Pirates @ Cubs: Niese vs Lester (Game 66)

Tell me when the boys get here. I want to get a belly full of beer.

PIT (33-34): LHP Jonathon Niese (6-3, 4.60)
CHC (45-20): LHP Jon Lester (8-3, 1.89)
First pitch: 7:15pmCST

Lester had his fourth straight win on Sunday (7 IP, 0 ER, 7 K, 0 BB). He's 3-0 with an 0.38 ERA so far this month. He beat the Pirates in May at Wrigley, keeping them off the board for 5.2 innings. Overall, they are 40-170 (.235) against him. Joyce is 4-11 with 2 HR.

Niese shit the bed against the Cards his last time out (5.1 IP, 8 ER, 5 K, 1 BB). He had a similar line at Wrigley in May, giving up 6 ER in 5 innings matched up against Arrieta—not smart. The Cubs are 37-149 (.248) against him. Heyward is 9-29 with 2 HR.

The kid Taillon (1-0, 1.93) versus Hendricks (4-6, 3.05) for ESPN tomorrow night at 7:08pmCST.

Go Cubs!


My old man is drunker than a barrel full of monkeys. My old lady -- she don't care!

Cubs first draft pick Tom Hatch pitching right now on ESPN2 - first game of the CWS. Got some good downward movement on his fb.

complete game shutout 9ip 5h 1bb 7k - 112 pitches (37 in the first 2ip) his slider had a ton of drop/sink on it. fastball popping around 92-94mph. threw a few changeups in the mix, too. his change and slider came in similar mph, but the drop on his slider led to some really silly looking swings.

Bring him up! I'm trying to figure out why some people are projecting him as a reliever considering his multiple plus pitches and he seems to be able to throw the innings.


James Shields so far today: 1.0 IP, 5 ER.

I'm starting to feel sorry for him. Not the White Sox mind you, fuck them, but Shields seemed like a good enough dude. Needs to move to the pen for a bit at least....

There's gotta be an injury or something. His velocity has been done for a while but he was still decent through much of May. I also agree that while I despise the White Sox and pretty much thought signing him was going to go badly for them I feel bad for him.

Final line: 1.2 IP, 8ER

Cards lead 3-0 after 7. Give up 2 in the 8th, bring in Rosenthal, who loads the bases with no outs, yank Rosenthal for Siegrist, who walks in the tying run and gives up a sac fly to lose the game 4-3. Rosenthal's ERA now 4.91. Haw.

Yeah I saw the 3 on base no out score and started watching the game and it was quite awesome in its crushing nature for the Cardinals. They obviously would still have a good shot at the wild card game no matter what but this upcoming Cards/Cubs series could be huge in crushing their spirits.

delicious. the best fan's tears in baseball.

..and, the 2 runs in the 8th scored on a wild pitch and an error. Awesome.

fowler out, almora in...wtf

Any clue as to why? Did he get KB's stomach virus?

"discomfort in his right hamstring" also, rizzo HR.

It's a hamstring epidemic. WTF.

maddon saying he thinks it's a cramp and might be fine for tomorrow. hurrah for that if it works out that way.

bryant ties it up in the 5th! rizzo + bryant HR's tonight.

ross HR! seriously...when is his extension? next week? next month?

Of course with the season he's been having a bunch of people have talked about him delaying his retirement which sounds great to me with how much I've read about his huge clubhouse presence on top of his stellar defense and resurgence with the bat. I recently read an article maybe on ESPN though about him where he talked about how much of his kids' childhood he's missed and how important it is to be a bigger part of their lives. As a dad to a kid who is growing way too quickly in front of my eyes I respect that entirely and have tried to be more understanding of it as much as I want to see him back. Still though my god are we going to miss him when he's gone.

im not a huge fan, but the lester issue means they have to have a defensive wizz that can also control the running game. that was evident again tonight. there's not a whole lot of them out there, especially ones with legit respected clubhouse leadership skills. btw, just tonight he raised his "cubs career" ob% over .300 and his average over .200

Ross HR, squeeze and CS of McCutcheon trying to steal 3rd! Enjoy the final ride, David -- I think coming back next year would be a huge mistake. No upside, all downside. Go out on top.

Contreras will be your starting catcher next year. Montero will be back up. They probably have 6 or 7 MLB caliber catchers in the minors that I'm not thinking of or aware of.

I bet that's their best-case scenario - Contreras wins the job, Montero catches Lester, and Schwarber catches Hammel if he's up to it.

I actually think you'll see Contreras catch Lester - he's been throwing out runners at a good clip in the minors. Of course, this all hinges on him being successful at the most difficult position in the game. But I'm always an uber optimist with Cubs prospects. Long Live Olt!!

Soler update... http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/184882684/... Outfielder Jorge Soler worked out on the field pregame Saturday for the second straight day, but there's still no definitive word on his status. Soler did running drills in the outfield, but he is not expected to be ready to come off the disabled list by Wednesday, the first day he's eligible for reinstatement. Soler is recovering from a left hamstring strain. "He's smiling a lot, I know that," Maddon said. "So that really is always a good sign. The trainers haven't come to me with any goal line in mind, but I know he's progressing well."

h.rondon getting his 1st ever AB...never even had one in the minors. he kinda sucks at bunting. strikes out attempting it.

