Cubs @ Cards: Series Thread (Games 55-57)

The Cubs swoop into St. Louis to pick off a few Cardinals this weekend. Kris Bryant and I this weekend!

The Cubs have dropped six out of their last ten games, but they remain atop the NL central and 4.5 games ahead of the Cards. Bryant returned to the lineup on Wednesday as DH, after taking some time off to recover from an outfield collision with Heyward. Javy played the field on Wednesday, but he played 3rd base after DH-ing a few games to rest his injured heel. The Cubs have been on a heck of a homerun streak, but have only occasionally translated that into a win. On Wednesday, Kyle Hendricks's strong performance helped the Cubs take advantage of early homeruns by Schwarber and Bryant.

The Cardinals are at 27-28. They haven't won a series since before their sweep at the hands of the Cubs during the first weekend of May! Since then, they've lost two series each to the Phillies and Atlanta, as well as one series to the Rangers and another to the Pirates. They split a double-header with Kansas City. On the season, they are 15th in the majors in both runs scored and wRC+. They're pitching is also middle of the pack in terms of ERA. Yadier Molina is day-to-day with a thumb injury.

See game-by-game notes below:

Game 55: First pitch 7:15pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.40 ERA)
STL: RHP Miles Mikolas (4-5, 4.76 ERA)

Last time out, we got bad Yu. But we got a different version of bad Yu, so that's something! He threw a lot of strikes and the Reds responded by swinging a lot. It worked out, for the Reds--they collected 12 hits and 6 earned runs. He was also sent out for the beginning of the 8th inning to, I think, everyone's surprise. He allowed five earned runs in four innings against the Cards on May 4. Taylor Davis saved that particular day.

Miles Mikolas dodged the Cubs earlier in the month. He went seven decent innings in a loss against Atlanta last time out, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, two homeruns. The start before that he exited in the second, allowing seven earned runs as things went off the rails in Texas. Javy is 3-11 off of him with a homerun. Rizzo is 4-11.

Game 56: First pitch 6:15pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (4-4, 3.73 ERA)
STL: RHP Jack Flaherty (4-3, 3.77 ERA)

Quintana followed six shutout innings against the Phillies by allowing six runs, five earned, in 5.1 innings against the Reds. It was the first time he'd allowed more than 3 runs in a start since his April 5th clunker against Milwaukee. He had a hard time getting the ball by anybody, allowing 12 hits and striking out only 2. He beat the Cards on May 5, allowing two earned runs in six innings. Goldschmidt, Fowler, and Ozuna have absolutely wrecked him. Maddon might want to start a reliever in left and just Waxahachie swap for those plate appearances.

Jack Flaherty is very good and I kind of hate it. He pitched six shutout innings against Atlanta last time. He lost to Cubs on May third through little fault of his own; he allowed three earned runs in 5.2 innings despite striking out nine. Rizzo tagged him for a three-run homerun following walks to Descalso and Bryant.

Game 57: First pitch 1:15pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (4-1, 4.02 ERA)
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (4-5, 4.94 ERA)

Hamels didn't have much going for him last time, allowing six earned runs on four walks and no strikeouts in four innings against the Astros. It's his first really rough start since March, but he's been struggling with inconsistent command going back to the end of April. He's been able to battle and work around that issue in other starts, but it really caught up to him against the Houston lineup. He posted his lowest zone percentage and first pitch strike percentage of any single start in 2019. He didn't pitch in the last Cubs-Cards series, Ozuna is 9-32 with three homeruns off of him.

Honestly, y'all. I'm not really enjoying Wainwright's decline anymore. His 4.94 ERA isn't even out of character with his performances after his 2015 injury. I sort of admire the way in which he's managed to continue to be a good enough MLB pitcher even though he's nowhere near the kind of starter he was before that injury. Anywho, he he allowed four earned runs despite ten strikeouts against the Phillies last time out. The Cubs contributed six earned runs to his decline on May 5, but he allowed only five hits and two walks while pitching into the sixth. Willson hit a solo homerun off of him. He's 3-13 with three walks and two homeruns off of Wainwright. Addison Russell is 7-18.

The forecast looks good for this weekend.

The Cubs will see the Cardinals again in less than a week, June 7-9.


The discourse around safety netting has been renewed since the young girl was injured on Wednesday night. Cubs players, understandably and to their credit, immediately voiced support for as much netting as would protect fans:

No update yet on the girl's health. I'm a little put off by media coverage of injuries like this, which can draw a lot of perverse fascination. But it's also felt pretty bad to know that a child was in significant danger and not to know if she is OK. I'm hoping for good news, however vague, from tonight's broadcast.

That dumbass Mclaughlin on the Cardinals broadcast yesterday kept bringing up the Bryant statement about St. Louis being boring. Very child like on his part. 

I wonder what portion of Cardinals fandom really likes that "controversy." It still whips up Twitter scorn, but that could be like 200 vocal fans out of millions who like to act like they care.

