on the other hand has both wins on this road trip. Still this has the feeling of a narrative defining win. The manager was tossed in the middle innings ahead of the offense finally posting a crooked number. Robel Garcia had three base hits in his first start including his first big fly. This could be that season defining moment.

But it is important to remember Jack White and not get to high after this game. The exclamation point ending a losing streak feels good, and the first blocks are certainly be laid in the Robel Garcia wing at Cooperstown. Enjoy the next 48 hours basking in a Cubs blowout victory.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

The Cubs did it the Chicago way by scoring early and often in this one. Kyle Schwarber and Javier Báez each struck out on high fastballs. But Kris Bryant reminded us of why this used to be said so often.


The Cubs held onto their 1-0 lead after the first inning. Q had trouble early with Kevin Newman single and Bryan Reynolds reached on Robel Garcia's error. But Josh Bell made two outs to make up for refusing to be retired earlier in the series.

Albert Almora Jr. hit an even longer home run than Bryant in the second inning. Jose Osuna reached with one out in the bottom half. Jung Ho Kang doubled drive in Osuna, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Elias Dias hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Lyles took strike three looking to help his counterpart end the second.

Kris Bryant hit a ground rule double with one out in the third inning and he was able to trot home on Willson Contreras's two out blast. Robel Garcia split the gap in right center to triple for his first big league hit, but he would remain stranded there as Bote struck out swinging. Newman! started the bottom half of the Pirates third with a single. He reached third on Starling Marte's one out single. Q got what felt like a moral victory when Josh Bell hit a deep fly that stayed in the ballpark. The sacrifice fly caught the Cubs lead to one, but the score would remain 4-3 after Jose Osuna bounced into an inning ending fielder's choice.

Jordan Lyles yielded a two out double to Kyle Schwarber, but put his only zero on the board in the fourth inning. There were some fireworks though as Joe Maddon took exception to another up and in pitch to Javier Báez. Maddon would get ejected for arguing across the field at Hurdle. Quintana settled in to retire 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. Q would put four zeroes on the board. The Cubs spotted him a big lead by blowing the game wide open in the fifth inning.

Bryzzo struck to start the fifth with Bryant doubling into left field again. KB scored on Rizzo's single. Willson Contreras singled to end Lyles afternoon. Clay Holems was greeted by a single up the middle from the still hot hitting Robel Garcia to load the bases. As if to make Joe Maddon's point, Holmes drilled David Bote in the helmet. Bote drove in a run the hard way and stayed in the game. Almora and Q each hit into fielder's choice outs at the plate, but Kyle Schwarber drew a walk to drive in another run. Javy broke it open with a two run scoring single.

The 9-3 lead would be more than enough for Q and the bullpen, but they added two more in the sixth for good measure. Rizzo tripled to start the sixth against Holmes. Contreras grounded out to drive in Rizzo. Garcia then launched his first career big league home run to dead center. The 11 run explosion was certainly a sight for sore eyes.

Tyler Chatwood took over in the eighth and kept the streak going with a clean inning. The only drama in the ninth inning was Robel Garcia's bid for a cycle in his first start. He was rung up on a check swing on a high fastball by Joe West to rob the moment. Steve Cishek pitched a clean ninth inning as the Pirates went in order for the final 17 batters of the game.

Random Reference
I had this whole thing about John Lackey and the type of start Jose Quintana had this afternoon in Pittsburgh. Q played stopper in a typical Lack style. Q failed to provide a shutdown inning in the second and third inning. The Pirates tied and came within a run in the third. You looked down and back up three innings later the Pirates are still at three runs. And since we are thinking about John Lackey it is time once again to think about his insatiable lust for human flesh.

Comments

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  • Q has allowed 3 runs or fewer in 14 of his 17 starts. Not bad for a piñata on this beard.

  • In reply to stix:

    Worst trade of all time lol jk

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    1918 with cubs obviously not worth what we gave but we knew that or should have known that. Do your homework

  • Have no idea what you are trying to say?

