Cubs vs. Brewers: Series Thread (Games 36-38)

The Brewers (23-16) come into town hot off a pair of series sweeps and looking to knock the Cubs(22-13) off the NL Central hill. Meanwhile, the Cubs will aim to handle business as well as they did last weekend against the Cards. See below for the matchups in each game.

Game 36
CHC: LHP José Quintana (4-1, 3.40 ERA)
MIL: LHP Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 2.69 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT

José Quintana has cooled just the slightest in his last couple starts. He's continued to control overall offense but stopped striking out the world like he had in many of his earlier outings. As long as he keeps the ball in the park, that lower strikeout rate might not be so bad. The bullpen has been weakened further by the loss of Strop, and the newly returned Montgomery pitched 5 (awesome) innings in relief of Darvish yesterday. So, the Cubs could use some efficiency from today's starter. The current Brewers have seen a ton of Quintana (295 ABs), with many ABs coming from former AL Central-ers Moustakas and Cain. The good news is, the total ABs are the only thing special about their numbers against him. Christian Yelich's Bondsian transformation (minus the bulk) has continued into May. He's been so good that the key to handling him might just be to handle the rest of the Brewers' lineup.

Gio Gonzalez returned to the Brewers on April 26 after opting out of his contract with the Yankees, for whom he'd been making AAA starts. His two starts so far have both been solid, and he struck out 7 Mets in 5.1 innings last time out. Jason Heyward is 8-37 against him, and Anthony Rizzo is 2-22.

Game 37
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (3-0, 3.38 ERA)
MIL: RHP Zach Davies (4-0, 1.56 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT

Hamels got a no-decision on the 6th against the Marlins, when he pitched 6 and allowed 3 earned runs. He hasn't earned a win since April 17, but he also has yet to be tagged with a loss in 2019. His command has come and gone at times over his last three starts, but the strikeouts have been there to bail him out most of the time. Lorenzo Cain is 5-16 against him and utility man Hernan Perez is 7-14.

Zach Davies has yet to allow more than 2 runs in a start this year. He went 7.2 and allowed 2 earned runs against the Mets last time out. I can't see anything in his numbers to explain that 1.56 ERA (not even BABIP), and I also don't see any reason why the Cubs shouldn't be the first team to break his 2019 luck. Kris Bryant is 14-38 with 2 HRs against him, and the newly reinstated Addison Russell is 8-22. Javy has yet to collect an extra base hit against the soft throwing Davies, but he's got a .379 OBP against him.

Game 38
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (2-1, 1.43 ERA)
MIL: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 5.03 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

Jon Lester hasn't missed a beat since returning from the IL. He's allowed 3 runs, 1 earned, over those 3 starts (18 innings pitched). During that time he's also walked exactly 1 while striking out 19. The ever aggravating Ryan Braun is 8-20 against him and Cain is 8-22.

Jhoulys Chacin has not been good in 2019. His strikeouts and ground ball percentage are both down, while his walks are up. Anthony Rizzo is 7-22 with 3 HRs against him. Heyward is 3-19.

The rainy weather looks to have cleared for this series even if the cold has remained. Enjoy the trio of day games! Edit: I just remembered we get the Sunday night game on ESPN again. Sorry, all.


The ever aggravating Ryan Braun career numbers against the Cubs in 743 PAs (174 games): 317/393/563, 120 runs, 132 rbi, 37 HRs. Can’t retire soon enough 



A moot point by the time it's Yu's turn again? How long must VC rehab?

no set timetable, but a return early/mid next week wouldn't be shocking.

Saw today that VC said he needs 15 more ABs.

Has Javy ever been called out on the bases and not signalled Joe for a review?

73 pitches through 6 innings with 6Ks for Q...unfortunately, he's also losing 1-0.

sharp outing reguardless.  hopefully he can go 8+ innings.

nevermind.  DFA Q.

Hopefully he gets a few of them in Des Moines this weekend...

The switch from La Stella to Descalso has not been so hot. Descalso now 0-10 as a pinch hitter

So far in 2019 ...

