Cubs vs. Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 89-91)

The Cubs ended their eleven-game skid and found themselves tied for third, 9.5 games back in the division, and probably sellers at the deadline. The All-Star break is yet to come, however, and a route to contention remains merely unlikely rather than impossible. The Cubs could go on a 10-game tear and put the front office in a more difficult position with regard to the buying or selling. They'll have to get that work started in a three-game series agianst the team that enters tied for third place. I wonder which fanbase is more disappointed with their teams' season so far, the Cubs' or the Cardinals'. The Cards made a splash in the offseason, getting Nolan Aarenado away from a frustrating franchise in Colorado. He's lived up to the hype, but the rest of the Cardinals' cast hasn't been able to hold up their end of things. It's strange to see the Cards roll into Wrigley with both teams far from contention. Will that put a damper on the rivalry? It probably depends on the beer sales. See below for the pitching matchups.

Game 89, Friday, July 9, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.83 ERA)

STL: LHP Wade LeBlance (0-1, 4.24 ERA)

I got bogged down by work and am writing this post up in the middle of the first game. Good news! Hendricks went 6.1 innings and left with a 4-2 lead. LeBlanc lasted three innings and allowed three earned runs. That's all I can tell you for now.

Game 90, Saturday, July 10, 6:15 pm central

CHC: RHP Zach Davies (5-5, 4.28 ERA)

STL: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (3-5, 3.39 ERA)

Davies, who has missed few bats throughout 2021, struck out only one Philly over his five innings last time out. Still, he held them to two earned runs and did not earn a decision. His walk to strikeout ratio looks unsustainable, and the deviation from his career norms seems connected to the depressed value of his changeup this year. Hitters appear not to be biting on it out of the zone all that much and he has missed with it in the zone a bit too often. It is hard to see Zach Davies continuing to succeed unless he rediscovers a consistent change.

Kim, a veteran of the KBO, has turned out to be one heck of a signing by the Cardinals. He broke into MLB with seven starts in 2020 and held his ERA just over one and a half. He's continued his success, with a bit of regression, in 2021. He's averaging less than one homer per nine innings and a groundball rate just shy of 50% in MLB. His peripherals and stuff do not jump out at you, but everything seems to play. Kim debuted in relief in Philadelphia and made his first MLB start at Wrigley in 2020. He has not faced the Cubs since holding them to one earned run in 3.2 innings in that game.

Game 91, Sunday, July 11, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Trevor Williams (3-2, 5.51 ERA)

STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (7-5, 3.58 ERA)

Williams missed about a month following an emergency apendectomy. Although this will be his first start off of the IL, he last pitched in relief of Arrieta, going 3.2 and allowing seven runs, three earned, to the Phillies. This will be his first time facing the Cardinals in 2021. Goldschmidt, Carpenter, and DeJong have all OPSed over 1.000 against Williams in his career.

Wainwright has strung together seven straight strong starts. In that time he's gone at least five innings in every start and not allowed more than three earned runs. There's little more the club could ask from their veteran righty, who turns 40 later this season. He's faced the Cubs once already in 2021, going eight shutout innings without a decision back on May 23 in St. Louis. Ian Happ is 8-17 with four homers off of him. Javy, 5-32 with eleven strikeouts against Wainwright, might consider an additional rest day going into the All-Star break.



wisdom #12!

hopefully he's breaking his recent slump rather than pitchers adjusting to him.

Dominican Summer League Transactions have just been updated for the first time in a long while: Not many Cubs transactions yet. Hoping the league begins their season next week, as was originally planned (but was in doubt due to COVID reasons).

Dominican League rosters seem to still need to be updated, but two names that I haven't seen before are on there:

OF - Raul Carlos Guzman was signed on May 18th and added to DSL Cubs Red, but I hadn't seen it reported yet (Born: 10/18/2003 in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic).

LHP - Carlos Enrique Garcia was signed on May 18th and added to DSL Cubs Blue, but I hadn't seen it reported yet (Born: 7/12/2002 in Ciego de Avila, Cuba).

random thought...

anyone have a clue why jeremy jeffress is unemployable?

2 days ago he signed with an Atlantic League (indie ball) team, Lexington Legends.  good for him, i guess.  i still don't know how/why he turned into kryptonite to 30 mlb teams, though.

Some quick googling suggests there's behind the scenes reasons. Jeffress made some tweets after his Nationals release suggesting his former agent has spread the word that he's a problem in the clubhouse. Of course, his velocity and strikeouts have also been in decline for a couple of years.

jake arrietta vs jon lester in a head-to-head competition to see whether CHC or WAS cuts which one first...

acuna jr just screwed up his legs on a fast/high jumping catch...came down very awkward.

it looks like both knees are hurt, but 1 seems crazy bad.

for some f'n reason they're letting him walk off from the warning track when he should be on a cart.  he's got his jersey in his mouth clenching while walking off because of the pain.

...and he buckled to the ground before he got to the infield.  wtf...

torn right ACL

Why are MLB teams so opposed to using stretchers?

i doubt him walking off injured his knee(s) more than they were already injured, but that was not a walk-off injury and as soon as he put his jersey in his mouth to deal with the pain some grown ass adult around him should have demanded he shut down that warmed over machismo and they're making the call for him that the cart is coming out.

fwiw, in that park emergency services (easy access in/out of park, the cart, etc) is located just beyond CF.  making it back to the clubhouse involves stairs and a long walk.  this wasn't a "trainer's table" injury.

whole thing was a pointless delay.

yeah, im done with adam morgan.

send up the next scrap heap project, plz.

cubs lose game 2.

ian happ season-long slump (except a week in may) is getting crazy.  the power is still there when he can actually make meaningful contact, at least.  he's getting every chance to break out of it, but it's not happening.

dodgers have hit multiple grand slams (2) in multiple games (2) this year.  mlb first ever record...

dbacks are getting destroyed.  cubs get to play them next.

current status, josh reddick pitching in the 8th down by 21 runs.

"you'd have to wash until gametime tomorrow to get the stink of this one off." - bob brenly

Willy is right about this team. 

He absolutely is. I think if we're only able to extend/ bring back one of the core, it should be him. Toughest position to play, and he's got a winning attitude.

game postponed...rain. 

First half ends before the ASG with a wet thud.

draft night tonight...between the all-star weekend (derby, game, etc) and the final games before the break...i don't think i've ever heard so little about the draft in the internet era.

it's not just a TCR thing, it's almost everywhere.  the draft is a back-seat event this year even though it's no more or less important than it's been in "normal" seasons.

btw, the draft TV coverage starts at 6pm (EST), but they're not actually starting until 7pm (EST).

Right you are, Cubster...