Cubs @ Nationals: Lackey vs Gonzalez (Game 63)

After the first five innings last night, just losing almost feels like a win.

Scherzer didn’t pitch a perfect game, a no-hitter, or set the record for strikeouts, and no one got hurt. We'll take it.

This is the best matchup we have for the series, so let’s make it count.

CHC (43-19): RHP John Lackey (7-2, 2.63)
WAS (40-24): LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-5, 3.93)
First pitch: 6:05pmCST

Lackey scattered 3 hits over 7 scoreless innings on Wednesday to beat the Phillies, striking out 8 and walking none. He beat the Nats at Wrigley in May (7 IP, 2 ER, 11 K, 1 BB). They are 21-88 (.239) against him. Werth is 7-17 with a HR, and Murphy and Zimmerman (the human LOB machine) are both 4-9.

Gonzalez lost on the Southside his last time out (7 IP, 3 ER, 10 K, 2 BB). He had a no-decision at Wrigley (5.2 IP, 5 ER, 2 K, 1 BB). The Cubs are 29-110 (.264) against him. Fowler is 8-17 with a HR.

Hammel (7-2, 2.36) versus at Strasberg (10-0, 3.03) at 3:05pmCST tomorrow to close it out.

Go Cubs!


There's an interesting picture of Jon Lester in the Tweets column today. Interesting, because he doesn't have his game face on. He's actually smiling! I haven't seen that before.

Oh man. I don't know why I thought we missed Strasburg. Tough series. I'm not sure there's a more overpowering 1-2 in the NL than Strasburg and Scherzer. There's probably better--Kershaw+whomever, Arrieta+Lester--but not more overpowering.

Their 1-2 vs. our 4-5. In reality the Cubs should consider winning 1 of 3 this series to be a moral victory.

Cubs sign 7th Rd pick C Michael Cruz for $75,000, saving $111,000

He was not worth a penny over $60K

for real...i can't wait for this clown show front office to be shitcanned.

Sorry if I'm on your case lately, crunch, but you just reminded me that Ross had a terrific game last night: RBI single, a nice bunt that advanced the winning run to second in the ninth, and, in the bottom of the inning, one of the better pitch-framings (Wilson Ramos would call it a frame-up) imaginable. Ramos was so upset by the ump's being suckered by Ross that he swung at the next pitch, another low one, and grounded out.

i dunno why that would be on my case, but ross has been great this season compared to last season.

33rd Rd High School RHP Nathan Sweeney a so called "unsignable" is looking like he will skip college to sign and without doing any damage to the Cubs bonus pool according to a local radio interview.

strike 3, strike 4 on lead off hitter then he lined out to russell

On Bryant being intentionally walked: Len: "We'll see what Tanner Roark thinks of this." JD: "This isn't very competitive Dusty."

:) Hahah

Phat Albert

AA Jr. keeps getting big late-inning hits, I will call him whatever he wants.

Obviously the Cubs have had a lot of satisfying wins this year, but this was one of the best: They won a close game, against a good team that was playing well, and beat them in a full ballpark on the road. Even better, the youngest Cubs played a key role--Russell with a walk against a very good reliever, (old guy Ross with a perfect sacrifice, messing up my narrative), and a big hit by Almora. Then, in the bottom of the inning, Baez--at second for defense--makes a terrific play for the last out. These guys play baseball very well. John Beasley rightly said that one out of three against these guys is a moral victory, but what the hell, let's go with a real victory and beat Strasburg tomorrow!

Repeating myself again, but I love that Maddon has changed the perception of Baez from a high HR/high K guy to a ballplayer who can play elite defense at any infield position who also wields a powerful bat. Very nifty play to end the game.

I think Costas had an orgasm watching the ending of that game. Between Almora Jr and Baez, he was creaming noticeably. I vote for Almora Jr since I think he likes to be called that in honor of his ill dad.

before the 9th... (when it was fashionable to be whiny) I really didn't like the pitch sequence in the Rondon-Rendon matchup. Too many sliders outside the zone in a row. Maybe that was Ross' thinking but still. End of rant. Fly the W.

oh, and the Cardinals lose the the Astros, the win is extra sweet. Ah, I remember the good old NL central from way back when.

Starlin is batting 3rd for the Yankees tonight. Who's managing that team, Lou Piniella?

He was batting clean up the other night

Some Discussion on the radio and with my Cubs friends, that the Cubs should entertain trading Schwarber for value. Not much of a catcher. 1B is/will be blocked. Not good in the outfield. He is a perfect DH. I don't think a stud reliever is enough value 1:1 personally.

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 31 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 6 hours 32 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 6 hours 53 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 3 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 1 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 14 hours 29 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 15 hours 46 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 16 hours 23 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 16 hours 28 min ago (view)



  • crunch 16 hours 32 min ago (view)

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


  • Charlie 16 hours 40 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 16 hours 42 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 16 hours 43 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 16 hours 46 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 16 hours 49 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 16 hours 49 min ago (view)

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