Cubs @ Atlanta: Lester vs. Teheran (Game 5)

CHC (1-3): LHP Jon Lester
ATL (1-3): RHP Julio Teheran 
First pitch: 6:20pmCST 

We are only four games into the season. Yet, three painful losses in a row have emphasized some questions about the team: Who will step up in the bullpen? How much of the starting rotation is on the decline? Why do I even watch baseball?

Jon Lester owns the only Cubs' win so far. He pitched six innings allowing 2 runs when the Cubs celebrated the return of baseball with a 12-4 rout of the Rangers. In 9 career starts against ATL, Lester has gone 6-2 with a 2.48 ERA. Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, and Matt Joyce all have their OPS over 1.000 against Lester in their careers.

Julio Teheran took a loss on opening day against the Phillies (5 IP, 3 ER). He's 3-1 in 8 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.44 ERA. Few current Cubs have done much against him: Schwarber is 3-7 and Almora is 1-2 with a HR.

A solid win would do a lot to wash away the memory of the embarrassing series opener. I assume everyone spent the off day breaking in new gloves.

Enjoy the game, and hang out on if you are looking for some company! I'm going to try it out on mobile tonight.

Comments

zobrist(RF)/bryant/rizzo/baez/schwarb/contreras/descalso(2nd)/lester/heyward(CF)

it seems we're on a streak of doing that "pitcher 8th" thing again.

j.heyward has GIDP 5 times in 5 games.  neat.

But he mixed it up this time. A 3-6-3 instead of a 4-6-3.

that's why he gets the big bucks

My hottest take is that Jason Heyward needs to strike out more.

It's like running Cody Parkey out there for eight years.

I have lawyers looking for an escape clause in my fan contract.

this pen is a big bag of mashed up assholes.

That is rather insulting to mashed up assholes.  hmmm, is it too early for a hot dog. 

ha.

quite honestly, though the pen could have been upgraded better this offseason i don't have that much of an issue with it.  that said, at this point i have no idea who i would trust to bring into a close/tied game with men on to put out that fire.

part of me realizes the cubs have a very high payroll (#2 i think), so i don't feel cheated as a fan...but it would have been nice to pick up some pen parts that are more than low-priced free agent gambles.

The front office has denied that the early bullpen struggles will affect their strategy. But I wonder if behind the scenes there are arguments about whether they should be pursuing Kimbrel.

Fun start to the season. Good baseball.

Recent comments

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  • JustSayin' 3 days 7 hours ago (view)

     I hear you but welcome to the world of Theo.  The team is always a step or two away from the World Series in his mind, whether that is true or not.  Therefore, the thing to do on the margin is to trade top prospects or younger guys on the roster for that missing puzzle piece, not build for the future.  I had a front-row seat for this as a Red Sox fan.  If Pedro Martinez doesn't insist the Red Sox sign David Ortiz for table scraps and Chris Bryant isn't the no-brainer second pick in the draft, we'd all be wondering what happened to that Theo guy who was in the Red S

     

  • Cubster 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Shogo Akiyama is a lefty bat, career BA at.301 w/ Seibu Lions.  Recent OBPs: .419, .385, .398, .403 and .392. HR 20-15 in last 3 seasons Stolen bases, 12 in 2019, 18 in best season (2016). Defense supposedly plus-plus, 7-10 assists (10 in 2016). Clearly a leadoff hitter.

     

  • crunch 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    christian yelich committed internet homicide on yu darvish...

    https://twitter.com/ChristianYelich/status/1195462...

     

  • Charlie 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Little in the offseason could make me happier than the Cubs finding ways to retain the good MLB players who came up with them while remaining competitive. This Javy extension talk makes me much happier as a fan than the Bryant and Contreras trade talk.

     

  • crunch 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    "Javy Baez. The two-time All-Star shortstop and 2018 MVP runner-up already has begun negotiations on a potential long-term extension with the Cubs, according to sources."

    also, some talk of being linked to shogo akiyama (CF, Japan, 32yo in April)

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/cubs/2019/11/15/20966...

     

  • crunch 5 days 2 hours ago (view)

    j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.

    w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend).  braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.

     

  • crunch 6 days 2 hours ago (view)

    nice.

    it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control.  he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 days 5 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.

    Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. 

     

  • crunch 6 days 5 hours ago (view)

    nice info...

    i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.

    he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 days 6 hours ago (view)

    I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection. 

    STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them. 
    EXAMPLES: See my lists above. 

     

  • crunch 6 days 8 hours ago (view)

    "There are no untouchables," Epstein said.

    In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28066390/there...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 week 10 hours ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.

     

  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!

     

  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.