Game 147 Preview--Cubs vs Brewers--1:20 PM

The Cubs have done it. They have won their sixth division title ever. They have made the postseason in back to back years for just the third time (counting the three trips to World Series as two instances that is) in the franchise’s existence. They have won more games in back to back years than any two years since World War I began. It was anti-climatic because it was a formality at this point. Add in that it happened while many of us were asleep when the Cardinals lost in San Francisco and well it leads to the possibility of another dreadful narrative being wrote today. The Cubs are going to celebrate this event. They deserve to celebrate it, and it might happen after the Cubs lose a baseball game. Some people were upset last year when that has happened, and looking at the lineup it is certainly a possibility. But really at this point the only things left are the march to 100 wins and or home field advantage until the World Series.

Game information:
1:20 pm CST on CSN and 670am on the radio

Lineups:

Cubs
1. Matt Szczur (RF)
2. Javier Baez (SS)
3. Jorge Soler (LF)
4. Willson Contreras (C)
5. Chris Coghlan (1B)
6. Albert Almora (CF)
7. Tommy La Stella (3B)
8. Munenori Kawasaki (2B)
9. John Lackey (P)

Brewers
1. Keon Broxton CF
2. Scooter Gennett 2B
3. Ryan Braun LF
4. Chris Carter 1B
5. Hernan Perez 3B
6. Domingo Santana RF
7. Orlando Arcia SS
8. Andrew Susac C
9. Chase Anderson P

Opposing pitcher scouting report:
Chase Anderson (135 IP, 7.27 K/9, 3.13 BB/9, 4.58 ERA, 5.07 FIP)

Chase Anderson has not had a good year. He has a fairly standard right handed starter throwing primarily his 92 mph four seam fastball and sinker. His main offspeed pitch is his 83 mph change, but he also throws an 89 mph cutter to lefties primarily. He also throws a slider, but that is rarely used at this point. Ultimately who cares because it really doesn’t matter if the Cubs win or lose tonight, and the Cubs won’t be facing guys like Chase Anderson very often when games do count.

What to watch:

B Squad
Joe Maddon has basically done an entire lineup swap. Jorge Soler gets the start again, but the rest of the lineup was sitting when the game started. It actually is pretty impressive the quality throughout the lineup. It is not a good team’s lineup by any stretch of the imagination, but the Cubs have a shot at winning this game beyond baseball is weird.

Lackey Tune-Up
One of the few things that matters beyond everyone staying healthy at this point is the status of John Lackey. Lackey is very clearly the Cubs fourth best starter, and it will be interesting to see if Maddon opts to roll four guys in the five game Division Series given the strength of those four guys. Either way, John Lackey pitching at his best is a necessary component for a deep postseason run. He has looked every bit the part since returning, and should inspire confidence when his time comes, whenever that might be.

Comments

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  • Those guys could probably beat the 2012 Cubs more often than not.

  • Well that is certainly an interesting lineup. Nice to have this NL Central champion business behind us. Now onto best record in the League. Looking forward to spending my Friday afternoon listening to the radio broadcast here at work!

  • Chicago Cubs #BTIB
    St Louis Cardinals #Irrelevant

    November 1, 2017 is All Saints Day. And Game 6 of the World Series. David Price v Jon Lester in Boston would be pretty fun, depending on how that game turned out.

  • In reply to discubobulated:

    I'd like a Chicago-Boston series myself from a competitive standpoint and from the angle of just how many of Theo and Jed's guys will be on that field. That said I'm kind of rooting for Texas to get there both because I can drive 6 hours and have a real good chance of getting a ticket without selling my kidneys and the fact that we are much, much more talented team than the Rangers.

  • We need to be careful. We only have a 6 game lead on Nats who do not play a team above .500 the rest of the way: 3 vs. Atlanta, 6 vs. Miami, 3 vs. Pitt, and 4 vs. Arizona.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Miami has played them very tough though and I'd be pretty surprised if they don't end up over .500. I thought they were a playoff lock before the Stanton injury. Not to mention that Atlanta has played close to .500 since the beginning of August. 6 games is an awful lot of ground to make up in just over 2 weeks. I wouldn't get cocky about it but my best guess is that HF is locked up early in the last week of the season.

  • In reply to TTP:

    TTP, walk back slowly, be careful, but GET OFF THE LEDGE. I agree, nothing to really go nuts about yet - except making the playoffs two years in a row with no end in sight, but quit looking at the down side.
    It's a new era!

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I'm nowhere near the ledge. Feeling as confident as ever. I'm just saying we've still got some important work to do to make sure we've got the WC winner in the NLDS and home field in the NLCS. The Division crown has been a given for a long time. So I've been looking at the magic number of the best record in NL with far greater interest and don't understand the talk in the general media about resting players the rest of the way.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I don't disagree TTP. But the Cubs remaining schedule is also pretty soft - the only games against a team over 0.500 are the three next weekend against StL. The Cubs still have 6 against CIN, for example.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Yep Norway, "embrace the target".
    Cubs have shown that the fans of the teams chasing us, sure have a lot more to worry about.

  • In reply to TTP:

    A 6 game lead is huge with only 15 games left.

  • I like this. The division is clinched and there is no reason to trot out the regulars and risk injury before the REAL month begins. Kinda reminds me of Gregg Popovich.

  • In reply to JPCubsFan:

    Yeah, it isn't done yet. They have to clinch HF as well. I sure don't want to face the Dodgers with Kershaw, Hill & Maeda in a 5 game series. No sir.

