Cubs vs Reds: Series Preview (7/15-7/17)

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The Cubs came flying out of the gate in the second half with a three-game sweep of the Pirates. Chicago outscored their opponent 22-10 in the series. The starting pitching delivered three consecutive quality starts.

The Cubs have increased their division lead to 2.5 games as the rest of the Central continues to spin its wheels. While Cole Hamels is progressing from his injury, Alec Mills will come up from Iowa on Tuesday to start in his place.

The North Siders now welcome the pesky Reds to Wrigley for a three-game series. Cincinnati has lost four of five after getting close to .500. Yasiel Puig is having a great year and Phillip Ervin is red-hot, fresh off a six hit game.

The Reds are 6-3 against the Cubs in 2019, the second straight season of success for Cincy. Chicago needs to start taking series from their annoying division neighbors. The Pirates series was a good start, just need to keep it going.

Watch/Listen

Monday: 7:05 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

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

Wednesday: 1:20 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago/670AM

Lineups

Reds

1. Nick Senzel (R) CF
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
4. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
5. Derek Dietrich (L) LF
6. Scooter Gennett (L) 2B
7. Jose Iglesias (R) SS
8. Curt Casali (R) C
9. Luis Castillo (R) P
Cubs
1. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
2. Javier Baez (R) SS
3. Kris Bryant (R) RF
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
6. Jason Heyward (L) CF
7. Addison Russell (R) 2B
8. David Bote (R) 3B
Bullpen Usage
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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitchers

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Luis Castillo: Luis Castillo has thrown 5,937 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2017 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Change (87mph), Fourseam Fastball (97mph) and Sinker (97mph), also mixing in a Slider (86mph).

His change generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ changeups, dives down out of the zone, is much firmer than usual and has slight armside fade. His fourseam fastball generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, has heavy sinking action, has well above average velo and has slight armside run. His sinker is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, is thrown at a speed that’s borderline unfair, has an obvious tail, generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has some natural sinking action. His slider generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ sliders, has primarily 12-6 movement, results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ sliders and has some two-plane movement.

Sean’s Note: Castillo almost no-hit the Brewers in his last start. He has allowed just three runs in 12.1 innings against the Cubs this season. He walks a lot of hitters so patience is important.

Anthony DeSclafani: Anthony DeSclafani has thrown 8,669 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2014 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, Spring Training and Fall/Winter Ball. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (95mph) and Slider (90mph), also mixing in a Curve (84mph) and Sinker (95mph). He also rarely throws a Change (89mph).

His fourseam fastball generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers and has slightly above average velo. His slider is thrown extremely hard, has much less depth than expected and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sliders. His curve is thrown extremely hard, has little depth and has primarily 12-6 movement. His sinker generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has well above average velo. His change is thrown extremely hard and is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups.

Sean’s Note: DeSclafani has pitched 9.2 innings against the Cubs and allowed three runs. He gives up a lot of homers, especially to lefties.

Sonny Gray: Sonny Gray has thrown 16,204 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2013 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (94mph), Curve (82mph) and Sinker (93mph), also mixing in a Slider (85mph) and Change (90mph). He also rarely throws a Cutter (93mph).

His fourseam fastball has much less armside movement than typical and has essentially average velo. His curve has sweeping glove-side movement, is much harder than usual and has a sharp downward bite. His sinker generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has less armside run than typical. His slider sweeps across the zone and has exceptional depth. His change is thrown extremely hard and generates fewer whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ changeups. His cutter is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ cutters, is blazing fast and is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ cutters.

Sean’s Note: Gray has allowed just three runs in his last three starts over 21.1 innings. One was against the Cubs where he gave up two in 6.1 innings. He is getting tons of strikeouts and ground balls this year.

 

Filed under: Series Preview

Tags: Alec Mills, cole hamels

Comments

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  • I'd really like to see the Cubs put some distance between themselves and those guys in 2nd place. This homestand is a great opportunity to do it, but they have to take care of business...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    We will distance ourselves from the rest of the NL Central. We are just better. I'm enjoying how we've played at home since the break, and will be really excited when I see it on the road.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Not playing sloppy baseball like tonight, we won't.

