Cardinals @ Cubs: Martinez vs Lackey (Game 147)

STL (77-69): RHP Carlos Martinez (11-10, 3.33)
CHC (80-66): RHP John Lackey (11-11, 4.65)
First pitch: 1:20pmCST

Lackey gave up 2 ER in 7 innings and was tagged with the loss by the anemic Cubs offense against the Brewers on Friday. He’s 1-0 with a 3.46 in two starts against the Cardinals this season.

Overall, they are 25-108 (.231) against him. Fowler, who is day-to-day with a knee injury, is 4-13 with a HR.

Martinez had a no-decision against the Pirates his last time out (6 IP, 2 ER, 8 K, 2 BB). He’s 1-0 with a 2.25 in three starts against the Cubs in 2017. For their careers, the Cubs are 52-198 (.263) against him. Zobrist is 7-19, and Rizzo is 9-33 with 3 HR.

Wacha and Hendricks get the start tomorrow at 3:05pmCST.

Go Cubs!


While winning today would be great, not counting on it as Martinez owns the Cubs. Tomorrow's Wacha/Professor matchup is key given Cubs prior success against Wacha. Lose today, then tomorrow - hand me the Rolaids.

WTF Lackey?

Strike 3 to Martinez, literally in the middle of the zone. Martinez starts to walk back to the dugout. Ump calls it a ball. Martinez singles on next pitch -- Lackey tossed and Contreras tossed. That is one big bad call.

Can we get robo umps already.

Maybe a robo Lackey, too.

I don't care how bad a call it is--you can't get tossed in a game this big.

Players are allowed to be human, I don't see why the sames should be said for umps when there exists an acceptable alternative.

Emotional blow ups like that in critical games rarely leads to a good outcome.

Now bullpen will be completely burnt for the rest of the weekend.

Baez...we need 2 runs at the moment, not 4.

cheap single run will do.

the mask contreras threw bounced and hit the ump. hopefully the suspension won't be a long one.


Avila has had some huge hits as a Cub - really ignited this thing with his rbi single to start the scoring - and Javy making contact with the bases loaded!

The "incident" may have really benefited the Cubs -- Wilson K's Carpenter to end the threat (Lackey was in no state of mind to pitch at that point), then Avila gets the big hit to tie the game one inning later.

I LOVE this team showed fucking heart after all that bullshit. YES!

Just to reprise, JIM HICKMAN'S BAT HATRED METER: Hatred Meter: 1. St. Louis 2. St. Louis 3. St. Louis 4. Mets 5. Padres 6. St. Louis

I don't condone violence, but I would've been 100% behind Lackey had he just punched that ump right in the face and gave him a nice bludgeoning! In fact, had he done that, the ump probably wouldn't have had time to eject Contreras from the game too. ROBO UMP 2018!!!!

Also a big game for KB - first extra base hit against Martinez with his then game tying homer -- very good time for his bat to get red hot.

Oh no, Grimm. In the 8th. Toothpicks under the fingernails time.

One thing I will say about that pitch in the umps defense...Contreras did a horrid job of framing that pitch. But yes, that was a strike in any sense of the word.

Why is a pitcher with a 6.02 ERA, who is not a rookie, pitching in the Major Leagues in September in a playoff race?

Completely understand using Wade Davis for more than an inning in these critical games. However, a 4-2 game seems appropriate, not 8-2 (even with a few on)

Davis hadn't pitched since Sunday, so I think he was going to pitch in any case. 25 pitches isn't the end of the world. Also, not many options left in the 'pen for Joe -- Monty, Duensing and Pena pitched 2 innings yesterday, he had already used Wilson, CJ, Strop and Grimm, and Rondon is apparently hurt. Not the place to bring in Maples. By the way -- Wilson's K of Carpenter with 2 on after Lackey got tossed was huge. The game could have gotten out of hand there. