Cubs vs. Athletics: Series Thread (Games 112-114)

The Cubs are in first place after sweeping the Brewers at home and now prepare for a three-game set against the Athletics. With the Cardinals still hot on their tail, they'll need to keep up the kind of intensity they've shown over the last few days. Although they are 8.5 games back in the AL West, don't expect the A's to go down easy. They are 64-48 and playing for an AL Wild Card spot and are an all around tough opponent. See match-ups below.


Game 112, Monday, August 5, 7:05pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-8, 3.07 ERA)
OAK: RHP Chris Bassitt (7-5, 3.84 ERA)

Hendricks starts things against the A's. He's coming off seven shutout innings and a win against the Cardinals. He last allowed a run on July 21, against the Padres. Khris Davis is 5-17 off of him, former Cardinal Stephen Piscotty is 4-15, and former Philly Cameron Rupp is 0-7.

Bassitt has accumulated 292 major league innings and 48 starts since 2014, briefly with the White Sox and then bouncing between the minors and the majors with the Athletics. He's spent the majority of 2019 healthy and in the majors. Nick Castellanos is 4-11 with three doubles off of him.


Game 113, Tuesday, August 6, 7:05pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (9-7, 3.86 ERA)
OAK: LHP Brett Anderson (9-7, 4.04 ERA)

Lester surrendered five earned runs in a five-inning loss to the Cardinals last time out. Current A's have a .596 OPS against him in 56 at bats.

Former Cub Brett Anderson is back at it with the A's. He rebounded from his rough 2017 with a decent half-season in 2018 and has improved on that performance this year. His strikeout rate has just about hit bedrock, but he continues to get groundballs more than half the time. He hasn't won since July 5, having lost his last two and getting handed no-decisions in the two starts before that. He's allowed 13 earned runs in 24.1 innings during that stretch. Current Cubs are 6-20 off of him with three strikeouts.


Game 114, Wednesday August 7, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (9-7, 4.40 ERA)
OAK: RHP Homer Bailey (9-7, 5.20 ERA)

Q allowed two earned runs over six innings and got a win as part of the Milwaukee sweep. Going back to the beginning of July, he's allowed sixteen earned runs over 28.2 innings and hasn't had a scoreless appearance since June 29. Current A's have a .860 OPS against him in 63 at bats. Robbie Grossman is 5-20.

The A's picked up Homer Bailey from the Royals after the All-Star break, and he's gone 2-1 in four starts since then. Most recently he got a no-decision while allowing two earned runs in six innings to the Brewers. Rizzo is 11-28 with two homeruns and six walks off of him. Heyward is 7-21 with a homerun.


Meanwhile, the Cardinals take on the Los Angels juggernaut and the Brewers try to make up some ground in a series against the last-place Pirates. Is it time for scoreboard watching yet? The division has been so tight all year that I feel like I've never really not been watching the standings.

Comments

I'm moved into my new place, but now I hop on a plane to Chicago for the week! Technically, I'm in town for a conference. But I'm meeting my dad there ahead of time and we are going to our first Wrigley games together. I'll be there Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. You'll know who to blame if things go awry.

CHARLIE: Don't forget that TCR expenses (game tickets, computers & phones, vehicle rentals, Uber & Lift, gambling losses, hotels, escort services, airline tickets, personal injury lawyers, restaurants, bar tabs, bail bonds, etc) are tax deductible. 

The Brave New World of post-Trade Deadline Outright Assignment Waiver claims has begun, as the Cincinnati Reds claim RHSP Kevin Gausman off waivers from the Braves, and so Reds assume 100% of what remains of Gausman's contract (about $3M in 2019 salary plus club control via salary arbitration in 2020).  

Craig Kimbrel to 10-day IL (retro to Sunday 8/4) with knee inflammation, so Duane Underwood Jr gets called-up from AAA (but maybe just for one day since Pedro Strop is eligible to be reinstated from IL tomorrow). 

Ugh. Was just starting to feel pretty good about the bullpen.  Maybe Strop can get the Brach work load (i.e., scrub work) now but don’t see Maddon doing that unfortunately 

Things seem to be going [reviews Injured List] not super well.

heyward / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarber / caratini / kemp(2nd) / hendricks

cast 1st HR as a cub. neat.

Baez #27, 2-2. But Maddon takes Out Hendricks with a man on and 1 out in 7th. phew, Wick is wicked and gets the DP.

make that 28...and make that 2-6

a cubs winning streak is neat stuff.  i could get used to this.  hopefully the pen can hold 4 runs over 2 innings.

Steve Cishek has no use for your Cubs winning streak!!

I GUESS.

WHATEVER.

Have to admit, Cishek does a nice job of not allowing cheapies -- those home runs were moon shots. 

happ destroyed a ball to RF for his 1st of the season.

phew.

too much drama for a win.  wow.

Holy shit. I thought for sure that was gone. 

i'm all for an exciting game, but that was too much packed into the last 2 innings even if the cubs did win.

I had already resigned myself to defeat when it came off the bat.

Brad Brach cleared Outright Assignment Waivers (he was not claimed) and declined an Outright Assignment and so the Cubs have no choice but to give him his Unconditional Release.

Therefore the Cubs are on the hook for what remains of his 2019 salary (about $500K), plus the first $500K 2019 roster bonus, plus the 2020 $1.35M player option, plus the $100K 2020 club option severance (about $2.45M total), offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary in the event he signs a major league contract with another club in 2019 and/or in 2020 (about $150K remaining in 2019 and $555K in 2020).  

So Brach will spend the next couple of days on Outright Release Waivers (waiver price is only $1 but claiming club assumes 100% of player's remaining contract and player can reject waiver claim and still get 100% of his salary). 

