Mets @ Cubs: Harvey vs Lester (Game 145)

NYM (63-81): RHP Matt Harvey (5-4, 5.82) 
CHC (78-66): LHP Jon Lester (10-7, 4.35) 
First pitch: 7:05pmCST

Thank you, sirs—may we have 30 others?

Lester won in Pittsburgh on Thursday, giving up 1 ER in 6 innings. He beat the Mets in Queens in June, going 7 innings of one-run ball, in a game the Cubs won 14-3.

Overall, the Mets are 34-129 (.264) against him. Flores, who may or may not be on the DL with the rest of the team, is 5-12 with 3 HR.

Harvey had a win against the Reds his last time out (5 IP, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 BB). He gave up 4 ER in as many innings but ended up with a no-decision against the Cubs earlier in the season. He’s 2-3 with a 5.58 in his 8 road starts in 2017, so there's that.

For their careers, the Cubs are 11-41 (.268) against him. Jay is 3-10. Happ and Schwarber are both 1-2 with a HR.

Lugo and Montgomery end the series tomorrow at the same time.

Go Cubs!



2018 opening day will feature every team. sweet.

new youth... j-ho tseng (cubs minor league pitcher of the year) will get the start on saturday vs STL

What am I missing? Don't Cubs have a 5 man rotation without Arrieta?

My guess is they feel they need Monty in the pen. Wilson must have really scared them last night.

So Monty isn't starting tomorrow? suppose I could easily look all of this up.


evidently playing STL in a close race means you throw some experimental youth into the mix. maybe they'll sit schwarber for the series, too. maddon could win manager of the year if he could find a way to bat zobrist leadoff and cleanup in the same lineup. seriously though, i dunno what's up with it, but hopefully he's up to it.

well, it turns out that montgomery is going back to the pen. *shrug*

Limiting Innings? Monte already surpassed last year's total. Maybe they are trying to conserve some innings by sending him back to bullpen and/or his arm is fatigued. Still, odd to bring up a rookie. Maybe it is backwards world, seems like whenever the Cubs face a rookie nobody pitcher that they get shutout on 3 hits for 7 innings. Maddon's new secret reserve psychology strategy.

No pressure, kid. Just go out and throw strikes.

SONIC WIND: I think it was probably more a matter of the Cubs running out of reliable bullpen options than it was an innings limit, and so Montgomery got drafted. Hopefully Arrieta will be back by a week from Saturday (the next time a 5th starter will be needed after today).  

Meanwhile, I hope the Cubs realize that Tseng hasn't pitched in a game in almost two weeks. Hopefully he is still in SP game shape. 

I have seen quite a bit of Tseng over the years. When he's at his best he throws strikes and gets weak contact, and he is a real cool customer. He doesn't show emotion on the mound and doesn't get rattled. He was the ace of the Taiwanese Junior National Team as a teenager, and he was so mature and advanced for his age that he pitched for Team Chinese Taipei in the WBC in 2013 at the age of 18.  

One other thing about him is that he is a very good hitting pitcher. He is a left-handed hitter and he was a DH in HS when he wasn't pitching. He was probably the best-hitting pitcher at Minor League Camp this past March. 

21 wins in a row for Cleveland. Amazing feat. Just thinking of the mathematical odds of a baseball team winning that many in a row is mind numbing.

Carrie Muskat‏ @CarrieMuskat #Cubs Maddon on Tseng: "I said, 'I guess you're in town to accept an award. How about you start tomorrow night's game instead?'" ...looks like either the early reports were wrong on the day or maddon changed his mind. either way, j-ho tomorrow. i doubt j-ho is his nickname. i'm gonna do it anyway.


p.johnson DFA'd

Pierce Johnson will get claimed off waivers if the Cubs don't trade him first. He has the potential to be another Carl Edwards Jr, and I know for a fact that other organizations (more than one) believe that. The Philadelphia Phillies have the #1 waiver claim priority right now and the San Francisco Giants are #2, so I expect the Phils or Giants to claim him (again, if he isn't traded first). There hasn't been a pitcher with Johnson's potential available off waivers all year. 

