Cubs vs. White Sox: Hamels vs. Nova (Game 72)
CHC (39-32): LHP Cole Hamels (6-2, 2.98 ERA)
CHW 3(34-36): RHP Ivan Nova (3-5, 6.28 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT
The Cubs return home to take on their cross-city rivals. They remain 0.5 games behind Milwaukee with the Cards lagging an additional two games behind the Cubs. Cole Hamels made his third start without an earned run, going seven innings with 9 strikeouts in Colorado last time out. Few White Sox have seen much of him. Jon Jay and his 13 at-bats are on the IL. Jose Abreu is 4-9 with a homerun off of him. Hamels has been a tremendous groundball pitcher this year, and the White Sox have the second highest GB% behind the Marlins--that may provide some incentive for Maddon to start his best defensive infield. The general impatience of the Sox lineup should play to Hamels' favor, although he seems to have harnessed his command of late.
The White Sox are hovering around .500 as they bring along some of their younger players. Key players Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito have taken big steps forward, and Tim Anderson is riding an early season hot streak to what look like breakout numbers. Former Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez has looked overmatched at times, but his power has shown up and he does have a 127 wRC+ since returning from the IL on May 20. Ivan Nova gets the start. He's had a rough 2019 on the mound, getting generally knocked around. He allowed four earned runs in 5.1 innings against the Yankees in his last start. Current Cubs are 41-139 against him. Rizzo, Contreras, Gonzalez, Baez, and Heyward have all slugged over .500 against him. The Cubs have posted a team wRC+ of 85 since the beginning of June. Javy Baez hasn't walked since May 31 and he's batting only .226 in June.
Dolorous Jon Lester 14 min 54 sec ago (view)
Meanwhile Theo shoots down any potential of extension talks. I get that it's a crazy time financially in baseball, but it's really gonna suck when all these players leave after 21 and 22.
Cubster 10 hours 50 min ago (view)
WSox Michael Kopech has opted out of 2020. I didn't see a disclosed reason yet but he is recovering from TJ S
crunch 21 hours 25 min ago (view)
buster posey (SF) opting out of 2020...recently adopted twin daughters who were born premature.
Cubster 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
per Tribune: Kimbrel's OK, just working on his changeup (formerly his fastball).
Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have released RHRP (and their erstwhile closer) Brandon Morrow. There is no indication that they plan to re-sign him to another (different) 2020 minor league contract without the Article XX-B $100K retention bonus provision (as happened with Jason Kipnis last week).
crunch 2 days 17 hours ago (view)
rizzo takes another day off (lower back). ross says the club is "exercising caution."
klye ryan is expected to join the team tomorrow after some mysterious holdup.
Ryno 2 days 17 hours ago (view)
Has anyone seen Darvish's pitch "The Supreme"? Isn't it just a sinker?
Ryno 2 days 17 hours ago (view)
In other words: This lineup sucks.
Arizona Phil 2 days 18 hours ago (view)
Jason Kipnis was released on June 29th and then he was re-signed to a new (different) 2020 minor league contract that does not require a $100K retention bonus if he is not added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 2020 MLB Opening Day (7/23).
Brandon Morrow remains on his original 2020 minor league contract which pays him a $100K retention bonus if he is not released by 7/18 or added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 7/23.
Eric S 2 days 18 hours ago (view)
There is that re Kimbrel - at worst, just another year on the books.
July 1st is Bobby Bonilla Day - the day that check is cut and paid annually.
Cubster 2 days 18 hours ago (view)
On the bright side regarding Kimbrel. It doesn't have the lasting bad side as the Mets arrangement with Bobby Bonilla. Unless they want to re-negotiate Kimbrel's terms.
Eric S 2 days 19 hours ago (view)
Watching the last night's highlight clip was not encouraging either as discussed here: https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2020/07/08/craig-kimbrels-intrasquad-performance-is-a-reminder-of-the-concerns-that-already-existed/
crunch 3 days 19 min ago (view)
i still can't believe this front office paid anyone 16m a year to throw 60-70ip...
Eric S 3 days 9 hours ago (view)
Unfortunately, Kimbrel in Cub mid season form as well, giving up a two out, two run oppo homer to Willson.
Kimbrel Cub stats which I tried to bury but were dug up again: gave up a career high 9 home runs in only 20 2/3 inning, averaged a career high 9.1 hits allowed per 9 innings and served up a 6.53 ERA for his troubles. And no full spring training build up period again. Still hopeful he's got something left in the tank this year and next but man, he's got my full attention going into the season
BobbyD 3 days 10 hours ago (view)
Hmm. Never thought about it that way. Maybe it is a very stable genius?
crunch 3 days 12 hours ago (view)
maybe he's hoping it'll be bad enough to flip the population odometer over to 0 after humanity is wiped from the planet. let's give him more time to see if he's right before we get too down on him.