Cubs Game Post 8/18


Series preview is here.


Sunday: 6:10 PM CT on ESPN/670AM (in Willamsport, PA)



1. Jason Heyward (L) CF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Javier Baez (R) SS
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
8. Tony Kemp (L) 2B
9. Jose Quintana (R) P
1. Kevin Newman (R) SS
2. Adam Frazier (L) 2B
3. Starling Marte (R) CF
4. Josh Bell (S) 1B
5. Bryan Reynolds (S) LF
6. Pablo Reyes (R) RF
7. Colin Moran (L) 3B
9. Mitch Keller (R) P
Bullpen Usage
Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Mitch Keller: Mitch Keller has thrown 296 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2017 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (96mph) and Slider (88mph), also mixing in a Curve (82mph). He also rarely throws a Change (91mph).

His fourseam fastball has well above average velo and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers. His slider is thrown extremely hard, generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sliders and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His curve has a sharp downward bite, is slightly harder than usual and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves. His change is thrown extremely hard, is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups and results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups.

Sean's Note: The hard throwing rookie Keller has had a rough major league debut. He has surrendered 15 runs in just 17.1 innings pitched in 2019. He has an average strike out rate and has only allowed one homer despite being a fly ball pitcher. The Cubs have never faced him before.

Final Thoughts: It wasn't easy, but the Cubs snapped their four-game losing skid and won Saturday. Now they are at Bowman Field in Willamsport for the Little League Classic. The offense has struggled mightily with just four runs the first two games of weekend. If they can win Sunday it will be their first road series win since mid May against the Nationals.

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  • Some news:

    Kimbrel has been activated. Due to the additional travel for both teams today we are able to add a 26th man, just like a double-header. No one sent down till tomorrow. Or Tuesday, since Monday is off.

    I'm getting conflicting reports, but Zobrist isn't in Iowa's lineup. The plan has been for him to take days off for personal rehab, as he won't be used every day up here anyway. They planned to prep him that way. But some reports have him unavailable and possibly not on Iowa's roster. I think it's a scheduled day off for personal work, but other roster junkies are looking with a side-eye.

    Welcome to Williamsport! Both teams have been having fun all day, and this is good for baseball. Technically this is a road game, but it is for the Bucs as well.

    I predicted a little-league HR for Javy on the twitters, so I have to stick with it here. You know it's on his mind. This is a setting that can energize ballplayers.

    We need this W. Put your head down and grind, but I really think they will have fun. Maybe that works in our favor. For some strange reason I have had the castle keepers from the Wizard of Oz stuck in my head. They put their heads down and did their job.

    "O-Ee-Yah! Eoh-Ah!"

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Zobrist to continue his rehab assignment with Iowa next weekend, per Theo, whatever the hell that means.

    Willson progressing well with his hammy but no timetable. I'd guess at least another week-10 days.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think I might have the Zobrist situation figured out, but it's game time. If anyone wants to know, just ask.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Please, BP, do tell your theory of the situation.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Ok. This is pure speculation on my part, but I think I know how to add to and too. When it was first announced that Zobrist was back for a "rehab" stint, the FO said he would play some games with the minor-league teams he was assigned to, but would also take several days off for personal rehab. They said he wouldn't play every day on the Cubs, so they were grooming him in this fashion. I questioned at that time how that would impact the minor-league team's competitive roster. How do you play with a scheduled man short?

    I'm not suggesting anything bad, just trying to figure out this situation. With speculation. I'm guessing Zobrist is still dealing with personal matters, and isn't fully available. He has days for "personal rehab", and maybe they are manipulating the Iowa roster to fill his spot. I don't know the rules there as well as here, hence the confusion why he's out till next week.

    I'm running through my rambling mind, because I don't know. I'm not suggesting anything sinister. I think this was planned and he may be finalizing his young kids' custody. Cool.

    I was just surprised, like many others, when he was listed as "unavailable" for another week. I think now that is a way to get someone else into his roster spot so Iowa isn't playing short-handed. I'm not an expert on AAA PLC roster rules.

