Cubs vs. Phillies: Darvish vs. Arrieta (Game 45)

CHC (27-17): RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.14 ERA)
PHL (27-19): RHP Jake Arrieta (4-4, 4.02 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs return to Wrigley and bring a bit of the NL East with them. Darvish's last start was middling in some respects. He went 5.1 and allowed 2 earned runs on five hits against Cincinnati. But he showed his best command of 2019 and it's hard to care about anything else at this point. It's the first time he's walked fewer than 3 batters since April 10, when also allowed four earned runs and struck out only 4. His zone percentage was 47.1% compared to 40.8% on the season, and when he threw the ball out of the zone he got swings 35.2% of the time compared to 27.5% on the season. Today he'll try to establish some consistency. The current Phillies are 10-29 against him with no homeruns. Bryce Harper has never faced him.

This is the Cubs' first look at the Phillies in 2019. They come into Chicago with a 2.5 game lead on the 2nd place Braves and a record only 1 game worse than the Cubs'. Bryce Harper has been good but not great for them so far, striking out 30% of the time but playing much improved defense compared to his career worst defense in 2018. They've drawn value from a good portion of their roster rather than relying heavily on any one star performer. Andrew McCutchen has shown he's still good for 20 homeruns and a .360 OBP. Rhys Hoskins has settled into being a solid MLB slugger with plenty of patience. And Jake Arrieta fits right into a decent pitching rotation still awaiting a standout.

If you are looking for an easy narrative, then this matchup is a miniature referendum on the 2017-2018 offseason. The Cubs failed to work out an extension with Arrieta after he completed some heroic feats on the north side and launched his career into new territory. Whereas the Cubs signed Darvish to a 6-year deal worth $126 million and Tyler Chatwood for 3/$38M, Arrieta ended up with the Phillies on a 3-year $75M contract. But if you are into that narrative, you probably already think the Cubs should have chosen differently. Arrieta was good enough with the Phillies last year, earning a 3.96 ERA and making 31 starts. This year he has been similarly good enough. It's easier to think of him as a groundball pitcher at this point rather than the over-powering ace he was for a few years in Chicago. After a jump in his slider use last year, he's turning to that pitch at a decreased rate again in the early going. The only current Cubs to face him are Descalso and Heyward. Descalso is 0-10 with five strikeouts; even with Baez perhaps getting a day off to rest his ankle, I wonder if Bote might get a shot at 2nd. Heyward is 6-18 with one double.

May Jake receive a warm greeting from the fans and from the bats.


Is there an update on Pedro Strop’s hammy?

Threw off a mound today.  Will do so again midweek.  Then they'll evaluate things.

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / caratini / heyward / almora / descalso(2nd) / russell / darvish

Thanks, Crunch.

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Yu looked real sharp — the moment was definitely not too big for him.  So two good starts in row so that’s encouraging.  Arrieta gives up a ton of hard contact, has traffic in seemingly every inning, wiggles out of it and now looks to win this game. 

How bad was the 6th? I was blacked out last night, but the box score suggested Yu was commanding hisnpitches up to that point.

It was very different from Hendrick’s 6th inning from the night before. Darvish still had good command and the tying run came off a good pitch - a soft grounder just to the left of Russell. One nit with Maddon maybe not removing Yu with two outs and Hernandez up (the one guy in the lineup who had squared up Yu in both his prior at bats). But even his triple was weird - it should have driven in just one run but had crazy spin english on it to elude Hayward to cause a single to turn into a triple. Oh well, hope the Cubs respond well tonight. 

Thanks! (And to crunch below, as well!)

if that double play was turned darvish may have escaped the inning with 0 runs, but he didn't help himself after it got blown.

the double play attempt that only resulted in a single out hurt the bottom line of the inning, but the 2 walks and 2 hits (single, triple) were solidly hit and all on darvish.

the triple took a bad bounce off the wall and would have been a double on a better day, but the runs would have scored either way.

And a second straight meh relief outing by Monty following a Yu start - but a nice job of getting out of trouble. 

he's throwing 94mph fastballs.  he may be rushing himself a bit.  he pitched out of the trouble he put himself in, but it wasn't sharp at all.

b.brach is throwing regular 96-97mph...think the gun might be a little hot.

costas and girardi do the 7th.  neat.  also, good thing pedro strop isn't around.



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I guess Kyle Ryan and his much ballyhooed “revitalized” delivery is more useful than Xavier Cedeno but that’s not really saying much. 

Recent comments

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  • QuietMan 1 hour 49 min ago (view)

    Edwards optioned to Iowa per Jesse Rogers,


  • George Altman 2 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Yeah.....yeah. I think I'm good too. Put him and Strop in the Shawn Greene deal.


  • Mike Wellman 4 hours 11 min ago (view)

    I feel like I've already waited & seen enough of CEJ...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 33 min ago (view)

    Not as much as it makes his stomach tighten!

    i dont think we should trade him. We would get nothing of value back. But I don’t think he should be a bullpen piece on a playoff contender either. He should be in Iowa. Reassess where he’s at for September and next year. If they don’t like what they see, non-tender.


  • Charlie 5 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Cheap may not be the right word, but has put up reasonable value per dollar compared to other relievers prior to this ear.

    He accrued 2.9 bWAR 2017-2018. Strop put up 3.2 bWAR during the same period. Edwards is making $1.5M this year. Strop is making $6.25M. He'll get a bump again this offseason even if he doesn't rebound in the second half, of course. I just don't see a need to trade him unless the Cubs are being offered value in return.

    That said, it does make my stomach knot up a bit when I see they are bringing him into a close game.


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Carl Edwards Jr will be out of minor league options next season (2020), and he will (once again) be arbitration-eligible post-2019 (he was "Super Two" arb eligible post-2018) and he will be a FA post-2022. 


  • crunch 18 hours 25 min ago (view)

    cubs lose, cards win, brews win.



  • Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 11 min ago (view)

    I think this is his last option year. And he’s not as cheap as you’d think, he’s a super two qualified player this year.


  • Charlie 20 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Edwards is frustrating at times. Some of that frustration comes from thinking he could be much better than he currently is. But prior to this year (in which he has pitched very few innings), he's overall been an OK relief pitcher in the majors. I'm happy to wait and see on him for quite a while. Still has an option and is cheap, right?


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 20 min ago (view)

    I feel pretty safe in saying that 1. They don’t want him and 2. If they did, things wouldn’t improve for CJ.

    Allowing inherited runners and 1-2 of your own in a close game is what I like to call the “Carl Jr Special.” It was formerly a Justin Grimm special, thankfully Carl stepped up to fill that void.


  • crunch 21 hours 27 min ago (view)

    there's always nick castellanos for a chance to rid of which point a couple month rental will probably turn edwards into their ace closer or something just as awesome.


  • Eric S 21 hours 28 min ago (view)

    The bitter side of me thinks it should have been a two for one trade for Maldonado 

    Anyways, has not been a clean series for the Cubs against the Padres - fortunate to have won the series and a 7-2 home stand is a pretty big dill. Or deal. Or something


  • crunch 21 hours 33 min ago (view)

    edwards gonna edwards...blah


  • bradsbeard 23 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Thanks for the clarification. Guess we’ll find out what he’s going to do sooner than later. 


  • crunch 1 day 6 min ago (view)

    delay over, game on.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    And if Zobrist were to consent to an Optional Assignment to the minors for the purpose of getting into playing shape, it could very well be to AA Tennessee (close to his home in Nashville) rather than to AAA Iowa. He might even just play home games for the Smokies and then work out on his own while they are on the road.