Cubs Game Post 9/18


Series preview is here.


Wednesday: 7:05 PM CT on WGN/670AM



1. Alex Blandino (R) 2B
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
5. Phillip Ervin (R) LF
6. Jose Iglesias (R) SS
7. Curt Casali (R) C
9. Tyler Mahle (R) P
1. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
6. Victor Caratini (S) 1B
7. Jason Heyward (L) CF
8. Nico Hoerner (R) SS
9. Jon Lester (L) P
Bullpen Usage
Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Tyler Mahle: Tyler Mahle has thrown 4,493 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2017 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph) and Curve (81mph), also mixing in a Splitter (87mph) and Cutter (90mph). He also rarely throws a Slider (84mph) and Change (87mph).

His fourseam fastball generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has some natural sinking action, has essentially average velo and has slight armside run. His curve is slightly harder than usual. His splitter generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers' splitters and is much firmer than usual. His cutter is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' cutters and has slightly above average velo. His slider is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' sliders, has exceptional depth, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sliders and has short glove-side cut. His change generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' changeups, is much firmer than usual, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups and has some natural sink to it.

Sean's Note: Mahle has struggled mightily in 2019 with a 5.11 ERA. He has given up a whopping 22 homers in just 116 innings pitched. He does have an above average strike out rate at (25%) and doesn't walk many. Lefties hit for a ton of power off him with a .561 slugging percentage. The Cubs tagged him for six runs in a game at Wrigley in May.

Final Thoughts: The Cubs five-game winning streak was snapped by Reds ace Sonny Gray Tuesday night. Chicago has the same lineup as the previous two games. Kyle Schwarber has been red-hot the last month and had the only RBI's yesterday. Jon Lester has been having first inning issues of late, he could really help the team with a strong outing tonight.

Filed under: Game preview

Tags: jon Lester, kyle schwarber


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  • Almora Jr. has had good numbers against yesterday's pitcher (Gray), and today's (Mahle); does Joe just have no confidence in him anymore?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Would you sit Heyward for him? I think Heyward has shown he's at least as good as Almora defensively in CF and he's a better all around player, so I wouldn't. And you can't sit Schwarber or Castellanos

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    I wouldn't necessarily sit Heyward dor Almora Jr., but if he was going to play anytime soon, I would've thought it would have been yesterday or today............

  • In reply to Treebeard:


  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I don't know that anyone has confidence in him anymore, including himself. Things have gone very sideways for him this season. I don't know why. There will be some serious evaluation during this offseason to decide if he is even worth a roster spot next year, which stinks because I've always liked him for what I believe him to be, a fourth outfielder on a good Cubs team.

    Kimbrel pitched a successful sim game yesterday and is doing the normal pre-game routine with the rest of the relievers today. No word yet, but I expect him to be activated tomorrow or the next day.

    Javy's replacement is officially on the 7-day concussion IL but has been hitting off a tee for a couple days and is almost to normal fielding drills today. I wondered why the Cubs put him on the IL, because with the expanded rosters there was no benefit, but now I see that because of that he will not receive a $100K bonus tied to time on the roster. The Cubs say they are just respecting the concussion protocol. OK.

    Another gorgeous day at Wrigley. Blue skies and a slight breeze blowing right to left. Just a gut feeling, but I'm making dinner reservations for Nico Suave tonight.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Dinner reservations for Nicky4bags did you say? :)

  • In reply to stv711:

    I'd be cool with them having to share a table.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Anyone looking for a sign if Russell will be back or not, there it is.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I'm sure Boras will object, so I think you're right. We needed him this season, because of FO ineptitude, but the emergence of Nico Suave makes him expendable.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    So is Nico Russell's replacement?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I brought up the topic of promoting Nico earlier this year, around the end of May I think. I was only half-joking. Some players need minor-league seasoning to work out holes and hone their craft. More importantly, they may be stunted if overwhelmed and can take a step backwards. Nico has been ready for this challenge. I have no worries about him. He doesn't have the LOUD tools of, say, Javier Baez, but he is ready to be an above-average Major Leaguer. And he fills a specific need on our roster.

    He will struggle. But I'd be surprised if he isn't our starting 2B out of spring in 2020, and for that reason, with his ability to back up Javy at SS, I expect Javy's replacement to be jettisoned this offseason.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I would definitely agree with you there BP.......

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think Hoerner starts the year in the minors. Don't let the small sample size fool you.
    Also think there is a good chance Russell is back.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    That's entirely possible, and if Nico isn't ready for the major leagues we may have to hold onto Javy's replacement.

    I'm interested in your thoughts of why you think Nico needs to go back down. What holes do you see? He passes all my tests.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    40 plate appearances seems to be SSS to find all the holes or know if they even looked for any yet.

