Game Post 4/24


Series preview is here.


Wednesday: 7:05 PM CT on WGN/670AM



2. Justin Turner (R) 3B
3. David Freese (R) 1B
4. Corey Seager (L) SS
5. A.J. Pollock (R) CF
6. Cody Bellinger (L) RF
7. Chris Taylor (R) LF
8. Austin Barnes (R) C
1. Daniel Descalso (L) 2B
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Javier Baez (R) SS
5. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
7. Jason Heyward (L) RF
9. Cole Hamels (L) P
Bullpen Usage

Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Walker Buehler: Walker Buehler has thrown 2,951 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2017 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and the MLB Postseason. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (97mph), also mixing in a Slider (86mph), Curve (83mph), Cutter (94mph) and Sinker (97mph).

His fourseam fastball is blazing fast, generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers and has slightly less natural movement than typical. His slider is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ sliders, sweeps across the zone, generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ sliders and has some two-plane movement. His curve generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ curves, is much harder than usual, has a sharp downward bite and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ curves. His cutter is thrown at a speed that’s borderline unfair, has extreme cut action and is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ cutters. His sinker is thrown at a speed that’s borderline unfair and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker.

Sean’s Note: The fire-balling Buehler has struggled early in 2019 after a very good rookie campaign. Despite the 12 runs allowed in 18.1 innings, he has all the stuff you need. Almost half the runners who have reached base against him have scored, meaning his 5.40 ERA and 3.10 FIP are miles apart. So expect him to bounce back quickly from his rough start. Homers haven’t been an issue, he has only allowed one his first four starts.

Final Thoughts: Cole Hamels has been excellent since his first start of the season. David Bote is back from paternity leave and Alec Mills was sent back to AAA Iowa to make room. Daniel Descalso is back in the leadoff spot and keeps hitting with runners in scoring position. The struggling Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber each get a start, it would be nice to see either heat up with the bat.


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  • Not much weather effect tonight. Standard late-April temps and a breeze blowing right-to-left.

    Kind of surprised to see Almora with the start today. This isn't a particularly good matchup for him, and Hamels' ground ball tendencies may diminish his defensive impact in CF. But I guess he has to play sometime. Speaking of which, I hope to see Willson get a blow tomorrow afternoon. After what we witnessed last season, he needs it.

    The Dodgers are a good team, but Buehler is beatable. We can take this series and send an early message.

    Let's win this one (and many, many more) for TC, boys!

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I absolutely hate Almora in the lineup even at his best in this matchup. He always struggles with these hard throwing righties he may as well be a pitcher batting 8th against tough righties. I hope Joe's instinct is right. I know the offense is doing fine but the play of the OF scares me especially if Heyward regresses. And agree on Willson he needs a day off. It just stinks because I almost feel like the team is punting the game if they start Davis against this tough dodger team.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I know the finances were tight over the offseason. I think that had more to do with the recent track record of expenditures than the actual bank account, but that's a different topic. But I've been begging for a veteran backup/mentor for Contreras for almost two years now. They're not expensive. This is a huge black eye on management, IMO.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Interesting, would you like to see them carry 3 catchers? Because Caratini was hitting as well as anyone before he got hurt.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    My personal belief, which I stated several times over the past couple years, was that Caratini was more valuable in trade and what he could return to the organization. He will never start here, but other organizations may see his potential and would pay accordingly.

    Willson is supremely talented, but is relatively raw at the catcher position. I've always felt a guiding veteran mentor would be in everyone's best interest, and would ultimately bring out the best in him, while safeguarding against the situation we currently find ourselves in.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I get you but understand if or when Caratini is healthy he serves two things; A) capable replacement for Contreras when not if but when Contreras gets hurt and B) provides capable rest days, minimum of two games a week, in the dog days up to three with an added value of keeping Contreras on focus via competition.

    Now I am smelling the faint hint of trade winds, seems early but there are signs; A) Montgomery extended rehab, w/Chatwood seemingly to be the 6th starter and Cubs finding a more capable pair of LH relievers, B) Russell coming off the suspension list in a week, C) Edwards, Happ in AAA, and now Almora surprisingly starting in a bad matchup game. D) Morrow is out to at best August.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I’ve heard they tried to sign maldanado and other reasonable backups. What I’ve heard from mlb is that a number of backups rejected the cubs. Not only are they limited financially but most importantly they can’t really offer regular ABs with the presence of Contreras and even caratini. Just not an attractive destination for backups although I would’ve loved a Rene Rivera type 3rd catcher. This is like a 2nd worse case scenario (Willson injury being 1st) having victor go down so early

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    My point is I disagree with having Caratini at #2 on the depth chart. I feel his potential could be more than that, but not here and now. Other teams, I think, could offer easier opportunities and the return could fill other holes in the organization.

    Willson is raw. I feel a veteran mentor would fit better than the young and promising Caratini. I don't think this combo serves anyone.

    I don't have specific names of who I would propose. But not Caratini. Veteran backstops abound, and we don't have to go high-end, the types who would argue over playing time. Caratini needs playing time to develop his talents. There are plenty of catchers more than willing to accept a role of backup and mentor.

    Where have you gone, David Ross?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yeah barley I’ve been saying trade caratini for a while now. I know they offered him in their package for Justin Verlander. I think they’ve dangled his name around in the past he was involved in rumors. I personally don’t think he had much trade value teams see him more as a potential replacement level starter. If I were Theo I’d wait until he has a breakout season and then move him ideally. It’s unfortunate because he was off to a great start and I’d have loved to have seen him moved at the deadline for a reliever

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    If he has a break out season why would you trade him?
    Caratini was doing a great job as a backup.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    1. If teams see him as a starter then the return could be worth more than what he brings as a backup to an elite C that plays most games.

    2. I don’t think he’s capable of catching every day for the cubs. He’s not good at controlling the running game at all that’s why he only catches for Hendricks hamels and Q. Lester and Yu are 2 of the worst at controlling base stealers and I think those 2 would be screwed with caratini controlling the running game

    But your overall point he’s a fine backup catcher the way they use him no reason to force any trades unless they get the value they seek

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Back up catcher is least of our concerns.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    They don't need an old washed up veteran to mentor Contreras.
    Let Maddon and the other coaches mentor him.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I guess we have a different comprehension of the most cerebrally and physically challenging position in the complex game of baseball.

    I'll leave it there.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Nice response. Like this site was when John was with us. Well done, BP.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I see you read the Evan Altman column today.

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    I actually like to see Albert A in there tonight. We need all the defense we can get against this team. I’m also glad that Bote is back—hey, that could be a song title!
    I join with BP in wishing the best for TC. I hope he is feeling well enough to comment tonight. All the best.

  • Boy the cardinals are quietly getting hot these days. I said it in the offseason that I thought the goldschmidt trade ruined the entire balance of power within the division. For them to trade for in my eyes arguably the best hitter in the game for a backup catcher and a BOR starter in Luke weaver is just absurd. The D-Backs management should be ashamed of that trade I could’ve told them they’re getting horrible value back as a mere educated fan. Now goldy is locked in as a cardinal on a relatively team friendly extension. Thanks D-Backs and marlins for messing up the entire national league. The value they got for legit all star to superstar level talents is just abysmal. The only decent package at the time was for yelich and that trades still gonna go down as highway robbery for the brewers

  • Lester back tomorrow!

  • In reply to bolla:

    Wish morrows impending minor league rehab came along with this news. This tells me Lester’s hammy injury was really minor though doesn’t sound like a strain. Happy to hear I believe they can add relievers at the deadline but you can’t replace a jon Lester

  • Let’s get this one tonight....get the series, tomorrow can be a bonus!

  • 28 pitches in a scoreless first. Hmm.

  • Heyward is going to eat this dude up.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Well, not yet. But he has been feasting on these righties who challenge him with high, straight-line heat.

  • That's the hardest ball I've seen Bryant hit in a long time.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Baby steps...

