Cubs vs. Pirates: Darvish vs. Archer (Game 87)

CHC (45-41): RHP Yu Darvish (2-4, 4.98 ERA)
PIT (41-43): RHP Chris Archer (3-6, 5.50 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

The third game of the set is a battle of shadows of former aces. Yu Darvish has spent all of 2019 trying to regain some modicum of control after missing most of 2018. Of late he's surrendered fewer walks but allowed too many homeruns. He gave up seven homeruns in five June starts, 29.1 innings pitched. Most recently he struck out eight while allowing five earned runs in five innings to Atlanta. He lost to Pittsburgh on April 10, allowing five runs, four earned in 5.1 innings pitched. Subtracting out Cervelli (6-10) and Chisenhall (2-10 with a homerun), current Pirates are 10-30 off of him with two homeruns and two walks. Corey Dickerson is 4-7 with one of those homeruns.

Something is very much up with Chris Archer. His walks are way up and so is his homerun rate. He's posting his lowest groundball percentage and his highest flyball percentage and homerun-per-flyball percentage. His strikeouts are down a touch too, but still more than one per each inning pitched. His velocity is also down a little over one MPH, which is often suggestive of a health issue. Last time out he got a no-decision in four innings and allowed a couple earned runs. He has yet to get through a start without issuing a walk, and the last time he started without allowing an earned run was April 1. On June 11 he allowed five homeruns to Atlanta. This will be his first start against this Cubs this year. Javy is 5-9 off of him, Heyward is 3-4 with three walks, and Rizzo is 2-9 with three walks. Schwarber has the lone Cub homerun but is also 1-6 with four strikeouts.

Comments

maples down, r.garcia up

Get your playoff ticket orders in now.  

Seriously, this move is about two weeks too late - hope Robel can add a spark to a semi-catatonic lineup. 

A very good recap of an interview this afternoon with a clearly frustrated (and pissed) Theo on the Cubs flagship station 670 the Score

https://www.bleachernation.com/2019/07/03/theo-epstein-speaks-disgust-worst-depth-maddon-zobrist-and-morrow-changes-coming-much-more/

There potentially could be a lot of changes to the roster this year

Also, if you’ve sensed that the Cubs this year have particularly been toast if they‘ve trailed relatively early in games, your sense is correct: Cubs are now 5-27 when trailing after four innings

https://twitter.com/matrueblood/status/1144331769107406848?s=21

Schwarber/ Baez/ Rizzo/ Contreras (RF)/ Caratini/ Bote/ Baddison/ Almora/ Darvish

3 easy outs at the bottom of the lineup as usual. How Joe takes Heyward out with the roll he’s been on is shocking. Especially in favor of Albert.

It was suggested here during Darvish’s last start that Willson should start in left field and Caratini should catch — well, Willson’s starting in right but glad to see the brass is paying attention to TCR! Lol

Schwarber playing the giant LF and Willson getting the rare RF start seems like a heck of a gamble, but I guess you gotta do something to get the offense going.

Backs were against the wall with both KB and JHey not available to start. Hopefully Almora is focused and hitterish tonight

Yeah, any combination of two of Descalso, Almora and Russell in the starting lineup hasn’t worked out so hot

Also, best not strike out four times right after the mid-year team meeting or your ass will be sitting on the bench!

Also, also ... both KB and JHey getting a rest due to banged up knees - KB hard slides in Cincy requiring icing his knees and JHey from a slide(s) last night. 

la stella with a fractured leg

out 8-10+ weeks

damn

Boo to human frailty and mortality in general.

What a bummer for Tommy. I hope he still attends the ceremonies and gets his recognition in person.

Losing Zobrist reminds me of when the Blackhawks lost Marian Hossa.

Why haven't Descalso and Montgomery been DFA'd yet?

Option Rosario when Edwards gets back and DFA Montgomery to give Alzolay another start after the all star break. Replace Descalso with Zagunis.

Cubs still have two more years of club control over Monty and he does have respectable numbers as a starter the last couple seasons — hard to just DFA that. I‘d rather see him hit the IL for something and get some kind of value for Monty down the road. 

Descalso can go if an immenent injury is out of the question. 

Both need to get of the 25 asap. 

Agreed on Monty. I think he’s just having “one of those years” and will bounce back next year. Descalso is trash.

While we’re at it, get rid of Edwards too. He‘s only good in low pressure spots.

Caratini with homers from both sides of the plate. Get that man an outfielders glove and stick him in center!

r.garcia K’s on 4 pitches.

welcome to the bigs.

He fits right in.

First two pitches were cookie breaking balls square in the middle of the zone. Swung right thru both of them. He’s like Happ, but older and speaks Italian. 

He’s had one big league at bat. He might be Ian Happ, but he might also be useful.

Ian Happ, however, is still unfortunately for us, Ian Happ

Definitely will give Garcia a chance - just having fun. With the way this season is shaping up, there’s going to be ample opportunity for dark humor ...

The strikeout rate in the minors suggests the Happ comparison--34.2% at Iowa this year.

Ginormous difference between the bench depth with these two teams

Told ya Willson is a gold glove outfielder - Ye of little faith!!!

Doh!

Occupational hazard when you put a catcher in right field I guess. That 9ty inning was straight up painful.

Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory 

You wonder if both JHey and KB were that banged up that neither could come in for defense in the ninth?  Sure would have helped if Kimbrel handn’t walked the second batter - great at bat by that dude, laid off some nasty pitches. 