  • Cubs were a WS favorite in 2017 and had no reason to fear the dodgers as they just beat them in 2016. The trades a loss but your comments are outcome biased. Very easy to say they should’ve drafted this guy or acquired this guy or kept this guy after the facts. I think theo needs to be more cautious with making win now moves, but some of you just fail to comprehend that the team has been in the middle of a championship window. We’d all love to see Eloy and gleyber on this team, but if they don’t trade gleyber they blow their one and best opportunity to win a ring. Right now Q has more value then Eloy and cease I don’t think he will fairly soon, but there’s an opportunity cost in just holding onto all your prospects

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    There are valid reasons why you can criticize and even dislike the Quintana trade. I get it. The thing that doesn't get talked about is that even if he doesn't add another win to his WAR this year (he will of course) he's given you 5.4 WAR for $26 mil. Is that particularly sexy? No, and I understand that but someone has to pitch and while you were looking for a #2 and got #3/#4 he's still paid under market value. He's about a $16-$18 mil pitcher playing this year for $10.5 mil, less for the previous 2. No one ever talks about that value for two guys who have given you a grand total of .4 WAR over that time period. Unfortunately the Darvish deal and subsequent injury in 2018 necessitated acquiring Hamels otherwise the savings on a pitcher who eats innings might have allowed them to get an offensive player this winter to add to this bunch (no not that offensive player, but A offensive player). Economics matter. To these eyes Jimenez is going to be a good but not great player and Cease is going to be a late inning reliever. If I'm right this trade will be considered at least a wash, realizing those two prospects didn't even play for two years while you filled a major rotation hole. Also, again, Quintana continues to play on a well below market contract. There is a valid argument to not like the trade much and another equally valid argument to say it was a good deal for both sides. Those that believe the former never acknowledge the latter.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TC154:

    Thanks TC. Saving money on Quintana's contract was a major factor.

    In general trades are a difficult lot to predict. The FO made great moves to get Hendricks and Arrieta for peanuts. They didn't do so well trading LeMahieu. Every FO has hits and misses when trading.

    As you point out there were those who didn't like this trade from the start. There were reasons to not like it. But it isn't fair to dismiss the entire thing.

    To me the Cubs probably traded more WAR than they got. But they wanted to win now. In 2017 this team needed a shot in the arm. Quintana provided that.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Unfortunately, objectivity loses out when people try to make head-to-head comparisons of players involved in trades. Team needs, budget, lineup fit and other considerations are generally ignored and performances, both good and bad, are exaggerated in an attempt to support the poster's agenda - and the discussion suffers for it.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Great points TC, Joel, and Cliff and you guys pretty much cover a lot of what I'm trying to say. I think most sensible fans and I'd even say Theo would admit they'd take a trade back at this point in time. But this is the nature of win now trades you're trading for short term help, but unfortunately that costs the team the careers of players that very possibly have more long term value. To me if they win the 2017 or 18 WS nobody's questioning the Q trade, but because LA beat them in the NLCS now the 2017 season was completely irrelevant. I even hear people freaking out about Jorge Soler these days, as if Wade Davis (best closer in 2017 results wise not peripheral wise IMO) was a value-less rental. And that's not to mention that the injury prone Soler was disgruntled and asked to be traded. I have it on reliable authority also that he wasn't the hardest worker.

    I think even the front office would admit that they hoped for more consistency out of Q playing for a contender now. But even in a season where he's gotten the least run support of the starting pitchers, he's still already accumulated 1.8 WAR thus far with a 3.98 FIP. I'd like to see those numbers improve a bit but the point is there's a huge portion of cub fans that are calling this the worst trade in cubs history. I see it as a loss but I don't think they had some ridiculously bad thought process in place when they made the deal, given the shortening competitive window that they were dealing with. Like TC said also Eloy will be good but he isn't that great yet. He's only accumulated 0.4 WAR and he's currently one of the worst defensive players in baseball. In other words they'd still be waiting for him to breakout into an impact player.

