HAPP SLAM -- Cubs 10, Athletics 1

The Chicago Cubs gave us a lot to root for in the 10-1 rout of the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday afternoon.

Cubs starter José Quintana set the tone early with a 1-2-3 first. He got leadoff man Marcus Semien to pop out to second, followed by strikeouts from Matt Chapman and Matt Olson.

Homer Bailey had a quick first as well, with ground outs from Jason Heyward and Nick Castellanos and a pop out to first from Kris Bryant.

The A's scored first in the fourth inning. Semien led off with a double, and Olson brought him home on a sacrifice fly to put them ahead 1-0.

The Cubs responded with force in the bottom of the inning. Bryant singled with one out and Anthony Rizzo was then hit by a pitch. Javier Báez singled to score Bryant. Kyle Schwarber walked to load the bases, and Ian Happ launched a grand slam to left center to put the Cubs in the lead by 5-1.

Castellanos hit his 43rd double of the season in the fifth inning and Rizzo singled before the A's put Lou Trivino in to pitch in relief of Bailey. Báez singled and Schwarber joined the home run part with a three-run shot of his own. The inning ended with the Cubs now winning 9-1.

Ryan Buchter pitched for the A's in the sixth and got a strikeout from Quintana, a ground out from Heyward, and a strikeout from Castellanos.

David Bote entered the game in right field in the top of the eighth and Albert Almora Jr came in to play center. Heyward moved from center to right field. David Phelps took to the mound in relief of Quintana, who went seven innings with two hits, one run (earned), no walks, and seven strikeouts. Phelps quickly set down the A's with ground outs from Stephen Piscotty and Jurickson Profar and a fly out from Dustin Garneau.

Not content to stay in the single digits, Victor Caratini added one more run for the Cubs in the eighth with a solo homer to center field, his sixth of the season. The home team now led 10-1.

Pedro Strop closed it out for the Cubs. Pinch-hitter Nick Martini lined out to second for the first out. Semien then singled, and pinch-hitter Chris Herrmann flew out to left. Olson was hit by a pitch, but the game ended on a swinging strikeout from Mark Canha.

 

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Mega props to dhs for posting the game notes microseconds after the game...that's how you play to win Cubs fans. :-) Can I get some love for Q? Once again he steps up when needed and gets the job done with a capital D. Hey Sox fans, enjoy Eloy and Cease, if they bring you anywhere near the clutch performances that Mr. Quintana has provided this iteration of the Cubs, then I congratulate you. Fair trade for all involved.

  • In reply to Rick Tuesday:

    Thanks! This was actually my second draft; first one got eaten by Wordpress so I had to quickly rewrite!

  • In reply to Rick Tuesday:

    Definitely. Q has pitched a number of great games for us. I'm glad we got him.

  • I know we should be forbidden for promoting the cardinals but Jack Flaherty is absolutely mowing down the dodgers with 10 Ks in 7 shutout innings. I honestly felt like him shutting the cubs down was more Flaherty finding his form, then anything the cubs offense did wrong. It's too bad he was having a disappointing year which is music to cubs fans ears, but I've been really high on his potential.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Jack Flaherty is legit from what I’ve seen of him. He’s had a bad season, but the guy who beat the cubs last week was in top form. Even if the cubs brought their A game that day, would’ve been hard to score a couple runs. I expect a lot more of that from him than the other side of him the Cubs have been lucky to see over the last couple years.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yes, you should be forbidden.

  • Great W today. Q's and the offense's performances today were exactly what the doctor ordered.

    A couple of side notes: 1) as distressing as the game was on Sunday night, St Louis pitcher Jack Flaherty is on a roll as he is blanking the Dodgers through 7 in LA - at 23 he could be a factor for a while; and 2) Lucroy looks to be a Cub, it will be interesting to see how much he plays.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Russell Martin just walked off the cards!!

  • Hopefully, both these guys finish strong but Bryant and Rizzo have struggled with power since June 1st. Bryant 234 ABs 9 HRs 18 RBIs and Riz 237 ABs 6 HRs 29 RBIs. In that same time period Almora 141 ABs 5 HRs and 11 RBIs.

