Cubs Game Post 9/23

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Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Wednesday: 6:05 PM CT on MLB Network/Marquee/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

1. Ian Happ (S) CF
2. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Kyle Schwarber (L) DH
5. Cameron Maybin (R) LF
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Javier Baez (R) SS
8. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
9. David Bote (R) 3B
Pirates
1. Adam Frazier (L) 2B
2. Ke'Bryan Hayes (R) 3B
3. Colin Moran (L) 1B
4. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
5. Jose Osuna (R) DH
6. JT Riddle (L) LF
7. Erik Gonzalez (R) SS
9. Jared Oliva (R) CF
Starting Pitchers
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Via mlb.com

Bullpen Usage

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Still no Kris Bryant in the lineup. The Cubs magic number to win the Central is still 4. Trevor Williams has struggled mightily in recent starts. Kyle Hendricks has been great down the stretch.

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Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    I like this lineup maybe with the exception of Maybin being in there...

  • I have many concerns about this team being competitive with so many hitters scuffling at the plate at the same time. This is a recipe for one-and-done in the playoffs. My hope is that some quality at bats and good approaches start to happen soon or I fear this offense will remain asleep.

  • This team could fail to score runs from now through Sunday but go on a tear starting next Wednesday. So while the offense has been woeful, all we can do is hope that enough of the Core Five get hot -- or even mildly hot -- in the first series. Anything can happen in this most unusual and bizarre season. I'm not confident they'll do anything, but at least we know they are capable of kicking ass when the chips are down. We also know they are capable of stinking up the place. We'll see what happens. But in the end I'm just glad we have this version of MLB to watch in an otherwise worst year of my life.

    We need a hero or two. That's all. Who's it gonna be?

    Let's Go Cubs!

  • BTW, at first I was scratching my head as to why Ross let Chafin go back out for the 9th last night. Then I was cursing up a storm for Ross letting Chafin go back out for the 9th last night.

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    We need to change the name of " BASEBALL " to " HOMERUNBALL " And be happy with it . The front office is all in on it with the " Core " . they will keep as many of them as money allows . more likely trade Nico when they decide he might not hit for power . Ron

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    I mentioned in the last string that watching this team swing at balls I'm reminded of the Ray Milland movie "It Happened One Spring."

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Ha! Loved this movie as a kid. And sadly, seemingly appropriate.

  • The Cubs sure are making Williams of the Pirates look good with his 1-8 record and 6.70 ERA. This team is going no where in the playoffs.

  • Someone needs to tell the new guy no multi hit games. This is pathetic......

  • In reply to 523WSC:

    The Bad News: The Cubs Core (the Mendoza Bros) make most of the opposing pitchers look like Cy Young Winners.

    The Good News: No matter who the Cubs let go after this year, we surely won't miss them. Good Riddance! The "supposed Core Players" should be ashamed to even show up to the baseball game. Good Riddance!

    As an EX Cubs Die Hard Fan (for 67 years), I am sick of watching these Failures!

  • Ouch.

  • fb_avatar

    clarkAddison ! Cub Die hard for 67 years ! My mother was a Cub fan and when I was born September 25h 1945 they were in the playoffs , no tv then AND the xray machines in the hospital made radio useless , so I came out a Cub Fan . Sad to see all 3 runs in the game tonight were home runs . I miss the singles and stealing bases . the only thought is hit it as far as you can . As an old pitcher , I would love to be pitching in this day … I would be bunting !!!!! Ron

  • In reply to Ronald Dietzler:

    I agree with you Ron. Even when they were the "Lovable Losers" for 108 years, I still enjoyed watching them. It is almost unbearable to watch them now.

    This modern version of these Cubs have NO idea of playing "Team Baseball" and the Coaching is non-existent when it comes to Team baseball and winning. Their version seems to be "Everyone for Themselves" and "Swing for the Fences". Someone needs to tell them they are NOT HR Hitters but only a little above average in hitting HRs, if that.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to clarkAddson:

    What I don't understand is that since they aren't hitting why not try small ball. Schwarbs and Rizzo have hits if they just bunt the ball down the 3rd baseline. Not even the baseline, anywhere on the left side of the field. No HR swings. Go the other way. Run and hit. Try something that we haven't done yet because what we are doing isn't working.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That's what we have been talking about. That is "Team Baseball": playing to help the Team score. That is how baseball games are won. It seems this version of the Cubs Core are too selfish for that. They only want to play HR Derby and if the ball falls in for a hit then great. Where is the coaching? Most all the other teams actually see the Cubs for who they are, but the Cubs continue to do the same and are gradually getting worse results every year.

