Cubs Game Post 9/20

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Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Friday: 1:20 PM CT on MLB Network/ABC-7/670AM

Lineups

Cardinals

1. Dexter Fowler (S) RF
2. Tommy Edman (S) 2B
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
5. Matt Carpenter (L) 3B
6. Yadier Molina (R) C
7. Paul DeJong (R) SS
8. Harrison Bader (R) CF
9. Michael Wacha (R) P
Cubs
1. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
6. David Bote (R) 2B
7. Jason Heyward (L) CF
8. Nico Hoerner (R) SS
9. Alec Mills (R) P
Bullpen Usage
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Lineups and Bullpen Usage via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Reports from Brooks Baseball.

Michael Wacha: Michael Wacha has thrown 14,849 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2013 and 2019, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and the MLB Postseason. In 2019, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (93mph) and Change using a Circle Change grip (86mph), also mixing in a Cutter (90mph) and Curve (76mph). He also rarely throws a Sinker (93mph).

His fourseam fastball has essentially average velo. His change generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers’ changeups and is slightly firmer than usual. His cutter is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ cutters and has slightly above average velo. His curve has a sharp downward bite and has slightly below average velo. His sinker is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, has less armside run than typical, has little sinking action compared to a true sinker, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has slightly above average velo.

Sean’s Note: Like the rest of the Cardinals staff, Wacha has been much better in the second half. His strike out rate is below average at just 18% and he has given up a whopping 26 homers in just 121 innings. Right handed hitters have crushed him with a .308 average and 16 homers. The Cubs scored 4 runs on Wacha in a five inning start in May.

Final Thoughts: Anthony Rizzo made a surprise return to the lineup Thursday night. The Cubs also almost pulled off a dramatic win, but it wasn’t to be. Chicago now has to win the next three games to have any chance in the division and possibly the wild card. Alec Mills gets a spot start in place of injured Cole Hamels. Do or die at this point.

Comments

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  • This is last call, boys. That's all I got.

  • To stick with the last call analogy, the need to go on long bender!

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    I drink happy or I drink sad this weekend, Cubs. Up to you.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    The important part is that you drink regardless of the outcome. I like your style.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    I resemble that remark.

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    They have to score when they have a chance too--it's great to hit a HR, but like Willson just did, he hit to the right side and got Schwarber to 3rd and Bote did the same thing and Schwarbs scored. 1 run at a time adds up.

  • Bright side about us making two quick outs= Won't hit into a DP this inning! Yippppeeeeeeeeeeeee

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    We’ve had chances but couldn’t get that one hit—just like last night we couldn’t.
    Last night with Javy at 3rd and Robel or Kemp on first I thought maybe Joe would start him and see if Molina would throw through and then have Javy take off. Just a thought.
    A great outing for Mills. If we win we know where he’s sitting tonight.

  • One run off of wahca... what a joke

  • Any specific reason Happ replaced Rizzo?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Yes. Rizz can't move, so he isn't able to make many plays on D.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    And they don't want him on the ankle all day.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    Okay, well that's better than it could've been I guess............

  • fb_avatar

    Bye bye love
    Bye bye happiness
    Hello loneliness
    I think I'ma gonna cry

    Don’t let me down Cubs. Molina. He keeps doing this year after year after year.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I got a couple tunes on hold. I ain't breaking them out just yet.

    Go Cubs!

  • Cards just essentially intentionally walked Castellanos to get to KB. I'm a big KB fan I don't agree with those that believe he's worth $200-250 million because fangraphs says so, and at the same time I fully acknowledge some really underappreciate his overall value. I'm somewhere in between but I don't think it's worth it to pay $200+ million for a guy that just can't be relied on to drive in runs in situational RBI spots. I'm not saying trade him this offseason but he's easily the core 4 player that makes the most sense to trade, especially given his contract demands. And this is coming from a guy that rolls his eyes at a lot of the KB bashing too, but I can also see why he's so polarizing amongst cub fans.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Not sure anyone is worth what he's going to get

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Who wouldn't they have walked Castellanos for? Seriously, is there anyone- outside of Rizzo- in the Cubs lineup that they would not rather take a chance with than Castellanos right now?

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    With no Rizzo or javy probably no one but for a guy demanding $200+ million based mostly on his hitting it's still telling on what the cards organization thinks of KB. With runners on 1st and 2nd they essentially decided to load the bases and put a fast runner in Nico Hoerner in scoring position just so they could face KB over Castellanos. Not a big showing of respect for KB I'm not even trying to talk about Kris Bryant all game it gives me a headache reading about him all the time on these comments. He's a great yet flawed player, but the issues in situational RBI spots has become a trend. Doesn't sound like the cubs are getting any discounts with him too