  • Willson sits again. What’s story on his foot injury? Timeline to return?

  • In reply to stix:

    The deal I told Theo to make for Ketel Marte is about to go through... lol

  • Quite the contrast tonight. Soft tossed with pitchability versus flamethrower with Plus Plus stuff.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    My two favorite pitchers that I've seen are Nolan Ryan and Greg Maddux. Quite the contrast.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    You mean to say that Bob Scanlan wasn't your favorite pitcher?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I had an unexplainable crush on Sergio Mitre. I don't know why.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Oh well you can't go wrong with Serg...

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    When he was in his prime, Bruce Sutter. He was untouchable and the flailing at his split finger was a sight to see.?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Bruce Sutter was our closer when I became a Cubs fan. The big baseball was too large to fit between my tiny fingers, but I still tried, even tearing the webbing between my fingers a couple times. I never could get my split-finger pitch to do what Sutter's did.:)

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    No one else could either.

  • What a play by Rizzo!

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    I look like to see Bote at 3rd and Rizzo at first, but Bozzo doesn’t have the same cache as Bryzzo. Go David, maybe that will wake up your bat.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That is funny stuff Jonathan... I actually did lol out loud... in redundancy.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I just can't stop thinking about this... so if Bote and Rizzo hit back-to-back HRs, that means the opposing pitcher got Bozzo'd!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Which does remind me, they Bozzo'd the pitcher on the D-backs last year when they won a game with a game tying HR by Bote, and then walk-off by Rizzo.

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    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Ha!!

  • https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/07/cubs-mike-montgomery-reportedly-involved-in-trade-discussions.html

    Looks like Montgomery is all but gone this trading deadline.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    That is not surprising. It is probably best for all involved. His role on this team is vanishing. Others are stepping up to take his place, and I wish him nothing but the best. There is that one memory of Monty I'll never forget...

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yeah I feel like he’s a bit disgruntled or at the very least not happy with his role barley. I know I’m reading between the lines a bit with that statement, but after posting a 3.69 ERA as a starter last year I can understand his perspective. He’s moving towards free agency and he’d get paid more as a starter. Ill always look fondly on his overall cubs tenure, and I hope that we get something for him

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Unfortunately, that's all the information MLB Trade Rumors has - there are discussions.

  • Schwarber needs to keep doing what he did right there! Ball deep in the zone, and 426 (or was it 436) happy feet to opposite field.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Anything over 400 is "very happy" feet.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    This just makes me think of Steve Stone for some reason.

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    If, and there has been talk here and other places, the Cubs are thinking of trading Schwarber, this is a good time to consider it. He’s got and who doesn’t want a left-handed power hitter? He’s been on my trade list and maybe we could get a lead-off man for him.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I still think it's worth it to give Schwarber another year to put it all together. He's still only 26. And even in a year or two, if the shift gets banned or limited in some way, his batting average would be over .300 all of a sudden, and he'd be much more dangerous even without him changing anything.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    To start the controversy again. I also saw Bryant’s name in the same article as Schwarber.

  • In reply to stix:

    Without even knowing what article you are referring to, I've always cautioned:

    Consider the source.

    Anybody can publish anything. I try to form my opinions and gather my information based on what those who actually make these decisions or evaluate and/or coach these players say.

    Anything is possible, but consider the source.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I wouldn't trade left hand power for leadoff, even tho I would love to get one.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    What about a good reliever and a top prospect? Schwarber has a tremendous about of potential because of his age and power.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I agree with TC. It would take a good package in the off season as well. Schwarber is a valuable commodity because of his left side power. They don't grow on trees. I still don't think that we have seen the best of Kyle on offense.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Schwarber is not a guy you trade in season. If you trade left handed power it has to be in the offseason still you can reconfigure. I think it probably 60/40 that he gets moved this winter but there are very few trades, if any, you could make that wouldn’t make the team worse this year.

  • I want that basket removed!!! Let's get rid of the cheapies!

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    2016 playoff el Mago might disagree

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    In reply to Oldno7:

    Good call. That might have changed our whole post season. I like the basket because we can’t have fan interference.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    That ball should've cleared the park

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    I know . Off the bat I had visions of the glenallen dinger of yesteryear. Lol. Got the job done. Vasgersian almost fell out of the booth.

