Cubs @ Giants: Quintana vs Blach (Game 112)

CHC (59-52): LHP José Quintana (6-9, 4.42) 
SF (44-70): LHP Ty Blach (7-7, 4.24) 
First pitch: 9:15pmCST

Quintana gave up 6 ER in 5 innings but avoided a loss to the D’backs on Thursday. The Giants are 8-28 (.286) against him. Span is 4-7.

Ty Blach, who has one of the worst names in all of sports, beat the A’s his last time out (8 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB). He’s 4-4 with a 3.70 at home this season. We saw Blach at Wrigley in May, when he pitched 7 innings of 3-run ball and came away with the win. Overall, the Cubs are 8-26 (.308) against him. Baez is 2-3 with an outside-of-the-park HR.

Hendricks (4-4) draws the short straw and faces Bumgarner (1-5) tomorrow at 2:45pmCST to conclude the series.

Go Cubs!


Fully agree on Blach's name. That dude is in serious need of a nickname.

Zobrist as a RH batter: .588 OPS. Joe, if you have to play him against LHP (and you don't), please bat him 1st or 8th. He is a black hole in the middle of the lineup. FWIW: Happ as a RHB: .797. Roughly same number of PA's.

blach hole...

Sometimes it's difficult for a manager to realize and recognize that an aging veteran player is in decline. It can be an awkward and difficult situation for both the player and the manager, but if you want to win games and if you have little margin for error (as is the case with the Cubs right now), the manager has to leave his heart in the clubhouse and do what's best for the team on the field.

It would appear that Zobrist is morphing into a veteran back-up guy who can get an occasional start at 2B, LF, or RF, but otherwise maybe it would be better if he doesn't play too much. And that's OK. Nothing wrong with that. But that's why age matters in sports. 

Zobrist seems like a really good guy, and I will always love him for everything he did last year -- the huge post-season hits (WS Game 7 and the Game 4 rally vs. SF), celebrating like a little kid when they won, riding his bike to Wrigley in full uniform on games days, etc. -- but his time as a RH hitter should be coming to an end, particularly when Russell returns. His numbers as a LH hitter aren't great, but a .330 OBP for a part-item player isn't terrible.

@AZ Phil On your comment about Almora potentially being sent down over LaStella, I would send Happ down until 9/1 instead. He's really struggling lately and isn't getting sufficient playing time to boost his confidence. Happ only has 1 XBH (a HR) since July 18th and is only 7/39 (.179) in that span. 6 singles, 1 HR. 1 interesting factoid is that 20/35 RBI have come with 2 outs I believe. Numbers may be off by a bit, but a lot of his RBIs have come with 2 outs. I also don't think CJ gets sent down unless he struggles in some low leverage situations. Ever since he's been here, he goes through a slump. Last year he would always be really good and then have a clunker of giving up 3 ER in the middle of multiple strong performances. This is obviously his worst slump in the big leagues though. Does going down to AAA really fix the walks though? What's best for him is to get a few strong appearances against major league hitting. Schwarber was different because he was given the chance to get back on track in The Show, but it wasn't coming, so he was sent down and he has improved since his time in AAA this season. Interesting, CJ's numbers this year (ERA, BB/9, K/9) are quite similar to Aroldis Chapman in his first full season in the majors. Edwards: 3.83 ERA, 6.0 BB/9, 12.9 K/9 Chapman: 3.60 ERA, 7.4 BB/9, 12.8 K/9 Both throw hard and have struggled with command in their first full season in the big leagues. Chapman obviously throws a bit harder than CJ though.

CHITOWNMVP01: I posted another comment a few days ago where I mentioned both Albert Almora AND Ian Happ as potential candidates to get optioned to the minors for 19 days when Addison Russell is ready to be reinstated on 8/13. 


What I was trying to explain is that this is the time of the year (specifically starting on August 13th, with a recall when rosters expand on September 1st) when an MLB club can option a player to the minors without spending an option year, and that it wasn't absolutely a slam-dunk that Tommy LaStella would get sent back to Iowa when Russell is reinstated. 

As for Carl Edwards Jr, the issue right now isn't his BB/9 rate for the season (that's just par for the course for CJE), it's that his command is imploding in high-leverage situations when the Cubs can't afford to lose games where they have a lead going into the 8th inning (as happened twice last week), and the idea of sending him to the minors isn't so much to get his confidence back as it is to get him off the 25-man roster because he is costing the Cubs games.

If the Cubs had a 15-game lead and were on cruise control to the post-season (like they were this time last year) or if Edwards could not be sent to the minors, it wouldn't matter if Edwards was struggling with his command to the extent that he is. But every game is crucial right now, and Edwards has become unreliable in high-leverage situations. And he can be optioned to the minors on Sunday and then be recalled in 9/1 (when the active roster limit expands) without using up his 3rd & final option year.

