Cubs Game Post 9/22

A Chicago Cubs fan watches during the sixth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  ORG XMIT: NLCS188

Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Sunday: 1:20 PM CT on TBS/NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Lineups

Cardinals

1. Dexter Fowler (S) RF
2. Tommy Edman (S) 2B
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
5. Yadier Molina (R) C
6. Matt Carpenter (L) 3B
7. Paul DeJong (R) SS
8. Harrison Bader (R) CF
9. Miles Mikolas (R) P
Cubs
1. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
5. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
7. Jason Heyward (L) CF
8. Nico Hoerner (R) SS
9. Yu Darvish (R) P
Bullpen Usage
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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Miles Mikolas: Miles Mikolas has thrown 7,451 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2011 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), Sinker (94mph), Slider (87mph) and Curve (79mph). He also rarely throws a Change (88mph).

His fourseam fastball generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has some natural sinking action, has essentially average velo and has slightly less natural movement than typical. His sinker generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has slightly above average velo. His slider is much harder than usual. His curve has an exceptional bite and results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves. His change generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups, is much firmer than usual, has slight armside fade and has some natural sink to it.

Sean's Note: Mikolas has had a down year from his strong 2018 season. He has allowed ten more homers this season in 26 fewer innings pitched. He strikes out a below average number of batters and he has excellent control. The percentage of hard contact against him is up 9% from last year. He has given up just four runs in 16.1 innings pitched against the Cubs in 2019.

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  • Heavy rain in the forecast, probably arriving between 2-3 PM. Cubs officials in contact with MLB to see how to proceed. It's very unlikely we get in a full game, and even 5 innings is in doubt. A tentative makeup date has been set for a week from tomorrow, the Monday after the final regular-season game, and even that won't be necessary unless the DirtyBirds' playoff spot is still undecided. We played 163 last year, maybe only 161 this season.

    Final Wrigley game for Gary Pressy, possibly Ben Zobrist, probably Joe Maddon and Pedro Strop, among others. Would like to at least see a proper farewell for these guys.

    A fitting scenario for our last home game of 2019: uncertain, chaotic, and unsatisfying.

  • At this point, roster composition is a wild card in 2020.
    I believe that outside of the LT contract deals, Rizzo, Baez and Contreras (which aren't a certainity, just a high probability), the rest of the on field talent is subject to a change in uniform.

    Truthfully, the change should have been made last offseason, but I am guessing (as an outsider looking in) that ownership putting up a stop sign to adding payroll has made the probability of change this off season a near certainty.

    Coming to grips with what I believe will be wholesale changes will be hard to stomach, given the expectations I had after 2016.

    It shows that winning consistently thru the regular and post season is hard and that the cubs mgmt misjudged the overall team talent and its ability to perform at a high level.

    While Epstein and Co. have broken the dryspell, their ending will be bittersweet and it leaves me with a sense of unfulfilled expectations.

  • In reply to brownjay:

    Good post.

    Many things have gone wrong, and there is plenty of blame to go around. Players haven't performed, coaching hasn't seemed to hold players accountable for repeated mental errors, and ownership did tighten the purse strings. But as you touched on, perhaps the biggest blame lies at the feet of the FO.

    They have been accused of valuing "their" talent too highly, even rejecting trades that could have improved the franchise because they didn't perceive other organizations' offers as sufficient. Theo famously gave a depressing assessment on the state of the team following last season's disappointing finish, then largely stood pat last offseason, presumably believing the existing talent would improve. Again, believing "his" guys were better than most others believed. A major shakeup has begun in the evaluation/development areas of the FO and more changes will be made as the offseason goes on.

    Big changes are coming after this season mercifully ends.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Sorry BP but I disagree. Theo came out and stated the team was playing below their abilities and even admitted his mistakes. Joe Maddon continues to praise his ball players, win or lose, even to this day. Theo/FO only had one chance to make their picks and most of us agreed with their draft picks until lately.

    Theo went out and got Nicky2bags to help the team despite all the complaints about not getting Whitfield or others. BTW, Nicky2bags is one of the best pickups of this decade.

    Last but not least, Theo had nothing to do with the day-to-day lineups and in-game decisions. Those were Joe's decisions. Joe continued to play guys that were hurt and sat players after they had a good game on offense the day before, not Theo. It was Joe's pitching decisions that were constantly questioned, not Theo's. Last but not least, many Cubs players continued to regress while under Joe's management.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Plenty of blame to go around, and plenty of time this offseason to discuss it. This team peaked in 2016 and has been on a downward spiral since. It shouldn't be that way. The blame can be placed more heavily in one area than another, and my opinion the greatest failures have been from the FO. This was a fatally flawed roster coming into this season, and that ain't on Joe. He's certainly made his share of mistakes, but he has to play what is available.

    Again, this is a deep topic. We'll have plenty of time to discuss, more than we should, actually, once this is over.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Where was the fatal flaws?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Back of the bullpen with the question marks of Morrow and a shortage of LH's, holes in CF and 2B, no one at the top of the order, and a stubborn belief that "their" guys would simply be better to fix what was an admittedly a broken offense, just to name a few.

    No disrespect, I just don't want to discuss this any further right now. I'm going to try to wring a little pleasure out of what I hope will be a victory. Plenty of time for these discussions over the next several months.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    OK, I just want the record to say I disagree. Talk with you later

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    The bullpen is a disaster.
    Look no further if you're looking for a reason the Cubs don't make the playoffs.

    They're horrible in save situations and have reliquished many, many leads before it even got that to that point.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    I agree but that is not what we were discussing. We were discussing "the greatest failures have been from the FO. This was a fatally flawed roster coming into this season, and that ain't on Joe." per BP. I blame Joe for most of the problems.

    Our roster was not perfect coming into the season but it was OK and even up until lately, it was even better, especially after adding Nicky2Bags.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    This series is a perfect example of what happened.
    Cubs get leads and can't hold them.

    Yu has to go out there in the 9th because there are no good options.

  • In reply to brownjay:

    Just a gut feeling, but I think anyone but Rizzo could be traded. I actually think it may come down to which, if any, are willing to sign a more team-friendly contract. And there is the wild card of arguably their best offensive player: Castellanos. Do they give him a Boras-sized free agent deal?

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    There i would nor trade. Rizzo, Hendricks and contreas. They can trade maybe one or two others for top prospects and still be competetive in 20

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    Slow down, Bill, it's only the 8th inning. :)

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    They're not gonna trade Rizzo.
    If I were a betting man, I'd bet on Rizz staying in a Cubs uni till the end,
    Everyone else, all bets are off.

  • Unbelievable

  • Time to fly the W? As in the (W)hite flag to prevent further injury? The medical staff knows more than I do, but we can't risk Rizzo, KB, Baez, Kimbrel, etc. not being ready for next season in a chase of a lost cause.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Agree

  • Bahaahha.....what are the chances Kimbrel pitches today.......

    ZERO

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Yu took the AB.
    They've got a chance if none of their scrub relievers set foot on the mound.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Never mind.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Wick is my guess. A few more runs would be great.

  • fb_avatar

    We do have months and months to discuss what's happened. Briefly I think that our core did not progress as we thought they would. In 2017 I can understand a letdown after a century of waiting for a win and all that entailed the following off season and into 2017. But these players were so young that these next few years that these are coming into their prime and instead of progressing (with a few exceptions--hello Javy) they've regressed. We wouldn't trade any because the thought was they would improve. Even now, Rizzo and Heyward are 30 and that's not old. The "names" we have aren't as good as their reputations.
    I want better pitching and defense and fewer strike outs--just what Theo said he wanted when he took the job.
    But hey, we've had four straight years of 90+ wins, 1 WS title, 2 division titles and a hell of a ride, more than any of us has seen in our lifetimes. So before all the bashing let's congratulate everyone from Ricketts on down. Thank you.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Great post Jonathan. It has been the most fun 4+ years of my Cub fandom, so I will echo your thoughts & thank the Rickets, Theo & Jed, Maddon and his coaches & all the players that have made this stretch of baseball so much fun.
    I know some will be happy when/if Joe is gone, some will be disappointed Theo is still here and some happy or sad certain players are moved, but 2016 happened . That can never be taken away

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    I'd say it's been a fun four years 2015-2018. Can't say this one has been "fun," since nearly every problem was known before 2018 ended. Windows only stay open for so long, and I hate lost opportunities.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    The last few weeks haven’t been fun for sure. But the goal for every big market team should be to keep the window open permanently. The Cubs window is still wide open. Everyone has their own opinion on who’s more to blame for the playoffs not happening this year. I agree with BP that there is plenty of blame to be shared among the FO, coaches & players. But I have no doubt the Cubs will be contenders again next year and in the hunt for the title

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Absolutely agree - unless the Cubs have the same do-nothing offseason they did last year. I guess that was my point - the weaknesses were known but not fixed. I don't want a repeat of that. As for fault, I'm sure we'll have thousands of words across these pages for the next few months assigning blame, but I agree with those that say there's plenty to go around. Every "Cub" from the front office to the peanut vendor should feel shame today.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Definitely agree with you. In hindsight, changes should have been made last offseason. I will be shocked if those changes don’t happen this year. And even though I’m a big fan of what Maddon has done here, I’ll be almost as shocked if he’s back

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Hey, I thought the peanut vendors (with whom I used to claim residence) did a bang-up job this year. What's the matter with you--are you genetically anti-peanut (;-) ?

  • In reply to wthomson:

    "I'm a fleabit peanut monkey.
    And all my friends are junkies.
    That's not really true. "

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Peanut monkey? Is this for real or just another interpretation of Mick's enigmatic singing style? Cuz I've always sung "fleabit fiendin' monkey."

