Aww Nuts--Padres 5 Cubs 1

The Cubs game was delayed slightly due to weather, but thankfully the weather cooperated to allow Kyle Hendricks to make his fourth start off the IL. The Professor was very good, but unfortunately it was not good enough as the Cubs offense disappeared after the first inning. So maybe it would have been better if it hadn’t cleared up today.


Source: FanGraphs

He pitched a quick 1-2-3 inning inducing three straight groundball outs to start the game. Young Cuban southpaw Adrian Morejon made his big league debut as an opener. Kyle Schwarber hit a foul out for his first third of an inning as a big leaguer. It wouldn’t be that easy as Javier Baez ripped a single back up the middle with one out and then with anti-Russell baserunning advanced to third on Kris Bryant‘s flare double. Anthony Rizzo hit a groundball to his counterpart to drive in Báez. Robel Garcia hit a ball hard but right at Hunter Renfroe to end the inning.

The Professor induced another groundball out to start the the second, and then punched out Renfroe on a generous third strike call. Francisco Mejia drew a walk for the Padres first baserunner of the afternoon, but Wil Myers grounded out to end the top of the second. Morejon settled in to retire the bottom of the Cubs order quickly.

Hendricks went back to work against the bottom of the Padres order in the third inning, and Hendricks was locked in for yet another clean inning. Morejon took the at bat in the third inning to be able to face Kyle Schwarber to start the bottom of the third. Schwarber’s base hit meant the end of Morejon’s outing. Cal Quantrill took over as expected to face Báez and got a swinging punchout. Bryant grounded out and for the first time all weekend there hadn’t been a homer.

The Padres first hit was an infield single from Eric Hosmer with two outs in the fourth. Hunter Renfroe put Hendricks in danger for the first time by following that up with a double. Mejia hit an easy pop fly caught in foul territory by Bryant to end the threat. Anthony Rizzo hit a single to start the bottom half of the inning. Quantrill faced the minimum when Jason Heyward hit a sharp lineout to second that turned into a double play (I don’t recall ever see so many different and creative ways to hit into a double play over this week) to end the inning.

The Professor ran into a little more trouble of his own creation by walking Luis Urias with one out. Cal Quantrill sacrificed Urias into scoring position, and Fernando Tatis Jr. ripped a base hit down the right field line to drive in Urias. Hendricks kept the game tied with Manuel Margot hitting a sharp groundball that Javy fielded and absolutely gunned down at first. Quantrill managed to retire the three hitters he faced. A two out single by Hendricks was the only blip in the fifth as Quantrill continued to roll.

The pitcher’s duel was still going strong with the wind blowing in. Hendricks cruised through the sixth with another clean frame, but unfortunately Quantrill was again able to match him. Francisco Mejia hit a line shot through the wind and into the basket to lead off the seventh. Hendricks retired the next three batters to end the seventh now down a run. Robel Garcia hit a ball deep into deep center field that was held up short of the warning track. That was the only noise the Cubs made in another 1-2-3 inning for Quantrill.

Brad Brach was given the eighth inning. Brach walked Tatis to start the frame, but struck out Margot. Manny Machado then hit into an inning ending double play to keep the Cubs down just one run. The victory carrot was inserted into the game to try to break up Quantrill’s run. Victor Caratini managed to make an out in Martin Maldonado‘s place. It was a great defensive play aided by a catcher runner downing the line. Daniel Descalso hitting for Brad Brach for performative reasons at this point had an easy fly out, and then Schwarber hit another easy flyball to Margot to end the eighth.

The Cubs bullpen in the ninth inning beat itself. Kyle Ryan issued a one out walk to Hunter Renfroe and Francisco Mejia laid down a perfect bunt for a base hit. Wil Myers was out on a nice play in foul territory by Anthony Rizzo. Joe Maddon elected to go to Carl Edwards Jr. for the first time since coming off the IL. Edwards threw six straight balls to load the bases. He worked the count to 3-2 before spiking a curve on to the top of Greg Garcia‘s foot to drive in the Padres third run. Fernando Tatis pulled another single down the right field line to score a pair of runs. Edwards got a pop out from Margot to end the inning and largely the game at that point. The heart of the Cubs order went as quietly against Padres closer Kirby Yates as they had against Quantrill. Rizzo singled, who also had the Cubs lone hit against Quantrill, but Garcia struck out to end the Cubs homestand.

Random Reference
It was a frustrating game to watch. Kyle Hendricks was magnificent and the Cubs had a chance to jump all over a pitcher making his big league debut. Instead the Cubs managed just a single run and the bullpen coughed up some runs late to make the game appear less competitive than it was on the afternoon. Still I can’t muster much anger over a clunker at the end of a terrific homestand. It may have ended with a whimper, but I find myself mostly muttering this afterwards.