I would send down Happ over Almora easily.

I think that would be a mis-Happ.

A bullpen arm who might be in demand prior to the 8/31 post-season roster eligibility deadline is ex-Cub RHRP Blake Parker, who is having an outstanding season with the Angels. 

I was at Fitch Park the day Parker was converted from position player to pitcher in May 2007. He was the EXST Cubs clean-up hitter and played C-1B-3B, and after a game he threw off a mound (just for fun) on one of the other fields and caught the attention of pitching coach Tom Pratt, and the next day he was in the pitchers group taking PFP! 


PHIL: As I recall, Parker couldn't get anyone out at the Cubs MLB level. He sucked! Casey Kelly, Donn Roach, Brian Schlitter, Zac Rosscup, Spencer Patton, Blake Parker... Talk about not performing in any leverage situations, these are some classic bed-wetters. If he's pitching well for the Angels, it might be b/c they are out of the Playoff picture I'd suspect.

E-MAN: Blake Parker had a very good year with the Cubs in 2013, but he has missed considerable time since then with shoulder problems. 

Parker was an NRI to Spring Training, and he made the Angels Opening Day roster by striking out the last 17 men he faced.

Here is Fangraph's take on Parker's breakout 2017 season. 


AZ PHIL: Thanks. That is really interesting and a head scratcher. He's 32 and just finding himself. The quote from the article sums it up: "No one in the game with whom I spoke about Parker had an explanation for where he found the velocity, such as an arm-slot change or a new training regiment."

How about something like Daniel Murphy, who suddenly turned from a league average batter (~110 OPS+) into a high-average slugger (150 OPS+) several months after he turned 30? Funny how some players suddenly turn it on late in their careers.

Well, Ryan Ludwick, too.

Been thinking about this a lot this season...and thought I'd say it again. Seeing the Cubs bullpen implode this year, seeing the Cubs losing close games that they should have won, seeing the Cubs struggle against good teams, seeing the cubs batting .090 with RISP... ...all makes me appreciate how incredibly fun and lucky the ride the Cubs gave us in 2016 was.

Cards are scoring runs in bunches in KC -- just put up a 6-spot to go from down 3-1 to up 7-3. Cue the scary music.

cards with sept. callups could be real scary. they have a lot of close-to-MLB ready depth of nice quality.

But Matt Garza finally contributes to the Cubs by serving up a grand slam.

On a more positive note -- our old buddy Matt Garza just served up a grand slam. Twins lead Brewers 7-4 in the 4th. EDIT: back-to-back bombs. Now 8-4 Twins.

Weird watchibg Mauer and remembering it was the same draft as you know who.

lot of people thought MIN was crazy for not going for prior. they were legitimately crazy for the contract they gave him based off a single season of showing some power, though.

Seeing-eye groundball single, soft groundball too soft for a DP, hard groundball E-6, HR by 2 inches. Q must've pissed off a baseball god something fierce tonight.

...and a walk. but hey, 14 pitches for all that + an out. he's being very efficient at sucking.

eloy went 3/5 with a double and a HR for high-A CWS tonight. le sigh. hitting around .360avg .430ob% with 9 doubles and 6 homers in 23 games for them. yeah.

Maybe Epstein-Hoyer came here to boost the city, not any one particular team.

Anyone up for a parachat?

So the Giants have exactly one person in the lineup that can hit. Would the Bonds approach in the first inning been a bad call?

So, pitching for a suck-ass team with no pressure, or fans, is different than pitching for a World Series defending champion?

That feeling when the Cubs are losing and everyone in Parachat is talking about suicide and then Parachat literally commits suicide.

Annnnnd opposing pitchers continue to kill the Cubs with their bats. Sheesh.

3-20 this series with RISP, bad errors, bad non catches, HR in the first, another relief pitcher giving up a lead off walk. Just crap baseball.

Cubs now 1-7 in the state of California, including 1-4 against the wretched Padres and Giants. Good thing they don't play the A's or Angels tis year.

Recent comments

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 47 min ago (view)

    He played in the big leagues longer than he played any other level of organized baseball combined.


  • crunch 12 hours 50 min ago (view)

    al kaline has died at age 85.

    from highschool to the majors without touching the minors...22 seasons, all with DET...18x all-star...3000 hit club.


  • Charlie 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Currently at a near full-time job that just barely covers my monthly expenses if nothing emerges.

    I make more than that.


  • crunch 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    "Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is considering opening the season in empty spring training parks -- with no fans and all players quarantined.

    The plan would have all teams stationed in one centralized location -- likely Arizona"


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   


  • JustSayin' 4 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.


  • Hagsag 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 


  • JustSayin' 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.


  • crunch 6 days 14 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.


  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in may happen in late might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement.