Cubs vs Giants Series Preview: (8/20-8/22)

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Well another difficult road trip has passed for the Cubs, this one a 4-6 slog. Of course after a 2-6 start, total disaster was avoided with a series win against the Pirates. Now they return home to Wrigley Field, where they have posted a scintillating 41-19 record in 2019.

The starting rotation seemed to right the ship after some blow ups early in the trip. While the returns of Craig Kimbrel and Brandon Kintzler were rough, they are back. Albert Almora and David Bote are not, shipped to Iowa for a couple weeks until rosters expand. Chicago begins their quick homestand with a three-game series against the Giants.

San Francisco was well out of the race until an absolute tear in July pulled them back in. They have hung on since, sitting at 63-62, 3.5 games back of the wild card spot. The overall pitching has been solid, while the offense is among the worst in baseball.

The Giants won two of three from the Cubs in the Bay Area in late July. One of the games was a 13-inning marathon won on a Pablo Sandoval home run. The North Siders were able to survive the road again, now they need to keep thriving at home to make the postseason.

Watch/Listen

Tuesday: 7:05 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Wednesday: 7:05 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Thursday: 1:20 PM CT on MLB Network/WGN/670AM

Lineups

Giants

1. Donovan Solano (R) 2B
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
5. Kevin Pillar (R) CF
6. Austin Slater (R) RF
7. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
8. Abiatal Avelino (R) SS
9. Tyler Beede (R) P

Cubs

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. Cole Hamels (L) P

Bullpen Usage

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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Tyler Beede: Tyler Beede has thrown 1,800 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2015 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, Spring Training and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph), also mixing in a Change (84mph), Curve (80mph) and Cutter (86mph).

His fourseam fastball has some natural sinking action, has slight armside run and has slightly above average velo. His change generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups and has some natural sink to it. His curve generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' curves, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves, has a sharp downward bite and is slightly harder than usual. His cutter generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' cutters, has heavy sink and has slightly below average velo.

Sean's Note: Beede has had a rough year for the Giants. He has surrendered 17 home runs in just 82.2 innings of work. It's a big factor in his 5.77 ERA. he doesn't create many ground balls and his strike out rate is about average. Javy Báez and Kris Bryant homered off of him this July in a game he lost.

Dereck Rodriguez: Dereck Rodriguez has thrown 3,193 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2018 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (91mph), also mixing in a Change (85mph), Curve (76mph), Slider (87mph) and Sinker (90mph).

His fourseam fastball has less armside movement than typical and has slightly below average velo. His change results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups and has slight armside fade. His curve has a sharp downward bite, has slight glove-side movement and has slightly below average velo. 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, has much less depth than expected, is much harder than usual and has primarily 12-6 movement. His sinker generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has less armside run than typical, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker, results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has slightly below average velo.

Sean's Note: The son of Pudge, Rodriguez has had a rough season in the majors. His 5.11 FIP is above his 4.79 ERA, indicating he has actually been lucky this season. He has a very low K-rate at just 14.7%, so there will be lots of contact against him. Right handers hit him for a higher average, while lefties slug more against him.

Jeff Samardzija: Jeff Samardzija has thrown 26,069 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2008 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 (92mph), Cutter (89mph), Slider (85mph) and Sinker (92mph), also mixing in a Splitter (83mph). He also rarely throws a Curve (77mph) and Change (82mph).

His fourseam fastball results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has essentially average velo. His cutter is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' cutters, has good "rise" and has little cutting action. His slider has less than expected depth and has primarily 12-6 movement. His sinker has slight armside run. His splitter generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' splitters, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' splitters, has movement that suggests a lot of backspin and has slightly below average velo. His curve generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' curves, has a sharp downward bite, has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves. His change is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups, has a lot of backspin and has slightly below average velo.

Sean's Note: The former Cub Samardzija is having his best year since 2014, with a 3.54 ERA in 139 innings. He is a fly ball pitcher and has allowed 20 homers, but that isn't unreasonable with as many innings as he's thrown. His .249 batting average on balls in play is well below his career average, so he has been lucky. Left handers have hit the 34 year old for far more power than right handed batters.

 

Comments

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  • If pitching has been the strength of the Giants' resurgence, I guess we're lucky to Beede and Pudge Jr.

    It's hard to believe the Shark is 34 years old! He's always a young punk in my mind.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    I just had a reply caught in the filter. You used "punk", as did I, so maybe it was "blackmail" on my part?

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    It's so beautiful out now. I never thought the game would be played by looking at the rain a few hours ago.
    A good sign.
    Go Cubs!!

  • Hey gang help me out. Other than having a good baseball name what does Kemp bring to the table? In other words why is he on this team?

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    Zobrist, Descalso, and Russell is the short answer. I can dig deeper, but I'm interested in others' opinions.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Awe so he is best option? Yikes,!

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    Was, at the time, it is a complex sequence of events during the course of a season. He filled a need at the time of a roster crunch/re-shuffling. I doubt he makes the postseason roster (yes, I said it), but he still has time to make his case.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    His history tells us not much there. I’d say jettison him

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    in a couple weeks our lineup will look different with Contreras hitting 7th and zobrist hitting 8th. That will give the lineup 8 good to very good bats. Now if the bullpen can stop blowing leads.

