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:

Game 62
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.

Game 63
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.

Game 64
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.


Kimbrel will wear #24.  That's Lou Brock's old number with the Cubs.

Now I feel like they traded Brock for Kimbrel instead of for Broglio.

The broadcast just mentioned All-Star voting and that you can vote up to 5 times a day. I am curious, who actually does this? Do any of you submit all-star votes at all?

I'm assuming voting is very driven by teenage fans, but maybe there's some other demographic willing to vote multiple times.

I‘m 34 and I vote five times in a day, although not every day. Maybe once or twice a week when I remember.

Thanks! What motivates you? (If you don't mind me asking)

A sense of nostalgia mostly. My grandpa took me to a Mariners game when I was young and we got to fill in a paper ballot. I wanted to vote a certain way (my favorite players, all Cubs and Mariners) but my grandpa took it as an opportunity to have a discussion about merit. To this day it ruffles my feathers a little when guys get snubbed for an underperforming veteran, or voting slants a particular way due to some fan bases being more dedicated.

I know that it doesn’t impact me or anything I care about in the slightest. But I still enjoy it enough to vote once or twice a week.

this has been my favorite TCR talkshow moment in a long time.  i didn't know i wanted the question asked and i didn't know i'd enjoy the reply so much.

That makes so much more sense to me than when I hear them promote it on a broadcast. Thank you!

I cast a few votes this morning and refrained from voting for Bryant! :) Favoritism did swing my Rizzo vote, though.

Thread which Arizona Phil basically nailed the Cubs nabbing Krimbel back on May 13th (nice work!)

Just saw Bert Alzolay throw 5 workmanlike innings. Only clean inning was his last, but his line featured a fine 8/1 ratio of Ks/BBs. FB sat 93; touched 95 once that I noticed. He works quickly! Haven’t checked the box, but seemed to me like most of the Ks were looking. He’s on the come.

That is so great to hear. Thanks Wellman!

4th solid outing in a row.

22ip 12h 3bb 31k, 4er

AZ Phil, what are the chances these promotions happen for SPs:

Tyson Miller to Iowa

Javier Assad to TN

Riley Thompson to MB

Those seem to be the 3 most deserving guys to move up, with Faustino Carrera maybe being next but only 20 yrs old. 

Childersb3: The only thing stopping it friom happening is the pitching roster log-jam throughout the top three levels of the system. The main thing is for a pitcher to get his reps, even if his performance screams for a promotion. 

Phil, which bullpen arm do you think the Cubs are most likely to trade for and what would be the price?  Thanks.

GEORGE A: With Kimbrel, Strop, Cishek, Edwards, Kintzler, Chatwood, and Montgomery virtual locks (barring injury) to remain in the pen for the balance of 2019, I think the Cubs would only target a lefty reliever if they do make a trade before the deadline (the lefty would take Brach's spot in the pen). I suspect Kimbrel will take Kyle Ryan's slot in the pen after he finishes his minor league conditioning assignment and then Ryan will be optioned to Iowa.  

Who that LHRP would be, I do not know. In the meantime Xavier Cedeno might get another opportunity, but he's still in Mesa and he could also just get released. Danny Hultzen has the best stuff among lefty relievers in the Cubs system, but he's still in Mesa, too. Also, Hultzen is out of options, so the Cubs can't really give Hultzen a look until September when active rosters expand, otherwise they risk losing him off waivers if he is added to the 40 & 25 and then the Cubs find out they need his roster slot (like if Brandon Morrow gets into pitching shape and is reinstated prior to 9/1). Junichi Tazawa is at AAA Iowa and his "out" pitch is a splitter that produces "reverse splits," so he might get a shot in the near-future. He also might have an opt-out (like maybe 7/1 or 8/1) so that could be a factor. 

