Cubs vs. Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 62-64)
The third place Cardinals (31-29) roll into Chicago looking to knock the Cubs (34-27) out of first place for the second time in a week. Cubs fans meanwhile will be hoping for another round of turnabout, the Cardinals having answered an earlier sweep in the last faceoff. Since last weekend, the Cards went 1-1 against the Reds and the Cubs went 3-1 against the Angels and Rockies. While three wins is always better than one, the Cardinals should now have the advantage of rest.
The Cubs recently added Craig Kimbrel to the 2019 payroll, but they'll have to muddle through for now as they await the cavalry. Meanwhile, a few position players are trending up lately. After looking fairly injured in the last series against the Cardinals, Javy went 7-16 with 2 homeruns. Unlikely leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber as 6-17 with a dinger of his own. David Bote boosted his stats with a 4-4, 7 RBI game in which he was a triple short of the cycle. Otherwise he went an abysmal 1-12 with 4 strikeouts. Rizzo and Bryant slumped a bit over the 4-game stretch.
The Cubs will be facing the same three starting pitchers they took on last weekend. Daily match-ups below:
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (4-2, 3.62 ERA)
STL: RHP Miles Mikolas (4-5, 4.41 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Hamels pitched seven 2-hit innings allowing an unearned run against the Cards. He's been very reliant on groundballs this season, especially during stretches when he's walked a few too many.
Mikolas was good enough in his last start to earn a win against the Cubs. He went seven innings allowing one run on two walks and six hits. He didn't miss many bats, striking out three. It was good enough, but if the Cubs get a few more balls in the air, the same performance might not pass muster.
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (4-4, 3.65 ERA)
STL: RHP Jack Flaherty (4-3, 3.76 ERA)
First pitch 6:15pmCDT
Lester earned the win against the Angels on Monday, pitching seven one-run innings and allowing only four hits and one walk. Before that, he had a string of three rough starts against the Nats, Phillies, and Astros in which he was tagged for 25 hits in 14 innings pitched.
Jack Flaherty struck out eight Cubs in five innings last weekend, but he allowed two solo homeruns and ended up with a no decision in five innings of work. Cubs hitters tagged him for three runs and a loss on May third when he walked four and struck out nine. If he can be gotten to, it's through a mix of homeruns and walks.
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 3.14 ERA)
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (5-5, 4.34 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT
Hendricks went seven innings to defeat the Rockies, allowing three earned runs on six hits and a walk but also striking out 10. Since his Maddux on May 3, he's looked very much like good Kyle Hendricks. He's allowed 40 walks and hits in 51.2 innings pitched going back to that game.
Based on Wainwright's eight shutout innings and two hits allowed, you'd probably think his win against the Cubs must have been pretty dominant. At the same time, he set a career high 7 walks and struck out 8. He got enough groundballs and strikeouts that, combined with some BABIP luck, he was able to work around the wildness. It's not a winning formula. He's walked 16 in his last 23 innings pitched.
Non-cable subscribers will enjoy being blacked out for the Saturday FOX broadcast and the Sunday night ESPN broadcast. Subscribers will have to suffer through the ongoing disaster that is the ESPN broadcast team.
crunch 6 min 55 sec ago (view)
schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / heyward(CF) / caratini / cargo(RF) / darvish / russell
Eric S 6 min 56 sec ago (view)
Was that before or after Hendricks going on the 10 day IL with right shoulder inflammation?
crunch 8 min 25 sec ago (view)
k.hendricks to the 10-day IL with "right shoulder inflamation"
rowan wick up because whatever.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 19 min ago (view)
Because they never play more than four days in a row, AZL Cubs #1 and AZL Cubs #2 will only need four SP each.
The pitchers at AZL mini-camp who are (right now) stretched-out to start are Brendon Little (rehab), Carlos Ocampo, Jose Miguel Gonzalez, Chi-Feng Lee, Misael Garcia, Richard Gallardo, and Luis Ramos, and Keegan Thompson may be ready for an AZL SP rehab assignment soon.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 25 min ago (view)
The Cubs are down to five catchers at AZL mini-camp (draft picks Ethan Hearn, Wyatt Hendrie, and Jake Washer have not yet officially signed), so Mesa Rehab Coach (and ex-minor league catcher) Tyler Pearson has been taking on some extra duties, catching bullpen side-sessions and warming up pitchers in the pen. (He caught Craig Kimbrel the other day).
So I would not be surprised if the Cubs sign a NDFA college senior catcher or acquire an experienced catcher from indy ball to help out.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 35 min ago (view)
Not counting 2019 draft picks and rehabbers, the Cubs top prospect in the AZL this season is SS Luis Verdugo (he's one of the Cubs Top 10 position player prospects).
Verdugo was supposed to go to Eugene with 2B Reivaj Garcia this past week, but was left behind at Mesa when SS Dixon Machado was reinstated from the Iowa IL last Tuesday and SS Luis Vazquez (who had been playing SS at Iowa) needed to go somewhere where he could play SS every day. (Vazquez was assigned to Eugene).
Craig A. 1 hour 56 min ago (view)
Bring him up!
Arizona Phil 2 hours 9 min ago (view)
HAGSAG: As far as I know he's still with the Cubs.
Hagsag 2 hours 13 min ago (view)
Phil, has Jim Benedict left the Cubs Organization? Thanks.
Arizona Phil 2 hours 21 min ago (view)
Several of the younger pitchers and position-players who were at Extended Spring Training but who were not in contention for Eugene Opening Day roster slots went home for about ten days between the end of the EXST Cactus League season (6/1) and the start of AZL mini-camp this past Tuesday (6/11).
crunch 2 hours 25 min ago (view)
incredible waste of money, honestly.
you can get almost 2 weeks of chatwood for that kinda loot. CHATWOOD!!!
tim815 3 hours 24 min ago (view)
19 for 1
I like those odds.
Arizona Phil 4 hours 26 min ago (view)
The Cubs have signed 19 J-2 IFA since acquiring $750K in International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) space from the Orioles in the April deal where the Cubs agreed not to re-claim RHRP Pedro Araujo (selected by BAL in the Major League Phase of the December 2017 Rule 5 Draft).
There were no big name prospects among the 19 J-2 IFA who were signed, but the average signing bonus (presuming the entire $750K in ISBP space was used) is about $40,000.
tim815 10 hours 36 min ago (view)
Reivaj Garcia apparently pronounces his name RAY-vuh.
Mike Wellman 11 hours 22 min ago (view)
AA: 6IP; 0BBs; 9Ks...See the USA in your Alzolay; All the way w/ Alzolay; Lay Lazy Lay; My name is Bert and I’m an Alzoholic...
Hagsag 12 hours 48 min ago (view)
This is turning into "the trip from hell".