    I could be wrong on all of this. I'm just going on some initial reports. AAA info is harder to obtain than MLB.

    This is really all nothing. Zobrist will be added to the 40-man prior to August 31st to be eligible for the postseason, and will be called up in September, or before. I think it will be right at that deadline simply because of the necessary corresponding roster moves.

    Back to the Cubs. J-Hey!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Saying that he won't play everday with the Cubs so he isn't playing everyday in the minors is a pretty silly excuse. He needs as many ABs as he can to get his timing back.

    Anyway... great to see JHey go deep to opposite field.

    And a Javy double... is the 10 run rule in effect today?

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    My reading between the lines of "personal rehab days" tells me he's still dealing with family issues, and I'm totally fine with that.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think it has more to do with payroll. Cubs need to wait as long as possible before his payroll starts counting again. I'm sure everybody involved knows exactly when he is coming up.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Another side question, if I may: what is your pop of choice? Quality or utility? Or just depends?

    This afternoon I'm swilling the PBR tallboys but I do love an IPA or American Pale Ale. I live out West but was back in Michigan-where I grew up- a few weeks ago. Boy did I try my hardest to drink my fill of Bells beers!

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    I love the Bells Two-Hearted... that’s stuff is so good!!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    The best IPA I've ever drank. I had a couple (six packs) of the Official and enjoyed that one too.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I love two hearted, my son in law got me hooked.. Just camped in the UP at the headwaters of the two hearted river. Maybe one of the best places in the freaking world!

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    I am hard-core utility. Low maintenance. I can throw an impressive spread for the highest of dignitaries, but I'm just me. I actually enjoy the bitterness of lesser quality.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    "It's the hard-knock life for us.
    It's the hard-knock life for us.
    Steada treated,
    We get tricked.
    Steada kisses,
    We get kicked.
    It's the hard-knock life!"

  • From Christopher Kamka on twitter:

    Run differential this season

    Cubs on road -11
    Brewers (total) -21

    So, basically, the Crew have been as bad all year as we have been on the road. They are not a good team, neither are the DirtyBirds (the verdict is out on us), but baseball. We'll take this division, then one road W in Atlanta, one in LA, and one in Houston.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I love what 1 road win does for our collective attitude lol

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    It cheered me up. Hopefully it works for them.

  • Descalso second HR in 2 games at Iowa. Alzolay 4 inning 3 HR vs Cards AAA team.

  • In reply to stix:

    I guess his ankle is healing, but not until rosters expand.

  • Nicky 4bags!

  • 4-0, Baby!

    Welcome to Williamsport!

  • Why is Schwarber trying to steal second? I think he's a little into the little league thing today.

  • I could go for a little screw the closer tonight.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I gladly welcome that old game that we miss too much.

    And what a BOMB that was they’ve Rizzo hit!!

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    Let's keep scoring and have a 10-1 lead going into the 9th. I don't want to see Kimbrel tonight and Q is doing so well he can pitch well into this game. Show the kids how the Cubs play this game. They've already seen the El Mago show tonight.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Dude, El Mago ain't done.

  • Just saw this, it's old news to you Twitterees, but how freakin' cool is it that Rizzo, KB, and Hamels did the cardboard sled with a bunch of kids today? I love that.

    O...and a "clutch" hit by KB!!

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    In reply to JohnCC:

    John, I think Joe did it too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Better yet!

  • 5-0. I don't want to call a laugher, just a W. As long as Rizzo doesn't DP, it's Javy Time.

  • Rizzo steals the thunder, and I am HAPPY!!

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    That’s a double doink!

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    I just saw that Ronald Acuna Jr was removed from tonight’s game after watching a fly ball that didn’t go out. I found it interesting since posters on here have talked about similar accountability with relation to the Cubs.

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    In reply to John Winter:

    That’s what Atlanta does. We need to follow that tradition.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I watched that Jones situation live. It's a little overblown in baseball lore, and even Bobby Cox said he was wrong. It's a better story than what really happened.

