Cubs @ Reds: Series Thread (Games 4-7)
The Cubs head out for their first road trip with a series win against the Brewers under their belt. Next up on their divisional to-do list are the Cincinnati Reds, last year's fourth place team but an opponent with the potential to jump up and surprise in an unusual season. This four-game series constitutes 6.67% of the whole season; there's some substantive work to do in Cincinnati.
Game 4, Monday, July 27
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (0-0, -.-- ERA)
CIN: LHP Wade Miley (0-0, -.-- ERA)
5:40 pm CDT
The series opener is a match up of veterans. Wade Miley makes his debut as a Red following a very serviceable 2019 with the Houston Astros. You may remember that he also pitched an injury-shortened 2018 season with the Brewers. Right-handed hitters have fared significantly better off of Miley both in his career and recently, so the Cubs may take this opportunity to get some playing time for bench righties Albert Almora and/or Steven Souza. Almora is 4-10 with a dinger off of him, while Souza is 6-24 with a .750 OPS. Rizzo is 3-23 with no homeruns, but maybe those were loud outs; he's struck out only twice against Miley.
Lester gets his first action of 2020 after building up a bit more slowly than his rotation-mates. He hasn't been a top-of-the-rotation guy for three seasons, but the Cubs hope he can put up a bunch of solid outings and continue his campaign toward 200 wins. Former Cub Nicholas Castellanos has hammered Lester to the tune of 3 homeruns in only 12 at bats ( along with 3 singles and a double). Eugenio Suarez has tormented Lester across 42 ABs, accumulating 6 homeruns and a 1.306 OPS in the process.
CHC: RHP Alec Mills (0-0, -.-- ERA)
CIN: LHP Tyler Mahle (0-0, -.-- ERA)
Tyler Mahle opens the sequel in his sixth career start against the Cubs. Last year he had two no decisions having allowed seven earned runs in 12 innings pitched. Baez 4-10 with a homer off of him as is Schwarber, albeit Kyle has also struck out 5 times against the righty.
Alec Mills has been more than serviceable when called up on by the Cubs in 2018 and 2019. He finds himself in the rotation to start 2020 due largely to an injury to Quintana. Perhaps the 28-year-old righty can take advantage of it. He pitched 12 of last year's 36 innings against Cincinnati and allowed 4 runs across three appearances. He earned a win in a 2-inning relief appearance in Cincinnati on Sep. 16.
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
CIN: RHP Sonny Gray (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Sonny Gray's 2019 was his best season yet and a remarkable rebound from a middling 2018 that he spent with the Yankees. Current Cubs have done little off of him, collectively posting a .357 OPS in 122 ABs. Albert Almora leads the pack at 3-10 with a HR (and 4 strikeouts).
Hendricks pitched a gem on opening day, completing a 3-hit shutout in just over 100 pitches. If he can just do that every start, that should do.
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
CIN: RHP Luis Castillo (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
Luis Castillo really started to put it together last year and has come into his own as a legitimate ace. He even neared the now elusive 200 inning mark, though he fell short at 190.2. Kyle Schwarber has tagged him for 3 homeruns and collected four walks off of him, and Contreras and Happ have posted OPSs north of 1.000 in limited exposure as well. Victor Caratani, Darvish's designated receiver, has 7 strikeouts and only one hit off the righty.
Darvish took a loss in his first start, struggling a bit with inefficiency and then giving up six hits in only 4 innings pitched. He did, however, avoid both the walk and the long ball. He's held most current Reds down, but last year's rookie sensation Aristides Aquino has tagged him for two homeruns in five ABs.
Eric S 1 hour 26 min ago (view)
Rea bringing the heat 94-96 - and retires the heart of the Indians lineup in order. He's looked impressive in his two appearances.
Eric S 1 hour 42 min ago (view)
Happ's bat being on fire is pleasing to the eye
Eric S 2 hours 43 min ago (view)
He's the anti-Kimbrel
Eric S 2 hours 47 min ago (view)
Oliver Perez alone is worth the price of admission - more kinds of "deliveries" than Baskin-Robbins has flavors.
crunch 2 hours 50 min ago (view)
anyone that doesn't enjoy watching oliver perez pitching isn't my friend and can't borrow any of my stuff.
Eric S 7 hours 6 min ago (view)
Agreed. Still a lot of swing and miss in the lineup and Caratini's make solid contact/line drive approach helps balance that out, particularly against righties
I like Bote's bat in the lineup as well with spelling KB at third and getting into the 2B rotation (Nico hasn't lept out ahead of the competition)
Dolorous Jon Lester 7 hours 24 min ago (view)
As well he should, Victor is a really good hitter. I am glad to see him getting these opportunities.
crunch 7 hours 37 min ago (view)
happ moving up...nice.
also, ross seems to really love caratini getting ABs.
Eric S 8 hours 13 min ago (view)
KB, Rizzo, Javy, Schwarber, Willson, Happ, JHey, Caratini (DH), Kipnis, Lester
Dolorous Jon Lester 13 hours 38 min ago (view)
Carlos Zambrano. Loved Z but by the end of
his tenure he was absolutely a negative influence.
Dolorous Jon Lester 13 hours 39 min ago (view)
I find it odd that they were basically able to totally re order the rotation and didn't move Hendricks to a home start this weekend against he team he tossed a shutout against.
Cubster 15 hours 11 min ago (view)
Aha, I see a topic. List all time Cub clubhouse cancers.
crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
the indians waited too long to get trevor bauer away from influencing clevenger as a professional and human being...
there's a reason bauer has been sold "below cost" by 2 teams now.
also, do they even care that carlos carrasco is coming back from a boatload of chemo and has decided to participate in this season when he could have just taken his $$ and gone home for a year?
crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
thursday stl/det double header postponed.
cards have played 5 games and might not play a 6th until the weekend...maybe.
some other teams will be 20+ games played at that point.
Eric S 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
Dietrich ends up with the Rangers on a minor league deal and sent to their alternate training site.