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  • Well,
    At the least, Joe Maddon didn't get a chance to overuse Kimbrel !

  • Meh.

    Let's go to SF.

    "Someone told me there's a girl out there.
    With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair."

  • When you put out a horse-bleep lineup with auto outs in the last 3 spots, that game is a classic example of the result.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    This was posted on Twitter yesterday:

    Lowest wRC+ over the past calendar year, minimum 400 PAs:
    1. Billy Hamilton (57)
    2. Chris Davis (58)
    3. Albert Almora (62)
    4. Kyle Seager (67)
    5. Joe Panik (68)

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    I bet Maldonado would make that list too if he had enough at bats.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Sitting at a 69 this year and a 59 last year. More at bats this year so he probably is at a 65.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Wow almora needs to abandon this attempt to hit for more power that he’s trying to increase his viability as a starter. Now he’s not even hitting for avg or hitting left handed pitching, which is his main value to this team. Maybe he’s pressing knowing his job is on the line, but they just need more hitting this isn’t a deep lineup anymore. I feel like it’s almost hopeless to rely on this teams bottom of the order to produce any offense. Whether it’s bote/Russell, AA, plus the backup catchers too many guys that aren’t even avg run producers. Can’t carry all of these soft hitting defensive 1st guys in an every day lineup these guys are bench role players. Can’t wait til the deadline to get another solid bat into the lineup plus willson back

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yeah, he’s not good. I always find it funny when people bundle together three mediocre players in a trade proposal. “We’ll give you Almora, Russell, and Happ for Will Smith.”

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    For what it’s worth, the Dodgers gave up the #53 prospect for rental Darvish. Nico could be around 53, although probably higher. The word out of the Giants is you’d need to do a more like top 20 prospect plus another quality player for Bumgarner, who has pitched very well recently. I’m curious if the Brewers of Astro pull the trigger. He’d be a #3 for Houston.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    And Madison makes sense for Houston they pretty much have to get starting pitching after mistakenly letting Charlie Morton walk in favor of their prospects. I wonder if the giants even trade him but it’s getting to the point where they may have too soon. They’re pretty worn out they really have been battling the Mets all weekend hopefully cubs can take advantage in mills start

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Lol same it’s a peeve of mine when I see proposed packages where the cubs only trade 3-4 of our unwanted fringe major leaguers with no prospects included. Not only do some of these guys not have much trade equity, but frankly rebuilding teams don’t want guys that only have like 2.5-3.5 years of control left. Sure maybe 1-2 of these guys are in a trade package but they either won’t be trade centerpieces, or the guy the cubs are trading for doesn’t have crazy expensive trade value like say KC lefty reliever Jake Diekman. Honestly I say just hang onto AA the almora we’ve seen in past years is probably more valuable then anything they get for him right now.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Exactly. Schwarber has two years left after this year. I personally think people would be shocked at how little trade value he has.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    I disagree. Power is valuable when it's cheap. I mean his value is as part of a package but he's fit in a lot of lineups. I'm just not sure he fits in ours after this year.

  • In reply to TC154:

    He might have value to a contending team, but that’s not likely who the Cubs would trade him to. Like Kkhiavi says, sellers want years of control and Schwarber only has two left. He’s more valuable to the Cubs as the strong half of a platoon.

  • In reply to TC154:

    SOME sellers want years of control, Cubs 09. Some want a bat, or an arm, to fill a need on a contending team. I can easily see a competing AL team picking up Schwarber in hopes that concentrating 100% on his hitting will pay off in a big way.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Kk, where did you read about Almora trying to hit for more power? I see a lot of weak grounders and choppy swinging down on the ball. I’m curious where you heard that because his swing is anti-hit for power. His line drive % is down 2 pts as is his fly ball rate with a 4% increase in his ground all rate. His K rate is lower which all this data is saying “contact and no power”

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    It was a while ago rbucato according to the athletic in spring training. He made some swing adjustments after he had a strong 1st half and a poor 2nd half last year. Early on I guess he was launching balls in spring batting practice and had pretty impressive spring training numbers. Unfortunately whatever he’s doing has hurt him and he’s not even hitting for contact these days against even lefties. Overall I think it’s fair to say that kid is best used as a bench player not a starter. Enoughs enough they’ve gotta give Bryzzo, javy and willson more help they’ve been patient enough with this OF and 2B group post zobrist. Even heyward as happy as I am he’s playing well I’ll believe that he doesn’t lose his swing again down the stretch when I see it. He’s never ceased to amaze me on how easily his swing mechanics get out of whack. That’s why I’m fine with a castellanos trade he’s no star but he helps significantly against lefties, and he holds this OF accountable if they’re not hitting down the stretch. Heywards been their best OF this year by far but all of these guys are inconsistent, and have proven that they need an insurance policy when this OF group isn’t hitting. And even if heyward is hitting all 3 of them are question marks