    We do have some similarities. Not pulled out in the middle of an inning, but close. Edwards Jr. had something to say that wasn't right, and Russell was optioned when he said he didn't know how to play baseball. We are trying.

    7-0 Cubs. Let's close this out!

  • Pat Hughes:

    "Six shutout innings for KEEN-tana"

    Go Cubs!

  • I'd love to see Q go out for the 8th.

    A few quick outs and he could actually finish this thing. Complete games seem like a thing of the past.

  • I agree

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Not me ... I'd pull him here.

  • In reply to stv711:

    I suppose you're right. A seven run lead is totally safe. I mean, the bullpen can't possibly give up 7 runs in two innings.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    You can't manage out of fear.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    You get an A in sarcasm for today!

  • In reply to stv711:

    Glad you caught that. ;)

    A seven run lead should be a good time to use a couple guys and get them back on track. Like Holland. And Kinzler. We'll see...

  • In reply to stv711:

    Sorry but I disagree. That's why he runs out of BP arms in the next few games. The BP has been over used all year when they didn't have to be.

    Let the flow of the game dictate the manager's moves, not the manager dictating the flow of the game.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    The Cubs have an off day tomorrow. I believe that's a factor too. In general I feel like Joe pulls his starters too soon though. It's the dog days of August and I'm hoping Q has a long run in the playoffs ahead of him.

  • In reply to stv711:

    I am tempted to agree with you except I believe the game should dictate what moves the manager should make and when. Besides, the Cubs have had quite a few days off lately and Joe still manages to use up the BP.

  • I'd like to see Maddon deck Hurdle when the teams shake hands after the game with the pitches thrown at the Cubs head tonight.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I'm not a fan of Hurdle or his style of old school managing

  • In reply to stv711:

    Hurdles comments on Javy have really rubbed me the wrong way

  • In reply to stv711:

    Old school is one thing, but Hurdle takes it too far. He's just a crusty old d!ckhead.

  • Yu then q and pray for rain.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    And sit Big Jon and Hendricks?

  • Welcome back, Kimbrel!

    Let's not do this tonight

  • Just giving props to the utter domination of those two for the past month. Jon and the professor need a couple more turns before entering the ring of domination.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Hendricks is fine not sure what you are thinking?

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Was referring to Yu and q’s last 4-5 starts in general. Q’s last start was awesome. I don’t know if you saw hendrick’s get lit up for 7 earned on 12 hits last week against the mighty big red machine. What are you thinking?

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    Well, I don’t like it but I understand him wanting to get him some work, especially when it can’t hurt (?) us.
    I’d rather Holland would have come back. But if he gives up a few runs it doesn’t matter in this game.

  • Shake the rust off.

    Now just end it.

  • 1.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:


    And bring in Ol' Bang Bang.

  • How many base runners before Pedro gets the last out?

    Sorry to be a downer tonight, but I think he's done. I love Stropy, but I don't think he makes a post season roster.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    That's typical.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    What is?

    The negativity? Because I try not to.

    The hit batsman? Sadly it's true.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Not you. I was talking about the pen's performance..

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    I predicted 10-1. I don’t want 7-5. I think Stropy is about to go on the IL again and bring back Underwood.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I hope so. Underwood could be a secret weapon in the playoffs. And I'm afraid that Strop will have to lose a limb before Maddon doesn't put him in a big spot.

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    BP, what’s missed in the Andruw Jones story?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I'll get into that. I promise. We just won our first road series since May. One in Atlanta, one in LA, one in Houston!

    "Ooh-oo-ooh) It's just an invitation, 'cross the nation.
    A chance for the folks to meet.
    There'll be laughin', singin', music swingin'.
    Dancin' in the street."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    IDK ... it's neutral site :) .... Okay it;s been too painful - let's call it a road series win!

  • I'm waiting on 3.

    I really appreciate all that Strop has done over the past 5 years. Quit this.

    There we go!

    W, Baby!

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    We win!!

  • The Curse 2.0 is broken!!

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