Cubs vs. Pirates: Lester vs. Taillon (Game 10)

CHC (2-7): Jon Lester (1-0)

PIT (5-3): Jameson Taillon (0-1)

First pitch 1:20pmCDT

The Cubs arrive at Wrigley with a 2-7 record, the second best team OPS in the NL, and a bunch of journeyman relievers duct taped into the shape of a MLB bullpen.

Lester has performed as expected so far this season. He’s worked 12 innings and allowed 4 earned runs in his two starts. More of the same could be OK if the offense shows up. No Pirates with significant at bats have had much success against him, unless you count Cervelli’s .263/.317/.447 in 38 at bats. 

Jameson Taillon put up a very solid 2018 and is off to a respectable start this season (13 IP, 5 ER, 9K:2BB). He faces a Cubs’ offense that has put up MVP numbers against him (.320/.381/.584) and which has been playing with palpable urgency. Rizzo and Baez have wrecked him to the tune of 1.320 and 1.684 OPS respectively in 39 total at bats. If not for the ceremony of the home opener, Bryant may have gotten the day off to regroup; he’s slashed .143/.200/.429 against the righty.

It’s unseasonably temperate in Chicago for opening day: 63 degrees F around game time. No worries about a rainout for this one (unlike Wednesday and Thursday’s games).

Go Cubs!


ump's zone is crazy wide so far in the 1st...PIT getting a bit angsty.

I'm at work and I can only sneak over to the TV from time-to-time.  What was Lester's injury?  Gameday is lousy on details.

Edit:  Gameday must have heard me complaining.  They updated with a note -- "Cubs pitcher Jon Lester left the game due to an injured leg."  Did it look like he pulled a hammie or something?

Sounds like he felt tightness in his hamstring after running the bases.

Thanks.  And really!?  Geez!  Just what the bullpen needs today.

Whoever put down Descalso for first run scored at Wrigley this season and Lester with first RBI has a pretty nice leg up on the Predictions Contest.

dat pen tho...brach/kintzler/rosario/strop

7ip 4h 2bb 8k, 0r/er this...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Monday scrapped a historic agreement between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have allowed Cuban players to sign with U.S. teams without needing to defect.


The senior Trump administration official suggested that the agreement would have subjected the players to “human trafficking” by the Cuban government, making them “pawns of the Cuba dictatorship.”


I know, no politics here, but damn!

yeah..."sigh" was the best i could do while staying neutral.

lester getting an MRI...damn.

i can't even imagine who is gonna fill in for him if he misses a start (or more).

underwood is on the 40-man, but that is a very weak option.  j.steele is on the 40-man, too, but the majors might be a stretch for him right now.  it might be t.clifton time sooner than later.

Colin Rea is my guess.

Has MLB experience, and options remaining.

It almost certainly would have been Alec Mills if it wasn't that he is at EXST trying to get into game-shape, but the Cubs signed Colin Rea and Christian Bergman (who got released) just for this eventuality, which is to say, an MLB ready SP who can provide a spot start or two until the SP prospects with upside (Robinson, Swarmer, Rucker, Hatch, and Steele) are fully-ready for MLB. Then the Cubs can just DFA Rea when they don't need him anymore, and thank him for his service.  

Chatwood would fill in I am sure.

that could be a slippery slope for a team already maxing out their payroll.  if chatwood gets an all-star selection or gets enough cy young votes his 2020 contract could escalate from 13m to 17m.


seriously, though...ew gross chatwood.

Who will fill in for the pitcher they thought they were getting when they signed Chatwood?  Same with Darvish.

Inevitable April Rain-Out ...

Good news is that the Cubs/Pirates can sitck a make-up game from this week on July 11, the Thursday after the all star break. PIT is in town for that first series (Fr-Sat-Sun) of the symbolic 2nd half. 

Not a totally crappy option. 

Angels are probably screwed though... 

Actually, if an LAA game is cancelled this weekend, I'd probably look for MLB to stick the LAA/Cubs make up on July 11. LAA starts after the break on the road at StL (F-S-S). Not alot of common off-days for LAA & Cubs, especially when LAA is anywhere remotely close to the midwest. 