    As the old saying goes: If you don't like the way things are, then change them!

  • In reply to Ronald Dietzler:

    Last year, I tried to give up baseball, I wasn't happy with them. It didn't even last a week. I missed it way to damn much. Don't get me, we've turned off a variety of games this year.

    If you are actually able to give up baseball fulltime. Congrats to you.

    My father in law has been a baseball fan for about 60 years. :) He has a great story him going to summer camp in 1959, and his mom sending him the box scores each day.

    As Sox fan, I am grateful he welcome his Cubs loving daughter in law with open arms. Except for next week-end.

  • Cubs lose. StL lost, ATL won. The Cubs inch closer to the Division crown, but a 2nd seed seems now unlikely. The new Numbers:

    Clinch the division: 3
    Clinch the nr 2 seed: 7

    ATL has now clinched the tiebreak over the Cubs for the 2nd seed.

  • 3rd game now that I remember this year where lack of run support cost Hendricks a win.

  • The Pirates have by far the worst record in MLB. And we look like we are hitting against Cy Young himself.

    Just sayin'....

  • It saddens me to say this, but the Cubs are boring to watch. K, BB or HR. True 3 outcome team and it is frightfully boring.

    I have MLB extra innings package and I go to the channel with 8 games running on the screen and watch everything, instead of focusing on the Cubs game.

    Hoping for major changes this off season. May be time to clean house starting at the top.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Must be very boring as the cubs have the least home runs in MLB in September

  • Take Javy out of the lineup and there goes our defence; leave him in and we have no offence. anybody have a solution??
    .

  • In reply to Charly9415:

    According to his WAR that isn’t much of a factor......

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    It may sound dumb to say this but , the most important thing is to WIN the game .And right now the problem is the Cub hitters are trying to win the game with one swing of the bat. It is exciting when 5-6guys are all hitting home runs , But when not , time for small ball. There is nothing more exciting than the bases loaded and Javvy on 3rd charging toward the plate on every pitch .. SPEED never slumps !! Ron

  • In reply to Ronald Dietzler:

    Speed doesn’t do any good, unless you can get on base. I completely agree that ‘3 outcome baseball’, is very, very boring. But I’m also getting a little weary of hearing people going overboard on speed.
    Cubs need some RH bats that can make more regular contact - like the ones on the Dodgers seem to do.

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    In reply to cubbustible:

    I have a feeling that you might be addressing my love of speed. I'm not accusing or taking it in a negative way but I do mention it from time to time.
    I look at the Dodger teams of the past or the Cardinal teams of the past and they won (especially StL) with speed and defense. Speed helps to get on base--look at how Javy can beat out a grounder to SS or beats the relay for a DP. Speed will help someone to get to a ball and make the catch, and yes, it can manufacture runs. A straight steal helps, a run and hit or scoring from 2nd or even 1st sometimes.
    All I'm saying is that it's a part of the game that helps to win. Yes, if you can't hit you can't use it, but you still play defense or get a walk too. That's how I view it.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    JF, my comment on how useful speed is, really was meant as a general comment. Billy Hamilton has a lifetime OBP under .300. And I don’t think back in the days of Brock and Flood, that catchers pop times or average arm strength, or emphasis on catch and throw techniques, were what they are today. Although I don’t have any stats to back that up.
    This Cubs team is not short on speed. Contreras has above average speed for a catcher. And Hoerner, Baez, Bryant, Happ and JHey- all run well. Speed in today’s game is not utilized the same, as it was years ago. Now it’s going first to third on a hit - and yes, quickness certainly helps on defense. It helps to be alert when on base, also, to take advantage of situations. For the most part, the cubs do that, well. Even Rizzo and Schwarber utilize whatever they have, fairly decently.
    I guess my point is, speed is one of the very last elements, IMHO, that is holding back this offense from being effective.

  • Thank God I can change the channel!

  • Sure hope Iapoce has a decent retirement plan.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    HaHa! Except I think these guys are uncoachable. Especially Baez.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I thought this was all Chili Davis's fault.

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    I'm starting to look at mock drafts for next year's draft.