Recent comments

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  • Charlie 2 hours 55 min ago (view)

    Yeah, it seems like I lean more toward overvaluing Bryant than most commenters here. Also, I completely stopped following prospect lists once the Cubs were good again, so I'm out of the loop on Pache especially. I had imagined that the Cubs would be looking more for immediate major league value rather than a projectable prospect, but I guess if you really like Pache you don't mind waiting a couple years.


  • K Dub 9 hours 39 min ago (view)

    PHIL: Excellent breakdown, Phil. Thanks. 

    I'm sure you heard. QO value was set at $17.8 million the day after you made your post.


  • K Dub 9 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Pache, Wright, Muller and Riley feels light to you, Charlie? I respect your opinion, but I would jump at it. I highly doubt the Braves would do it, though. Were talking 2 years of Bryant at what could be 18 million and 28-30 million in his last year of arbitration. 

    The Cubs would be hurting their chances next year and building for 2021 in a deal like that, but that's rebuilding/retooling in one fell swoop. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: Austin Riley is actually a third-baseman but he had to play LF for the Braves in 2019 because he was blocked by Josh Donaldson, and Cristian Pache is considered to be the best defensive centerfielder in the minors and his bat has improved enough over the past year or two to where he is now rated in or just outside the top ten overall prospects in MLB.

    So a package that includes Riley and Pache and one of the Braves young MLB or MLB-ready SP would probably be more than enough to get the Cubs to bite.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    Max Fried or Bryse Wilson


  • crunch 2 days 17 hours ago (view)


    t.skaggs story keeps getting deeper.

    allegations the team knew about skagg's drug abuse (also his family).  teams are required to report this to MLB.


  • Charlie 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Except for the headline, the linked post reads more like a trade hypothetical than a trade rumor. I like the idea of looking at this package as a discussion point for expected return for Bryant. I would say it feels a little light to me. It's deep, with two decent outfield prospects with upside and two OK pitching prospects. But Riley doesn't help the team solve the CF problem right now, so he's either redundant to Bote or sort of a Schwarber replacement. Muller's inflated BB% at AA this year worries me a bit too.


  • Cubster 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    I might have missed something and it's been talked about regarding a KB trade rumor from about 10-9-19. 


    Braves receive: 3B Kris Bryant 


  • crunch 4 days 16 hours ago (view)

    they get 3 guys and the cubs get 1 guy.  sounds like a slam dunk for the angels.  pencil trout in the cubs lineup.  he's got upside.


  • Jackstraw 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    I'd hate to part with both Kemp and Chatwood, but if it will bring that Trout guy back, we could even throw in Almora.


  • crunch 4 days 21 hours ago (view)

    the ricketts got a brazillian dollar tax break...they need to trickle that down and flex on the entire league.

    we gonna get grandal, rendon, castellanos, g.cole, strasburg, ryu, a.chapman...maybe sign bumgarner and odorizzi to work the pen.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 21 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: If the Cubs trade Quintana and his new club pays 100% of his 2020 salary his new club assumes 100% of his salary AAV liability, but if the Cubs agree to pay a portion of Quintana's 2020 salary as part of the trade, whatever portion of Quintana's 2020 salary that is paid by the Cubs would count against the Cubs 2020 AAV. 


  • Charlie 4 days 22 hours ago (view)

    PHIL: Thanks for that Boston context--I hadn't realized the trend there. If the Cubs did decide to pick up Quintana's option and then trade him (assuming the Cubs would not agree to pay part of the contract as part of the trade), do they have to do that by a certain date in order for Quintana's contract not to count against them for the CBT? I haven't been able to find any dates attached to the CBT in a quick internet search.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 23 hours ago (view)

    My presumption in the Cubs declining Jose Quintana's 2020 club option as well as declining the club options on the veteran relievers who have one and non-tendering Addison Russell (and this also applies to Joe Maddon not returning as manager in 2020) is that after the monumental late-September collapse of 2019 on the heels of the 2018 Game #163 and Wild Card game defeats Ricketts will no longer accept the Cubs payroll going over the CBT threshold ($208M AAV in 2020) or extending a manager making $5M a year.   


  • crunch 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    i actually like ATL the team...the fans and the 3+ hours of tommy hawk chawpin' non-stop is beyond annoying before even getting into how messed up it is they're still doing that in 2019.  it's all they do, just that 1 single thing...for hours...

    fans were so upset about not getting foam hatchets pre-game yesterday (that was the club's way to "dial it back") they were busy letting the "PC police" know they're here to chant and chop as loud as they could before the first pitch was even thrown.

    it took about 10 runs to shut them up.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Damn. Atlanta was the only team in the NL I was hoping would advance. I don’t know what I was hoping in LA vs WAS series. Cataclysmic event? (Side note, I live in the DC area, what a dreadful group of fans. They deserve nothing good ever.)