A rainout during the Angels series could forestall the issue of finding a Lester stand-in.

Lester to the IL. 

"As for a replacement, Maddon praised how Tyler Chatwood is throwing and added he's not sure what the front office's view is at this point regarding a call-up."

can someone hook me up with maddon's weed connection because he's obviously getting some primo stuff...

If not Chatwood, then whom?

i wanted to make a joke moreso than i had actual solutions to the issue.

unless they want to add someone to the 40-man he's probably as good of an option as anyone else considering no one else is an obvious option.  if it's only 1 start needed before lester returns it's probably the most sane option, too.

day off off next off monday following...there's some rest periods in there for heavy pen use and/or 4-man rotation options over the next couple weeks.

Recent comments

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  • The E-Man 3 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Eh - double meh. How about just getting Curtis Granderson and calling it a day?


  • crunch 3 hours 17 min ago (view)

    c.paddack (SD) with a no-hitter through 7, 82 pitches

    ...and it's gone in the 8th.  now i don't have to watch a SD/MIA game anymore.


  • Eric S 7 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Finally, a Yu win at Wrigley as a Cub and a series win against the Reds. Could definitely get used to that!


  • Eric S 7 hours 58 min ago (view)

    JHey!!! Yu’s gotta be the happiest dude in the dugout 


  • Eric S 8 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Little surprised Maddon pulled Yu after six innings and only 83 pitches - hopefully just trying to keep him fresh (and no injury concern)


  • videographer 9 hours 5 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil,

    What can you tell us about Alexander Guerra and his performance as of late?  2 - 3HR games in two weeks, 1.200 Slg %.  Does he have any kind of value as a prospect?


  • crunch 9 hours 37 min ago (view)

    post all-star break darvish is some good stuff so far, too.


  • Eric S 10 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Home run derby KB is a hell of a lot of fun!!


  • Eric S 10 hours 39 min ago (view)

    I’m trying really hard to reverse jinx it but floundering in a bad way. Seems likely he’ll hit 6 + in a week when the dam finally breaks


  • Eric S 10 hours 40 min ago (view)

    His two strike approach is very commendable on a team with so much swing and miss in it. Hoping he’ll run into an early count fastball soon that exits the park - he’s most certainly due. 


  • First.Pitch.120 10 hours 53 min ago (view)

    Fair points... but with this roster, I don't really care about JJ's power.  More than enough power up & down lineup.  I'm a bit "meh" on speed & SBs, especially in a 4th OF type on a post-season roster.  Call it Post-Traumatic-2018-Terrence-Gore-Disorder (PT'18TGD???). If I had to choose between a 4th OF who can pinch run or who can pinch hit, it's my personal preference for the PH. And anybody who disagrees with me is wrong & probably immoral. 


  • VirginiaPhil 12 hours 14 min ago (view)

    Jay--an outfielder hitting two home runs in 433 PAs with the Cubs.  Hasn't hit more than three in seven years.  Sometimes you give up power for speed, but there's no speed, either, at least in the form of SBs.


  • VirginiaPhil 12 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Williams can carry a tune, if I remember correctly.

    Dempster was unbelievable the other night, hitting only one note on-key, the second to the last word in the song, "ball."  Maybe he can do comedy, but forget about song-and-dance.


  • crunch 12 hours 48 min ago (view)

    almora (really?) / baez / bryant(LF) / rizzo / caratini / heyward / russell(2nd) / bote(3rd) / darvish


  • First.Pitch.120 13 hours 52 min ago (view)

    Jon Jay - Trade Candidate? 

    I noticed that JJ was back from the IL & having a usual JJ quiet-productive start to his season. I think I love the idea of JJ coming back to the north side. Instantly makes the OF deeper no matter what happens with Happ or Zo. Lefty bat compliments AA in CF & can play good D at all 3 spots. Pretty even career R/L splits. Good career PH numbers if coming off the bench. Known quantity in clubhouse. 

    The post-seaon roster starts to feel deep & balanced...  with 13 position players including a bench of:



  • Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 29 min ago (view)

    He is very streaky, both with his hitting for average and his power. I’m not too worried about it from the Cubs standpoint yet. From my fantasy team standpoint  a different matter though.