Game Post 7/29

kyle hendricks

Series preview is here.


Wednesday: 5:40 PM CT on Marquee SN/670AM



1. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
2. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
3. Javier Baez (R) SS
4. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Ian Happ (S) CF
8. Victor Caratini (S) DH
9. Nico Hoerner (R) 2B
1. Shogo Akiyama (L) LF
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
4. Mike Moustakas (L) 2B
6. Jesse Winker (L) DH
7. Nick Senzel (R) CF
8. Freddy Galvis (S) SS
P. Sonny Gray (R)
Bullpen Usage

Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Sonny Gray: Sonny Gray has thrown 17,568 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2013 and 2020, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2020, he has relied primarily on his Sinker (93mph), Curve (81mph) and Fourseam Fastball (93mph), also mixing in a Slider (84mph). He also rarely throws a Change (89mph).

His sinker generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sinkers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sinkers and has slightly above average velo. His curve has sweeping glove-side movement, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves, has a sharp downward bite and is slightly harder than usual. His fourseam fastball generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has much less armside movement than typical and has essentially average velo. His slider generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sliders, sweeps across the zone, has exceptional depth and is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sliders. His change is thrown extremely hard, 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 slight armside fade.

Sean's note: Gray had a huge year in 2019 with a strikeout rate of 10.29 per 9 innings. The balls opponents do put in play are on the ground a lot, 50.2% percent of the time last season. He went six strong innings in a opening-day win over Detroit.

Final Thoughts: Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras return to battle the tough Gray. Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel have been cleared to rejoin the Reds. Hopefully, the Professor can save the bullpen again tonight.

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  • This seems to be settling into the standard lineup vs. RHSP, and so far I like it. I do wonder if Nico and his contact ability may move around the batting order a little bit if a group of players begin getting stranded on base, but so far it hasn't been much of an issue. I saw a stat this morning that Nico now has 20 RBI in his first 24 team games, the fifth player in Cubs history to do that, and first since Soler in 2014. I think the rest were much longer ago.

    The Professor on the mound. I don't expect another complete-game gem, but why not? I actually kinda hope we can bring in Kimbrel in the 8th or 9th with a big cushion. Ross let Craig go far longer than he should have two nights ago simply because his name is Kimbrel. We don't have that type of margin in this abbreviated season. Put up or sit down.

    How about a couple crazy predictions? J-Hey has a night, reaching base 4 times and scoring 3 points (a not-so-subtle dig at Maddon. I couldn't stand when he called "runs" "points"). 2 Schwarbombs, and Caratini does something really cool. I don't know what, but it will be unique.

    Go Cubs!

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    In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    Well, you'e certainly not getting that again!

  • .......and we just couldn’t find the money to keep that guy....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Theo gave that money to jhey aka the handcuffing of this franchise. Good to see “boss Ross” as some of you call him read the scouting report on one Nicholas castellanos. Even I saw that he eats lefties for breakfast. Ross has a lot in common with Ricky renteria.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    I agree with the Heyward comment. Been an absolute crusher to the franchise as those dollars have prohibited other moves.

    Disagree with your hatred on Ross. His reading a scouting report has no bearing on whether a pitcher executed the plan. Your take on this is misguided.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Curious to how it is misguided? It is a fact. Castellanos feasts on left handed pitching. His ops v lefties is exceedingly higher than righties. It is a pretty good sample size too from last year. Isn’t it the managers job to know this or does boss Ross just get a pass like madden did?

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Fact? Pitchers have to get hitters out on both sides of the plate—there was a new rule put in place this year. Just sayin’. The FACT is the scouting report did not say to throw a straight fastball belly high down the middle which exactly is what Brothers did. That is ON HIM, not Ross. That is what is misguided. Spew at Brothers—the guy who actually threw the pitch. I’m sure Brothers did not tell the bullpen coach “please tell Coach Ross to not put me in versus Castellanos. He feasts off of LHP. I’m scared.”

    You banged on Joe and continue your anti-Theo comments. And now you have added Ross. Try holding players accountable. You know, the ones who actually pitch, hit, field, run and throw. Do you ever find anything done well by the Cubs? You tend to always blame guys not on the field.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    PLEASE don't feed the troll.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Where to start. You want me to hold players accountable. Ok here are a few of Theo’s players from recent drafts/ free agents. Almora selected 6 overall in 2012 barely gets on field. Pierce Johnson and Paul Blackburn also selected in early rounds of this draft and never really materialized. Kb is soft, Kyle Schwarber is good player but expected more from number 4 overall pick. Happ is ok expected more from 9 overall pick. And my favorite no first round pick for 2016 because Theo signed jhey and forfeited first round pick to division rival cardinals. Also traded Jorge Soler for 1 year I think for wade davis. No starting pitchers have materialized from a Theo draft thus the signing of an underwhelming yu Darvish and complete bust of Craig kimbrel. Presently constructed with crippling money restraints there is little room for improvement for many years. Heck Jon Lester even gets 10 million walk away money this year. What a hard nosed negotiator Theo is.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Oldno7, you make some good points, but we have to move on. I think that Hoerner, Brennan Davis, and Brailyn Marquez are going to be stars, and I firmly believe that there are a lot of IFA that Theo signed in the last couple of years that are very good. I don't think we know much about last year's June draft to draw any conclusions and unfortunately, with no minors this year, it will be delayed. I don't believe that you should trade minor league superstars to attempt to go to deep into the playoffs unless they have had 4 or more years in the minors so that you know what you've got.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    You do make some good points.