So the Cubs have five days (until 2 PM Eastern on Monday) to try and trade Johnson (presuming Trade Waivers have already been secured or are secured in the next couple of days), because the DFA period is now seven days (used to be ten days), and it takes two days to run a player through waivers. Therefore, if a Designated Player isn't traded by the fifth day of the DFA, he has to be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers (which are irrevocable). Also, as I have mentioned here previously, the new waiver price is $50,000 (used to be $20,000). 

Also keep in mind that starting this year (and for the first time), trades are not permitted beginning at 12 noon (Eastern) on the seventh day prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through the last day of the MLB regular season. So any player Designated for Assignment next week would have to be traded no later than noon (Eastern) on Monday 9/25. 

w.contreras with the pickoff (at 2nd!). welcome back! unfortunately lester gave up a non-throw stolen base and he later didn't field a bunt hit at him letting a run score to tie the game before this, though.

I don't think any pitcher could have got to that bunted ball to make the play.

the lack of attempt was nearly pre-determined. many pitchers would instinctively try to make that play even if it would be close. lester didn't budge. many pitchers would also have kept the runner at 3rd from getting a 20+ft lead, too. the pitcher is up, his chances of bunting was pretty much a sure thing with a man on 1st and 1 out.

Cubs SP 2017 fWAR / IP x 200 Quintana 3.69 Arrieta 3.24 Lester 2.99 Hendricks 2.98 Montgomery 2.98 (SP only) Lackey 0.64 Lester may drop behind Hendricks with tonight’s game.

nearly 90 minutes to play 3 innings of 2-2 ball. yeesh. also, contreras not scoring in the bottom 3rd was pain. welcome back and all, but we're trying to get some wins over here, dude.

Just horrible baserunning by both Contreras and Happ on that play. Wow -- giving away a run and a possible big inning. Not a good idea any time, and particularly in September.

Contreras was on command to dial it back, though. Mostly on Happ.

Respecting 90 is pretty 2016.

baez agrees...a bit too much. that said, most respect the 90. it may be because of all the infield hits he has to attempt to feast on, but heyward busts ass the second bat meets ball and goes fair.


Reds get a force-out call overturned with 2 outs, then go Single, Grand Slam to lead the Cards 6-0 in the 5th.

Good battle by Lester. Hasn't been sharp since coming back, but he fights like mad.

lester goes 6ip 6h 4bb 5k, 2r/er not bad considering how many pitches he threw through the first few innings and the end result of 2 runs.

Marlins-Brewers weekend series moved from Miami to Milwaukee, giving the Brewers 84 home games this year. I understand they can't play in Miami, but shouldn't the games be moved to a neutral site?

justin grimm gonna justin grimm...

Just simply don't understand why or how he is in the Majors.

He's trying to make Justin Wilson feel better. "You think you suck? Watch me!"

Ah! Like the plump girl who has obese girlfriends to make her feel skinny?

There are undoubtedly worse pitchers in baseball. I can't imagine there being worse pitchers on pennant contenders with the number of appearances Grimm has this year.

He was such a bad-ass in the 2015 post-season. so sad he flamed out.

the mets pen has a few contenders tonight

The last days of J Grimm, amirite? No way this dude is on the post-season roster, much less a return contract for next year.

Schwarbs with a nice 0-4 night to be consistent with his inconsistency, Almora with 3rbi's! Did he hit a righty?

Update -- Almora with 6RBI. HR and triple off RHP.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • crunch 8 hours 52 min ago (view)

    semi-interesting winter league note...

    trey mcnutt (yes, that guy) is having a hell of a winter league in mexico (one of the less talented winter leagues) so far as a closer.  15.2ip 8h 4bb 24k, 0.57 era.

    giants signed him to a minor league deal a couple weeks ago.  he never went anywhere.  he's been consistently playing ball in the minors and indie league ball since he was last a noteworthy player.  last season he played in the OAK minor league system.  30 years old now...


  • jdrnym 15 hours 49 min ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal. Wasn't his 2020 club only supposed to be on the hook for league minimum?


  • crunch 16 hours 26 min ago (view)

    when he got to the mets he suddenly learned how to throw with control (small sample size etc).  last year was not a fun bullpen year...


  • crunch 18 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.


  • bradsbeard 20 hours 25 min ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 45 min ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 46 min ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 58 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 


  • Sonicwind75 22 hours 15 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t


  • bradsbeard 22 hours 15 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  


  • bradsbeard 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:


  • Hagsag 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.

    Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers.