Cubs @ Braves: Lester vs Gant (Game 61)

The Cubs get all freakniky with the longball and now go for the series win.

CHC (42-18): LHP Jon Lester (7-3, 2.06)
ATL (18-43): RHP John Gant (0-0, 6.17)
First pitch: 12:35pmCST

Lester gave up 4 hits and struck out 9 over 8 innings for a win over the Phills on Monday. He’s 4-1 with a 2.08 on the road this year. The Braves are 51-219 (.233) against him. Freeman is 4-11 with a HR.

Blair (0-4, 7.13) was going to pitch till the Braves looked at his stats and decided to roll the dice with a rookie. This will be Gant’s first career start, after a handful of relief appearances. The 23y/o has been recalled four times this season. Be prepared to be annoyed by . Perhaps today is a good day to listen on the radio, especially if you have a history of seizures.

Hendricks (4-5, 2.90) versus Dusty’s Secret Plan at 6:05pmCST in DC tomorrow.

Go Cubs!


I think pitching Gant is an excellent decision. He may confound Cubs hitters til about the second time through the lineup with his windup, and they won't start beating on him until the 4th. Maybe. Whereas the other guy would have been lucky to get out of the first. Excellent bit of managing here.

I've seen multi-colored strobe lights that were less annoying than Gant's windup/delivery. I'm twitchy just for having watched the link to him pitching.

Coghlan in LF, Baez SS (Batting 6,7). Ross/Lester. 1-5 are the usual today.

Looking at the list of Cubs #1 picks in the paper today: The 70s was a dark decade. 1970-79 #1 picks: Gene Hiser #19 Jeff Wehmeier #16 Brian Vernoy #15 Jerry Tabb #16 Scot Thompson #7 Brian Rosinski #4 Herman Segelke #7 Randy Martz #12 Bill Hayes #13 Jon Perlman #12 Throw in Don Sculze #11 in 1980, before they picked Joe Carter and Shawon Dunston in 1981 and 1982. That is one long stretch of bad.

At the game - at least two Cubs fans for every braves fan. Maybe more

Notice that on TV, cool have fun!

Thanks! Key to the Cubs late offensive outburst was me leaving the game after six innings ... sweltering hot day and my son had had enough. Good day though and glad to see the team stop making the little league errors after leaving the premises as well. Would have loved to see a Javy homer in person. Something to look forward to down the road.

Time for a new third base coach?

dem errors...and stolen bases that are totally not the pitcher's fault (no way, unpossible, sun was in his eyes, i blame the government, thanks obama)...but mostly dem errors. d.ross is not having a good day and it's only the 2nd inning. ...nice one by k.bryant cleaning up a small mess.

fowler gets in on the fun...4 errors through 4 2 run cubs lead, though

rj alvarez claimed by the cubs (from OAK)...optioned to AA. righty reliever...25 years old.

Another day, another eight runs

We're good at the baseball. 13-1.

...or 13 runs...whatever.

now that yahoo has decided to totally screw up their boxscore display, does anyone know of a quick-loading realtime text-based boxscore site on the web? i got really used to yahoo boxscores over the years and now it's a graphics-and-scroll nightmare.

Try Lynx browser. All your websites will skip those pesky images.

that's a 90s flashback...dunno if that will help yahoo's have to go through a separate click to even view the boxscore because it auto-loads a scroll-hell game summary by default. you get a lot more info with their new "game view," but my favorite thing about it was how simple and fast-loading it was before the change. im leaning towards CBS's boxscores, but they're a little flunky. i was just wondering if anyone else used or knew of a simple-text boxscore that's real-time.


Something has to be done about a pitcher taking 30+ seconds to throw a stupid pitch. Hopefully Manfred will advocate more change of play rules to continue to bring in younger viewers and participants.

You youngins and your disdain for tradition!!!

j.heyward has raised his ob% .19 points in the past 2 games (.317 to .336) with 6 hits and 2bb. his ob% is above .330 for the first time since may 18th.

I'm willing to bet that I haven't seen anywhere as many games as you have, but a lot of times I've seen Heyward have a "bad" game he's hit the ball on the nose, although sometimes foul. He's still young enough that I am thinking he hasn't reached his upside yet. He smacks that ball pretty hard for a near mendoza line hitter. And of course his career numbers early are always bad, from what I've been told by Len and JD.

i've seen a lot of weak contact on the ground, even on mistake pitches he should punish. he's finally starting to elevate and line-drive some stuff lately. i don't expect much more of him other than .350-ish ob%, 30-ish doubles, 10-15 homers...but at a minimum, i expect that. more than that, it's been hard watching him in the 2-slot hitting like an end-lineup hitter in april and may.

He does seem to be swinging at better pitches recently, and hitting them hard. Or, maybe the Brave pitchers threw it in the wrong place.

I read that he has changed his swing basically every year (as hitting instructors try to get him to hit more HRs) and I'm wondering if that is part of his slow start due to trying to get used to the new swing each time. I've also noticed him double clutching his bat and I have read that can make it more difficult to catch up to balls. Just seemed like he looked uncomfortable overall for a good chunk. He has been pretty consistently better every previous year though so there is every reason to think he will add at least another 100 points to his OPS at the end of the year which will involve some very nice hot streaks.

I read that too, and I read the Cubs also messed with his swing. He seems to be ok with this - and in fact he seems eager to keep with the changes. I've noticed some double clutching too, which is never good, but not on every AB. Hopefully, he settles into a groove, and they leave the swing alone for a year or two.

it's been going on for many years...the elusive search to have him regain his 25+ HR power. no one's been able to figure it out yet. it might be best to let him be a boring support player with the bat and hope he manages to turn it into something more as he matures...something he can tweak rather than constantly reinvent.

Cubs played offense with sledgehammers today. Played defense with sledgehammers, too. Crowd was trying to get Javy to do a curtain call after HR, thankfully ignored.

OK -- who had "Lester sub-2.00 ERA in June" in the pre-season pool? Anyone? Anyone?

Ahhhhhhhhh! 120 Sports 1h 120 Sports‏ @120Sports DEVELOPING: Juan Uribe was carted off the diamond after taking Mike Trout's 106 mph ground ball to the groin.

trout just took one off the hand in his AB (most likely 100% unintentional and treated as such)

Lester's last 4 starts since that unfortunate outing vs. the Giants (the quality of opponents has been forgiving of course)

30 IP, 33 K, 19 H, 2 BB .426 OPS, 0.59 ERA

Arrieta #2 in league ERA, Lester #4, Hammel #7, Lackey #10, Hendricks #16

They are also ranked 2-5 in WHIP leaders with only Hammel at 23. 4 starters with a WHIP under 1. Kershaw, by the way, is 1st in WHIP, ERA, WAR and BB/9. Just an absolutely dominating season so far.

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 27 min ago (view)

    I understand why it feels unsettling. I remember the series well (though I, unlike Theo, actually was in high school). Anyway, I view it as a chance to right previous wrongs in the same way we stomped StL out of the playoffs in 2015, or the way the Nationals got to burn through two teams last year that had dumped them out of October in previous seasons.

    But if we lose, of course that was 17 years ago so it's two extremely different organizations.


  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 28 min ago (view)

    DJL: All players on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, even if the player has not spent at least ten days on Optional Assignment. Players cannot be optioned to the minors again until Spring Training. 


  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 49 min ago (view)

    CHAMP: No option year is spent just by calling up a player to MLB. An option year is spent only if a player on an MLB 40-man roster is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days in a given season. 

    Also, Brailyn Marquez is (was) eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft in December, so the Cubs were going to add him to the 40 on 11/20 anyway. They just did it a couple of months early.  


  • bradsbeard 10 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Not sure if serious, but Theo became the Red Sox GM in 2002. It's true though, there probably aren't many people in the organization besides Ricketts and Crane Kenney who have any strong feelings about that series. 


  • Craig A. 11 hours 57 min ago (view)

    I wonder if anyone on the Cubs cares or even remembers the odd events when the Marlins played the Cubs in 2003. I think Theo was in high school. To this old fart it will be more than a little unsettling to watch this post-season match-up. At least we can be fairly certain there will no fans grabbing for foul balls. 


  • bradsbeard 15 hours 25 min ago (view)

    Which is kind of annoying. Nobody really picked the Cubs to win this division pre-season. I guess Mattingly gets some credit for guiding the Marlins through their positives but even just letting them play that one game with half the team sick should knock him out of consideration. Meanwhile Ross kept a tight ship and the Cubs has no positives all year. I'd say Ross or Tingler should get it over Mattingly. 


  • crunch 16 hours 42 min ago (view)

    cubs finish 34-26 (1st, division)...they play MIA on wednesday.

    good start for d.ross, but the manager of the year is most likely going to d.mattingley (MIA) or j.tingler(SD).


  • crunch 17 hours 18 min ago (view)

    ...or he won't make it out of the 8th

    0.2ip 2h 3bb 1k, 5r/er...2 wild pitches

    there's some great stuff in that arm.  mid/high-80s slider, "changeup" around 90mph, fastball 97-99mph...all effortless.  21 years old and never pitched above A-ball.


  • crunch 17 hours 24 min ago (view)



  • crunch 17 hours 28 min ago (view)

    rough debut...doubt we're going to see him in the 9th.


  • Charlie 17 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Reminds me a little of Jeff Samardzija's debut. Adrenaline throwing straight gas but all over the place. Samardzija threw a fastball all the way to the backstop in his debut (2008).


  • crunch 17 hours 38 min ago (view)

    back to back 3-2 count 6-pitch walks.

    he's not in the zone.  he's throwing almost totally fastballs, too.


  • crunch 17 hours 39 min ago (view)

    alzolay's gotta be locked in for a start given what he's done lately.

    i wonder what role j.lester will be given.  if he's starting, hopefully he's the 3rd/4th starter, if at all.  someone will probably give him a 2021 contract if he doesn't retire...hope it's not the cubs giving that contract, though.


  • crunch 17 hours 42 min ago (view)

    dude's thrown a 97mph and 98mph fastball to start and both looked like he was barely expending effort.

    unfortunately, neither were near the plate.


  • Charlie 17 hours 44 min ago (view)

    So, Alzolay gets at least one October start, right? He'd be a weapon out of the pen if the Cubs had more than two believable starters ready.


  • crunch 17 hours 45 min ago (view)

    Q goes 2 effective (2ip 2h 1bb 2k, 0r/er) and here comes b.marquez...