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Plus castellanos should be fairly cheap and I wonder if trading Nico for a true impact piece just isn’t in the teams best interests right now with a thin system that needs a hoerner and Brennan Davis. Reading other teams trade rumor articles too those 2 are always brought up

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    FWIW. Almora has proven to be a better hitter than he has shown lately. Just check out his career stats. If we trade him, I'll bet he will come back to haunt us.

    Joe just recently stated Almora, Bote and Russell hit LHPs better than RHPs. Maybe that was once so, but it is not now. He hits RHPs better than LHPs and it ain't even close (check this year's stats).

    Now, Joe is playing him against LHPs and sitting him against RHPs. Why? It seems to me that Almora has adjusted to hit against RHPs obviously, but now Joe keeps him batting against LHPs. What happened to playing him where he would be more successful? This has got to be screwing with Almora's progression.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    The good news is the Cubs aren't paying him $100M like Seattle is paying Kyle Seager.

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    Release CJ and bring up James Norwood.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I’d prefer Wick based on his recent good run. I wouldn’t mind Brach and Ryan going too. Norwood and Maples to replace them.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    You can release all the pitchers. Cubs can’t win many with one run. Even RYU. ERA is over 1

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    I forgot about Wick. You're right, he's the one to bring up.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Hultzen is right there as well, but those are depth pieces on a team with our aspirations. I would like someone with a more consistent pedigree, and I know we will get it. The question is at what cost.

  • Just read the Cubs want to trade for N. Castelanos. Why would you want another defensive liability in the outfield ? The Cubs have one in left field already.
    Joe wants Addison Russell to cut down on mental mistakes. Well, the way to do that is to trade Addison. I'm shocked that Addison is still in a Cub uniform. C,mon Theo, cut your losses and trade him for whatever you can get for him.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Who’s your backup ss if Russell goes and Javy gets hurt?

  • In reply to stix:


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    In reply to ronvet69:

    What Joe should do is pull him from the game immediately just like Bobby Cox did to Andruw Jones years ago. He didn't forget that.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That should have happened to Russell yesterday. His performance was an embarrassment to himself, the Cubs, and baseball.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    B/c Theo has an incredible loyalty to Russell

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Castellanos, another underachieving hitter. For 6 1/2 years, Detroit is still hoping he takes the next step, hits doubles, and strikes out. HR power seems to be down, goes against the league trend. I'd rather see the Cubs wait for the offseason, & find out the price for him as a free agent.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Just hit a walk off homer for the Tigers....

  • In reply to Naujack:

    111 wRC+ overall, 184 wRC+ against lefties. He would not be a bad pickup for a prospect or two outside the top ten

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Seen the size of Comerica? Freakin’ Grand Canyon there — 420 dead center with a straight wall playing nearly 440 gap to gap. I would think that is why he leads MLB in doubles giving up some HR.

    I’d be ok with him as a RH OF who crushed LHP.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I have a few uncles, their team is the Tigers. I have watched too many innings of Tiger baseball this year. Castellanos is a good player, I have no idea how players are valued. His offensive production reminds me of Jason Heyward this year. I know you will kill me for saying solid enough to help sometimes, but far from great.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Why would I kill you? I think you last sentence is spot on. He isn’t JD Martinez. He would be a huge upgrade to Almora.

    He would help immensely against LHP.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I agree with you. I would like to see the Cubs at least look into him when he becomes a free agent. The Tigers are talking about trying to package him with Boyd or Greene, and even offering to eat some money to maximize the trade value of their players. I think they are looking for a couple top 12 type prospects in return plus maybe more. If they want a return around C. Hamels deal then it is a no brainer go ahead and trade for him.

  • Robel Garcia should be the Cubs primary second baseman, with David Bote backing him up. Nico Hoerner is your worst case scenario backup at shortstop. Addison Russell, just cannot seem to pull himself together. Maybe he will for another team, but the line, that he is “such a superior fielder, and only shortstop backup”, no longer resonates.
    I think it is unlikely the Cubs trade Kyle Schwarber, unless another team truly covets him. He is probably worth more to the light hitting Cubs.
    Obviously, the Cubs need bullpen help. It is hard for me to judge whether any of the Iowa relievers are better than what they have. Theo seems quite hopeful about a Morrow sighting, but not about Ben Zobrist pulling a Schwarber in September. I know Brach has been awful and Edwards has no confidence, but they both have great arms and past success as does the long buried Tyler Chatwood. I think Joe Maddon will try to get them viable very soon whether Theo can get another Bummer or not for the Cubbies.

