Cubs Game Post 9/26

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Series preview is here.

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Saturday: 6:10 PM CT on Marquee/670AM

Lineups

Cubs

1. Ian Happ (S) CF
2. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Jason Heyward (L) RF
5. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
7. Javier Baez (R) SS
8. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
9. Victor Caratini (S) DH
W
1. Tim Anderson (R) SS
2. Yoan Moncada (S) 3B
3. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
5. James McCann (R) C
6. Luis Robert (R) CF
7. Adam Engel (R) LF
8. Nomar Mazara (L) RF
Starting Pitchers
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Via mlb.com

Bullpen Usage

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  • The dreaded bases loaded ....

  • Not so Dreaded tonight!

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    So far, in the bottom of the 4th inning I've seen 3 balls overthrown to Rizzo and now one dropping between Kipnis and Heyward. This is inexcusable. The Cubs have played better defense lately but I've never seen so many overthrows to first in so few innings. We have got to play better to win this game.
    In the 6th Milw is leading StL 2-0.
    No more walks Jon.

  • Cards lose

  • Not often you’ll see my celebrating after a disappointing cubs game tonight. But congrats to this group for finding a way to win the division with most of their core stars having career worst years. If it’s up to me Darvish is as deserving as anyone for the Cy Young. He’s 5-0 with a 0.27 ERA after a cubs loss, and has won big game after big game. Kudos to this teams supposed “role players” for picking up the slack for their core stars. If you had told me Baez, Bryant, Rizzo and Schwarber would have career worst years, then I would’ve anticipated a disappointing year. Hopefully some of these guys find their grooves in the upcoming big games. I think the offense is gonna be the key X factor in this teams ability to make a playoff run.

  • I very much agree with you, kkhiavi, about the Cy Young post you made in the previous thread, and continuing here. Yu has been the most valuable of all the NL pitchers this season. I hope he gets the award. He truly deserves it. I do believe a lot of the voters do dig into the stats you mention, and especially in this shortened season, I think they will dig deep into the the game logs/matchups to essential decide the tie-breaker between Bauer and Darvish.

    Regardless, if the Cubs are going to decide that they are gonna play one more year out with this core, I know they will free up about $33M from players becoming free agents, and they will probably have to cough up $10-15M in arbitration raises for the core players. While they need changes, the best thing might be to bet on these core ("star") players the Cubs have banked on over the last 6 years, and see how they all play during their free agency year. And if they play well, even being able to apply the QO to that many players would at least bring a quantity of draft picks (is it between the 2nd and 3rd round?), as well as the corresponding slot money.

    With the leftover money, I'd love to see them sign Trevor Bauer to a one-year contract. He reportedly doesn't mind going year-to-year on contracts like a mercenary, and further, he wants to play for a winner. I can't help thinking about the last outing he had pitching against the Cubs and noticing how much our players root for their teammates and are engaged in the game. I think our team might actually be appealing to him, and the one-year contract thing really fits our needs this offseason. Just think if we had Darvish, Bauer, and Hendricks at the top of our rotation, and if the core players actually produced in their walk year...

    But enough of that. Congrats to the Cubs for clinching the NL Central and the 3rd seed!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Cubber. Are there rules on arbitration salaries? Can’t see offering KB or JB or KS any raises based on performance. Matter of fact I would hope they could cut some but more realistically can’t they hold their salaries increases to “nothing”?

  • In reply to stix:

    I know there are rules. In general, they will get slight raises. But those raises should be about the minimum since they've all had very poor seasons.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Agree 100% on Bauer. His short term demands fit really well with the cubs needs. He’s a bit of an oddball but he’s a cerebral pitcher, and a student of analytics and the game. The idea of Bauer and Darvish (they’re low key buddies) collaborating on their pitching approaches excites me. And Bauer’s wishes to sign a 1 year deal appeals to me.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Thanks Cubber. Bottom line when you compare the overall composite of stats it’s almost too close to call. Bauer has the advantage in ERA and a minuscule advantage in WHIP. But Darvish has the better peripherals, more games/innings, and the tougher scheduling. To me their performance based stats all but wash each other out. My issue with Bauer winning the award is he was basically a .500 pitcher. His performance stats need to differentiate themselves further from Darvish, because he certainly didn’t have a meaningful impact on his teams record by Cy Young standards.

    I’ve followed the Cy young candidates for over a month now. To me Bauer has given up more untimely runs in close games vs Darvish. Darvish has a 0.27 ERA following a cubs loss. That’s the definition of being a stopper. It’s almost as if some writers have gone too far in dismissing wins and losses in evaluating pitchers. I get long term front offices value performance based stats over the W-L stat when they sign or trade for a pitcher. But part of winning a Cy Young is elevating your team to consistent victories. Darvish is the only top candidate that has done that. The reds can find plenty of pitchers that could go 6-5. But Darvish was on pace to go 22-7 at a full years pace. To me Darvish is the obvious choice, but the reds have this narrative on their side that they’ve never had a Cy Young winner in franchise history. While Darvish isn’t a particularly popular player outside of Japan for whatever reason. I don’t see any cubs beat writers trying to sell Darvish’s case the way reds writers are pushing Bauer. And unfortunately narratives can play a big part in these type of close votes.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Isn’t this the long way around proving how Darvish has the higher WAR?

  • In reply to stix:

    Not completely clear over what you’re asking exactly. My post in the last thread had more research and background into the numbers and other factors. Darvish has the higher WAR in large part because his peripheral stats like FIP and xFIP are better then Bauer’s. He’s also actually winning his starts on a consistent basis

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I was inspired by kkiavi's post in the previous thread and did my own digging, as he raised some fair points. Here's how both Darvish and Bauer fared against playoff competition on the 2020 season.