Jonathan Lucroy is in the exact same spot with the Angels as Brach is with the Cubs, BTW. Like Brach, Lucroy was not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers (waiver price $50,000 and claiming club assumses 100% of contract) and so now he goes on Outright Release Waivers (see previous paragraph). 

Both Brach and Lucroy will be free to sign with any club after they clear Release Waivers at 1 PM (Eastern) on Wednesday, and if they do, the player's new club will only have to pay the pro-rated MLB minimum salary for the balance of the 2019 season (about $150K). 

So if both Brach and Lucroy were to sign major league contracts with another club after clearing Release Waivers, what the Cubs would be paying Lucroy (pro-rated MLB minimum salary) would be offset by what another MLB club would be paying Brach (pro-rated MLB minimum salary), making it a de facto trade. 

2019 Kintzler placed on the ten day IL with a strained pectoral muscle. 2019 Strop activated from the IL

Insert 2019 gif of a kick to the nuts

it's umm...not lester's night.

4ip 10h 3bb 6k, 10er (11r)

major props to lester for marching back out there after giving up 8 in the 2nd to keep munching away on the shit sandwich he was eating.  that couldn't be easy to do in front of a dead house of 30K+ stunned fans.  at least they weren't boo'ing.

So we’re into August and Lester‘s ERA has gone from 3.86 to 4.46 in a single start - yeesh.

meanwhile, underwood over here putting on a f'n clinic.

2ip 0h 0bb 6k so far...

da hell is going on tonight?

That was.... intriguing 

SCHWARB CATCHING

TAYLOR DAVIS PITCHING

t.davis is throwing so slowly it's not even registering on the gun for the tv broadcast.  jd mentioned 1 pitch showing 61mph on the park gun as a high mark.  ...and now the broadcast is showing him pitching in the 50s/60s.

bases loaded, 0 out...no runs score.  great job.  cubs pen problems are solved.

Schwarber is catching

and Taylor Davis is pitching

Always a sign that the Cubs are trying to close out a tightly contested game

Taylor Davis is legit.  Can get out of a jam, created by himself (Cubs bullpen tradition), but stays cool under pressure and knows how to keep the hitters off balance with his 50 mph heater.  We found our new closer.

If by "closer" you mean "position player who finishes game after Pedro Strop puts game out of reach", I think you're right.

I've now attended two games this season, and Jon Lester is 0-2 with 15 earned runs allowed in 8.1 innings in those games. I am willing to accept payment from Lester or any other Cubs' pitcher who would like me to not attend any more games. (You have approximately 13 hours, Q.)

Good idea.  The games I've attended this year the Cubs average 7 runs scored.  I take Paypal and Venmo to make it quick and easy.  Disclaimer:  Cannot guarentee win, just the runs.

I was at the first three games after the All Star break and the Cubs swept Pittsburgh. Maybe they’ll pay me to attend games?!  :-D

today's game is a MLB "free game" stream...usual blackout restrictions apply.

lucroy/cubs

Happer with the grand slam - playing his way into more starts at second. Three run shot by Schwarber not too shabby either

I was snapping a picture of the bases-loaded infield just as Homer delivered this pitch. Got the wind-up and Happ's leg kick.

The team looked pretty great today! Javy fouling that ball off himself preserves my prospects as a "cooler."

Thankfully a non-Lester start is the magic elixir for Cub victory at Wrigley for you!  BTW, Cubs have scored a ton of runs in Q’s last three starts. Clearly he needs to start every other day. 

Also, I wouldn’t worry about Javy — he’s a baseball animal and probably will shed his leg overnight and grow a stronger one by morning. 

That would be terrifying/ific.

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  • crunch 14 hours 8 min ago (view)

    at least...

     

  • Charlie 15 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Lester pitched 35 innings today.

     

  • crunch 17 hours 42 min ago (view)

    2019...cubs fan...being thankful heyward and chatwood are around...wtf...

     

  • Eric S 18 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Like having a 5-1 lead going into the ninth?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 19 hours 24 min ago (view)

    With our vaunted late inning tandem of Tyler Chatwood and Rowan Wick!

    Who would have thought?

     

  • Jackstraw 19 hours 25 min ago (view)

    Cubs 1-10 with RISP in the series.  Left lots of ducks on the pond.  Could take some of the pressure off the pen.

     

  • Jackstraw 19 hours 26 min ago (view)

    You could hit your thumb with a hammer.  Or take a big bite of wayyyy too hot pizza.  Just sayin.

     

  • Eric S 19 hours 30 min ago (view)

    I’m a little surprised and confused that Bote wasn’t in the infield in the ninth? Wth - need that one out boot to complete my day

     

  • crunch 19 hours 31 min ago (view)

    cubs win!  about time.

     

  • Eric S 19 hours 40 min ago (view)

    Cubs have to scratch mightily to get two runs against the mighty second half buccos

     

  • crunch 20 hours 11 min ago (view)

    K, diving catch by happ for an out, HBP to load the bases, ground out

    phew.

    PIT has loaded the bases 3 times in this game.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 20 min ago (view)

    ...and we're doing more 0 out, men on base stuff...

    2 on, 0 outs...up to 103 pitches and lester's day is done.

    bullpen time.  oh. boy.  neat.

    chatwood in.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 33 min ago (view)

    bryant has not forgotten how to hit homers.

    sweeeeeeeet.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 36 min ago (view)

    2 on, 0 out, and also gets out of that.

    btw, bryant has forgotten how to play 3rd base the past 2 innings...da hell...

     

  • crunch 20 hours 50 min ago (view)

    no one scores!  hell yeah.  phew.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 56 min ago (view)

    walking the pitcher to load the bases with 0 outs.

    this cubbery is thicker than the humidity.