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 3 hours 7 min ago (view)
A's have decided to not be horrible and to pay their minor leaguers through the end of the season (august)
"“I changed my mind after spending a lot of time talking to our team,” A's owner John Fisher told the Chronicle. “I concluded I’d made a mistake. I’ve listened to our fans and others, and there is no question that this is the right thing to do. We clearly got this decision wrong. These players represent our future and we will immediately begin paying our minor-league players. I take responsibility and I’m making it right.""
crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
Alexander Dimm 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
I'm in. What more do we need, really. A beer. A game or two. The 162 game season can wait until next year (I hope). Have fun with a micro-mini season. Let the powers fight over the labor agreements. They can finish by next spring, right?
crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
2020 quickly shaping up to be the best season ever.
Cubster 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
And a few kegs of beer. Hamberders too.
crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
they should just play a quick weekend tourney where no one actually wins and everyone gets a small participation trophy.
declare the fans the MVPs and dedicate the series to everyone who has died in the history of humanity.
...then a free live-streamed Nickleback concert hosted by 2Pac's hologram
Charlie 2 days 16 hours ago (view)
Lol at worrying about a second wave disrupting revenue.
Cubster 2 days 19 hours ago (view)
IN BRIEF (Tribune, from their mini-sports section): In a letter, MLB rejects players’ plan for 114 gamesNews services Major League Baseball rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game schedule in the pandemic-delayed season with no additional salary cuts, telling the union that teams have no reason to think 82 games is possible and now will discuss even fewer.Players made their proposal Sunday, five days after management’s initial economic plan.
Cubster 2 days 19 hours ago (view)
Pete Ricketts causing some backspin on their serve...Chi Tribune, Thursday AM:
Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)
Here are the last two Cubs minor league releases from this week (for a final total of 30):
Conor Lillis-White, LHP (acquired frrom LAA for Tommy LaStella post-2018 - missed 2019 season with hip flexor injury)
Alberto Mineo, C-1B (has been quarantined in Italy since he re-signed with Cubs in February)
Lillis-White was eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, and Mineo was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020
Charlie 3 days 5 hours ago (view)
Great read from players I came of age watching. Really shows how badly MLB needs to empower their players to speak in real time and not just after retiring.
crunch 3 days 6 hours ago (view)
"A conversation: Retired African American MLB players on race, baseball, America"
d.glanville, j.rollins, r.howard, d.willis, t.hunter, l.hawkins
Jackstraw 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
I'm trying to come up with scenarios where saying "The problem I have with you people....." really helps the conversation move forward constructively. None really jump to mind.
crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
i still want proof that tom ricketts and ted cruz aren't the same person
Cubster 3 days 10 hours ago (view)
Tom's older brother is an ass, even with an embarrassing apology.
Here is the twitter video from Pastor Jarrod Parker:
Cubster 3 days 18 hours ago (view)
I agree. Laura is the real deal. I think she was the major influence that showed Tom R. and Crane Kenney how to show a "human side" and deal realistically and in a non-threatening way, with the local Chicago politicians. Kenney was clearly clueless in his initial attempts regarding the neighborhood, the Rooftop owners, and the Wrigley Field rebuild.