    I do not think you trade Nico or Brennan Davis for a Tony Watson or Will Smith or even Colome. Alzolay is damaged goods now. Pray for Morrow or trade Russell, Almora, and an old sofa bed for Fernando Rodney.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    One crooked hat on this team is enough. LOL

  • Giants post-game radio is giddy with excitement. The fans calling in don’t want them to trade away anyone. “Keep the pitchers.” They aren’t looking at the Cubs series as something of a bellwether.

  • I mean they *are* looking at the Cubs series as a bellwether.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    That makes more sense, but we know what you meant. I'm looking at this road trip as a bellwether for the Cubs. We've come out of the break hot, but all at Wrigley. We need to play better ball on the road.

    We continue to see some sloppy play, and elite teams don't do that. I'm too tired to get into everything, but I think the time has come to put up or shut up. Moves will be made and feelings may be hurt. We need to win ballgames.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yep. Well said, BP.

    Put up or Shut up!!! Moves will be made. Completely concur.

    I believe Russell will be gone after that disgusting performance. I still believe we buy cheap for a LHRP—heck, Hultzen might even get the nod. I expect a veteran RH OF who hits versus LHP. I think CJE is a goner too. He is. It playoff caliber right now—hasn’t been right since his injury last May, I believe. And I certainly wouldn’t be heart broken to see Almora go. He is getting worse by the minute and shows no signs of improvement.

    Should be a fun week to sort this out.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yeah, 10 days to the new single trade deadline. We’ll see what they have up their sleeve shortly. I hope they don’t break the prospect bank though.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    That’s where I sit. I want them to go more veteran platoon type so we don’t give away too much. I know you gotta give to get, but is there a bat we could get that would be like the Hamels acquisition last year?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That's it in a nutshell. Put up or shut up time. The eternal wait for Russell, Almora, Edwards, Happ and others to turn the corner has hit the proverbial wall. If the rest of the team was killing it, you might afford them more time, but that's just not the case with this team. If the idea is still to win now, Theo has no choice but to shake it up.

  • In reply to Ronson54:

    maybe Happ should come up. He is killing it in AA lately.

  • In reply to John57:

    Possibly... But if I'm not mistaken his K rate is still too high.

  • Today's game is more evidence it's impossible to over value picking the right day to play golf.

  • I may be late to party. But I am disappointed with this Hall of fame class. Mariano Rivera is the only deserve player to be elected in. The rest were nice player but not HOF’ers. Harold Baines for goodness sake.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I like Harold Baines, as a player and a person but, no.....he is not HOF material......what taints it for me completely though was the involvement of LaRussa and Reinsdorf.....otherwise he isn’t elected.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Agreed. A great guy but not HOF. And definitely the white Sox connection got him in.

    Could have been a great class with the guys who they won’t let in.

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    In 2016 the Giants came here and we swept them and Mike Krukow (their broadcaster) said something to the effect of “yes, they are that good.” Well, that seems ages ago and we’ve been trending downward since the second half of last year. I don’t want to jump the ledge but something has to happen and that means more than trading for a LH reliever. We’ve seen regression from key players—Schwarber, Almora, and Russell. KB and Rizzo have been good, Baez and Willson have improved, but our team defense has been awful, our base running awful and our decisions equally as bad. I thought Joe did a great job last year to get us to 95 wins and that was with only scoring 1 or fewer runs in something like 40 games. I know the players are trying but something is missing. With all that we’re still in first but we could be so much better. We’ve played 99 games and have 63 left.
    Maybe if we have a good west coast trip we can get some life and spark back. I hope so.

  • Before the end of June, I set an example of the Cubs needing to win at least 12 or 13 of their next 20 to prove to me that they're a good team, but also said that with the quality of competition they'll be playing on ample rest and many days playing at home, that they would have to win 15 or 16 of 20 to prove to me they are possibly a great team. Well against the Pirates, Reds, White Sox, and Padres, they are 10-7. This isn't exactly rocket science, but none of those teams are even above .500, and just to show what the recent trend has been for the opponents, the Pirates, Reds and Padres are all 3-7 in their last 10, while the White Sox are 2-8. So we played to a .588 win% against poor teams playing really bad ball. Now we go on the road (where we're 18-27) against the hot SF Giants who are now a .500 team thanks to their 8-2 record in their last 10, and they might even consider being buyers instead of sellers.