  • Gotta analyze based on the information and situation they were in at that point in time. Houstin fans complain they trades Josh Hader for Carlos Gomez, but these things happen when teams need to add to their roster to chase titles

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I follow the Astros closely. Their is no angst over trading Hader. There are not enough fanatical fans to care.

  • In reply to stix:

    Board not beard

  • In reply to stix:

    I would of never guessed that. That is pretty good. I had to look it up. I think maybe because he doesn't get the run support is why I would not have believed that.

  • Off topic but Nico hoerner is back at AA and laces an opposite field single on a 2 strike count. Great to see that kid back I really want that kid to get his minor league reps bc he maybe on the fast track, although too early to say would call him a good not elite prospect as of now

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Just checked Iowa line up tonight. Happ has the lowest average of all nine starters including the pitcher.

    What’s going on with him? Is he moping or just a lost cause? His k rate still over 30%. Guess he’s not getting his swing straightened out.

  • In reply to stix:

    I think he’s resentful and not buying into changes that they want from him. He’s hitting more ground balls then ever, and hasn’t taken well to changes that they’ve asked from him. He’s capable of hitting in AAA bc he’s done it before. But right now I think his swing issues are mechanical, as he’s trying to adapt to a flatter swing. Honestly if this continues I’d just have him going back to what he did in college. He’ll akways swing and miss but was he so bad in 2017?

  • Dabs, does that girl giving the stink eye know how famous she is here?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:
  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    Bahahahhaa.......I wasn’t even close :)

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Dang it. You've got me upset. I pride myself on knowing what's happening. I know Jack White and the White Stripes very well. I haven't clicked on every one of dabs' links. What am I missing? Someone please enlighten this idiot. It went over my head, which apparently isn't hard to do.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I’ve always liked that pic he uses and never knew it was White (not that I’m all up on him either)....just always thought it was some pissed off chick at a Cub game :)

  • Robel Garcia is a baseball player. He'll K his fair amount and probably a dash more, But......When he doesn't. K's or not one half of the daily double. Watch him go home to 3rd. Who gets there faster? That wasn't even close on a gapper.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    one game says absolutely nothing. Wait for the league to adapt to him and see if he can adapt back. it will take awhile to know how good or bad he will be.

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    But in the meantime, I'll take him over Daniel Descalso every time.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I'd take you over Delasco, Cliff...........

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Send me the contract. I'll take half of what Descalso is being paid. I'm sure I'll make up the difference in endorsements.

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I'd take the all star back named Tommy La Stella.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    If you want Tommy he’s out 8-10 weeks with a broken fibula.

  • In reply to stix:

    Oops think it’s the tibia but the time away is accurate.:)

  • In reply to stix:

    I know, tough break. He's having an all star season, 16 homers, 44 rbi, hitting .300. What did we get for him?

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    PTBNL or cash. Sounds like LA fixed his swing. Doubt the cubs would have done that. Would still be 3AM Tommy but not much power and a PH. Not a regular.

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    You are correct but one game can be the spark the Cubs need.

  • Guessing Joe got booted to also impress Theo, who should pay any fine levied on him

  • In reply to SFToby:

    That was a "statement" ejection. Lou Pinella was a master at using it to fire up his team. Joe isn't, but he is trying, which is telling to me.

  • The Robel Garcia GAME. Mark it on your calendar.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Have it listed underneath my Tuffy Rhodes game.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    But above the Kosuke Fukudome Game (Opening Day 2008).

  • Robel and Javy need their side work in.

  • I just want to say again Happy Independence Day!

    I didn't have anything scheduled but had a friend ask me at the last minute to help do a show in Hobart, IN. I can't refuse, I'm a pyro. I just hope the Cubs can continue the fireworks.

    Here we go. The Grand finale, with my custom firebomb. Hope to see ya'll tomorrow.

    Go Cubs!

  • fb_avatar

    Better late than never—Robel Garcia, your table is ready.