  • In reply to stix:

    I get the SSS, but I'm not basing my opinion on that. I think some people say he needs more time in the minors because that's what you are "supposed" to do. That's what I don't agree with.

    He is polished, offensively and defensively. He is mentally tough and shows that he belongs. Players spend more time in the minors when they aren't ready and need to work on more things. I don't see anything he needs to work on.

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    KB wasn't good at the plate yesterday so it's time for him to bounce back. I don't know about Joe, but I do like the lineup as constituted now. They know where they're going to bat and what is required from that slot and have responded as well.
    Nico hit the ball hard yesterday, and I like to see the hard contact, but I really liked him getting bat on ball and just stroking it to RF. You can see the back and forth with pitchers trying to find his holes. He looks like a solid player.
    So we need a win today--let's score some runs!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Cubs need to go 4-1 at worst through Sunday. If not season might be toast.

  • BTW, happy birthday, Ryno! Definitely in my top-5 favorite players of all time.

  • 2 more outs on the bases. Sloppy. Been that way all year. Don’t think they cost anything today but that shouldn’t happen if their minds were on the game.

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    When the Cubs need to be hyper-concentrated (if that’s a word) they’ve already had 2 base running errors. We just can’t do that and expect to win. It’s like the turnover battle in football. Whoever has the fewest usually wins.
    Now Zo misses a hard hit grounder, it was difficult but doable.

  • < mute button for the whole 3rd inning....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I can understand Little Tommie but why Marty?

  • Nicky sneakybags.

  • Shark with a no hitter through five in Boston.

  • Nicky two bags with two aggressive running moves which could have been outs.

  • What a clutch performance by KB

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Thinking the same thing but he moved him to third by not hitting the wild pitch.

  • In reply to stix:

    Haha, good one!

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    I thought that was actually a good AB with a bad result.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    But it’s not like he was fouling off good pitches, all he did was not swing at balls. Has it come to us getting excited for when he doesn’t swing out of the zone?

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    Exactly. Let him go a give me Washington s throes baseman anyway...

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    Good point. Maybe it has come to that.

  • Well, terrible baserunning, K.B. looks pathetic at the plate and Willson doesn't look much better. I take back all the nasty things I said about Kyle Schwarber, it looks like Kyle's figured things out at the plate.
    This current Cubs team doesn't look right, it looks like they lost their edge. Making the playoffs is no sure thing.
    Cubbies, wake up !

  • Tough crowd here tonight.

    We're going to win this game, and it's going to be fun.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Die hard cub fans are notorious for expecting the worst. Need your positive attitude to excite them.

  • Why Strop?

  • In reply to stix:

    White flag?

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    We can’t keep giving them the first man on. Len said that’s the 5th tonight in 7 innings. We’ve had awfully good defense tonight. Another on.
    Lorenzen is a beast. He hit that hard too. Time to get Stropy out, now.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Strop should never have been in such a high leverage situation. With the expanded bullpen, there’s no excuse.

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    This team is crazy. We score 50+ runs in 4 games and now 2 yesterday and 1 today, and Gray was good yesterday but tonight was easier and we’re still not scoring. It feels like a must game today. I’d much rather be 2 back when StL comes in tomorrow.

  • One hit wonders. Bring back the Pirates.

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    So does Chatwood stay in the bullpen next year or go back to starting. He’s completely changed his effectiveness and I don’t know what’s best for the Cubs.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    He’s their fourth or fifth starter, I would expect.

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    In reply to stix:

    You really think so? I see Yu, Hendricks and then who? Q maybe, maybe not. I don’t see Hamels here next year. I’d love to see us sign Gerrit Cole—he’d be our Lester for the next 5 years.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Still have Lester. If they sign Cole then they try to trade Q

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yu can opt after this season. He has 4 years and $81M remaining. Based upon his finish to this season, I think he can get better than $20M/ season. Better count on needing anther starter.

  • Crew loses let’s get some runs.

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    Javy would have tagged him.

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    Let’s walk this off now so we don’t have to worry about Suarez and Aquino again.

  • Hoerner is adequate defensively but after watching Javy and Addy play short, he doesn’t have the range or arm of either of them. He belongs at 2b except in emergencies.

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    Where is Alzolay? Has he pitched too many innings this year and they're just being careful with him? I miss his approach--get the ball, throw the ball. If he's healthy he could help us next year.

  • No game recap up, so I’ll post here.

    StL beat WSH. MIL lost to SDP. The new Magic Numbers:

    Division: 14
    Playoffs (WC): 11

    And the not-so-magic (Elimination) Number (division): 8

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Technical difficulties on the recap. I've thought about stealing a page out of your book, Norway, and start posting a WGN elimination number. I think it's down to 4 or 5.

  • At this point, the only magic number seems to be 189.

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