    Well, the Cubs have proven to me they are not great. They just played another week of "hey remember how good we were a couple years ago" and it felt nice to feel like there was a little Cubbie magic left in this team, but it still wasn't that same killer instinct with just clean/easy baseball happening. There's still mishaps and lots of poor moments to clean up. I'm not expecting much from this team in SF, or even Milwaukee. Then we play the Cardinals back in Chicago.

    It will be interesting to see how the front office navigates over the next 10 days, especially without the waiver trades in August. Are we gonna mortgage more future assets for this team that I don't think has what it takes to make a deep postseason run? Will there be a reshuffling of the deck over the next 7 days just to set up a scenario where they can decide over the following 3 days (2 games) how much of buyers or sellers we should in the final days leading to the deadline? In any scenario, will a core player be moved to try to add more depth to this current team, but at the same time, add a little more talent to our farm system for the future? I'm interested to see how the front office plays this. I like that they picked up Kimbrel early, and the quick move for Maldonado as well. But we need ALOT more. At least one hitter to hit lefties, and in addition to whomever that is, Zobrist in mid-season form sure would be nice. We also need more than one reliever to add to the bullpen. Lots of inconsistency in that department. I suspect no less than 4 current players on our roster now, to not be here much longer, whether they're sent out on trades, or demoted back to Iowa. I'm sure we know most the obvious guys, but I feel like there will be at least one that will surely surprise...

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I agree with a lot of this. However .588 Val is 95 wins over a season. I’m ok with that as 95 is probably the max they would have won this year. And also timing is an issue. They ran into a hot Josh Bell. Since the Cubs left he is 3-30. Out of those games they gave away 3 and were gifted 1. So would you feel better at a 12-5 run? Maybe? This team is just not 2015-2017 (2nd half). That’s what’s i have come to grips with. Those previous teams battled every at bat for 27 outs. Now, and last year, we have automatic outs in 2 spots plus the picher. When Heyward Schwarber and Báez go cold, we just look awful. I realize we might not have Kimbrel, but Zo absolutely killed this club. His versatility professionalism and ability to give good at bats is missed.

    We will see what Theo/Jed come up with.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    ***.588 Ball. Sorry for the typo.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yes .588 equates to a 95-win season, but when does a team play all 162 games against losing teams like my example of the current 17 stretch they just played? We are just a .510 team against teams at .500 or better, so maybe I’d say we will be about an 88 or 89 win team if we played 81 games against teams under .500 (47.6 wins) and the other half above (41.3 wins). To me, 88 or 89 wins seems realistic for this team, with or without trades being made, although they better not stand still.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Truthfully, they should be a lot better than 88 or 89 wins. Even if they exceed that mark, I won’t have much faith in going deep into the postseason unless they play at some ridiculous clip for a large portion of the remainder of the season...

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I can understand your angst Cubber but if they get in as a division winner their chances are not that bad.....they match up well against Atlanta and I don’t see LA blowing them away.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    We went 2-5 against ATL this year, and 3-4 against the Dodgers. I know we were off to our poor season start when we got swept by ATL, but we have to play the schedule we're given. We likely will have to go on the road to play either of those teams.

    We are not a good road team. To further compound it, the Dodgers will throw all their good lefty pitchers against us (Ryu & Kershaw/R. Hill supposed to be back in Sept has always dominated the Cubs; and not to mention RHP Walker Bueller who's not so bad either). They always seem to shut us down when it comes to postseason play over the last 2 years. I think our weaknesses are even more largely magnified now than they were in 2017 or '18. I don't think this team will have much of a chance.

    Even worse, I see the Nationals as a rising team to be concerned about facing in the postseason with Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin. The Braves are interesting. They are young, and have heart, they still make mistakes and lose some games, but I think they will take advantage of their own growth in these next couple months as they realize the Nationals aren't gonna give up, and they'll probably start to finish games with more authority and confidence. If that happens, they won't be an easy matchup in a 5 or 7 game series either.

  • Ron Commer: (to Paraphrase) This team seems to be "adrenaline junkies".

    While I am certain Commer did not intend that comment as a negative, it certainly (IMHO) was not a complement. Perhaps a commentary on the lack of professionalism among some of the offensive players. The 2 (6-5) wins on friday and saturday were not exactly dominant victories considering sellout crowds and over a very mediocre Padres team.

    The adrenaline container was completely empty on Sunday.

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