    Back towards Cooperstown.

  • Ben Zobrist needs to be in this game. His presence is huge against these hard throwing righties. Not a fan of this lineup overall almora and Schwarber shouldn’t be starting together at this time. I hope almora goes off and goes 4-4 but I almost never see him have success against hard throwing righties

  • That was a textbook catch and release from Baez. That's a SS.

  • Smh well at least KB has had some nice swings

  • I'm a baseball fan, so I'm aware of Descalso. But I've admitted I'm not an expert.

    I just learned one thing. He must have lost his wheels a decade ago. That trip around the diamond looked laborious.

  • Rizzo, and Baez, and Schwarber.

    Oh, my!

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    Javy is really taking that ball to the right, but Freese has caught both of them. At least with all the walks Cole has limited them to one run, but he's got to be better.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    What has Cole given up now? Six walks? Very uncharacteristic.

    I think he's approaching a hundred pitches. Hopefully that pen is warm.

  • Boy I don’t know how much longer they can continue to run almora out there. I don’t care if he’s a good defender I don’t believe in the value of defense only outfielders he’s not a catcher or SS. Honestly I think the front office as much as I respect Theo made a mistake putting so much faith in this guy. I’m just gonna be honest when I say I never thought much of him even in the minors. I don’t like hitters with no plate discipline or power. Surprised he’s gotten so much leeway given his mediocre minor league track record relative to the teams other high end prospects

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Tend to agree but what alternatives do the cubs have in the system for the outfield ? Move Bryantto the OF ?

  • In reply to stix:

    Unfortunately none whatsoever and I’ve done enough complaining about the offseason. That said I’ll take happy .240 avg with decent power and obp over this. Problem is happs working on some big swing changes

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    So Buehler was picked 24th in the 2015 draft. We picked Happ earlier. Who made the better pick?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Them but many of us followed that draft through John and others. Buehler wasn’t exactly looked at as a top 20 candidate back then

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Plus he was headed for Tommy John.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Yup which is why he fell. John said he was talented back then I remember vividly ,but just due to a combination of factors largely including that injury, I expected him to go late 1st.

  • MVP!!!!! MVP!!!!

  • That is why he’s the mvp folks were witnessing greatness I said it

  • Omg Baez is spectacular wow

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    C’mon Javy respect 90! You stood and watched it go and I didn’t see if he flipped his bat.
    A Mago Mash!!

  • Now we figure out if we have a BP to hold on and get a win.

  • In reply to stix:

    Leaking water but still holding on. Strop to close, I hope.

  • In reply to stix:

    Just enough left to hold on.

  • Are you kidding me? Heyward is insane this year.

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    Jason Heyward!! Does this feel like 2016? Suddenly we have great pitching defense, we’re taking walking and then getting timely hitting with lots of big hits!

  • I am not a Maddon fan but that was a great move to pinch hit Bote for Schwarber. Nice move.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Huge in general I’d like to see Bote Zobrist and Descalso take ABs away from Kyle and AA

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I just logged in to post the same thing, great move; I'm pulling for Schwarber as much as anyone, but that was definitely the right call.......

  • I’m in LA on business and happen to be watching listening to the local guy with Hershiser. He called both pitches on the HRs and they threw opposite. Said, “gotta stick with the high heat to Báez 0-2.” LOL. And the said “time to bounce the Curveball to Heyward”

    Glad Orel is not calling the pitches for the Dodgers.

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    I feel better with KB in LF and Bote at 3rd.
    Kris does not look pleased. That was one inch from his head.
    I’d like to see any pitcher who hits a batter in the head miss a turn and lose that check. Maybe they’ll be more careful.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Why? It wasn’t intentional.

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    NHL overtime or watch Javy? What do you think?

  • Cishek is a 1 pitch pitcher. Has no slider.

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    Rolling, Rolling, Rolling with a winner!!

  • Wrigley was rocking tonight. Javy turned that game around in a hurry. Really good win. Heyward is the best interview in the game. He always says the right thing in the right words.

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