  • I’ve advocated for Robel Garcia and got booed just because people were afraid of a Roy Hobbs story. I got chastised for advocating for signing Kimbrel since December. Now people are on me for pushing for a burner. I saw Terence Gore is batting .270 for Kansas City. Russell is a .220 hitter with no pop who misses tags and throws to the wrong base. Descalso has a good attitude but seems to to have Gonzo disease. Bote may have to go back to Iowa to cure the high hummer malady.

    Viable trade candidates are Caratini, Almora, Schwarber and Maples. You can trade Bote if Zobrist is returning. His cheap long term contract is a plus. The Cubs should have signed LeMahieu that I lobbied for often, but Garcia may make up for it. Nico may replace Zobrist and Bote for 2021.

    The Pirates have shown the value of gap contact hitters who can thump with the lively ball. The uppercut swing may be out of vogue by 2020. The lively ball makes Tommy LaStella way more valuable than he was with the Cubs. There are other potential LaStellas out there who have bat skills.

    And DFA Mike Montgomery. There must be better Lefties available. And lefty righty stuff is overvalued anyway.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    I don’t recall one negative about Garcia. I think everyone was for Garcia. I think anything remotely negative was to temper expectations that he K’s a lot and is a marginal defensive player. Those are fair criticisms on his game. But I don’t believe anyone was dismissive over Garcia given our horrid production from 2nd base.

    I am one who disagrees with the “add speed” argument. Speed for the sake of speed means nothing. Bad baseball players because they are fast is meaningless. Terrance Gore is a terrible baseball player. He should not be a player being clamored over, IMO. If you wanted Rickey Henderson in the early 80’s I would support you. If you were arguing for Vince Coleman, I would push back because we need a better than .324 OBP. He was not very good because he makes lots of outs. I would also offer that Bryant and Báez have some really good speed. We just don’t steal bases. Watching those two on the bases yesterday was a joy.

    Nice call on the Pirates. They are moving in the right direction. They do have a nice approach hitting the ball gap to gap. However, it has nothing to do with an uppercut swing. Babe Ruth and Ted Williams had and grooved slight uppercut swings. It is not something new. And great hitters will always have an uppercut swing as that swing plane matches the trajectory of the pitch from release towards the strike zone. LaStella adopted an uppercut swing this spring with advice from the Angels coaches. LaStella said he gave up power for a more contact driven swing. They said forget that and drive the ball—here’s the adjustment you should make. They worked on adding loft to his swing and voila he tapped into some good power. Good for Tommy. I think Almora could learn from LaStella. I have had enough of the little flick or throw the bat at the ball with weak contact on the IF.

    I agree with you on Monty. He is no longer a useful RP. I would not DFA though. I think he could be dealt to a team in need of a starter. He has had some decent success in that role.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I got grief, mostly from one poster, for simply suggesting the Cubs would give Garcia a shot before the trade deadline. I'm glad to see him get a shot, but I think his current 50% MLB strikeout rate is closer to sustainable reality than his .500/.500/1.333 slash line. Still, it was dang fun to watch!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Cliff quit being a clown. Please stop. You know darn well that Garcia’s 1.333 OPS is sustainable. Shame on you for being so negative and argumentative. LOL.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I'll gladly take HALF of his 1.833 OPS!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    That's a 1.333 SLG

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Got me. Typo. I meant SLG. LOL. Nothing like 1 game samples to prove points. Haha.

    If he could hit .245/.310/,450 I would take that!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Agreed. I hope he doesn't cost the Cubs anything on defense. I don't know if anything will happen with that strikeout rate, though.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    There's no reason Garcia can't maintain this level of offense. Even with a 50%K rate. If he can continue to hit HR and have a 1.000 BABIP his numbers will stay high. It's just common sense. #whatcouldpossiblygowrong

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I was the 1 poster. I am glad he had a great first start. Hopefully he can stay hot to give cubs a spark. If I am wrong I will gladly admit that. I just hope one poster can do the same too. Besides you were more then just lobbing for him to get a shot before the deadline.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Does Montgomery have any options left?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I do not know the answer. I looked up his deal on Cots and it is not listed.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Fangraphs shows 0 MiLB options for Monty...

