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.

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  • crunch 7 hours 24 min ago (view)

    There's a lot I hate about this playoff format and I hope we get back to 3-in with 2 teams playing a brutal 1-game playoff format.

    i don't want to watch 162...or 150...games to see 16 out of 30 teams get a shot at winning it all.

    we just watched the cubs drop 3 out of 4 to a team that was 15-38.  dropping a playoff series to a team that had the 5th best record and survived a 1-game sudden death playoff has a bit more legitamacy than a team that didn't even have a .500 record (MIL + HOU this year, btw).


  • Charlie 9 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Yay for playoff games taking place in the middle of a workday? I'll be watching this one well after the fact. Enjoy, to all those watching it live on Wednesday afternoon!


  • champsummers 11 hours 3 min ago (view)


    And I did not know he was eligible already.  Makes sense..


  • crunch 17 hours 38 min ago (view)

    ex-cub and fun baseball dude Jay Johnstone has died.  74 years old (dementia, COVID).


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 20 hours 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 2 days 59 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 2 days 1 hour 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 2 days 4 hours 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. 2 days 5 hours 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 2 days 8 hours 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 2 days 10 hours 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 2 days 10 hours 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 2 days 10 hours ago (view)



  • crunch 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

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


  • Charlie 2 days 11 hours 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 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

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

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