  • He doesn't strike out much, has good speed and can play multiple positions. So he brings a different skill set with his bat on ball skills & speed than most of the team

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    And he's pretty young too. I think it was as much about seeing if he will stick as a bench guy going forward. It would be nice to have solid defensive utility player with decent speed, contact bat, and younger than 34 years old.

  • I just want to give a round of applause to Almora Jr. He got demoted, which I'm sure is no fun, but reported to Iowa immediately. I think they have 72 hours to report (?), but he didn't want to sulk and, what really impressed me, didn't want to leave them short-handed. That is often overlooked when a player takes his time to get there. Classy dude, I'm pulling for him.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Agreed. And went out got two hits the very next day.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    As opposed to not reporting and forgetting your glove? Couldn’t resist.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Or going home and leaving the organization scrambling? But yes, he had his body, his head, and his equipment there the next day.

  • I could do some lame, tongue-in-cheek pre-game predictions, but no. I'm just wondering who's going to be the hero today. I really want to pick a dark horse, but my gut tells me to go with Javy. I think that Williamsport experience energized him and it will carry over.

    Go Cubs!

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    So who do we want to win in the StL-Milw series? Tonight Milwaukee because we can take over first, but tomorrow, idk. I guess Milw because they have more deficiencies and StL always bothers me. More importantly is that we take care of business.
    Let's score some runs!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I think for now, it's most helpful for Mil to take the series 2-1, and then when the meet again next week, that STL takes the series 2-1.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Let’s eliminate the brewers ASAP. 7 of last 10 games of the season are with the cards if cubs can’t win at least 4 they don’t deserve the division title

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    In reply to stix:

    I guess it’s good that 4 of the 7 are at home then!

  • In considering what constitutes clutch, would being able to swing the bat and give your team the lead count at least as part of that? Or is it just a matter of being in the right place at the right time?

    Cubs leaders in Go-Ahead Hits:
    Rizzo 16
    Baez 14
    Bryant 14
    Schwarber 12
    Contreras 10
    Heyward 10

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I didn't bother looking up Castellanos because he hasn't been with the team all year, but that home run was his 18th go-ahead hit on the season...

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    Nicky 4Bags, Nicky the basket. it's sure nice to be leading going into the 2nd.

  • Nicky 4bags!

  • It's contagious!

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    The was Sweet Swinging Billy Williams, but Riz sure does have a sweet swing too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    After 2 HR in over 50 games now 2 in a row. Hopefully he’s on a power surge.

  • In reply to stix:

    .....and don't forget the 22 other HRs over about 80 other games. I know you wouldn't do that, would you.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    And I didn’t forget his 180 HR in the prior year..He’s not a 2 for 50 game streak hitter. . Even you’d have to admit that was a slump.

  • In reply to stix:

    ?

  • Good on Baez to not swing out of his shoes there after watching his teammates hit home runs. Come on Schwarbsie!

  • *taps slippers*

    "There's no place like home.
    There's no place like home.
    There's no place like home..."

  • Drang!

  • Holy Sh!T, was that a successful hit and run? Maddon is soo happy.

  • 49 pitches through 2 innings. More of this, please.

  • Its amazing that David Bode is batting almost 30 points higher than Kyle Schwarber , but Bote is the one who gets sent down. With Kris Bryant having two years left on his contract after this season and Scott Boras will be asking for the moon, this off season would be a great time to see what the Cubs could fetch for Kris.It would be great to see the Cubs bolster their farm system with this trade.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Weed is legal by you now right?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    YOU BET !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Can we let the trade Bryant talk rest until at least after the season is over?

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Why not ? This needs to be said. The Nationals with Harper, the Padres with Machado and the Angels with Puhols are all a bust.Restricting your payroll because of one player is ludicrous. MLB announced today the Cubs will launch their new network in time for their spring training games. I hope this network will be available in California. I'm paying for MLB TV and the feed is terrible.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Harper and Machado are busts? It's 2/3 of the way into their first seasons with new teams. I don't abide by that super short term thought.

    Bryant most likely will not be a Cub long term, but I don't think he's traded over this winter.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Their not worth the money their being paid. Are these three club going to the World Series or even the playoffs ? At least Machado is putting fans in the seats at San Diego.
    And to Barley Pop,
    There was a deal two years ago to send Javy Baez to the Padres. The Cubs asking price was astronomical and the Padres backed off.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    That's just not happening. The way this entire organization is built, from FO contracts through control of the core to even the current CBA, this team is built through 2021. We will trade, we will tinker, we may even make some bold moves. Bryant will not sign an extension prior to his free agency, and I expect him to be gone afterwards. But we are not, I repeat, ARE NOT, trading away core pieces (Rizzo, KB, Javy, Willson) to begin another rebuild prior to 2022. You can wish it, you can hope for it, you can pour Jobu's rum, but it ain't happening.

