Cubs @ Brewers: Hamels vs. Burnes (Game 8)
CHC (1-6): LHP Cole Hamels (0-0)
MIL (7-1): RHP Corbin Burnes (0-0)
First pitch 6:10pmCDT
Hamels and the Cubs will try to end a 6-game skid and take a nibble out of the Brewer's division lead. That will probably require length from the veteran lefty.
Struggling relievers Carl Edwards Jr. and Mike Mongtomery head to Iowa and the Injured List, respectively, and Allen Webster and Kyle Ryan come up to fill the gap. Normally, replacing two mainstays with minor league veterans would not be cause for hope. But any change is welcome at this point. (DJL called the Montgomery injury.)
Burnes is another former reliever with a good fastball. The Cubs appeared to be catching up with Woodruff last night. Hope for a carryover effect.
While just about everything else seems to be going wrong, the Cubs offense has been as advertised. They came up short on last night's comeback effort but scored 10 runs in the process. Contreras looks comfortable at the plate, and Descalso has a modest hot streak in limited time.
Losing their 6th game in a row and dropping to 1-6, the Cubs are now off to their worst start since 1997. That year they lost 14 games before eking out their first win 4-3 in the second half of a double header on April 20. These Cubs have a ways to go before they plumb those depths.
The last two losses have felt more significant than the previous four. I got curious about that emotional weight, and I spent a little time exploring the Baseball Reference Play Index. Basically, I wanted to know how many teams have gone 1-6 or worse in the Wild Card era and what their results were at season's end. Here's what I learned:
44 teams have started the season 1-6 or worse since 1997. (I left out the strike shortened 1994 and 1995, and no team started out worse than 2-5 in 1996).
Of those 44, only three teams (6.8%) qualified for the playoffs. The 2007 Phillies went on to be Division Champs, and the 2011 Rays and 2015 Twins were each Wild Card teams.
Only six teams (13.6%) went on to winning records. Only three went on to win 90 or more games. Four teams ended up with losing records but 76 wins; these are teams we could argue had a shot at winning records if the bad start had been instead a very good start. Maybe they are buyers at the deadline instead of sellers and even get to 85+ wins, best case.
38 of those teams posted losing records, and nine teams lost 100 more games. Many teams on the list entered their seasons as non-contenders. Several were even in the depths of their rebuilds.
The 1-6 start will be difficult to overcome. The Cubs will have to go at least 13-8 to finish the month at .500. At that point, they'd probably still trail at least the Brewers. This review also shows how rare it is for a good team to open the season with such a bad stretch. Arguably, only 10 good-ish teams have started this badly in the last 22 years.
The last six games have made it hard to remember that this is a good roster. This nightmare start has shown us all the team's weaknesses right up front.
A couple days of drubbing the rival Brewers would do a lot to dispel that nightmare. Just saying.
crunch 35 min 37 sec ago (view)
crunch 4 hours 12 min ago (view)
as expected, joe maddon to be the new manager of the angels.
btw, it is unlikely tonight's HOU @ NYY (10/16) will happen because of rain that's going to start 3-4 hours before game time and carry well into the night.
crunch 16 hours 11 min ago (view)
world series will be played in DC for the first time since 1933. neat.
crunch 18 hours 49 min ago (view)
and it's only getting worse...i mean, better.
7 runs to pad out the 1st.
Craig A. 18 hours 50 min ago (view)
Oof. Hudson leaves the game after giving up five runs on singles and doubles and only getting one out.
Arizona Phil 22 hours 19 min ago (view)
The thing about Kris Bryant is that he would probably be traded only to a club that feels that it under-achieved in 2019 and where the owner is exerting pressure from the top and who therefore will over-pay for two years of Kris Bryant.
Charlie 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Yeah, it seems like I lean more toward overvaluing Bryant than most commenters here. Also, I completely stopped following prospect lists once the Cubs were good again, so I'm out of the loop on Pache especially. I had imagined that the Cubs would be looking more for immediate major league value rather than a projectable prospect, but I guess if you really like Pache you don't mind waiting a couple years.
K Dub 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
PHIL: Excellent breakdown, Phil. Thanks.
I'm sure you heard. QO value was set at $17.8 million the day after you made your post.
K Dub 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
Pache, Wright, Muller and Riley feels light to you, Charlie? I respect your opinion, but I would jump at it. I highly doubt the Braves would do it, though. Were talking 2 years of Bryant at what could be 18 million and 28-30 million in his last year of arbitration.
The Cubs would be hurting their chances next year and building for 2021 in a deal like that, but that's rebuilding/retooling in one fell swoop.
Arizona Phil 3 days 14 hours ago (view)
CHARLIE: Austin Riley is actually a third-baseman but he had to play LF for the Braves in 2019 because he was blocked by Josh Donaldson, and Cristian Pache is considered to be the best defensive centerfielder in the minors and his bat has improved enough over the past year or two to where he is now rated in or just outside the top ten overall prospects in MLB.
So a package that includes Riley and Pache and one of the Braves young MLB or MLB-ready SP would probably be more than enough to get the Cubs to bite.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 17 hours ago (view)
Max Fried or Bryse Wilson
crunch 3 days 18 hours ago (view)
t.skaggs story keeps getting deeper.
allegations the team knew about skagg's drug abuse (also his family). teams are required to report this to MLB.
Charlie 3 days 20 hours ago (view)
Except for the headline, the linked post reads more like a trade hypothetical than a trade rumor. I like the idea of looking at this package as a discussion point for expected return for Bryant. I would say it feels a little light to me. It's deep, with two decent outfield prospects with upside and two OK pitching prospects. But Riley doesn't help the team solve the CF problem right now, so he's either redundant to Bote or sort of a Schwarber replacement. Muller's inflated BB% at AA this year worries me a bit too.
crunch 5 days 16 hours ago (view)
they get 3 guys and the cubs get 1 guy. sounds like a slam dunk for the angels. pencil trout in the cubs lineup. he's got upside.
Jackstraw 5 days 18 hours ago (view)
I'd hate to part with both Kemp and Chatwood, but if it will bring that Trout guy back, we could even throw in Almora.