  • I would be difficult to find a game more emblematic of my view of this Cubs season. One hit, and that a home run, combined with 5 strikeouts through 6 innings.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Sorry, my fevered brain translated Rizzo's 2B into a HR.

  • Long time reader...1st time poster...Yea...ALL Iapoce's fault! :)
    maybe Chili was right bout these guys a few years back!

  • fb_avatar

    Consistent winning teams have a prototypical leadoff man . th Cubs haven't had one since 2016 " You go We go " Dexter Fowler ,We let him go . Last year Costellanos was a great contact hitter , even when not hitting a Double he was putting the ball in play . they let him go . So we have to live with the swing and miss Cubs . I love all our guys , they are my boys of Summer . I think no fans has it's effect on their performance to a certain degree . I am being selfish I know but I cant watch this kind of baseball !!! Rizzo as LEADOFF MAN !! does not make the grade in my book …

  • In reply to Ronald Dietzler:

    Castellanos would be star of our current offense but I doubt you would say that .226 is a dazzling average even for this crew.

  • fb_avatar

    How on earth is this a playoff team? Most of these guys are in their prime years. This is insane. I love the Cubsbut these guys are going to get swept first round.

  • WOW! Lose 3 out of 4 to the Pirates. The team with the worst record in the MLB.

  • Here we go again with he Cubs limping into the playoffs for the 3rd year in a row. Of course, that’s not even really true because last year they limped so badly they got eliminated. I see no way this team can advance past the first round, unless 2 of our starters pitch no hitters.

    Will Theo feed us all the same BS line about the broken offense and nobody is safe and moves will be made. Just fire him now so we don’t have to listen to that crap.

    Like I adamantly said last year before the trade deadline, this team needs somewhat of a rebuild or retooling, and we should’ve moved our hot SS who actually had trade value, and Even one other piece of the core should’ve been moved too. This team would be so much better off right now.

  • It is disappointing to see so many at bats where players take strikes.

    Why has management refused to make changes to the roster? CF was ignored for years, with the hope that Almora would fill it. Even at his best, Almora wasn't what the Cubs needed at that time.

    Almora Jr or Russell- neither one of them got better with experience. Is this a trend with the Cubs? If so, why?

    Management wanted the core to be full of great players. I like the core, but changes need to be made after the 2018 season.

    Cubs have zero issues changing/blaming hitting coaches. Oct 2018 Cubs management couldn't ignore all negative feedback the players had about the hitting coach during the exit interviews.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I hated that the players were allowed to blame Chili Davis. They weren’t held accountable, and worse they were catered to. Their entitlement is a huge part of the problem and clearly not the solution. No surprise to me at all that 2 years later there is still no improvement in the offense that has actually devolved, if that’s even a word?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Devolved is a word, and a very appropriate one in this case.

    I remember being thrilled with the hiring of Chili Davis. I thought the timing was right in the development of these young hitters. They were all young phenoms who had blown through high school, travel teams, and/or college and the minors based on their natural abilities. They had some initial success at the MLB level, but the opposition was going to adjust. I thought Chili would teach a more advanced hitting philosophy, easing them from the arithmetic of lesser competition into the algebra of the elites. But they didn't like it, so Chili was fired. Inmates running the asylum. Chili was let go specifically from exit interviews with the players, who didn't like the teacher.

    I'll say again for the ?th time, this is Theo's fault and he needs to be released from the final year of his contract. It is his philosophy of drafting high-end hitters and buying pitching that has gotten us into this mess. Yes, it worked short-term and I will be forever grateful for that result. But baseball changes rapidly, and Theo has stubbornly been stuck in his ways. For the first time in his Cubs tenure, some of the structural changes within the organization over the last couple years were not his calls. Ownership has lost some confidence.

    We've been told the offense is broken, but we run the same core out there. That is the problem. Theo cannot admit that he may be wrong in his analysis, that "his guys" may need to be moved. He has held on too long, and squandered several competitive seasons and missed trade opportunities at max value because he will not admit his way may no longer work.

    Thanks for the Championship, Theo, and good luck in your next endeavor. Why don't you start that chapter this offseason?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Chili Davis is now the Met's hitting coach-Met's team average .273-.350 OBP-.806 OPS.

    I have zero issues with drafting bats, and think that trend should not only continue, but Cubs need to draft more hitters in the first 10 rounds. Double down on the one thing that worked, and the data backs up. It is amazing for how much talking this regime did about player development, it didn't happen as planned.