    Bauer:
    vs Cubs 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 5K, 2BB, L
    @ Cubs 7 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 10K, 0BB, W
    vs White Sox 7 IP, 2 ER, 5K, 1BB, L
    Combined: 20 IP, 5 ER, 2.25 ERA, 20K, 3BB, (1-2)

    Darvish:
    vs STL 6 IP, 1 ER, 7K, 1BB, W
    vs CHW 7 IP, 1 ER, 10K, 1BB, W
    @CIN 6 IP, 0 ER, 8K, 2BB, W
    vs STL 7 IP, 1 ER, 11K, 0BB, W
    vs CIN 6 IP, 3 ER, 9K, 3BB, L
    vs CLE 7 IP, 2 ER, 7K, 2BB, ND (Cubs won)
    vs MIN 6 IP, 4 ER, 9K, 1BB, L
    @CHW 7 IP, 0 ER, 5K 1BB, W
    Combined: 45 IP, 12 ER, 2.40 ERA, 66K, 11BB, (5-2; Cubs also won his no-decision)

    I think it's a no-brainer at this point that Darvish is most deserving of the award. I know they only get to play the schedule that falls on their day in the rotation, but does anybody think that if Bauer had 5 more starts against playoff teams, that he would keep pace with what he did in just those 3? Geez, and 2 of his starts against playoff teams were against the Cubs going on 3 years broken offense at their worst.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    DOOOHHHH!!!! My math was bad adding up Darvish's IP and thusly, his ERA...

    Darvish 52 IP, ERA 2.08!!!!!

    Give that man the Cy Young Award!

    Thank Yu, may I have another!!!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Also, just even realized all those Darvish starts against playoff teams were his last 8 games pitched of the season. Had I recognized that, now I can really share his stat line with better confidence....

    8 GS, 52IP, 45H, 12 ER, 10 BB, 66K, 4HR, 2.08 ERA, 1.057 WHIP, .230 BAA, .267 OBP, .352 SLG

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Great analysis the guy had a cupcake schedule but reds and a few z a national writers pushed him as Cy young before Darvish's pivotal win against the white Sox. How can you give the Cy young to a guy that's a .500 pitcher, unless he's significantly more dominant then his competition?

    The other issue is Bauer's gone on record in press conferences advocating for himself, and putting his name out there for the public in news headlines. While Darvish's press conferences are about as far from must see as it gets. Regardless of how the vote goes Darvish had the best full season of any pitcher in my mind. Its just unfortunate that writers were prematurely crowning Bauer as the Cy Young before Darvish's start on Friday. Yu is on pace for 22 wins. Does winning mean absolutely nothing in a 1 year Cy Young race anymore? It's getting to a point where wins and losses are becoming an undervalued stat in today's analytics environment.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Lester & Descalso contract buyouts are already factored in the current annual average value for cap purposes. Will the Cubs spend some real money this off-season? $50 million coming off the books between Lester, Chatwood, Quintana. Descalso, & Almora. Cubs ownership seem to be crying revenue issues.

    You do have a penalty for qualifying offer draft compensation if you go over the cap- pick would be after the 4th round.

    I think this is the last Hooray for the team. We know players will be shopped this off-season. At this point I would have zero issues with trading all 2021 free agents before the 2021 trade deadline! At this point get what you can in controllable players/prospects, which won't be a lot, but still more than a few extra draft picks.

    The reason I would trade all of them gives you more chances to hit on a better return. With some luck maybe find the next Hendricks, Arrieta, power bullpen arms, or hitters who can help the large market Cubs.

    Then be aggressive in the 2021, & 2022 off-seasons with free agents including forming Cubs.

    I hope the Cubs get lucky, and hot in the 2020 playoffs.

  • Looks like the cubs will match up vs Marlins, Reds or Cards. Any choices you would prefer?

  • In reply to stix:

    Marlins. I think they’re almost underrated as they’ve certainly improved, and have some nice young starters. But st Louis to me has a clearly superior roster on paper, and they’re an experienced group. The reds are playing great baseball and nobody wants to face that tandem of Bauer, Castillo and Sonny Gray

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Can tell us if Caratini is still calling bad games*

  • I believe I’d much rather go up against the Cardinals. To me, the Reds would be the toughest of the 3, since their 3 top starters are going very good now. But the Cardinals OF is a mess, Goldi and DeJong seem to be their only bats that worry me.

  • Cubs lose, but StL also lost. As you all know, the Cubs have now clinched the Central Division title and the 3rd seed in the playoffs.

    So ends the 2020 edition of the Official Unofficial CubsFanInNorway Magic Number Countdown (trademark pending). I hope you all received at least a modicum of enjoyment and information from it.

    There are many variables in play in determining the Cubs’ 1st round opponent in the playoffs, but MIA seems to be the best bet. Both StL and CIN hold the tiebreaker over MIA, especially if StL wins today.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Thanks Norway for your work on the Countdown! It was much more challenging this year and you handled everything well. I looked forward to your countdown info every morning.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I really appreciate all you've done over the years but this year had to be especially difficult with all the different permutations.
    Are you going to do a countdown to the WS win too? Just some icing on the cake.
    For your trademark pending, you could abbreviate it to "OUCFNMNC."

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    In case anyone is asking-----Yes you may!!

  • Well, It was like the June swoon for the Cubs the last week of the season, but this time, they landed on their feet. Number three seed and probably playing the Mailins. The offense retrieved some of their 'swagger' and the clinch gives Ross the meaningless game that he needed to set his starters pitching sequence. All optics are on go. Destiny smiles on our trophy case.

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