Cubs vs. Cardinals (Game 41)

The series stands at 1-2 in the Cardinals' favor to start the day. The Cubs maintain a 2.5 game lead in the division. Despite tough match-ups yesterday, a double-header sweep is a hard pill to swallow. Taking at least 1 of the remaining 2 and maintaining a multi-game lead would be some consolation.

CHC (23-17): LHP Jon Lester (2-1, 5.11 ERA)
STL (16-15): RHP Dakota Hudson (1-2, 2.77 ERA)
First pitch 6:08 pm central

Lester dodged a loss to the Pirates last time out despite allowing 5 earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched. He has continued to be more dependent on BABIP and ground balls than in the past as he struggles to miss bats. In 39 at-bats, Yadier Molina has needled Lester for 13 hits and 6 walks. Goldschmidt is 8-17 with 1 homerun off of him. Current Cardinals have collected slashed .270/.310/.412 off of him in 222 at-bats.

Hudson most recently pitched 7 innings and allowed one earned run while collecting 7 strikeouts against the Reds. Kyle Schwarber is 2-3 with 3 walks and one strikeout off the righty. Hudson has increased his usage of his breaking pitches by about 10% and has leaned especially on a low 80s curve than he did in 2019.

Comments

happ / bryant(DH) / rizzo / baez / shwarber / contreras / heyward / bote(3rd) / kipnis

lou brock (ex-cub/ex-card) has died at age 81.

cubs on the ESPN broadcast doing a whole bunch of "fun" stuff for the cameras.  we haven't seen the dugout and pen showing off on this scale for a while.  the pen has props for homers, a lot of them...

jason heyward out and maybin in RF...no reason yet...fouled one off his foot earlier in the game...

"feeling under the weather" is the given reason for heyward right now.

not a great night with the wind blowing out, but lester giving up 2 HR tonight gives him 9 HR in 41.1 IP on the season...also 47 hits

heyward sent to the hospital for tests (d.ross, post-game)...shortness of breath and light-headedness

AZ Phil, MLB will allow Instructional Leagues to open on or after Sept 18. Have you heard what the Cubs plan is going forward? Thanks.

With Jon Lester having thrown 40.1 IP so far in 2020 and needing to throw 74 IP (200 IP pro-rated for a 60-game season) in order for his 2021 $25M option to automatically vest, he will need to throw 33.2 IP over his last four starts (essentially throw four CG).

So it will almost certainly revert to a $25M 2021 club option (with a $10M buy-out if the option is declined), and I do fully expect the Cubs to decline the 2021 option and pay Lester $10M, and then re-allocate the remaining $15M elsewhere in the 2021 payroll (TBD). 

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 38 min 33 sec ago (view)

    Good to see Roederer and Velasquez  providing some production. From what I've followed they haven't been up to much. Granted this season isn't great for development

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 41 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster. 

     

  • crunch 6 hours 4 min ago (view)

    "He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable."

    reggie golden flashblacks...if BP was a game he'd be an all-star.

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 hours 57 min ago (view)

    Unfortunately for the Cubs, all of their Top 10 position-player prospects (M. Amaya, Davis, Hearn, Howard, Made, C. Morel, R. Morel, Quintero, Roederer, and Strumpf -- listed alphabetically) are two or more years away from the big leagues, in most cases more like three or four or even five years away. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 13 min ago (view)

    TIM: One of the things people wonder about when they see a young shortstop for the first time is does he have the arm and range necessary to play SS or would his tools maybe be better suited for 2B, 3B or OF. So far at Instructs Kevin Made has shown all of the attributes of a SS, and he is an advanced hitter (for his age) as well. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 51 min ago (view)

    AZBOBBOP: Ethan Hearn showed off his plus-arm by back-picking a runner off 1st base last week. You don't see catchers with the confidence to attempt pick-offs much out here. 

    He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable. His hitting (contact and barreling) has improved at instructs, and that's one of the things he needed to improve.

    His receiving should improve with experience as well. 

     

  • azbobbop 20 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?

     

  • tim815 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    That Kevin Made is already representing offensively seems, on the 1 to 10 scale with 10 being fantastic news, in the 17 or 18 range.

    Nwogu in the 9 to 11 span.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.

    As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:  

    RHP Josh Burgmann 
    RHP Chris Clarke 
    LHP D. J. Herz
    RHP Michael McAvene 

     

  • Charlie 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump. 

     

  • crunch 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    iapoce expected to stay.  i'm surprised.  i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.

     

  • crunch 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Cubs fire asst. hitting coach Terrmel Sledge. I knew it was his fault!