Descalso 86 AB, .244 BA, 2 HR, 0.0 WAR

La Stella 90 AB, .256 BA, 9 HR, 0.9 WAR

that game was turrible.  fire everyone.

RHRP Allen Webster to 10-day IL (nerve inflammation in right arm) and LHRP Xavier Cedeno has been reinstated from 10-day IL. 

the cubs are probably not going to be "high end" active in the trade market given the tepid off-season moves they made (still a top spending team, however)...and they're probably not looking another lefty starter...nonetheless...

"Bumgarner’s contract allows him to block trades to eight teams, and sources told Rosenthal that his list includes the Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Yankees, Phillies and Cardinals."

so basically, he's already got enough world series rings and doesn't want another one.  seriously, that's an odd "no trade" list starring some of the best teams around.  it's like he doesn't want to be traded...or he wants to hold any interested team on the list hostage for conditions of a trade (like an extension).

That's a leverage no-trade list more than an I-don't-want-to-go-there no-trade list.

agreed...surprised we don't see more of it, honestly.  that list is packed with a who's-who.

4 innings down in 55 minutes.  pitching clinic in progress...

e.jackson traded to the bjays from the As.

if he gets called up, that will be his 14th team (mlb record).

one major positive about the "replay era" is we no longer have the "ball beat you, you're out, period" proximity plays.

it's ushered in the era of the creative slide plays and that's kinda fun.

this drama is killing me...hell of a game.

multiple innings of chatwood in a tied extra innings's like they want to give fans heart attacks.

great job with a little 2-walk drama in the 2nd inning of work.

x.cedeno's debut lasts 5 pitches...a leadoff walk.

Which was your favorite of his 5 pitches?

they were all great in their own special way, except 4 of them.

cubs strand 7 on base in the last 3 the 14...

Hell of a game. Would sure suck to lose it. 

4ip 0h 3bb 7k, 0r/er, 68 pitches for chatwood going to the middle of the 15th...crazy

41 strikes too!

Cubs will probably need to call-up a pitcher for Sunday night's game. somebody who can throw multiple innings if needed, so that would probably be Alec Mills (stretched-out as a SP and hasn't pitched since last Tuesday).

So option Mark Zagunis to Iowa and recall Mills would be my guess. 

Then the Cubs can option Mills back to Iowa after Sunday night's game and maybe recall Ian Happ in time for the start of the Cincinnati series on Tuesday (Happ hits like Rogers Horsnsby in Great American Ballpark), unless Ben Zobrist suddenly reappears.  

the alley in RF in CIN loves pull/power hitters.  there's a nice "wind tunnel effect" because of how the park is built that rewards lefty hitting pull/power hitters when conditions are right.



Nobody kicks more azz in the 15th inning than the Cubbies! Chatwood Game Part Deux

No question Tyler Chatwood is the best 13th-14th-15th inning specialist in MLB. 

Carl Edwards with a 1-2-3 8th inning with the game tied.

He does that a couple hundred more times and I might become a believer.

rizzo starts his yearly "back tightness" thing...sitting out tonight...


byrant at 1st with lester pitching...that's a bit of extra work for even a seasoned 1st baseman.  if contreras needs to control a runner he'll be throwing to a glove closer to the line than the runner.  he's played some 1st before, at least...won't be foreign territory.

things bote needs to learn:

1- at 2nd, unless the ball is dead, if javy touches ready for a throw no matter how odd/strange/uncalledfor...

2- at 3rd, with lester on the mound, if it's hit to lester...that's your play unless it's quickly hit right to lester.

bryant's power stroke has fully returned.

cubs win!

STL lost today, too...putting them even further back in 3rd place.

4th by percentage points.


A diesel locomotive has 8 throttle positions,  Run 1 thru Run 8....going to Cincinnati 10 over .500.......lots of season left, but they're moving this Express to Run 6.

Hey, don't sleep on the Reds. The unlucky record is hiding a good baseball team.

Bryant's defense at firstbase is not a problem.

If Ben Zobrist were to retire (and I'm not saying he will, but if he does), the Cubs would save about $9M in 2019 payroll that could be used to sign Craig Kimbrel (probably a $18M salary pro-rated to about $12M for 2/3 of the season) immediately after the draft (June 3-4-5).

