Cubs @ Reds: Lester vs Lamb (Game 76)

Thank you, Kris Bryant. May we have another?

CHC (49-26): LHP Jon Lester (9-3, 2.10)
CIN (29-48): LHP John Lamb (1-4, 4.78)
First pitch: 6:10pmCST

Lester ended his run of five straight wins with a no-decision on Thursday in Miami (7 IP, 2 ER, 7 K, 3 BB). He’s 1-0 with a 2.77 in his two starts against this Reds this year. They are 27-104 (.260) against him, overall. Hamilton is 5-7 and Cozart is 3-9, both with HRs.

Lamb had a no-decision against the Padres his last time out (5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 K, 3 BB). The Cubs are 5-15 (.333) against him, from the game he started and lost last October (4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 K, 3 BB).

Hendricks (5-6, 2.76) versus Reed (0-1, 6.75) tomorrow at 11:35amCST.

Go Cubs!


Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow. Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.


peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him. unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system. they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey). Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

I think you're very much overvaluing Schwarber if you think he can fetch Sale by himself. An unproven rookie with demonstrable offensive flaws he hasn't had the chance to show he can overcome and with no defensive upside will never fetch an ace of the quality of Sale in today's market where pitchers are fetching insane prices, especially with Sale's team friendly contract. You'd for sure need to throw in a pitching prospect in return at least. I'd certainly make a Schwarber for Sale trade with something thrown in because that would automatically make a much more dependable best rotation in baseball now and would make it easier to part with Arietta in the future, just not sure if the Soz would consider it.

Sorry if I made it sound like a Schwarber for Sale straight up deal was reasonable, obviously Cubs would need to give up more than that. You don't trade Sale unless you're rebuilding and if you're rebuilding you want more than one piece. Easily 3-4 pieces with Schwarber being the main one...but that type of an ace arm or All-star talent with a few years of control is the type of return the Cubs should look for if they move Schwarber. I don't think they'll move him until he's healthy though. TheJedi are pretty good at maximizing trade value.

When Marlins give up again, making a run at Fernandez would be neat. I'm sure we could all come up with some names like that.

As for the relief pitching, Cubs will make some moves, they may even give up good talent, but I would be surprised beyond surprised if Schwarber was involved. I'd rather trade Contreras, especially if the pitchers don't seem to want to throw to him...although I'm presuming that's just a temporary thing and he'll be the starting catcher next year.

Phillies have some decent pen arms this year that aren't going to cost Schwarber, getting Buchter back from Padres seems feasible. I'm sure some of you know some good not-household names that Cubs could go after.But no matter how relief ace a guy looks, I'd always be hesistant...look at what Astros paid for Ken Giles and he's been mostly awful (although better lately).  Miller, Betances and Chapman have been good for awhile now, so they're probably safe bets, but I wouldn't want to trade for Chapman regardless. Hopefully Yanks are more reasonable about their price if they do move Miller. They can have Vogelbach and Torres.


Now pitching for the Cincinnati Reds:

Eloy Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario named to Futures Game...

See past Cubs' participants here. Let me know if you see a mistake or any other info that may prove useful and I can add it.

It's really quite enjoyable watching Lester dissect the strike zone and a lineup like this...dare I say Maddux-like?

An efficient one-hitter through seven innings - seems reasonable to me. Quite the contrast from last night

he'd actually have to get through these last 2 innings in 13 or less pitches to pull off an actual Maddux (CG in less than 100 pitches)...and I probably jinxed the whole game with my comment so I'll shut up now.

Yeah - I was waiting for someone else to comment first so they could shoulder the blame should cubbery prevail.

and there it is...

time to sweat it out now.

Hamilton - good grief. Does he have Lester's number or what!

To have Billy Hamilton break your shut-out with an HR is like Iceland winnng in soccer.

Tony Gold Glove!!!

Nice to have a ROB G. bustin' a move with the posts.


Shit throw by Szczur...