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Ok.......so the minimum 5 teams willing to give him that 200+ million makes it his fault? This is where you anti-Bryant whiners miss the point. Whether he crashes and burns somewhere else or goes off the charts doesn’t matter......it’s market economics.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Who says I'm blaming KB for anything Wick? I think players have the right to demand top dollar with shortening MLB careers. I'm just saying that he's gonna clearly demand top dollar and I don't think he's worth that money, nor do I think the cubs are in a position to pay him. They need to start worrying about the long term, and to me I just don't see how they can avoid either trading 1-2 of their core 4 or letting them walk. My opinion is it's increasingly unlikely KB gets resigned and I don't think he's worth what the market will pay him.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    None of them are.....not Harper, Machado, etc. The narrative to dump him mainly because he is going to get paid is lame. There isn’t another comparable player out there right now you could replace him with. There is no guarantee someone like Rendon even signs with the Cubs so who is the replacement available that adds to this other part of the core?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Great question wick you can’t not with any one player at least. But maybe you can build a better, deeper, more sustainable roster with the nice package of prospects plus the other players you can get with the huge sum of money the team would save. They can’t pay all of the core 4 and for me I lean trading willson and KB if they were to try to rebuild the farm system at some point over the next couple of years

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    In reply to Wickdipper:

    Rendon is a free agent this year, I've mentioned this before, trade Bryant and sign Rendon...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Agreed. Everyone on here seems to agree changes need to be made, but at the same time it seems like people aren’t willing to give anyone of value up.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I'd rather see the Cubs keep, and extend Caratini, Schwarber, and/or Baez. A long term deal with them would help the Cubs more with the salary cap/competitive balance tax down the road.

    The Cubs with J. Quintana this year-- I believe they are paying him $10.5 million, but he only cost around $5.8 million against the cap number.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    And I’m not trying to be argumentative KK.....
    Just really PISSED now about this week....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    It’s all good wick we all are I think for me I strongly felt that this may not be a WS team, but no reason they should finish lower then the cardinals or especially a brewers team that they have over a 100 better run differential then. I’m not even advocating trade KB now, even though I’m a bit frustrated with his lack of progression and the team as a whole. But I do think as an organization they need to start thinking about how they want to sustain this roster. This team right now isn’t good enough to mortgage the future for at this point, and I somewhat wonder if they need to reload somehow, someway

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I wasn't talking about what he might get in a free agent contract in two years. I thought we were talking about a specific at bat. It's two different things.

    On the AB; Yes, they pitched around Castellanos because he does chase pitches and is also 2-3 and one of the hottest hitters in baseball the past two months, so of course they aren't going to pitch to him. Bryant has been struggling, he's an easier out.

    As to what he might demand in free agency, I think the verdict is still out. He has two more seasons. But right now, all Boras has is 2015-2017 to brag about. Two more injury caused mediocre seasons and he isn't getting the monster pay day.

    I think KB could be one of the best players in the game. I am starting to worry about how he deals with the pressure though. I read too many columns and interviews about how he's his toughest critic, he takes the public/social media BS too seriously, he lets it get to himself. I think all that exacerbates his slumps. I would love to have one fully healthy season out of him again and see what the Cubs would do behind that... but who wouldn't?

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Did you actually see KB's at bat with the bases loaded today? He hit a rope that Osuna, standing on the warning track, had to jump to catch. That was just a hard luck line drive hit to the wrong spot.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I get what you’re saying but I don’t think anyone’s frustrations are over one game or AB. This is all I’m looking to say tonight on KB bc it’s annoying to talk about, but overall I understand his defenders perspective and I get his detractors perspective. My view is he’s an outstanding power/on base guy that happens to also hit for pretty good avg, and a great baserunner. That said, He clearly has issues in situational rbi spots it’s a trend not an anomaly anymore, and I think it’s in large part because he’s just not a great contact hitter despite what his batting avg says. That’s why they can play him on the track he’s a doubles and home run hitter, but how often do we see him keep teams honest with a nice line drive rbi single almost never? The issues in situational rbi spots are officially a trend. Even with these issues I think KB is an all star caliber player, but the cubs are at a point where they need to start thinking long term with the core guys cost control dwindling. I think anyone with common sense would take a kris Bryant on the team any day, even with the frustrations in rbi spots. It’s no easy decision but KB has to be one of the most frustrating players I can recall with his impressive slash line

  • In reply to HefCA:

    And btw this is coming from a guy that’s defended and complimented KB throughout the years and recently. When I go to Wrigley field I go in my WS edition kris Bryant jersey I can tell you I have a soft spot for the guy. But I’m not looking to pay $200 million for almost anyone much less a hitter that doesn’t have much defensive value that I can’t rely on in rbi spots. In some ways his issues are a microcosm of this offense as a whole not being able to drive in runners

  • kb=dud! another top spinning flyout or whatever you call that swing. dude would be a good tennis or ping pong player. good grief!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    I generally eschew ad hominem attacks, so instead I will remind you his normal mechanics have been compromised with a knee injury. He is gritting out the rest of the season that is already down Baez and Rizzo. While I can understand the frustration, it’s no excuse to be obtuse.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    whatever. you probably think this guy is nthe franchise player. they walked castellanos to get to kb. kb failed to deliver again. hurt or not he doesn't deliver. everyone is probably hurt at this point in the season. dude has been perpetually hurt for 3 seasons. time to move on, dope.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    You must have missed the news KB has more home runs in the first 5 years than any Cub. If that equals a dud, then Oh well.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Hello, Oldno. I'm not even going to blame it on frustration now. Let's keep the talk on the Cubs and not insult our fellow fans.