  • I wonder if Robel will be in the lineup this weekend?

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    No. Gotta give Descalso a turn.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    He's sill a career .237 hitter.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Yes, but Garcia is a career .500 hitter...with a 1.833 OPS.

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    Shouldn't even be a question. But let's hope so.

  • It's always good when a minor leaguer comes up and hits the ground running , because they might not get another chance. Contreras, Bote, and Schwarber became big contributors immediately. Schwarber was a force in 2015, and his performace in the series in 2016 just doesn't happen at that level after being out all year. It's why we still love them. So make a statement Robel.

  • Read a very cool article on Danny Hultzen. Could be a lefty option for us out of the pen. And more importantly what a great story about a guy who has overcome some injuries.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    That's great to hear you enjoyed the article. I know I feel better knowing you enjoyed it.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Glad I could help you.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Here it is, if this is the one being talked about:

    https://amp-desmoinesregister-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.desmoinesregister.com/amp/1655557001?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQA#aoh=15623639402500&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.desmoinesregister.com%2Fstory%2Fsports%2Fbaseball%2Fiowa-cubs%2F2019%2F07%2F05%2Fdanny-hultzen-chicago-cubs-chasing-big-league-dream-iowa-cubs-seattle-mariners%2F1655557001%2F

    I always find it more rewarding to be helpful and pleasant than hurtful and degrading. The world would be a much better place if everyone thought so.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    “Whatever happens, Danny will know that he did everything he can possibly do to fulfill his dream,” said his father, Chris Hultzen. “And if it works out, what an amazing story that’ll be. And if it doesn’t work out, then he’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that he didn’t give up.”

    Cool story, bro.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Hultzen could end up as a comeback story movie subject, IF he can stay healthy. Totally out of baseball after two shoulder surgeries, a volunteer college coach, refused to give it up and now hitting 97 mph. I'd really like to see him get a call up at some point, whenever there's room on the roster for a LHRP.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    The guys pitch just over 20 innings in the last 6 years. I'd like to see a couple more innings before a call up.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Agreed. Still, I'm pulling for the guy.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Same here.

  • It was great to see Robel Garcia come up and have a great game, but being real he's not the answer to any question that should be asked. Could he give this team a spark to get them headed in the right direction again with a few good games? Absolutely and that would be enough, anything else is bonus. The team still needs to make a move for an offensive player and maybe if they can win the two games this weekend against the White Sox it will give the FO enough incentive to make that move. I think it will. IMO I don't think they were looking for an excuse toi make wholesale changes but rather for an excuse not to. Now we see. On paper this is still the most talented team in the division. Cincinnati is second on paper and shouldn't be overlooked. Both of those teams are underperforming their Pythagorean expectation by 4 and 6 gasmes respectively while the other three teams are either right with theirs (St. Louis) or 3 games ahead of it (Pittsburgh and Milwaukee). If I'm the Reds I'm a buyer and if I'm the Cubs I'm a buyer unless they poop themselves this weekend and then I stay in a holding pattern until after the ASB. The other teams should be sellers. Things rarely work out like the "should" though so we'll all see.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Another possibility is that Garcia is included in a trade for a longer-term solution at 2B. He certainly didn't hurt his trade value any in yesterday's game.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Possible. I wouldn’t think so though. The K rate in AAA would likely be alarming to any acquiring team making his value basically that of a throw in. Also this is probably his one and only shot at MLB, at his age he’s not a prospect.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Sort of scary that Happs k rate is higher than Garcia and people see Happ as a trade chip.

