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 21 hours 1 min ago (view)

    nice.

    it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control.  he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 15 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.

    Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 26 min ago (view)

    nice info...

    i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.

    he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 44 min ago (view)

    I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection. 

    STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them. 
    EXAMPLES: See my lists above. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    "There are no untouchables," Epstein said.

    In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28066390/there...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.

     

  • crunch 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!

     

  • crunch 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information. 

     

  • Cubster 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office,  as GM

     

  • Charlie 5 days 1 hour ago (view)

    For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.

     

  • crunch 5 days 12 hours ago (view)

    rev up those off-season rumor fryers...

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.

     

  • crunch 5 days 17 hours ago (view)

    former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.

    green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters. 

     

  • crunch 6 days 3 hours ago (view)

    chris young to be named new bullpen coach (former phillies pitching coach)

    mixed messages on whether lester strode will have a new cubs role or leaving the cubs...