  • fb_avatar

    Jose Quinta, your table is ready.
    btw, Jose is like JHey in that he's been bashed almost since the trade, hearing why oh why did we trade Eloy and Dylan! But he's kept to himself and just went out and pitched. I've not heard he's been anything but a good teammate and not divisive so it's very good to see him do so well in this stretch. Good for you Q.

  • They just added Lucroy. I don’t think will need him, but ok, insurance. Great bounce back game after yesterday.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I think I have to disagree. Lucroy is a step up from Taylor. And there is no telling for sure, when Wilson will be back. His skills are down for sure, but the guy has a lot of playoff experience and who knows. look what Hamels did when he came to the Cubs last year.

  • In reply to Ronson54:

    Yeah I kind of expect to see a little extra pep in his step and pop in his bat now that he gets to play meaningful games for the first time in a while. He could turn into a a nice gift for us.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    It’s what I hope. After the scare to Victor, it is a relief.

  • In reply to Ronson54:

    You disagree with him as insurance? So You expect him to get more PT than Caratini? I hope not. Not sure what you’re disagreeing with from my post...

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I think he disagrees with “I don’t think we’ll need him” in your post. I read it the same way and I disagree too. You didn’t write anything about insurance or taking time from Caratini. He will be needed is some capacity and is a better solution than Davis. Although the words are different I think the same point is being made.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Ok, but hes not been very good, but ok, insurance. He won’t be needed beyond that. Wilson will be back. Thinking Lucroy will be Castellanos good is dreaming. Nothing wrong with dreaming, but don’t get those hopes up taking Caratini’s PT.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    It's not like there were a bunch of options on veteran catchers out there. I wanted Rivera. The Mets probably wanted to keep Rene four the same reasons. It's possible Lucroy could rejuvenate. Fate has has smiled on him for that opportunity.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think they missed the part where I said “..,but ok, insurance.” Said it 2nd sentence 1st post then said it in my reply to rbur.

    He is an upgrade to Davis, I will say that. I would catch him for Lester & a matchup against a LHer here n there. Beyond insurance, I would not expect more than that. Sorry, not as excited for him as the above posters are.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I think you’re taking this conversation and semantics way to seriously. Nowhere did anyone say he’s gonna be Castellanos. But the inference is the ceiling could just happen to be like a Hamels scenario from last year. I don’t expect that. But if he plays well enough to get the start 2-3 times per week and gets hot, and his defense proves better than recent metrics, he might really start looking like the Lucroy of the past with an OPS in the upper .700’s/lower .800’s.

    What’s just funny to me is that you’re taking the positive posts about him and giving it this spin like we believe he’s about to have the best 2 months of his career now. We all know that’s not gonna happen. He’s never been as good as Castellanos and that isn’t gonna happen now.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Really this comes down to: are you more comfortable with Taylor Davis or Jonathan Lucroy as our 2nd catcher until Contreras comes back? While Lucroy has struggled he is a veteran and I am more comfortable with him than with Davis. However, that doesn't mean I think he'll be great. Or even good/adequate. Just not as bad as Davis. Others may have an opposite opinion.

    It is an odd situation because both players would cost, literally, the same amount of money. No assets were traded/lost in the transaction.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    As others have said expectations shouldn’t be through the roof but that doesn’t make it a bad move. frankly if he posts a .700 OPS, brings some experience/leadership to the locker room, manages the pitching staff, and keeps the running game from getting out of control (20+ % CS) I’ll be very happy. He’s better suited as a part time backup catcher then a starter at this point in his career

  • In reply to 44slug:

    All Lucroy is right now is a “body”. Just a catcher that could make it through a game much like Davis and Caratini. We don’t really improve any at that position until Contreras returns......just need to tread water on this....there is no other plausible option in the minors so this was a necessary move....and Theo got it done. Onward.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I think the variable might be if the veteran Lucroy can work with Lester. Caratini's first Lester game wasn't exactly a work of art. Could Lucroy become Jon's personal catcher for the month of August til Willy gets back?

