Throwing It Away - Padres 4, Cubs 0

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

The Cubs put up another lifeless effort as their playoff chances circled the drain.

Anthony Rizzo tripled to open the 2nd inning against Chris Paddack. Kris Bryant flew out, but not deep enough to score Rizzo. Willson Contreras struck out and Jason Heyward grounded out to strand the runner.

Manuel Margot homered off Cole Hamels in the 5th to make it 1-0. Ty France walked against James Norwood in the 6th and advanced to third on a Luis Urias single. Brad Wieck took over with two out. France attempted to steal home, Wieck saw and threw wildly home to allow the run.

Duane Underwood Jr. allowed a two-run single to Wil Myers to increase the lead to 4-0. The Cubs offense did nothing in the 4-0 whitewash.

Source: FanGraphs

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  • As uttered by famed announcer Jack Brickhouse: "Whoo, boy!"

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Make that Alzolay, Chatty and Graveman. That should cover the 5th starter role next year. And with the in-house, young relievers- allows money to be spent on reworking the offense a bit.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    "Whoo-boy!" was a phrase Brickhouse used when the Cubs trashed a play. It's about as disgusted as you'd ever hear him get.

    I think the
    Cubs have Lester, Quintana, Hendricks and Yu next year and will need to add one of the pitchers you mentioned, possibly two. I don't see them re-signing Hamels, saving the payroll for, as you said, the offense.

  • It's crazy how this team of such promise has reverted to the old heartbreaker ways of the Cubs. Finding ways to lose...

  • I'm good with a near total youth movement with the pitching staff next year. Lester can stay on as our Lackey but he and Cole are showing their age. The pen can be all rookies and Kimbrel. It's a known crap-shoot anyway. Theo will need the money for Big Nick and probably another pro hitter.
    And whether it's Joe's fault or not, these guys have quit playing for him.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Here here!!! You got it right. I'm ok with Chatwood and Alzolay as some combo, 5th starter. MY as well see what's there.
    I'd like to see a Craig Counsell clone as manager.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    You can't go into a year with a combo starter

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    And you can't go into a year without more than 5 options , as starting pitchers for a MLB staff!

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    It doesn't look like they play at all. I think that we have to face the fact that this team just doesn't care. Stick a fork in them. Are they even worth out time?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    A read from a few different beat writers that the clubhouse was as somber after last night's loss as they had ever seen. It's never fun after losing, but they said it was like a funeral.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That’s the feeling in my house too BP. It seems no one wants that second wild card except maybe the brew crew. Everyone near the cubs has lost the past couple nights and they can’t take advantage of it. The cubs have the baton in their hands but can’t seem to grasp it. Sucks to see cubs losing to a second tier club like the padres. Maybe it’s their revenge for getting cashner for Rizzo or losing McLeod and Hoyer! Lol.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    I think his laid back attitude has suppressed their hunger. It helped them conquer the pressure of winning their first WS but now they don't seem to care all that much.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    You can't go with a youth movement when you have 5 starters signed and are still trying to win.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Says who??

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Talking 'pen

  • You're not going to win many games with 3 hits, 1 W (Hoerner) and 12 K's. The Cubs current control of the strike zone (John's obsession) is quite poor, and opposing pitchers are taking advantage.

    It doesn't help that B/S umpiring (admittedly an impossible job) also remains poor; Mr. Robo-ump can't come swiftly enough for my taste. A case in point: it didn't help that on Cishek's first walk on Tuesday, his first two TWO strikes (according to Pitchtrax) were called balls. I know he's a professional, and he was wild with his net 10 balls, but not being given EARNED strikes, especially in a stressful situation, can be unnerving for any pitcher.

    A final note: The performance of the Cubs has been distressing to all of us. However, I would encourage each person on this site to avoid personal attacks (including snide remarks) toward Cub personnel and especially toward each other. It's difficult enough to watch games these days, without also having to process unpleasant (and IMHO often un-called for) personal comments. We can provide analysis, opinions and criticism without the extra snarkiness and sarcasm.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Using umps as an excuse is weak. There is no conspiracy theory against the Cubs with the umps.

  • Maddon count down: 17 games left.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    It's possible they'll wait until after the WS so as not to detract attention, but I also think it's a done deal..

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    No. If they decide not t8 bring Joe back it'll be quick. Have to at least extend him the courtesy of letting him know right away so he can say his goodbyes and begin his next job search. Other teams that will be replacing their managers aren't going to wait, and the Cubs don't want to miss out on potential candidates themselves or keep Joe in limbo when he could be interviewing for openings, or whatever he decides to do. When the Red Sox and Francona parted ways, it was done right after the season ended and he had a new job with Cleveland within days

  • In reply to Metal Militia:

    You're probably right.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Difficult to fire someone after their ctt expires, isn’t it?

  • In reply to stix:

    Well, OK, duh. Semantics. Call it "not renewing his contract" instead of "firing." Either way, he's no longer employed.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Is there a rule that they have to announce that his ctt isn’t being renewed? Can do that anytime. Why do they need to wait until after the World Series?

  • In reply to stix:

    I'm thinking that it's - don't laugh - they are afraid that - please don't laugh - that the players will QUIT - please stop laughing - quit on Joe if they know he's not coming back...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    It'll be interesting to see where he ends up if Cubs don't bring him back. The industry is going younger with managers, but he has proven he can win with young talent. It would suck for Renteria, but it wouldn't surprise me if he stayed in Chicago on the south side. And if that happens, it also wouldn't surprise me to see him managing in a World Series before the new guy with the Cubs does.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    I guess he could retire, at his age and with his money, but somehow I don't think he will. I could see the Sox, but you're right, it would suck for Ricky. It's gonna be an interesting offseason!

