Braves @ Cubs: Blair vs Lester (Game 22)

The Braves are in town to assume the position.

ATL (5-17): RHP Aaron Blair (0-1, 5.06)
CHC (16-5): LHP Jon Lester (2-1, 1.98)
First pitch: 1:20pmCST

Lester beat the Reds at Wrigley on Friday, giving up 1 ER in 7 innings. He walked one and struck out eight. The Braves are 44-218 (.202) against him. Aybar is 7-20, and Pierzynski, Mr. Personality, is 7-21.

Blair made his MLB on Saturday and lost to the Mets (3 ER, 5.1 IP, 1 K, 2 BB). He was among the busload of players the D’Backs sent over for (the former pitcher) Shelby Miller.

In injury news:  Montero’s back sends him to the DL, and Federowicz is called up. Bryant rolled his ankle and is having a precautionary MRI. It doesn’t sound serious, but he’ll probably get a day off.

Teheran (0-3, 4.60) vs Lackey (3-1, 4.97) tomorrow at 1:20pmCST.

Go, Cubs!


Cubs have a guy you never heard of who gets hits every night for South Bend and is hitting .390 after 64 PAs. Daniel Spingola, left/left, mostly RF, 31st rounder last June.

He's gonna turn 23 in a week.

Average age in A-ball is 21.2.

I'm sure he'll get a promotion soon though.

"Nothing stunts a pitcher’s development like playing for the Orioles..."

An all-round brutal article. He's not wrong, though.

Per Muskat tweet: "MRI confirmed #Cubs Bryant has mild ankle sprain. Will not play today. Not expected to go on DL"

Whew. Take no chances with him, please!

Yeah we're playing the Braves. No need for him to play this weekend though it sounds like he's available to pinch hit.

Is this an old story? Regardless, it's awesome.

Ross just threw another runner out today and with his ability to control the opponents running game it got me thinking what the catcher plan is for Lester after this season. Montero is not good at throwing out runners and I'm not sure would be a great long term match if they decide to keep him. Schwarber if he catches definitely wouldn't be a good fit. Contreras has decent throwing #s and seems like someone who when he comes up could make a good primary catcher but do they maybe have him be that, release Montero and sign a primary defensive catcher to catch Lester? Of course Lester learning to throw to first would be the best solution but if he can't Ross leaving is going to create a difficult dilemma there.

good thing no one will have to worry about it next year after Cubs win the World Series and the Earth swallows Chicago.

Ross for ALL STAR GAME!!! #3, #3, #3!!!

The "I got on base" celebration is getting dangerously close to what was jokingly described in parachat a couple weeks ago. When parachat becomes reality, we all lose.

Fowler's TOOTBLAN does not go unnoticed. That was some boneheaded base running.

Sounded like a failed hit-and-run, though?

plenty of time to get back, didn't pick up the ball or maybe he thought it might drop, but it was a pretty lazy pop fly.

holy shit lester...just that. wow. double play ball turns into a single out play which turns into 0 outs...and lester is left holding the ball while the bases go loaded with 0 outs.

ruh roh, 24-hour Lester YIPS narratives coming at you after that failed attempt to field a bunt. Time to log off.

Whew. Lester v Braves + Umpires. Umpires are threatening this inning...

he just got a gift on that 2nd K...sides have shifted in a patented lester 4-5 out inning. ...and holy crap, that 2nd strike call on markasis. wow. that was gift wrapped.

Yeah, I saw that. Gotta love being a pitcher and getting that "several inches off the inside corner" called as a strike.

To be fair he also had a strike 3 called a ball.

CB Bucknor behind the plate...he is and will continue to always be awful.

Well, he's consistent at that then.

LESTER ESCAPES! no runs after bases loaded, 0 out! 30 pitch inning.

Tomorrow's Sun-Times Headline after Lester's 1 ER, 10 K effort. "150M Lester Fails to Field Sac Bunt."

Not sure why teams don't bunt more often against him.

not sure either, but in most cases I imagine someone else can field it. And if you bunt it directly at him, he would have enough time to underhand toss it or just run it over?

Today's bunt, he really, really didn't want to field it. Not sure if he lost it in his glove after that or just wasn't going to make the throw. It's not ideal obviously, yet still hasn't had any real impact on the team.