The Red Sox extended a Qualifying Offer to Kimbrel post-2018 so that if he signs with another MLB club prior to the June draft the Red Sox get a 2019 compensation draft pick and the club that signs Kimbrel loses a 2019 draft pick, which is partly why Kimbrel and Keuchel are still unsigned.   

If this were to happen, Kimbrel could report to Mesa as early as June 6th and spend ten days getting ready to pitch in games, and then perhaps spend another ten days or so at Iowa or Tennessee maybe throwing an inning in a game every-other day. (Kimbrel has two minor league options left, so it would just be a matter of him agreeing to a minor league assignment that would essentially be "Spring Training" games for him). 

A 2020 mutual option could be included that would provide Kimbrel a $21M salary in 2020 or a $3M buy-out if the club option part of the mutual option is declined, making the deal (in effect) $15M for 2/3 of a season ($12M pro-rated salary in 2019 plus the $3M buy-out for 2020) with a two-year AAV hit against the Cubs payroll of only $7.5M per season 2019-20, or $33M for 1-2/3 seasons ($16.5M AAV hit in both 2019 and 2020) if the 2020 mutual option were to be exercised from both sides (which would probably be unlikely).

I don't like gossip, but is there any informed speculation as to what might be happening?  Divorce, separation, illness?

it's still all in the dark.  no reliable leaks/info.  no word on what's going on or when he might come back.

his wife shut down her twitter recently (before ben left the cubs) and there's some that claims that she deleted some ben pics from her instagram, but some of her regular followers claim that didn't happen and her insta never had many ben pics to begin with.

No sabe.

Thanks,  Crunch.

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  • Eric S 29 min 7 sec ago (view)

    Another lefty Padre starter and JHey gets a breather.  Robel in LF (batting 5th) Almora CF (leadoff) and Bryant in RF


  • Charlie 1 hour 59 min ago (view)

    Mike Leake? Check that guy's locker for a genie lamp.


  • bradsbeard 2 hours 14 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, your writeup here suggests a player on the restricted list in Zobrist’s situation cannot be reinstated between August 1 and October 31. Does Zobrist actually have to be reinstated this month to play at all the rest of the season?


  • crunch 11 hours 12 min ago (view)

    base hit to lead off top 9th...aww.

    killer performance and there should be enough in the tank to easily get the CG (only 79 pitches).


  • crunch 11 hours 39 min ago (view)

    m.leake (SEA) perfect through 7ip, 67 pitches


  • crunch 12 hours 12 min ago (view)

    STL down by they score 10 in the 6th...and barely manage to win a 12-11 game.


  • Craig A. 15 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Of course, the Cubs knew he was delicate when they signed him, but Maddon pushed him anyway. How much value is there to an elite player who can’t be used very much?


  • Eric S 17 hours 12 min ago (view)

    Bote’s numbers trending down unfortunately - not far from Russell‘s


  • bradsbeard 17 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Bryant’s always been pretty good in LF. It’s RF where he looks most awkward to me. Something about staying on the left side of the field maybe. I think you’ll see Bryant and Schwarber platooned in LF going forward, though that might depend on Bote’s ability to start hitting LHP again. 


  • Eric S 18 hours 11 min ago (view)

    Cubs win and this Kimbrel pickup paying dividends


  • crunch 18 hours 16 min ago (view)


    he's a low level jerk, but i find it hard to hate the guy when he doesn't try ducking an interview to explain wtf his problem is.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Too many of our relief arms have excelled at blowing late leads. Strop and Edwards have been the primary ones.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 22 min ago (view)

    He’s sipping drinks on a beach?

    Could he be Mai Tai Guy???


  • crunch 18 hours 29 min ago (view)

    SD defense is the player of the game.


  • Eric S 18 hours 37 min ago (view)

    Should the Cubs go on to win this game ... wow.  Some crazy-stupid self inflicted damage that they’ve somehow skirted. 


  • Eric S 18 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Strop has become very adroit at blowing leads giving up the long ball (same thing last Friday coming off the all star break?)