  • I've tried to stick up for this team. I've grabbed at every positive that I can find. They remain lifeless. I suppose that there is plenty of blame to share, or no one to blame. I think that collectively, the team just wants this season be over.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Teams look lifeless when they fail to hit. These players are competitive and are hungry to win.

  • StL lost to COL. MIL beat MIA. The new Magic Numbers:

    Division: 22
    Playoffs (WC): 18

    And the not-so-magic (Elimination) Number (division): 14.

  • Further to the youth movement for starting pitching, and given Kimbrell’s recent susceptibility to injury, what about making Lester the closer?

    He has significant high leverage experience, he still has swing and miss stuff, he will not have to regulate his stamina and will be able to go full out, even allowing for four, five and six out saves and he is as durable as they come. Further, it is a high profile role that will be in keeping with his stature with the team. It might even make Kimbrell available to trade

  • In reply to All W Days:

    He doesn't have anywhere near the stuff or velocity to be a closer

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Kimbrel will be the closer next year

  • The next Dennis Eckersly...

  • In reply to All W Days:

    I don't see it. Lester will continue to start and bulldog threw innings. Starting pitchers are hard to come by. He might not be quite as effective, but will continue to be an important cog in our rotation.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    You are probably right and I am just thinking out loud. No question, starting pitchers do not grow on trees, as the Cubs are finding: however, per FanGraphs, Lester has declining velocity on all of his pitches and ZIPS shows increasing ERA and decreasing innings over the next 3 years. As closer, it is a chance to have a premier player at a key position as opposed to gutting it out in the middle or even bottom of the rotation. No pacing, just let it fly.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    In my view, if the team has designs on contending for a WS next year, Lester needs to be your 5. He has too many blow up starts to rely on him to be more.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    We can all agree Jon is slowing down some at this point, but he wins must games and often powers through rough starts with not much more than determination. I'm not betting against him.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Good chance he will be

  • I listened to Theo this morning on the radio. He keeps talking about how the team is underachieving. I'm not sure I buy that. I'm probably not quoting this accurately, but I believe the Charles Barkley line that, "The ball don't lie." In other words, the team is not underachieving, they are essentially a .500 team.

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    In reply to Cubs09:

    To me, terms like underachieving and overachieving refer to performance in relation to expectations and/or talent. Viewed through that lens, I think they can be viewed as underachieving.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    This is where I fall as well. I didn't expect Almora to be an automatic out, or Schwarber to struggle to hit .235 or Russell to just flat out stink.If all three of those guys were playing at their potential, the division race would look a lot closer - and they aren't the only ones. My fear is that they'll be traded and the new team's coaching staff will get them to a level the Cubs never could, but they've been here long enough. Happ may join them, as may Bote.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I get your fear of trading players and seeing them prosper. I note, however, that if we had traded Montgomery, Russell, Almora and Happ pre 2018 season, we could've gotten useful talent for them. Now, Montgomery brought us Kemp and Almora, Russell and Happ are benchwarmers who've all had to be sent to minors in 2019 for lack of production.

  • In reply to springs:

    Absolutely right.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    I don't know if they're underachieving, but I'm pretty sure they are not very good.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Lol

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    So you're saying that if they were aiming at "suck," they got a bullseye?

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Theo hasn't evaluated the talent on his roster. It really looks like the front office over rated many of these players.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    That was the story all last offseason the team underachieved last year. Internal improvement.... Some players did play better this year, but the team as a whole didn't improve. The Cubs have a good, but flawed roster. This offseason could be very interesting, will they try again to build around the core of Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Contreras, or try to be a bolder, and trade some of their best players?

    I hope the Cubs make a playoff, and about 8 players get super hot!!

  • The key issue has been lack of depth and that’s squarely on the FO. Descalso, Almora, Kemp, Garcia etc. are all 24th or 25th men on a roster and we had at least 3 at a time. It exacerbates slumps. It’s going to take some work.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Lack of depth is what I always come back to when comparing 2016 to now. Then we had 12, 13 legitimate positional starters vying for 8 spots. Now we have 6, maybe 7.

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    In reply to TC154:

    It was compounded by often having one of KB, Rizzo, Javy, Willy on the bench for days at a time and unavailable, rather than use the IL.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    If you use the IL they are unavailable for longer periods of time.
    The Cubs have not mishandled injuries.

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    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    If you apply it retroactively, it only amounts to a few extra days, and you can add another player in the meantime. But I’ll admit there’s gray area here.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Its a few extra days you can't use your best players

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Was there not an issue with players not getting put on IL? Descalso said he had been hurt for a month + before going on IL (and his hitting was horrendous during such time). I think we had similar issues with Bryant (last year for sure, maybe this year too) and others.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Depth is so over blown. It only matters for injury.

    Freeman 142 games, Albies 142 games, Acuna 141 games, Donaldson 137 games. The Braves don’t need days off and have no issues producing.

    Enough with the rotating lineups. I wish our guys weren’t so versatile so Joe couldn’t do his crazy-ass lineups. That is my only complaint with him.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Your player development/minor leagues/scouting department should provide inexpensive depth. Mid-season trades seem to be a much better way to add players who are actually playing well that year.

    The Cubs could take some chances on trading for some high priced players who might bounce back. While the minor league system is weak... For example look into trading for someone like Wade Davis who has 1 year left on his contract.
    Bullpen Kimbrel/Davis, and a bunch of younger/lower paid players that is the 2020 bullpen. I'm sure this front office has the ability to try to figure out which players might be able to bounce back who the Cubs could acquire on the cheap. Roll the dice it, some teams would add value for another team to take on money.

  • Fantastic job by Darvish

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