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.
tim815 37 min 31 sec ago (view)
Actually, Nick Castellanos and his opt out.
crunch 1 hour 25 min ago (view)
hendricks wins #13...11 in a row.
dude leads MLB in wins...and also hits given up.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 10 min ago (view)
I think we're going to get very experimental over these last two months in the high leverage spots. Only caveat is they may want to see if Wick can handle the 9th once he's back.
That, I'm pretty sure Ryan would have been my last guess to close out a game. Either him or Megill.
crunch 2 hours 13 min ago (view)
javy swings on 3-0 pitch, outside, fouls off.
javy strikes out, foul tip low and outside.
crunch 2 hours 16 min ago (view)
baez coming into the bottom 9th, down by 1, man on 1st.
standing O. NY loves him so far. part of the crowd is chanting "javy" and others "baez"...they'll figure it out in a few games.
crunch 2 hours 23 min ago (view)
k.ryan coming in for the save, but j.jewell is in the pen warming up...don't think anyone is officially "closer"
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 26 min ago (view)
If we're looking to tank next year I think it would be wise to keep Brothers, Morgan, and Ryan. Toss em in high leverage spots, too.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 27 min ago (view)
I'd guess it's him too. If we wanted boring it would be Winkler.
Hopefully Ross gives the ball to MANROD.
crunch 2 hours 35 min ago (view)
wasn't ugly, but it was nothing masterful...heuer goes 1ip 0h 0bb 0k only giving up an unearned run on a sac fly. he may get the 9th because he barely worked the 8th (9 pitches).
crunch 2 hours 44 min ago (view)
rex brothers sucks. here comes heuer with the bases loaded and 0 outs.
Eric S 3 hours 9 min ago (view)
Still trails Rizzo by 1 HR for a New York franchise
Eric S 3 hours 11 min ago (view)
JHey with a bouncer thru the right side gets a two out rbi - his first rbi since July 16. Happ with another true outcome nite: 3 Ks and a walk
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 18 min ago (view)
I'd guess Rivas at first. More contact, more low power.
Wisdom at 3B!
crunch 3 hours 19 min ago (view)
i imagine they'll go with hoerner/madrigal (aka, "hoes mad" for the disrespectful youth out there) at SS/2nd.
that's a lot of contact without power, though. this team needs to go buy/trade for some power.
crunch 3 hours 22 min ago (view)
javy hits hit 1st NYM homer
Charlie 3 hours 54 min ago (view)
I could see the Cubs signing a free agent 1B or Ss, an ok starting pitcher, and doing a half-competitive (i.e. finish in third place) phase while waiting for some of these prospects to arrive. Wouldn't be shocked if they get Rizzo back. It will take more than one season to build a real pitching staff, but I think ownership won't be willing to fully tank in the meantime.