  • In reply to stix:

    I don't think that's scary at all, it makes sense. Garcia washed out of affiliated ball and ended up in Italy. He's back and doing well but he's neither a prospect or a known commodity. Ian Happ has a lifetime 109 wRC+ and .801 OPS in MLB. He'd be starting for 15 clubs in the league right this minute if he was released. Teams want him at a bargain right now and the Cubs would like to see his value increase. It's a classic standoff. I think he needs a change of scenery but again those MLB stats immediately propel him over a guy like Garcia.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Interesting post TC, and I have lots to say/discuss. I agree on the Garcia call up. He may be a good spark, but he's not the answer. I see him as too much of the same, with poor defense and high strikeout probability in our lineup that desperately needs more contact, or at least more productive outs instead of less productive outs.

    As far as should we be buyers or sellers. I need to see alot more than good play for 3 games (last nights, and if we actually can actually win both against the White Sox) to believe we are contenders of any sort. After we lost game 1 to the Reds, I said I need to see this team win at least 12 or 13 of our next 20 games against poor competition (Reds, Pirates, ChiSox, Pirates, Reds, Padres, Giants) to prove they are worthy of being referred to as a good to great team, and that 15 or 16 wins of the 20 would prove to me they're exceptional and worth the upgrades to be a championship contender. I guess at this point, they'd need to win 13 of their next 14 to show me they mean business, or at least 10 or 11 of the next 14 to show me that maybe they are worth the upgrades. I'd rather see this team make a serious run at a championship this season as opposed to a sell off, but I'm just being realistic that I don't think they have it in them. I hope I'm wrong! It bums me out to accept failure with the kind of players we have. I wouldn't be surprised though if we close out the first half on a 3 game win streak to see the front office make some small upgrade moves/trades over the break and ride out the next couple weeks to then decide if they should pull the trigger on a big deal to either help us contend, or actually be sellers, maybe even trading whatever piece(s) I hypothetically say they will trade for over the all-star break.

    Now as far as expected won/loss. I don't put lots of stock in that, because I don't see that like individual player statistics where there is regression to the mean. All the teams are built with various factors and have different strengths and weaknesses, so it's hard for me to identify why some teams seem to operate above or below their expected won/loss, like the Brewers have managed to play above their expected W/L for a couple years now. While the Cubs last year were 1 game better than their own, but even in 2016 have operated below their expected W/L, just like 2017 and now 2019. Go figure that in 2015 we operated way above our expected W/L. Maybe it has to do with clutch, or just the randomness of sequencing, or that when you're good enough to take a big lead in your division you get to coast that last month and it may bring your expected W/L down overall, even though it has no effect on the team's standing or postseason success. It's likely a combination of the 3 I just mentioned and a gazillion other factors.

    Something crazy to think about from 2018. The Dodgers had a run differential of +194 resulting in an expected 102-61 record against their actual 92-61 record, while the Rockies had a run diff of +35 leading to an expected 85-78 record against their actual 91-72 record. So those two teams actually had to play their tie breaker game to win the division. I think we know how the Cubs fared against the Brewers and who further exceeded their expected won/loss and went further in the playoffs.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    One thing that I’ll say is I know everyone absolutely hates this excuse but the cubs just played 34 games in 35 games and 50 games in 52 days. Old school fans will say cry me a river these are supposed to be tough professionals. But these guys are human and this teams track record says they absolutely suck when they’re stuck playing in these types of stretches, and not just last year I can say the same in 2016-17. Unlike last season they don’t have another similar stretch later, bc this year they have no rain makeup games. That’s why I want to see how they do the rest of this month before I say that these last 34 games are close to what we should expect from this team. They’re historically a much stronger 2nd half team and with win now trades and certain players returning I don’t see why they should give up on this season given they’re the favorites to win the central. I do admit though as theo said this teams bench depth just isn’t what it’s been in past years, as this has been the teams worst bench since 2015. But I just don’t see why it’s so impossible to fill this teams gaps at the deadline. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think this team is as lost of a cause as some fans seem to think given their recent struggles. Dodgers will be favorites regardless but if the cubs aren’t good enough to win this division with all their talent, then major changes need to occur obviously. I’m personally not panicking though unless they see further significant injuries, as this rotation has suddenly thinned out a bit with no hamels