  • This is how weird this game is; I’ve seen enough of the Reds to firmly believe they are the second best team in the division and their Pythagorean record backs that up saying they should have 7 more wins. However despite both the numbers and the eye test they really need to sweep the Cubs to stay in contention. Kind of cruel really

  • If this was Brach instead of Cishek, there would be a bunch of commentary. Why so calm with cishek ?

  • In reply to stix:

    Cishek got like 6 outs that inning

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Yes he did after allowing the tying home run and a single.

  • In reply to stix:

    I wasn't happy with Maddon leaving him in. There were errors, but everything was hit hard off of Cishek.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Not really. He got back to back ground balls that should have been double plays. Javy & Bote both have to make those plays

  • Wonderful defense as well as relief pitching.

  • We will win this game.

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    That's at least 4 misplayed balls by us. The difference between the 2016 team and this team. Also, we had a number of chances to just get a hit and score at least one run, maybe 2 and couldn't do it.

  • Nice defense today. Two missed foul balls that turned into runs and an error by El Mago that led to another. Sure isn’t the 2016 defense.

  • In reply to stix:

    None were easy plays.

  • Too many strike outs on a night you need to put the ball in play. Also, the past weekend is making me question if it was our bats or bad pirate pitching, the Cards are thrashing the bucks 7 - 0 tonight.

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    1 AB to late David. He was trying too hard last time, now he was just trying to meet the ball. A big missed opportunity last time.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Tough night for Bote & Caratini. Probably winning this game if those two are on the bench, but... They’re both good players so hopefully they win a few games with great play during the rest of this season

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    And for Baez, at the plate and in the field.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yes. Makes it tough to win when 3 players have bad nights. But they’ll all win games for us this 2nd half. Javy will win multiple

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Absolutely.

  • Ughhh....nuts

  • KC’s Cather Maldonado goes to the cubs...

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    *catcher

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    Just saw that. For Mike Montgomery
    Have to assume Caratini going to someone for a smaller piece. Or Contreras in a huge trade that’s been suggested on this site

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Rumor has it Contreras went to Northwestern today for an MRI. Hopefully that has nothing to do with the trade...

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Contreras to IL. Not sure the length. Drat.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Or put Contreras in the outfield and keep Bryant at 3rd exclusively?

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    I hope not. Willy can't frame much but is the only reason teams don't steal all day every day. Cubs have a few pitchers that are easy to run on.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Martin Maldonado is no slouch behind the plate. In direct comparison of caught stealing, Martin has had a higher rate in every year that Contreras has played in the league...

    MM 2016-40%, '17-39%, '18-49%, '19-33%
    WC 2016-37%, '17-27%, '18-34%, '19-31%

    I kinda like Squareburgers idea about Contreras in the outfield actually... This gives us another good defensive catcher who can split time with Caratini still playing the majority if he keeps hitting.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    How did Maldonado’s staff compare to the cubs as far as being able to hold runners?

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    What about Bryant and Contreras on the corners with Heyward in CF? Bote, Baez, Garcia/Russell, Rizzo across the infield with Caratini playing 4-5 games per week. That kinda deepens the lineup a little bit...

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    ?

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    Maybe we said Merrifield and they heard Maldonado.

  • Really disappointing game to watch. I hope this isn't the "urgency" we can expect in the 2nd half...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I'm guessing here. Contreras has a broken bone in his foot and is out for the season. It explains the let down and the trade.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I hope you're wrong, but you might be right on the money.

  • 2017 gold glove winning catcher

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    According to WBBM radio Willson is on the IL. No details yet.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Jon Heyman says it’s a strained arch.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I 've had that injury. I was in a boot for a month. Of course, I was older than Willson, but it can be a serious injury and requires rest. Cubs will be lucky if Contreras is back on the field in 10days.

  • Disappointing game. No clutch hitting, sloppy defense. Baez, playing another egocentric game, with a brainless at bat in the 9th.
    The Montgomery move shows little faith in Taylor Davis as a Major League catcher, or is setting up a major trade involving Victor Caratini or possibly Willson Contreras. It may also indicate that the Contreras injury is more serious than believed.

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