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Concur. I haven’t seen a post remotely saying Lucroy is a Castellanos type of acquisition. If people are thinking like that, then they will be disappointed. He’s nothing more than a capable veteran back up at this point.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I worry that might even be a stretch at this point. Lucroy hasn't been very good for a while. Maybe change of scenery and rest might lead to better results but Lucroy feels more name than anything at this point.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    His decline started in late 2015. Mil traded him near his perceived high value in 2016. As what seems to be more common, the pieces just never became that good. Although Brinson was key in getting Yelich.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    When I say capable back up, I really mean a guy who hits 8th, can call a decent game, and can throw enough to prevent a track meet. By no means I am expecting the All star version. I believe he can catch every 5th or 6th day giving Victor a rest.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Banghart:

    rbrucato, so you are calling him a capbable back-up in the same sense that Almora is a "capable back-up." Lucroy is a better offensive player but Almora is better on defense at this point.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Thank you.

  • Trounced yesterday, and then they come back by trouncing the same team today. That's how you bounce back after that kind of a loss. Great game! Q and Happ came through big time today.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I think it's in these situations where Joe Maddon earns his pay. He let the team have some fun in the 9th of the blowout loss (Davis pitching, Schwarber catching), and that can loosen up the clubhouse. Next day, back to business -- boom! blowout win.

    We've all seen it happen where a loss like that, then returning to the road (where they've been awful this season, so the narrative goes), can lead to a losing streak.

    His teams (almost) always have better 2nd halves than first. He's a tremendous clubhouse manager; a tremendous manager of men.

  • So much good today. But I just hope Madden doesn't go to Strop late in tight games, at least for awhile. Gives up a lineup, a single, hits a batter, strikes one out... He's a heart attack waiting to happen.

  • Happer looks MAD out there! He's gonna show everybody and I likes it

  • Bahahahhahhaa......I have just been banned by VEB for singing the Cubs song........

  • Dodgers another walkoff win vs Cards.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to stix:

    I don’t think that it’s coincidental that we’ve won 5 of 6 since Castellanos was traded for. Our pitching has been great but we’ve also been scoring runs. I read somewhere today that he’s hitting.400 with an OPS of over 1.000 with the Cubs. He’s been pretty good defensively too and doesn’t take a play off either.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I hadn't seen much of him for a while. His routes are clearly better. He's moving better out there. Pretty obvious he's put a lot of work in but he's still carrying the label. Reminds me of Soriano on that front.

    I'm of the opinion every effort has to be made to sign him.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Absolutely sign Mr. doubles ! Bringing new energy is just what the Cubs needed ! Arrow points up for the Schwarb !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    There may be more to "bringing new energy" than any fan can imagine. It's basically been the same guys for several years now. It can get stale. I know they've been trying but eventually we all need something new and fresh.

    On that same note give Happ a legit shot at the 2B job. Personally I'd rather not see Nico rushed. He hasn't played a full pro season in the minors. No way he's ready for the grind of 162 and a post season. If he's on track look at sometime in '21-'22 to debut.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    I don't see a prospect knocking on the door or anything. Bring him back if it's not close to fair.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    If it is*

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    What’s fair. He’s a Boras client currently making ~9M a year. Is he worth 15-20M?

  • In reply to stix:

    Actually almost $10M/Yr.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    He’s been good. All those games have been at home, however, where the team is usually pretty good.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    No doubt a shot in the arm, but Murphy did the same for a short bit last season, and we all remember how that ended.

    Just saying to pump the brakes is all. Castellanos has looked fantastic, albeit in a, wait for it, SMALL SAMPLE SIZE.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to stix:

    StL is now 2-8 in it’s last 10.

  • Payback for yesterday, A's.

  • The Ian Happ game. He appears interested in that 2B gig no one wants to run with. Yes it's a SSS but after a slow start he's suddenly .320/.452/1.052 with a 19% K rate.

    Put me in coach. I'm ready to play today.