Also, because of the new "hard" trade deadline on 7/31, the Cubs need to have a group of at least eight MLB-ready relievers in-house at AAA Iowa on 7/31 who can be called-up anytime they might be needed over the last two months (plus the post-season if the Cubs get there) in case of an injury to one or more of their MLB relievers. Ideally guys like Tazawa, Barnette, Cedeno, and maybe even Brach (plus K. Ryan, Maples, Norwood, Wick, Collins, Rosario, Mekkes, and Hultzen) would be at AAA as insurance inventory on 7/31 and throughout the month of August, and then they all get called-up on 9/1. Obviously they're not all going to be at Iowa on 9/1 (there isn't room for all of them), but hopefully the eight or even nine best ones will be there. 

I guess I was thinking Doolittle might be a good fit and wondered what players he might cost..

GEORGE A: I think if the Cubs do add a LHRP prior to the trade deadline, that it will be somebody like Jake Diekman (KC). And I'm not sure Diekman would necessarily be better than K. Ryan, Cedeno, Collins, et al, either. 

Thanks, Phik. I'd rather wait for Hultzen or Morrow.

Watson for LH RP?

joe buck and john smoltz for the fox broadcast...i can live with that.  nothing special, totally capable.

sunday night's game is another dose of arod and friends destroying my will to live.  this brand of sunday night suck has been heavy for the cubs in early 2019.

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / contreras / heyward / bote(2nd) / almora / lester

Buck can go back to Saint Louis and crawl under a rock.


dude stop.

kinda looking like Lester is a little off tonight ...

Did the Cards wear those powder blue unis in the 70s?  They look pretty solid. 

mid-70s to mid-80s

I forgot this one started early for the FOX broadcast and... I may just skip the rest. Sheesh.

ken rosenthal stating that zobrist not coming back "seems likely"

not sure if he's riffing off the cuff or if he knows something a bit stronger.  supposedly the cubs are leaving it up to zobrist to contact the club about his status at this point.

woo...tie game!

schwarber HR!

11 pitch AB with 6 foul balls before the HR.

Credit to Lester bouncing back strong after the shakey first. 

it was really bad.  those 2 HR he gave up were bombs and another out was made nearly at the wall.  it was shaping up to be an ugly one.

RIP john gant's ERA.

...oh, 2 of those 4 runs belong to brebbia...nevermind...

the older dude pouring liquor from a flask out to a guy in the front row behind home plate might wanna be a bit more not-obvious about that during a nationally televised game...

Molina would have caught that throw - I’ll gladly take the run however. 

tommy edman...first MLB ab...swings at a chatwood offering that bounced in front of the plate by a foot or so.

he Ks on 3 pitches.  welcome to the bigs.

wong swings at strike 3 about head level that even contreras missed...wild pitch and a K with the runner on 1st...the most chatwoody of results.

...then a ground out.

cubs win, brewers win...both still tied for 1st.

tommy lasorda showed up to adrian beltre's retirement @TEX (lasorda doing anything positive on "enemy" territory is nearly a story in itself).  i really dunno how much longer we get to have him around.  this time last year he was rep'ing the dodgers at the draft and he was really showing his age.  he had to be assisted onto the field and walking tonight.  he'll be 92 in september.

being someone that was born in the mid-70s, tommy's always been an "old guy" to me, but he was a very active old guy ready to tear anyone up who disrespected dodger blue.

haha.  nice.

also, for those that don't mind some extremely bad language



schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / cargo(RF) / contreras / heyward(CF) / hendricks(this again) / bote(2nd)

Christopher Kamka‏ @ckamka

Kyle Hendricks last 8 starts: 1.99 ERA, 58.2 IP, 42 Hits, 6 BB, 50 K, 0.818 WHIP

cargo HR!

solid win.  MIL also won.  still tied for 1st.

@COL tomorrow night for 3 then @LAD for 4.

and of course next sunday is like, i dunno, the 20th cubs ESPN sunday game of the season.  go arod!

damn.  david ortiz was shot in the leg during an attempted robery in the dominican.

Recent comments

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  • 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".