Agreed, but like with Garza, I am surprised that more managers don't try an exploit a clear weakness.

A lot of batters simply can't bunt is one problem.

well, how long do keep pretending that a bunt hit well back to the pitcher that would be a double play for many pitchers isn't a "thing"? it's a story. it's not like it's a physical defect people are picking on. no one gave chuck knoblauch a pass when he lost the ability to throw a ball to 1st. it's a unique curiosity for a guy who throws a ball on a professional level for a living. he has a lot of 4-5 out innings. this is at least the 2nd time he's turned a double play ball into 0 outs just this year that i've noticed and he's got a slew of "4-out" innings under his belt, too.

unique curiosity is a good description...

he has a lot of 4-5 out innings. this is at least the 2nd time he's turned a double play ball into 0 outs just this year that i've noticed and he's got a slew of "4-out" innings under his belt, too.

and 1.83 ERA

Cubs should trade him, get a worse pitcher that loses games instead but can make a throw to 1b.

that's an interesting leap. so, we ignore the thing that keeps happening and if one chooses to not ignore it then one obviously wants to replace him with dan harren. it's fair game. the guy, on multiple occasions, puts the team in 4+ out innings because a guy who throws a ball for a living can't throw to a base. it's not like this happened once or twice or three times or four times or... one can focus on the positive the same time...note that he's doing something uniquely strange that puts the team at a disadvantage. there's nothing awesome about 4-out innings, increased pitch counts, or putting guys on base because he can get out of it better than dan harren.

Ignore it? You talk about it all the time. I'm sure the rest of the board notices, but just doesn't feel the need to harp on it. It is not like we can do anything about it anyway.

there's nothing anyone can do about anything going on out there. i don't even post every one he fumbles into. i also post about HRs and other crap. it's happening, good or bad things are happening. this is an interesting thing to me. just because it's a negative thing doesn't make it "woah." we had 1000000000 posts about leadoff men and 2nd batters during the dusty years when everyone knew speed leads and contact-with-low-Ks hits 2nd. we all knew what's up. some people talked about it.

I'm pretty sure there is not a single person ignoring it at this point In all of baseball and it's a thing everyone is talking about. That said he also managed to get out of a bases loaded, zero outs situation with no runs given up and that is something very few pitchers could do and it wasn't just because of a few balls called strikes. So....Let's not just talk about Lester when there are throwing issues because there has been a lot more good than bad just this game let alone this year.

we might have seen another inning of lester out there if he didn't throw 30 pitches last inning because of a base throwing issue...on a day where he's very tuned in. i've accepted what's happening with lester, but turning a double play into 0 outs is noteworthy even if some people don't want to be reminded of it.

Of course it's noteworthy. I was going to make a post about it if you hadn't. But per Robs point the headline should be "Lester pitches 7 innings with only 1 ER and and 10ks" with "he got himself into a jam by not throwing on a fielded bunt which he was able to pitch out of." As a paragraph in the article and not the headline. Or as I write this the headline should be Szczur hits a grand slam but Lester kept them in it the whole game which can be a sub headline.

It's really not any more newsworthy than a pitcher who runs up and misses it with his glove, walks the batter instead, or throws it into right field where some runs score. Holding the ball was brilliant. He knew he didn't have the throw eyed. And then he follows up with a gutsy performance. The guy rocks.

I don't have any problem being "reminded" of it -- but anything more than a short sentence about it makes my eyes glaze over and skip to the bottom.

I agree that it is frustrating and baffling and I am surprised more teams don't try and take advantage of it. However, in the end, I would rather have a pitcher that has 4-5 outs innings versus 4-5 runs innings.

There goes Ross' ASG prospects...

Have I mentioned how much I love TLS? Guess I should have waited to post that.

RIZZ! unf...8th inning lead.



The kid is looking like a ballplayer.

between him and lastella there's a R/L combo that seems to be comfortable + productive off the bench. handy stuff for a playoff contending team.

It's kinda neat seeing guys with such little experience doing so well off the bench. Usually it's guys with a bit more time. How many major league at bats do those two have between them?

.464 obp play him over Mr june-august And he can play the field

Who's Mr. June-August? Can't be Jorge "Mr. 1.705 Playoff OPS " Soler, can it?

2016 .607 ops neifiesqe Plus bad fielding

Yeah, there's that....

: / )


Szczur szlam!