    Unrelated but Kyle is quietly off to a great start in August. Going to the opposite field regularly and only going down on strikes twice in 20 PA's.

    We've been encouraged before only to see the road show bring it back to earth. But for now it's fun to watch.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Kyles gone back the patient approach in his at bats. That’s how he’s most effective. Taking the walk loaded the bases for the grand slam. Get a cookie in the strikezone with 2 runners on, and it’s a 3 run HR to opposite field. He didn’t even follow through all the way on that swing. That’s a guy who was looking to make contact instead of crush, yet it’s a dinger. He will be valuable batting right after all the big bats in our lineup. I expect good things from this offense moving forward. But before I get to excited, I wanna see the same approach and consistency in the road...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    He flipped his bat at the ball on his 2nd HR the other day I'm MIL too. Guy has crazy power. I still say he's a solid player if he manage a .280 BABIP.

    That being said, the AUG sample size is really small. I don't put any stock in it.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Not any stock in it? I mean, I agree with your post in every other sentence, but small sample size or no, I still put some weight on it. He is a young player with all of the hitting tools to be great. He hasn't put it together consistently yet, but that doesn't mean he's not going to. August sample size is a trend, I'd say. I put some weight on trends.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    But what is it a trend of and why do you think so. In August he currently has 21 PA and a .500 BA. That is too small of a sample size to be a trend. Just like his 24 PAs from 7/17-7/27 where he slashed an embarrassing 0.083/0.083/.208 with a wRC+ of -37. Was that a "trend" too? Or was that the kind of weird stuff that happens when you pick an arbitrary string of PAs giving us a small total?

    He has talent. I don't dispute that. He has crazy power and he hits the ball very hard. Among the best pure hitters (when he makes contact) on the team IMO. But he has some significant holes. One of them is that he has a much lower BABIP than I'd expect from someone who hits the ball as hard as he does. And that is based on hundreds of PAs. He also strikes out more than I'd like.

    To me he is a net positive. But I say that because of what I've seen from him over his career. Not based on 21 arbitrarily selected PAs.

    My problem isn't with your conclusion but with your evidence. I don't make any real assessment of a player based on such a small sample size. I've seen too much weird stuff happen when I do that.

  • Rumor that mean Mr. Mustard ( Clint Hurdle ) may be shown the door ! Boo Hoo Clint !

  • fb_avatar

    We like some nicknames here and I heard one from Len and JD for Castellanos. It might have been from Detroit and it was “2 Bags.” I like it.?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I am coming more and more to the conclusion that 2B are under-rated. Most fans who want a slugger want HR which is justified. But 2B are pretty handy too, though less "sexy."

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    IMO, line drives are "sexy." Uppercut swings that produce warning track fly balls are not, especially when there are a ton of strikeouts between the occasional fly that clears the fence. I love the way Castellanos hits.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cliff1969:

    It's not always that simple. What if a guy has 30+ HR, 30+% K% and another guy with 20 HR, 20% K% and 15 more 2B.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Cliff, the goal of the hitter is to get the ball in the air. So although there are going to be warning track fly balls for outs, it is a far better outcome than a weak grounder on the infield. The data suggests balls in the air lead to higher batting averages and slugging percentages. An uppercut swing matches the plane of the pitch to allow for more hard contact as barrel is moving in the same direction as the pitch is coming in the zone.

    I also read data that balls in the air on the pull side of the hitter are the most valuable batted ball as the average was over .350 and the slug over .600. If a hitter can learn to get the ball in the air to the pull side, then he will do some serious damage. It's not that easy -- I get it, but I would rather guys take an approach with their swing to be most successful. I will take some fly balls for the greater good versus weak rollers that lead to outs 90% of the time. Of course we all want line drives. I don't have angst over fly balls. As I tell my hitters, get the ball in the air. Thousands of kids who never played past 12U little league can hit grounders.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    I actually read something that surprised me on fangraphs. They were saying that GB lead to a higher BA. Then I thought about it a lot of FB are simply "caught" for outs. So the understanding I came away with was that FB yield a higher SLG (which has value) and, obviously, HR which sort of figure into SLG but are valuable in their own right.