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You are correct sir, which is why even a week ago I said I want to see this team win 12 to 13 of the next 20, or 15 to 16 of 20 against the weak competition to show us how good they are. In that stretch of 20 games they have 6 off days and get to spend 18 nights in a row in their own beds (with exception to all-stars). They will be supremely rested and playing weak teams, hence why I expect at least 12 wins out of 20, but then that doesn't seem that impressive, and wanted at least 15 wins out of 20. Problem is they've started by winning only 2 of 6, so in order to really prove they are worthy of postseason success in my eyes, they have an uphill climb over the next 3 weeks, but they're all sleeping in their own beds until July 21st, so they better go on a serious run, because they'll never be more rested than they are over these next 3 weeks....

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    My deadline of evaluating their next 3 weeks of play brings them to July 25, right before they face the Brewers and Cardinals, also giving the front office 1 full week to appropriately respond depending on how the team plays. If they only play just at .500 ball while sleeping in their own beds and playing weak competition over the next 14 games, does that tell you they are worthy of making trades to upgrade?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Yup I’d agree in general no excuses anymore if they don’t have more significant injuries. Theos basically threatened the team now they better respond. If they keep sucking this July then I think we may need to re-evaluate the direction of this franchise

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Actually, I'm afraid that they might enter a hot stretch, prompting Theo to stand pat, and I think that would be disastrous. This team needs an OF bat and still needs a solid 2B bat as well. I expect them to play better - heck, they can't play much worse - but if last year taught us anything it's that waiting for them to turn it around isn't a good bet for the playoffs.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Cliff, I don't think Theo will just stand pat. I think we will see him make moves to either help us win a pennant and get into the postseason, or he will make moves to better set us up for next season. As for the "hot stretch" you fear, that's why I really need to see the team play through 20 games of weak competition at a .750 or above rate (hence my saying we should be winning 15 or 16 of the next 20 games). I said I'd accept us winning 12 or 13 of those 20, but that's just to me a sign of more of the same out off this team, but at least not totally losing; but that would still just speak of a middle of the road team, and where Theo has previously said that's where you don't want to be. The truth is this team has to play lights out in the remaining 14 games of the easy stretch I speak of in order to turn me into a believer. I just hope Theo has his standards set somewhere around my own.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Overall point being this next month should be big in evaluating where the team truly stands

  • Counterintuitive move for Cubs. Kansas City must be really sour on Billy Hamilton, signed for $5,000,000 this year and batting .215 and sliding head first downhill. Cubs could trade Addison Russell for him and get a valuable speed piece and defender, especially if Almora goes in a deal for a potentially strong hitter. KC is now playing Terence Gore an even less talented all around player so they would be ecstatic about dumping Hamilton. But Hamilton gives the Cubs the difference in 3-5 games this season.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    With a .284 OBP, Hamilton loses a game at the plate for every one he wins on the basepaths. No thanks.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Swarf:

    I laugh at all this talk of KC. I just visited a good friend of mine and avid baseball fan in KC ( he is a Cub fan). His assessment of KC is that they are an aesthetic experience to watch. REALLY a fun team. An enjoyable team. It's just that they are really bad at playing baseball. But they're fun to watch.

  • I was supposed to have an article ready today. I didn't. My apologies to Michael, dabs, and all you Denizens.

    I blame the founding fathers.

    I love you, Dad.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    As long as you still have all of your fingers to write it with, we're happy.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I do. I have some blisters, but that was my fault.

    I love America, and I like to go BOOM!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    No worries, I ended up having something for tonight anyway.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thank you, Michael. As dabs has been explaining in his new morning series, writing at a consistent pace is a commitment. I bow to your commitment and focus. Thank you. That ain't me, at least in this point and time.

    I have my place in the comment section, alongside my fellow fans. That's good enough for me

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