    We will not trade core pieces for prospects during this competitive window. Period.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Never say never ! Remember when Theo traded Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I've used the Nomar example before, so touche. But Nomar was on roids and past his prime. He was a name, not a talent like KB.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    And Hendry got sucked into the hype. The Trib Co. loved the idea of having a big name.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I agree 100% They would of never signed Kimbrel if they planned on trading some core.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    *trading some of the core players.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I agree. I would much rather win the title for Iowa than another boring world series.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    But the prospects? We could have prospects! We could be a large-market team in the prime of it's competitive window and trade away our good players so we could suck, but we would have prospects.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Not only the prospects we could trade for but, also the high draft picks.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    0 For 5 is a good player !

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    Even though they do have a good bullpen I’d like to get the pitch count up and get to the bullpen early. The more they pitch the more tired they’ll get.
    A few more runs for Cole would be nice. I just don’t have the confidence in him that I did earlier.

  • KB ain't clutch enough to get on base before these Rizzo bombs.

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    Can we hold a lead please?

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Next time!

  • I do like Kempis swing and speed - I just wish he never was taught anything about 'launch angle '.
    I wonder if they ever 'reverse engineer' that, on some hitters.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I like Kemp's swing also. Just wish it was on another team.

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    Now KB has come up TWICE with runners at first and third and could do anything. He is one of our best players but has to come through in situations like these. It does no good to get a hit with no one on or when we’re either up by 6 or down by 6. I know they’re going to score again so we need as many runs as possible.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Careful the KB defenders might be coming.

  • Hamels needs another 2-4 starts before he will get in a groove. He is missing his spots badly. Very un-Cole like. Let’s pick him up and get the W. Cole will have about 2-3 very important starts to end the season and then be in top form for a playoff run. We will not be able to do it without him.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    If you look back at my concerns from before the season started, it was Cole's age and the potential for him to wear and break down, with deteriorating stuff, as the season went into the late summer months. That seems to be exactly what is happening. I'm not saying that he won't throw a good game here or there, but I'm saying that I am not counting on him to match his early season results for the rest of the year.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    His injury derailed him. He just needs some more innings. I don’t think this has anything to do with age or deteriorating stuff. He is missing by a foot on some pitches. He didn’t miss that badly before injury.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    And here I thought your concerns were all the '230 or .240' hitters on this team. Silly me.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    LOL !!! Perhaps if you re-read what I wrote, I said prior to the season. FM

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    I don't need to reread your posts. I remember well. You are constantly on the ledge.
    You shoulda been a Huskie.

  • What was Rizzo thinking at first base. He has to get out of the way there.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Boneheaded

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    Run Javy run. Steal or run and hit.

  • Another lame Umpire at 1st base calling Javy out. I hope that bum isn't calling balls and strikes in one of the next two games.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Home plate tomorrow.Sorry.

  • In reply to stix:

    O Boy, how is this guy going to call balls and strikes when he can't even umpire 1st base ! But don't worry, Rob Manfred said everything is ok, no problem!

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    Milw up 2-1 in the 6th.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    St. Louis now up 5-2 in 6th.

  • Yeah, baby!

    And no, baby.

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    I hope the others were watching.
    Btw, after 5.1 inn Marquez has finally walked a man and has an ER, but he does have 8 SO. His ERA. Is now .59.
    There’s no way he’s not in the top 100 prospects and even possibly our #1 or 2.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Also , don't forget Brennen Davis. He should also be in the top 100.

  • Good thing Yaz didn’t have too many biscuits for breakfast.:):):)

  • In reply to stix:

    I just like saying (typing) Yastrzemski. He was the ageing superstar of my youth, and my first non-Cubs favorite player.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Boy, would I like to see Yaz playing left field for the Cubs !

  • 5-3! Kemp's AB is better than a strike out.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Maybe the Cubs should try Kemp at lead-off ?

  • Wick in the 8th. 5-3.

    Go Cubs!

  • Wick pitching the 8th is a big step for Maddon. Not Cishek, not Kinzler, not Strop. Good for him... and us.

  • That was a, um, quick Wick.

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    Wick is doing a better and better job and it doesn’t seem like the moment is too big for him. That curve ball is vicious after a 97 MPH. FB.

  • Do they let Kimbrel go in without someone warming up before Kimbrel pitches.

  • In reply to stix:

    Kimbrel nails it down and it don't matter. But yes, I do. Kintzler and Cishek need to stretch anyway.

  • Ah one...

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Ah two...

    (Somebody help me out here).

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    And a late.. three! Cubs Win.

    And that's a streak folks. Let's see it roll on.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    C'mon, man...

    Ah, three!

    W, baby!

  • 1st place tie for another 15 minutes or so.

  • In reply to stix:

    You're not invited to my Championship party. Do you even know how to do snow angels?

    C'mon, Stubb's!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Unfortunately I do. It snows in Michigan. Sorry I won’t be at your party.

  • In reply to stix:

    Enjoy a victory, and a winning streak. Why be negative?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Not sure I understand the “negative” part. All I was trying to point out that they were in first tonight until the cards finalized their victory over the crew . If that’s negative , I’m sorry.

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