    Or was I misunderstanding the data they presented.

    This is not meant to negate the point of this post but I thought it was pertinent and you might be able to shed light on it.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Popup = .015 AVG-.019 SLG (7.7%)
    – Fly Ball = .275 AVG-.703 SLG (28.0%)
    – Line Drive = .661 AVG-.869 SLG (20.9%)
    – Ground Ball = .245 AVG-.267 SLG (43.4%)

    I will go find the article and link it, but here is a quick view of the data.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    Thanks for the data. It tells a different story than the one I liked below which was based on data from 2014 season (maybe things have changed). I am curious what is going on. Now even more since we have conflicting data.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Ooh, but what is the technical difference in the terminology of a popup & a fly ball. I would think that both should be in the same classification. Seems like launch angle would be the easiest way to make these statistics legitimate.

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    I'm assuming a pop is where the ball was fielded or perhaps catch made by an IF?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I'm not promoting ground balls, but a popup is a "ball in the air," too. I like the solid contact that Castellanos brings.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cliff1969:

    OK, lets see if I can sort this out. You are saying you like "solid contact" as opposed to "pop-ups." rbrucato is saying he likes "warning track fly balls" over "weak grounders." Both of you are imagining a ball hit hard vs a weakly hit ball. Castigating the other's opinion as a weakly hit GB vs a weakly hit FB depending on your stand.

    So, to sum it up, I think both of you prefer "hard contact" to "weak contact." That should hardly be news to any intelligent baseball fan.

    To me an upper-cut swing, provided the player has sufficient power to truly drive the ball is preferable. Even if it means some high-fly balls that are caught for outs. I am fine with a ball scalded on the ground that the infielder barely has time to react to. I am opposed to weakly hit GB OR Pop-ups. I have seen weakly hit "swinging bunts" that result in a hit. I have also seen weak fly balls turn into hits that fall between 3-4 defenders. But that is not a good "strategy" to use to build your offense.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Works for me. Hard contact even addresses a though you expressed earlier about ground balls and their effect on batting average - a hard hit grounder has a much better chance of finding a hole. But, to clarify, you used the word "sexy" in a post, and that's what I responded to. Hard contact is sexy. Wind-blown popups that find the basket aren't, but we'll take 'em, anyway.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cliff1969:

    But a hard hit fly ball is also reasonably likely to "find a hole" for the same reason. Maybe even more so because there are fewer OF covering MUCH more area than infielders.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cliff1969:

    Here we go. Here is an article that might sum it up:
    https://library.fangraphs.com/pitching/batted-ball/

    It is based on evaluating pitchers but presumably the BA on GB is the same for pitchers and hitters (since "hitters" must be getting those hits against the pitchers). As I suspected, the BA is higher on GB (by a reasonably large margin) but the SLG% on FB is MUCH higher (300 points!) yielding a better wOBA. This is an indicator that if avoiding outs is your biggest concern, then GB are the way to go, but offenses are more productive with flyballs, probably enough to off-set the difference in BA. I will assume that BB% are the same for players because if you really want to avoid outs you are better off staying away from a player like Baez and Almora. Though Baez has enough power (as well as defense) to overcome a relatively weak OBP for someone with his talent.

  • Great win but again HR dependent 8 of 10 runs score runs n HR. Homeruns go on vacation in playoffs as the primary scoring tool .

  • In reply to stix:

    Then why do you continue to rip Rizzo and KB about lack of long balls?

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    They drive in few runs as well w/o the HR. See Cubsfanstuckinstlouis from above .since June 1 Bryant has 9 rbi’s That aren’t his own on his HR .Rizzo is a bit better but since June 15 his non HR rbi’s Are limited as well. They are not producing in the last month and a half, whether it be HR or not. It’s a good thing baseball is at a 25 man game.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to stix:

    Bryant does help the team in ways other than hitting HR, though. Using the June 1 time frame his slash line is a solid .294/.374/.493 and a wRC+ of 127. A lot of those PAs also took place as the #2 in the batting order when the Cubs were struggling at lead-off.

