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!

Comments

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.

Amen

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwbUCI9bEvA

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.

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Cubs_tha...

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.

FFS!!!

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.

#cantpredictball

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. ...now 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. http://m.mlb.com/news/article/5854550/ 7-12-09 http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?id=290... 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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  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 16 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of 26-year old RHRP Jonathan de Marte from Quebec (Frontier League) and he has been assigned to AZL Cubs Blue.

    He is the closer for Team Israel and has no previous experience in affiliated ball.

    He was a NDFA out of the U. of Richmond in 2017 and has been playing independent ball for the past three seasons in the Atlantic League and Can-Am League as well as winter ball in Australia this past winter. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 7 min ago (view)

    DJL: Nothing from Sunday or Monday. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 8 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: Mark Zagunis was sent outright to the minors last September, and because he did not have the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted he remains under club control through the 2020 season, and so he is signed to a minor league contract that expires at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the conclusion of the 2020 World Series. 

     

  • Wrigley Rat 9 hours 38 min ago (view)

    Thank you AZ Phil! Does that mean he's been signed to a minor league contract, then? Because he's out of options.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 10 hours 33 min ago (view)

    I love these scouting reports. Thanks Phil!

    You wouldn't happen to have this info for the road games Sun and Mon?

     

  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 43 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: Mark Zagunis is assigned to AAA Iowa but he did not get an NRI to MLB Spring Training. He is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 World Series if he is not added back to an MLB reserve list (40-man roster) in the meantime. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Most of the pitchers who threw today pitched Saturday night, so not a lot of new pitch/velo info. 

    Jon Lester:  
    FB: 86-89
    SL: 85 
    CH: 84
    CV: 70-74 
    NOTES: First Cactus League game outing of 2020 for Lester... looked uncomfortable on the mound and even when he was warming up in the bullpen before the game... stuff and command were not sharp... hopefully Lester has at least one good year left in him...  

     

  • Wrigley Rat 11 hours 15 min ago (view)

    Whatever happened to Mark Zagunis? I thought we still held his rights, but he was just out of options? Haven't heard anything about him in awhile & I think he would make a good platoon partner with Schwarber.

     

  • crunch 12 hours 22 min ago (view)

    3h 43m game today.

    at least i've seen a lot of "i need to hop on baseball reference" cubs minor leaguers and new hires in the past 2 days.

    rex brothers looked good again.

     

  • crunch 14 hours 20 min ago (view)

    1h 50min into the game and they're through 4 innings.

    yesterday's game was 3h 45m.

     

  • crunch 15 hours 39 min ago (view)

    lester seems to be leaving off where he was for the last couple months of the season in 2019.

    no one should take anything from a february spring training start...NONETHELESS...this outing looked a lot like the ones he spent in the last couple months of the season with batters sitting around waiting to swing at lester fastballs and laying off everything else.

     

  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    he paced for 20+HR last year and might have done it if he wasn't on unpaid leave for a while.  i'd handicap him as a 15-20HR guy at worst rather than saying 20HR solid.  it's probably a safer range.

    his D isn't up there with the all-time greats of the game, but it's well above average for a young guy (turned 26 last month) who can also provide some pop.  i think more than a few teams could slot him in as a middle IF starter without having much internal competition.

     

  • Rob Richardson 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    He hit 20+ HR only once and that was four years ago. He has a career OBP of 312, a career SLG of 392, and is his SS defense really that special anymore?

     

  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    kinda crazy a.russell is still a free agent.

    he's not the first and probably not the last domestic abuser to "serve his time" and find contracts to sign.  there's a 20HR guy who plays great D at SS sitting out there while spring training is going down without him.

    i wonder how much he's demanding (if that's an issue at all) vs teams that want no part of him...

     

  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Don't forget the awesome taste of RizzO's !!!

     

  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    ha.  also, this reminds me that Grand Slam cereal existed in the late 90s.  it was basically Kix with the marshmallows from Lucky Charms (in baseball items shape).  it was actually really good.