Hail Szczur!

per Len: Not Wrigley Field Friendly confines today, it's Szczur's Palace


They only need to win 18 more in a row to match the 1984 start of the Detroit Tigers.

Cubs record for last 3 months of regular season baseball: 59 - 23. (Aug, Sept/Oct and April, with one still to go). That's a .720 winning percentage and projects to 117 wins over 162 games. That's a lot of dance parties.

Cubs quantitatively are off to a hot start... "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week®,"

Looks like Soler has decided to take the "can't play in the cold" thing head-on. No longer wearing the cold-weather under gear.

Chesny Young 4-5 tonight for Tenn. Now hitting .410 with an OBP over .500.

taylor davis moved to AAA to take the place of that other catcher guy dude person.

Recent comments

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  • Hagsag 2 hours 17 min ago (view)

    It is hard to blieve that Corey Black is still around. Why?


  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 57 min ago (view)

    Remember, the Cubs have until 5 PM (Eastern) on - SUNDAY - to decide whether to add any of the 25 minor leaguers who are eligible to be Rule 55 minor league second contract free-agents or 6YFA to the MLB 40-man roster, sign the player to a 2021 minor league successor contract, or allow the player to walk. (Some -- perhaps even most -- of the 25 have no doubt already signed successor contracts - TBD).  


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 7 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have claimed 2B-3B-LF Max Schrock off waivers from the St. Loius Cardinals, and LHRP Rex Brothers has been sent outright to AAA Iowa. 

    If Brothers doesn't elect free-agency immediately, he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA on Sunday at 5 PM Eastern, unless he agrees to sign a 2021 minor league successor contract).  

    Brothers is out of minor league options and he is arbitation-eligible post-2020, so he was likely to be non-tendered on 12/2 anyway. 


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 50 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: It's pronounced "MAH - day" 


  • crunch 13 hours 18 min ago (view)

    "Jon Lester said in an interview on SiriusXM Friday that he's had conversations with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein "about getting something done, coming back and being a part of the organization." " about no?  i mean, thanks for those 3 good seasons in your first 4 years as a cub...but after those last

    also, the cubs claimed 2nd/3rd max schrock off waivers from STL (no power, bit of speed, slow to react in the IF even though the glove isn't bad).  meh.


  • K Dub 13 hours 27 min ago (view)

    Cubs had a prospect named Jose Made (also Dominican) between 2007-2009. I believe his name was pronounced like the verb "made". 


  • tim815 14 hours 40 min ago (view)

    I lean two syllables.

    He was Dominican-born, so Mah-day would have made sense, but that's a good Q.


  • K Dub 22 hours 55 min ago (view)

    PHIL: How is Kevin Made's last name pronounced? Is it mah-day? Or like it's spelled - made? Thanks!


  • Cubster 23 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Brewers decline Ryan Braun's option. Any predictions as to where he goes?


  • crunch 23 hours 48 min ago (view)

    KBO (korea) ends their season tomorrow.

    a.russell started off hot, but severely cooled off to a .253/.317/.336 slash (not counting today's game).  if he comes back to the US (and finds a team that wants to sign him), it should be rather cheap.


  • Hagsag 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Around the corner or in the ditch?


  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    my dream of seeing s.castro end his career with 3000+ hits and a WAR in the mid-30s, making HOF voters sweat, came to an end this year with the shortened season followed by the early injury.  he came into the year as a just-turned 30 year old (march 24) with 1617 hits.


  • George Altman 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Jerry Reinsdorf is reasons 1 thru 100 why I could never root for the White Sox and have hated the Bulls since 1999.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Feels like Ricky and Starlin Castro should form a support group.  Everytime your rebuilding team is about to turn the corner and you're gone. 


  • Cubster 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    76 yr old Tony LaRussa to manage the W/Sox. Reinsdorf decision over objections. 

    Poor Rick Renteria. History repeats itself, NOPE. This won't end well (except for bring your dog day).


  • Cubster 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    but, but, but we're rounding the corner. The vaccine is warming up in the bullpen. Tucker's missing email package from Rudy is just lost in the mail. There are no pee-pee tapes. Corona, corona, corona. I like beer.   ...and the DeutchBank will just forgive billions of MLB owner's debt if they ask nicely. How are the Russian minor leagues looking this year Phil?