0-2 HBP = Cubbery

Arrieta pitches like crap and gets a W, Lester pitches brilliantly and doesn't. Baseball! Man, have we been giving up a lot of 2-out runs lately. C'mon Hector -- Eugenio Suarez??? Sheesh.

Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Heyward; Baez, J 2; Bryant.

Nice inning from Carl Edwards Jr - two straight quality appearances for a pen that could use it.

The Reds bullpen -- statistically one of the worst in the history of baseball -- has no-hit the Cubs for 7 innings. That just sucks.


peralta (and maddon) owes zobrist a coke.

Sweet play.

What's with the Travis Wood stuff? Is it because he pitched the last 2 games?

yeah. ...or not... i was a bit more confused why the guy who gave up a HR to votto last night was facing him with 2 men on. that wood is coming in to pitch the following inning, the whole thing gets weirder. so like, okay.

Javy 0-6. At least he's consistent.

Make that 1-7, 4 RBI.

Maddon is over-managing the shit out of this game.

all i wanna know is...when's d.ross gonna pitch?

This is the most beautiful thing ever.

Didn't they do this sort of thing with Sean Marshall years back? Sticking him in LF to save him to face others, but without a pitcher replacing him in LF.

yes. I was at the Sean Marshall game in LF. Lou Piniella was managing. StL won 4-2, so I guess it didn't help but it was zany. Soriano/Reed Johnson and Marshall were the LF's. 7-12-09 On a 6 degrees of separation note: Cubs got Travis Wood in the trade that sent Sean Marshall to Cincy.

Can a pitcher get more than one hold in a game? Or a Win and a save?

Forget the save, finally Javier!!

let baez pitch the 15th, he earned it.

i like how strop played LF with his "crooked cap" look...that's not just for the mound.

@jonahkeri Joe Maddon living out Joe Maddon fanfic IRL tonight

Per Fangraphs...

Bryant took over NL lead in WAR after yesterday's effort. 3.9. Rizzo's at 2.8 and 8th in the league. Rizzo actually with better offensive numbers (161 wRC+ versus 146 for Bryant), but Bryant gets a good bump because of defense and position(s) played.

Fowler with a 2.8 WAR as well (9th), Zobrist with a 2.7 (14th).

M. Carpenter leads NL with 163 wRC+ just ahead of Rizzo who is 2nd.

Baez had Maddon's ass last night. I didn't hear the reason for taking Contreras out last night but whatever game management thingy it was, you don't take out your second hottest hitter. Or is he third? Anyway, you don't take him out. The guy can probably play anywhere in the field, anyway. Did anybody see that nice catch in left he made? I don't think he got a late start on that, just tracked it damn well for a catcher. They tried to get Javy out on a pitch that often gets him, - catcher wanted it high and outside, didn't get and instead the pitcher grooved it. I thought it was fitting that the most excited guy in the dugout was Mallee.

I am glad Joe is managing this team and not Old and Blue!

So am I. Point remains.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • KingKongvsGodzilla 21 hours 44 min ago (view)

    AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    jim hickey new nats pitching coach.


  • bradsbeard 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there. 


  • tim815 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.

    big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.

    too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).


  • bradsbeard 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability


  • Hagsag 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?


  • tim815 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.


  • crunch 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    yup, they're gonna try.  starts in about a month.


  • Hagsag 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Has it been announced whether there will be a DR winter league this winter?


  • tim815 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    That's as good of news as we'll get for awhile.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    TIM: If nothing else, signing a boatload of IFA (35) in the 2019-20 ISP is a pretty good indicator that the Cubs fully intend to run two DSL teams into the forseeable future. 


  • tim815 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Of the 11 new guys, I'm leaning on Marino Sandy and Jerry Torres to be the most likely to reach full-season ball or get traded 


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 45 min ago (view)

    OF Ian Miller (outrighted to the minors on 9/3) elected free-agency just prior to the 10/15 deadline, and the Cubs have signed RHRP Juan Gamez (who they released on 9/9) to a 2021 minor league contract. 


  • bigsky33 5 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Phil, were you watching from outside the stadium?