    At any rate, "I could use lemon squeezer!" right about now.

  • Hope ran pours to cancel the 9th????

  • fb_avatar

    Not sure what to say here. In general, I probably would have pulled Yu earlier in the inning, but I really didn’t like Strop as the alternative. Joe didn’t give me a good choice.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Theo didn’t give joe any good choices. You have to let Yu go the distance.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Rowan Wick would have been fine there.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Strop did fine. But I’d take Yu over wick to preserve a win any day.

  • Could this series end any other way? The DirtyBirds haven't swept a 4-game series at Wrigley since 1921. 98 years.

    I was hoping Strop would have a token appearance in a blowout to say goodbye. I hope he doesn't create the blowout.

    For the love of all that is good and pure, let's get some bottom of the 9th runs!

  • Nico has had some big moments in 2019. Let's start designing a statue.

  • Well, we'll always have Paris...er, 2016.

  • fb_avatar

    How many games were we ahead after 8? If only we only played 8.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Excellent idea, playing 8--along with the robo-ump!

  • Switched off immediately with the Nico flyout. Not going to watch those *********** ************s celebrate.

    The autopsy can commence in a week.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    This is wise...

  • These games are almost unbelievable with the ways the Cubs find a way to lose. Albert Almora clearly misread that triple in center and a "good" CF catches that ball. He is supposed to be good at fielding but I haven't seen it much this year from him. Lots of mental errors and missed opportunities. He clearly has had trouble hitting and I would not be surprised if he is no longer with the team next year.

    This may be good for the Cubs in the longer run. The team needs to change. IMO, the team needs hitters that strike out less, more speed, an additional stud starter, and major bullpen help. I will be surprised if the roster is not very different next year.

  • Of course. Just of course.

    Lost another game in the last inning, for the first 4-game sweep in 98 years at Wrigley, with KB going down, Rizzo horribly hobbled, and Javy flashing El Mago with his unique ability to impact a game but in a very limited role. Our bullpen is so horrid Darvish stays out to do something he hasn't done in over 5 years.

    And Milwaukee just won.

    I want to use much more, um, "creative" language, but I'll stick to my standard " well, that sucked! ".

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I refuse to give in to anger. This stuff happens. Teams fall apart. All I feel is sadness right now. There's enough talent to go out and fix this. Joe will be gone and if we're singing the same song in a year so will Theo. It's the nature of the game.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Thanks, TC. I'm not angry, just frustrated. Like everyone else I appreciate this Golden Age, the most successful stretch that any of us have ever witnessed. But I also remember that we purposely tanked for several years and have one of the highest payrolls in baseball. It shouldn't be like this. I can be appreciative and disappointed at the same time.

    The injuries you mostly can't help, a sub-par roster you can. There needs to be some serious self-reflection and reconsideration of one's baseball abilities at the upper levels of management. There will be, it already has begun.

    As always, Go Cubs!

  • Throwing this out there. The White Sox have a prospect by the name of Nick Madrigal (2nd base). He is highly touted. Check out his stats, he hardly ever strikes out. The Cubs have a few issues, but a big one IMO is as a team they strike out way too much. They also have very little team speed. This is a player that has good speed and rarely strikes out. Not sure what it would take but I think the Cubs are at a point where major trades should be in the works. As good as we think their everyday players are, the results just are not there. We need a more consistent lineup with better bat to ball skills.

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    I think you'll see a barge-load of trade proposals, pretty much all winter long. I've already stated that IMO there isn't an "untouchable" player on the team, as long as the FO gets value for any they trade.

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    In reply to MoneyBall:

    I've been calling for more team speed forever, and would love to have some plus runners too. If the Cubs traded for Madrigal then unless Nico plays CF he's not playing next year. I don't think he has the arm for 3rd.
    I would look for trade Schwarber for a number of prospects. He has good power, but in this era of a juiced ball he still didn't hit 40 HR. Ronald Acuna jr has 40 along with 37 SB. So we could get good prospects back but not a hall like the Sox did with Sale or Engel. Still, a good start.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Agree that Schwarber should be traded because he K's too much with little speed and average to below average defensively. He is more of an AL type player. I would personally like for the team to consider trading Bryant for prospects and then sign Anthony Rendon for 3B. Rendon has better bat to ball skills then Bryant. I like Bryant, but he K's too much and the money that he makes now and in the future could be reinvested in other areas.

    As far as Nico getting squeezed position wise, I think you need as much depth as possible. It is a long season.

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    I don’t think u loading guys and starting from scratch is necessary. I truly believe a core of KB, NC, AR, JB and WC are good enough to win a WS. Find a table setter at 2nd base and a true ace and we’ll be back.

  • We probably won a WS as a result of the trade, but look at what Gleyber Torres is doing. DJ LeMahieu also having a great year. Former Cubs.

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    I loved DJ. And it makes me laugh when the “know it all’s” say DJ can’t hit it is because he plays in Denver. So glad hit went to NY and hit well.

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