    I get frustrated teaching the same lesson over and over again, and the students are so slow to learn.

    Quit hitting other commenters with personal insults. That's not what we do here, and shouldn't be that hard to comprehend.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    If you read the thread he insults me so that is why i fired back. I don’t think obtuse is a compliment do you?

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    I understand that but he had 2 weeks off and just won NL player of the week albeit against minor league type pitching. He's banged up every year with minor injuries that effect his performance. This is 3 years straight first it was the hand/wrist over the 2nd half of 2017 then it was the shoulder last year that seemed more serious. I think everyone with common sense knows KB is a great player, it's just is this guy and his 70-80 RBIs worth the $200+ million he thinks he's worth? I also question whether Bryant's lanky, thin bone frame is in part to blame for his issues performing with injury.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Maybe, Cortisone shots have limited effectiveness and not a miracle med.

  • Whelp...
    This might be the last Cubs game of the year, for all intents.

    I have so little confidence in Happ at the plate. Not that it matters at all.

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    He’s now 11-49 with the bases loaded. I like KB a lot, but getting a single or double with no one out is nice, but doing that with the bases loaded or someone in scoring position can be the difference between being in the the playoffs or watching them with the rest of us—and that is the case in any game, not just now. It’s just magnified now.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    It seems most people want to go by what the sabermetrics stats show as how good a player really is and that is a problem. Sure, KB just won player of the week but how about the rest of the season? I would like to see the number of games where he batted at least .270 compared with the number of games where he batted under .270

    KB goes in spurts and is not consistent which is what this team needs in the 3rd batter in the lineup. Also, its nice that KB has more home runs in the first 5 years than any Cub, but that ain't saying much. In fact, this team has hit more HRs this year and what has it gotten them? If KB has been playing hurt then why? This is a MLB team with 25 players on the roster so why play someone that is hurt and not performing instead of another player?

    KB is a good player but not consistent enough which is the very problem the Cubs offense has.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    If you check out his Baseball Reference stats for his 5 years, I think you will see KB is the epitome of consistency. His 2018 starts was excellent until his injury and then proceeded to miss 1/3 the sEason. He averages 33 doubles, 32 HRs, 90 RBI.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    "He averages 33 doubles, 32 HRs, 90 RBI". KB also averages about 550 ABs. You accounted for 55 ABs, but what about the other 495 ABs? Check out his Baseball Reference stats for his 5 years.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    You do know there are single, triples, sacrifice, walks, not to mention superlative baserunning., right?

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Yes, I do. You only mentioned doubles and HRs see KB is the epitome of consistency.

    Consistency means most every game production, not go on a streak for 3 games and then not much of anything but SOs and feeble groundouts along with High flyballs and popups. for the next week or even two.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    .285 career BA, .385 OBP. What exactly were you hoping to see?

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Did you actually read my initial statement or do you like twisting things around just to make your statement?

    I said "KB goes in spurts and is not consistent " along with "I would like to see the number of games where he batted at least .270 compared with the number of games where he batted under .270". Reread my statement and then show me this comparison if you want to discuss what I said

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Well, I don't want to put all the blame on Bryant. If one is not stud enough to to hit with risp, he is not a stud. We have couple who are, but it's a team thing. It's been two years now. It's what separates the men from the boys. Yelich/Saurez and the like manage to get it done. Your move stat guys.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I agree. It seems like the Cubs are satisfied with hitting HRs. To me that's very selfish and does not incorporate team work. There have been many games where the Cubs have out homered the opponent but still lose.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    This is a reply to your previous post. I won’t show you games above/below.270; if you find it, great. My point is you’re looking for consistency game to game. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work that way. Look at the big picture, season to season.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Per your quote: "Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work that way. Look at the big picture, season to season."

    Are we trying to approve the yearly stats or trying to figure out what is wrong with the Cub's offense day-to-day consistency which is my point that you keep wanting to change. Anyone can go on spurts and then go cold and still have good annual stats.

    Sorry, bu if you do not want to talk about my original points as addressed in my original post, then do not bother me with your nonsense.

  • It's very difficult to incorporate some of the deeply depressing lyrics of one of my favorite bands, Alice In Chains, into a baseball conversation. I think I can do it tonight.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    My 'go to' is, three chords and the truth. This works for me.

    That just about does it, don't it
    That'll just about kill it, won't it
    We could call a truce
    We could, but what's the use
    That just about does it, don't it
    Vern Gosdin

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Oh somebody kill me please
    Somebody kill me please
    I'm on my knees
    Pretty pretty please
    Kill me
    I want to die
    Put a bullet in my heeeeaaaaad

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