    Rizzo has a had similar numbers with a slash line of .280/.378/.444 with a wRC+ of 117. Not earth shattering, but he is doing a solid job. Even if they each hit just 9 more HR (a number you consider you imply is sub-par) you are looking at around a 30 HR season from each of them with solid BA/OBP/SLG numbers. To me even in this stretch they have not hit the HR we've grown accustomed to, but they haven't really been a drag on the offense.

  • In reply to stix:

    Finding something negative about scoring 10 runs must be hard.

  • In reply to stix:

    that was a result of getting guys on base. We haven't walked much or hit much so those HR were mainly solo. Yesterday was a classic example of the offense doing what it should -- get guys on base and then do damage. I have no issues with the runs coming on HR -- I like those crooked numbers.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    I think many people underestimate how rare it is to string together multiple hits in an inning. Most, though, admittedly, not ALL, multi-run innings have an XBH involved and, as often as not, that XBH--or at least one of them) is a HR.

    As you say, the game yesterday is an illustration of what happens when an offense hits HR with runners on base as opposed to "bases empty." As I said above, while Bryant/Rizzo may not be as good as some people wish since June 1 they have been carrying a decent load.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to stix:

    Just out of curiosity, what would your preferred percentage (even range of percentages) of R by HR be and why?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    No idea. Just know that if they rely on scoring 80% of there runs via HR. They won’t do well in the playoffs. The cubs just went through a streak a few weeks back where they scored 19 of 20 runs over 4 or 5 games via the HR.

    Games are not typically HR derbies in the playoffs due to the pitching faced. That’s all I was pointing out. I doubt anyone scores 10 runs without a HR being involved but you don’t see many 10 run explosions in the playoffs.

    Not sure the players deliberately hit singles or HR. They try to hit the ball hard and let the results follow. I guess I’d rather score whatever way they can but I don’t see many runs scored without HR. Maybe that’s the way the game has evolved, I just don't expect that to be how the playoffs will be won.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to stix:

    Not to be snarky but "<80%"? Fine.

    Partly the game has evolved into a more "3 True Outcomes." That isn't necessarily the end of the evolution of baseball. A good argument could be made that baseball was similar in the 1930's and 1940s. Yes, I know DiMaggio and Williams didn't strike out much. But fans summary of the game was that it had become "stodgy" and "waiting for the 3-run HR." Then came the influx of players from the Negro Leagues who focused on put the ball in play, run the bases aggressively, etc. And things went to a more frantic style for a while.

    I am not worried about HR particularly. I know it is "common-knowledge" that post-season games are "different" but I don't know if that's true. You are facing good teams. But they are still, generally, the same personnel. They have the same skill set. They don't suddenly become a different team because it is "post-season. HR rates in the post-season are probably lower than in the regular season but this is probably largely because you are playing ONLY good teams. Sometimes when 2 teams match-up head-to-head you will get 2-1 games. But sometimes you will get 10-2 games. That happens whether it is April, July, or October/November.

    HR yield runs. Particularly when there are runners on base which is why I worry about OBP rather than what percentage of runs scored on a HR. It is possible that is not how the playoffs will be won. But it is not impossible that it will be. It is possible that "shut-down bullpen" willl be essential. It is possible that "offense will reign and you need just enough pitching to prevent the other team from out-scoring you." Trying to guess what the playoffs will be like can be a fool's errand.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to stix:

    I can assure you no player goes up there saying, "I hope I hit a single rather than a HR." Nor do they say, "Let's see, I should probably try to hit a single instead of a HR." Given the opportunity players ALWAYS prefer hitting a HR. Sometimes a single is enough and that is the best they can do in that PA. But they didn't "deliberately hit a single or HR."