I wonder if Joe even thought to bring in a defensive replacement in the 9th. Contreras looked like a pro on the play in the 8th. But I absolutely think a healthy-ish Heyward makes that 9th inning catch.

Russell throwing home was a mistake from a player not playing out of position, though.

I think any of our outfielders who get to that ball make that catch. Probably throughout the system. That one is on Joe.

Baddison’s brain fart is on no one but himself.

Agreed. Contreras probably needed to slide to make the catch; he looked to me like he was distracted by the possibility of running into the fence. Heyward does it no problem. KB probably gets there and makes the catch. Schwarber doesn't get there in time.

They said on the tv broadcast that statcast put the catch probability at 40%.  Agree that JHey and KB make it but I really can’t fault Contreras, particularly after his outstanding play in the eighth.  It took a lot of breaks for the Cubs to get that lead (Strop’s pickoff of Marte on review, Willson’s outstanding throw and Caratini‘s overall play) — good fortune ran out in the 9th. 🤷‍♂️

I straight up hate baseball after this bottom of the 9th inning.

this.

i'm now a fan of australian rules football and curling.  baseball is for jerks.

Wow. What the Cubs need is a closer. 

uggggghh

Well, better than losing 18-5. Didn’t give up any runs in the first inning. Took the first lead. Actually had a lead in the ninth. Gotta take baby steps to winning a road (or any) game. 

And the Brewers lost - I guess that helps. Meh

Cubs now 5-28 when trailing after four innings. Jeebuz, that’s bad - flashbacks to 2013-14 and throw in a dash of Mike Quade. 

Recent comments

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  • Mike Wellman 9 min ago (view)

    I feel like I've already waited & seen enough of CEJ...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 30 min 39 sec ago (view)

    Not as much as it makes his stomach tighten!

    i dont think we should trade him. We would get nothing of value back. But I don’t think he should be a bullpen piece on a playoff contender either. He should be in Iowa. Reassess where he’s at for September and next year. If they don’t like what they see, non-tender.

     

  • Charlie 1 hour 2 min ago (view)

    Cheap may not be the right word, but has put up reasonable value per dollar compared to other relievers prior to this ear.

    He accrued 2.9 bWAR 2017-2018. Strop put up 3.2 bWAR during the same period. Edwards is making $1.5M this year. Strop is making $6.25M. He'll get a bump again this offseason even if he doesn't rebound in the second half, of course. I just don't see a need to trade him unless the Cubs are being offered value in return.

    That said, it does make my stomach knot up a bit when I see they are bringing him into a close game.

     

  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 40 min ago (view)

    Carl Edwards Jr will be out of minor league options next season (2020), and he will (once again) be arbitration-eligible post-2019 (he was "Super Two" arb eligible post-2018) and he will be a FA post-2022. 

     

  • crunch 14 hours 22 min ago (view)

    cubs lose, cards win, brews win.

    boo.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 8 min ago (view)

    I think this is his last option year. And he’s not as cheap as you’d think, he’s a super two qualified player this year.

     

  • Charlie 16 hours 18 min ago (view)

    Edwards is frustrating at times. Some of that frustration comes from thinking he could be much better than he currently is. But prior to this year (in which he has pitched very few innings), he's overall been an OK relief pitcher in the majors. I'm happy to wait and see on him for quite a while. Still has an option and is cheap, right?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 17 hours 17 min ago (view)

    I feel pretty safe in saying that 1. They don’t want him and 2. If they did, things wouldn’t improve for CJ.

    Allowing inherited runners and 1-2 of your own in a close game is what I like to call the “Carl Jr Special.” It was formerly a Justin Grimm special, thankfully Carl stepped up to fill that void.

     

  • crunch 17 hours 24 min ago (view)

    there's always nick castellanos for a chance to rid of edwards...at which point a couple month rental will probably turn edwards into their ace closer or something just as awesome.

     

  • Eric S 17 hours 25 min ago (view)

    The bitter side of me thinks it should have been a two for one trade for Maldonado 

    Anyways, has not been a clean series for the Cubs against the Padres - fortunate to have won the series and a 7-2 home stand is a pretty big dill. Or deal. Or something

     

  • crunch 17 hours 30 min ago (view)

    edwards gonna edwards...blah

     

  • bradsbeard 18 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Thanks for the clarification. Guess we’ll find out what he’s going to do sooner than later. 

     

  • crunch 20 hours 3 min ago (view)

    delay over, game on.

     

  • Arizona Phil 21 hours 40 min ago (view)

    And if Zobrist were to consent to an Optional Assignment to the minors for the purpose of getting into playing shape, it could very well be to AA Tennessee (close to his home in Nashville) rather than to AAA Iowa. He might even just play home games for the Smokies and then work out on his own while they are on the road. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Ben Zobrist (and Tony Barnette) cannot be reinstated from the Restricted List August 1st - October 31st without special approval from the MLB Commissioner (which would be problematic), and Zobrist and Barnette absolutely will - NOT - (under any cicumstances) be eligible to play in the post-season if not reinstated from the Restricted List prior to midnight on August 31st. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Pedro Martinez is a bat-first switch-hitting infielder capable of playing 2B-3B-SS (best position is 2B). He runs well and is a savvy baserunner, shows occasional HR power, and is at least as good a hitter as Reivaj Garcia (probably even better).