    Cubs ended up following the same playbook lots of good teams in the past have done develop a good team, and then stick with them. Nothing creative, unique, or original about how they handled the roster. As a large market team, I was hoping the Cubs would get creative with roster management.

    This front office made lots of big deals, and then talked about the upside potential. Upside really, Cubs set the market for young-ish free agents with perceived upside value- Heyward, E. Jackson, T. Chatwood, D. Smyly, & even the J.Quintana trade had a lot of talk about his upside.

    I hope Theo is energized, engaged, & willing to trade lots of players in the next 9 months.

  • This is the most pathetic offense I've ever seen. Just atrocious. Amazingly, shockingly, almost laughably bad.

    I am perfectly OK with the Cubs trading EVERYONE OVER 25 years old. The Core Five is the Sore 5. Blow it up and start from scratch.

    We stinks!

  • If there's ever been a one and done group, this is it. It's almost as if since Alec's no hitter, they've no hit themselves.

  • Cubs lose. (I will leave the comment at that.) StL won, ATL lost. The new Numbers heading into the final weekend of the season:

    Clinch the division: 3.
    Clinch the nr 2 seed: 6.

    The Cubs have clinched no worse than 2nd place in the division and the nr 5 seed in the playoffs. Of course, the no 5 seed is in the LAD/SDP half of the bracket.

    For the Cubs to get the 2nd seed, they will have to sweep CHS while ATL is swept at home by BOS.

  • This is the 3rd season in a row that this same group of young "stars???" are limping to the finish line. It is definitely time to clean house and that includes from the top down. In fact, it is way past time!

    The Cubs have been great on teaching young players how to REGRESS. Obviously, their so-called philosophy of swinging for HRs DOES NOT WORK!!! Even the young players that start off hitting eventually regress to the "swing and miss" club (e.g., this year it is Hoerner and now lately its Happ). All this can NOT be coincidence and I, for one, am tired of hearing all the excuses.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Generally agree but if you check Happ’s prior year K rates they are not much different than this year. Happ’s k rate in Sept is much worse than it was in August.

  • In reply to stix:

    I believe most of Happ's Ks were before he got sent down. When he came back up, he began hitting the ball, until lately. It seems it is the big league club that preaches the HR or bust mentality.

  • I have trouble believing KB, KS, JB, and WC are all too stubborn to shorten up and slap the ball the other way with 2 strikes (ok maybe baez). I also don't know if we can blame 3? straight hitting coaches for not teaching the guys how to do so. I think this stubbornness has to come from Ross, right? It has to be his game plan. Unless the FO keeps hiring coaches with the agreement that they will preach 3-outcome approach. Who is the one behind this stubborn philosophy? Certainly, every fan in the world isn't noticing the problem here before the cubs... right?

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    I'd MUCH rather watch a less talented team grind ABs and play actual baseball than this garbage any longer.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    If you watch the Cubs batters intently, you can see that most of them are "loading up" and trying to swing hard and/or swinging with an "exagerrated uppercut", or both, and ending up off balance. These swing types make it a lot harder to make contact with the ball.

    Swinging hard slows down your swing and affects your timing. Swinging with an exaggerated uppercut makes it harder to hit the higher pitches and tends to sucker the batter into swinging at the low balls in the dirt because it is easier to swing up. Neither type is natural.

    Everyone has a natural uppercut swing which is more than enough to hit it over the fence when you make solid contact. If only the Cubs batters would keep their balance and concentrate on just making contact with the ball with a natural swing, they would get a lot more hits. This is just COMMON SENSE which seems to be lacking with the Cubs mentality. Watch the batters that are the better hitters and you will see what I am talking about.

  • I wonder if part of the issue is that many of the guys have psyched themselves out. In other words, they step into the batters box thinking 'I hope I don't screw up' or maybe even 'I hope I can work this at bat into a walk'. Instead of 'ducks on the pond, I'll be able to do some damage here'. If one goes the plate trying not to fail, instead of 'I've got you now, you are already out. One cannot hit with authority feeling for the ball. Confidence is the key.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I can see what you are saying but can only agree partially. Confidence can be very important but only if what you are doing is working. Rossy states almost after every game that he still has confidence in his guys. A lot of good that has done!

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I see your point. One would lose confidence if he frequently fails with a faulty approach. I doubt if makes too much difference with Ross' confidence. Unless he pinch hits.

  • On a lighter note, so long Thom Brennaman.

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