  • Lucroy and more. Lucroy will get time, he will have to perform at a level that Maddon & Co expect as Caratini has and continues to perform to stay. You can't discount experience down the stretch as games increase in their magnitude where the math holds less and less opportunity to recover. We don't know when Contreras will return and return a full strength but my guess is somewhere around Sept 15th. Now 'Happie' is something and it appears now that the half-season plus the Cubs org invested in remaking him is paying off. Lastly, now the test goes on the road with three new experienced position players and a couple of new relievers. Will their attitude change? Like the Oakland series Cubs go 3-1 and it asserts their position as division leader, go 2-2 and it's okay, 6-4 for the road trip would grand taking the two followup series. It is in the math.

  • John CC, you're off base here. Stix wasn't negating anything except for Bryzzo being totally out of it during the last 12 games. KB especially has produced nothing except a HR when the Cubs were down 11-0. That's his norm. He produces nothing in the clutch where it be a clutch AB, a clutch series or in this case 4 series with high value opponents. The guy is the biggest gag in baseball.

  • In reply to veteran:

    JohnCC didn't say anything at all about Kris Bryant, but you're responding that HE'S "off base?" Please produce some statistics that show KB is "the biggest gag in baseball." You can't.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Thank you. #truth

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cliff1969:

    I remember early this spring I had this conversation on here. No one could agree on what "clutch" was. Yet everyone agreed Bryant didn't have it. Despite having outstanding production. It is simply looking at "narrative" rather than "production." And some of the definitions were mutually exclusive.

    We can all remember times when a player came through and didn't come through "in the clutch." Depending on what narrative we are following about the player is a very good predictor of which one we "remember" as "proof" that the player is/is not "clutch."

  • In reply to veteran:

    308 .400 .523 .923

    That's KB's world series stat line. Yeah, he gagged all right.

    Vet, If your moniker was due to military service I thank you. But I will never agree with your hate on KB. He has done exactly what has been asked of him this year.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KJRyno:

    I could make a strong argument for KB as WS MVP.

    He hit the tying HR in Game 5 that allowed the Cubs to be in a position to not be eliminated in 5 games. Zobrist has said Bryant's HR in Game 6 really gave the team momentum. In Game 7 8 players EACH had 1 RBI. Eliminate any of those RBI and the game does not go to extra innings and Chapman is relegated to biggest Cub enemy in history. Bryant had one of those RBI. He hit a deep fly ball that was close to leaving the park in the 10th inning and it allowed Almora to advance which put the Cubs in position to take the lead. In the three biggest games in Cubs history Bryant played a key role (though others also certainly did well) in the victory.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Can't forget his baserunning in that series either. Scoring from first twice on rizzo hits to right field. One was just a single too.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    And who was the Cub 3B that fielded the series-ending ground ball and made the throw to first to give the Cubs their first WS in108 years?

    Think that play was a "gimme"? Ask Cub fans who still remember Alex Gonzales' error on a "routine" double play ball in the 8th inning of the 2003 NLCS.

  • I hope Schwarber starts in LF for today's game, despite the fact the Cubs are facing a LH pitcher in Wood. Here are some good reasons:
    1) Kyle is on a tear this month (1.667 OPS in August)
    2) Wood is not particularly tough against lefties - pretty even split over the last 3 years
    3) They will be playing in a hitter's park which plays very well for long ball hitters like Kyle

    I know Joe likes to play Almora against lefties, but the "process" may tilt towards the War Bear in this game.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Always a fine line with a manager. If Joe plays him tonight, and he goes 0-4 with three K's then it could put a dent in the positive mojo. Just has to be a gut feel. Almora will be in center though. He has been just as hot. Might be a good day for JHey to get a break. Caratini too.

  • Lineup is out. Lucroy gets the start and in the 8 hole. Outfield of 2bags, Almora, Jhey. Happy at second.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    2bags works as a nickname, but I don't think I'll ever be able to see that and not think of some kind of drug-related street lingo.:)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    It's all code. Street jargon. Len and JD are sending out secret messages.

  • How the Cubs come out after 4 in Cincinnati will be telling. Cinci has given the Cubbies trouble all year. A 500 road trip or better will be O.K. It looks like Schwarber is coming into his own. I, like many others bashed the Schwarb, thinking he was a wasted draft pick . It tells you, never bet against Theo !

Leave a comment