    My biggest beef by far, is the Cubs/media talked about the Cubs looking to make moves with the core last off-season. Nothing happened.

    What Theo did for the Cubs, and it should have a lasting effect on the Cubs going forward. Cubs have set up a professional front office under Theo! When Theo leaves, Cubs will not be starting the front office over from scratch. Based on that alone I think the Cubs will be very competitive in the NL central during the 2020's.

  • How 'bout dem Bears?

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    Dem Bears are glad that they are not playing the Redlegs tonight.

  • In reply to 44slug:


    We never quit!

    Is that phrase still a thing?

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    But the pen needs to stop the bleeding.


  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I’d settle for slowing the bleeding. Averaging less than a run an inning would be a start.

  • In reply to stix:

    Looking like we're going to have to win this season in spite of the pen.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    Is every McCaskey family member on the Bears payroll yet? I sure hope they don't leave a few off the gravy train!!!

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I’m confused by the comment. If the McCaskeys own 100% of the team, what difference is there between the gravy train and a higher profit for the family if they drop the gravy train. I guess I’m not sure why this is on this website . Isn’t this a comment for the bears websites?

  • In reply to stix:

    I understand what you are saying, I was just making a comment on Pilbean comment how about them Bears, I took as him trying to lighten the mood a little bit.

    My comment was about how the Bears are a frugally run organization, & in the past I have read that over 60 some McCaskey family members are on the Bears employee payroll.

  • This was almost a must game for the Reds and they had their ace on the mound. Once broken open 9-0, it seemed like a Spring Training game.

  • Bring up anyone from the south bend bullpen, let see if we can find some one hot.

  • I haven't been able to keep up with all the roster rule changes for this season. Will there be any way to track the progress of the guys at South Bend? I'd really like to know how the bullpen options are doing there. I've seen enough of Maples and his elite spin rate.

  • fb_avatar

    Looks like given time Nico will be our new Ryno , and what a contact hitter lead off man he will be !!! hitting 389 right now . Ron

  • We have won four of six and Kyle and Yu had each a rough start on our loses, so the pen might a get another chance or two to settle in. Time to throw strikes or pack their bags.

  • I like Nico too but only in the 2. Spot. Javy should be # 1 and why he isn't i' ll never understand!

  • In reply to charly4:


  • In reply to charly4:

    I like Javy where he is, between those lefty power + patient studs. I doubt there is a right-hand power guy in baseball would not. I look for Baez to be productive.

    Also, I like Bryant leading off. He is a good fit there, if willing. Not all guys are comfortable leading off.

  • Simple cure for that. Lay off breaking balls 5 feet outside and take your walks. Coaching staff could correct that.

  • In reply to charly4:

    He hasn't been chasing much this season so far. He chased up in the zone a couple times and chased one in the dirt against Grey, but he wasn't the only one. I think the coaches want Javy to be aggressive in the zone and Baez is chasing less.

  • With javy on base ahead of Rizz i see the cubs a far more dangerous team. Javy was born to lead off ala Ricky Henderson.not to bat cleanup .

  • In reply to charly4:

    I agree with an adjustment or two Javy would be a good fit, but the offense isn't having much trouble scouring. I hope Ross stays with this hitting order for awhile.

  • In reply to charly4:

    My issue with this idea is that the cubs have had their struggles in the past getting the runners in from 2nd/3rd. They've had their history of getting their share of baserunners on, but then they don't get those runs in. It's been a recurring issue for this cubs lineup in recent years. Javy is by far one of the teams most effective guys in RBI spots, along with Rizzo. Schwarber did much better last year driving in runs in RBI spots, but he's had his issues there in the past with Kyle not being a great contact hitter.

    I personally like Javy where he is he's shown the consistent ability to drive in runs. Either you have that quality or you and the cubs don't have a surplus of consistent RBI guys besides Javy and Rizzo. I think Javy can handle the mental burden of hitting leadoff but he doesn't walk or see that many pitches. Usually patience and the willingness to see a lot of pitches are qualities that organizations look for in a leadoff hitter. Nico and Javy don't have those qualities but both of them have been 2 of the cubs better hitters with RISP. Nico hit .450 with RISP last season and he's done a good job in his RBI spots thus far this year. I'd keep those guys where they are as Nico and Javy are 2 of the teams better contact hitters. I get your concern though this team hasn't gotten production from the leadoff spot for years. If KB can't mentally handle the burden of hitting leadoff, then unfortunately there aren't many ideal options. The days of the speedy leadoff hitter that doesn't see pitches or get on base appear to be mostly over.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Good post.

  • I wouldn’t keep Happ and Nico hitting behind JHey much longer. JHey needs to produce or get bumped further down the order.
    Souza, IMO, looks quite disappointing. That signing seems to be wasted money.

  • Agree on Heyward. Too bad we dont have a lead off hitter because Nico would be a great #2 hitter.

    Someday, soon this could be our lineup:
    CF Davis
    2b Hoerner
    1b Rizzo
    SS Baez
    LF Schwarber
    C Caratini/Amaya
    RF Happ/Heyward
    3B Morel

    I am assuming Bryant and maybe Contreras will be gone.

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