  • In reply to TC154:

    +1

  • In reply to TC154:

    I agree I'd like home field as well but the AL has home field in the WS

  • In reply to JPCubsFan:

    I actually don't think home field is that big a deal, I'm more concerned about playing the WC winner in the NLDS as opposed to the Dodgers. Of the 4 teams we could face in the NLDS (SF, STL, NYM and LA in the case that WAS wins HF) they are last guys I want in a 5 game series. I think if we get past the NLDS we win the WS. It's that small sample size series that could trip us up. Let the Nat play the Dodgers in a 5 game.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Personally, I honestly think Hill would take a beating, a bad one, from our boys.

  • In reply to JPCubsFan:

    JD just said Maddon decided on this lineup a few days ago, to give the regulars a blow after the road trip. Makes sense, day game after a night game after a long road trip.

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    Why don't players--especially catchers--wear cups? Are they that uncomfortable?
    The Cubs need to shut down the Brewers running game and Willson is our best option, although Rossy is a close second.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I don't know if Willson has a family yet, but the way he's going he might to not wait too long.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Why do you think that Willson isn't wearing a cup? Based on where that hit him, it probably still hurt like hell. If he wasn't wearing a cup, he probably would not be in the game.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    That's true, I don't. But I heard a conversation earlier this year about how many players don't wear one.
    That one was crushed. We need to stay close to come back in this game, and of course it was Braun who hit it.
    As for the 6 game lead, it's just one more item to take care of this season. I know Joe won't take it for granted and will motivate the team to clinch it asap.

  • Cue the Major League script from the movie.....

    Who are these guys?

  • Could someone please tell Len, JD and Comcast that the Magic Number for the homefield is 10, not 11? They have neglected that the Cubs have the tiebreak over WAS. Thanks.

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    Hello Cubs Den! Wanted to join the fun, long time lurker first time poster.
    Been a Cubs fan since 1977... went to my first game at Wrigley that year. Still have my score card!
    Even though I grew up in Chicago (Galewood neighborhood), been living in Carbondale,IL (Southern IL) for 29 of my 50 years on this earth. Except for the Chicago kids coming down to SIU (Go Salukis!), its Cardinal country down here. But I see enough Cubs hats to feel like I'm not in St. Louis.
    I wanted to chime in about "cup" use. I would really think that MLB catchers wear cups. I know outfielders today generally don't but I imagine most infielders would be packing too. I just don't have any hard evidence to back that up.
    I think the problem with catchers is when the ball bounces straight up behind the protective part of the cup. Even with a cup, I imagine a ball hitting the right spot or with great intensity can cause any catcher to think about their future family.
    Great Job on this forum and I look forward to Cubs postseason fun!

  • In reply to Kevin Koron:

    Welcome Kevin:)

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    How do players not get hurt when they foul a ball right off the top of their feet. There is no padding there and I would think it be pretty easy to crack a bone. How about when they get hit on the fingers clenching the bat, I know some break fingers but the majority hurt but that's it. The same for arm bones, the ulna or radius--the ball hits them and they seem to shrug it off.

  • Does Anderson get to collect a Brewers MLB paycheck today or a PCL paycheck for facing this lineup? 5 AAA players and all 8 are back ups. Wow. This has shut out written all over it.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Great post.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Spot on like usual.

  • I get starting all the bench guys, I really do. I just hope this doesn't come back to bite them. Before anyone says it, let me say that I am NOT ON THE LEDGE (and btw I can't stand when someone says that anytime a fan has the slightest of concerns), but the reality is this team still has something to play for and should approach it as such (as should Maddon).

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    I get resting the regulars. But I would rather see candelario at 3rd and lastella at 2nd. I like kawasaki but he doesn't figure into the Cubs long term plans.

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    How did Broxton get hurt. I turned the channel and when I came back he was walked off the field with his right wrist immobile.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I don't know, but the tallywacker downswipe tag that Javy hit him with would have given me a concussion. I said ouch when I saw it. Well it was a word that could mean ouch I guess.

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    In reply to KJRyno:

    Javy has that downward swipe tag perfected. They measure exit velocity from the bat, I wonder what his is going down on the head?
    He relishes in doing that too--not to hurt someone but the elegance of a super quick tag.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Please, Braun, try to steal second. Please?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    He ran into the wall ... Hard!

  • Would have made a good magician. Hands are quick.

  • I get starting the bench guys as I previously mentioned, but I do NOT get starting Lackey in the 7th. That made his solid outing, not so solid. It doesn't help that I mistakenly started him in my fantasy playoffs, that is on me.

  • As the post-season roster discussions take place, would anyone pick Szczur over Almora in that situation?

    What says you? IMO, I had no confidence in Szczur to get the run in. I would take Almora 100 out of 100 there. And looking ahead, I'm not so sure Almora isn't a better player for our bench for the playoffs.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    I think almost is the better player and obviously has much more talent, however from a playoff roster perspective Matt is the better pick, he has more Major league experience, and he is used to pinch hitting and has been quite successful in doing that, I just don't know how good almora would be coming in cold in a pinch hit situation and those are the times he would mainly get playing time in the post season...

  • I would have bet my life savings that Javy was going to swing at that pitch regardless of where it was. In this case it was indeed ball 4. The good news is, I don't expect him to swing at that pitch this time next year.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Not one pitch in the zone the entire AB. He still needs to calm down in these situations. In this case a walk was as good as a hit.

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    Maybe someone can answer this. When a minor leaguer gets called up for a few games or part of the Sept expanded rosters is his pay pro-rated?

  • fb_avatar

    9!

  • I know that didn't 'officially' clinch the division..but it probably feels a lot like it to those who are there. Great comeback, great outcome (despite it being a 'relatively' meaningless game.) Now they can bounce around and spray champagne for hopefully the first of 4 occasions..

  • Pardon my language, but holy crap that was AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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