I thought the original diss was super boring in itself. Kris Bryant is not a person I'd go to for a fun insult.

a big chunk of modern cards fandom came around during the "everyone is out to get us and everyone but us is cheating" larussa era.

...from the same guy who managed "the bash brothers" in oakland and mcgwire again in STL...

Join me on MeWe if you want some fan company for this set!

holy crap, what a horrible 10th.

cubs lose.  MIL lost, too.  cubs still 0.5 ahead.

one of the ball dudes at the ARZ game snagged a ball in awkwardly embarrasing.

that said, it's actually an advantage for ARZ because only 1 run scores rather than 2 that should have scored.

ball dude is mortified at himself.  thankfully, the camera crew isn't focusing on him after the initial screwup.

schwarber / bryant(3rd) / rizzo / contreras / heyward / russell(SS) / bote(2nd) / amora / Q

baez scratched (right heel)



rain delay...putting the tarp on before the rain has even showed up (not a horrible move, but it sets things up for a longer delay).

MIL/PIT is playing a crazy one.  bottom 11th, tied at 10.

MIL wins in 13...pressure on the cubs to win this one to stay in 1st.

meanwhile in ARZ...tim locastro is HBP for the 9th time this his 53rd PA.

"not very good" chatwood showed up tonight...sigh.

Very lethargic Cubs squad can’t get out of St Louis soon enough.  Not sure why Javy is at short while the heel is still clearly bothering him - his slow run to first on his gidp not encouraging. 

not sure why he's even playing since his wild ass strong swing relies so much on placing a heavy load on his right foot, too.

Little known 6th tool is knowing when not to play through an inury.

wainright pitching the 8th...that's a gamble.

...and it worked for STL...barely.  this was almost a tie game...almost...

cards sweep.  MIL won.  cubs 1.5 out of 1st.

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  • bradsbeard 3 hours 16 min ago (view)

    Great info. Thanks! 


  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 16 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: What happens on 12/2 is each club submits what's called a "Central Tender Letter" to the MLB LRD listing which unsigned players on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) are being tendered a contract and which unsigned players are not being tendered a contract. 

    The CTL is sufficient as far as providing proof of contract tender.  

    For players being tendered contracts, the CTL must list the club's MLB salary offer, a minor league split salary offer (if the club so chooses), and performance bonuses (if any) the club is offering to the player.


  • crunch 11 hours 52 min ago (view)

    theo walked away from a big payday for an executive in his last season as a cub without having another job scoped out...and according to him he's not even looking one.

    something tells me this isn't going to be a fun off-season for cubs fans.

    the state of the cubs household aside, i wouldn't exactly be shocked to see theo with the mets, though he's supposedly not on their radar at the moment.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 16 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have been at the forefront of tone-deaf owners in terms of financial hardship during the pandemic. "The game isn't as profitable as most people think"


  • tim815 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    The decision on the amount comes later.


  • bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    At the point when the team makes the initial contract tender, do they have to offer a specific salary, and if so is that the same number the team takes into arbitration? Or does the specific number the teams files at for arbitration happen at a later date?


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: A player who is signed to a contract that does not include a minor league split salary is paid his full MLB salary while optioned or after being outrighted to a minor league club.

    So if a player goes to arbitration and is awarded (let's say) a $2.5M salary by the arb panel, the contract will not include a minor league split salary or performance bonuses, and if the player is sent to the minors he is paid the full $2.5M while in the minors.


  • Hagsag 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Maybe Trump can give them a loan.


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    it's not exactly looking good when the cubs brass is complaining about "losing 100m in revenue" when a huge chunk of that seems to include Hotel Zachary.  it looks like the entire "entertainment complex" is the cubs as far as the Ricketts are concerned...and the team might have to suffer a bit because they couldn't fully realize profits last year.  they've publically stated that the big incoming tax credits from the city they're going to realize for stadium work won't help the cubs payroll.


  • jdrnym 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    If a player doesn't have a split salary in his contract, how much is he making when in the minors (or how is that salary determined)?


  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    we want kyle schwarber to not be mark trumbo so badly...

    either way, the NL having or not having the DH needs to be figured out pretty quickly for a lot of off-season sanity.


  • crunch 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    minor league hitting coordinator chris valaika moves up assistant hitting instructor for the big league team.

    looks like a.iapoce's job is safe.


  • Cubster 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Jed Hoyer gets a new 5 yr contract that runs through 2025 season. 


  • Cubster 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    BA's list of 19 prospects who impressed at Instructs. One Cub:

    Chase Strumpf, 2B, Cubs


  • Jackstraw 4 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Waiting for Ryan Pace to be available.  He should be a week from tomorrow.


  • crunch 4 days 10 hours ago (view)

    i haven't even heard a rumor...which is interesting since "virtual" winter meetings start in a couple weeks.

    surprised dan kantrovitz hasn't been named "interim GM" or something...which makes me wonder how wide of a net they're casting to fill the position.  he was snagged from the A's and was an assistant GM there (and director of scouting for STL).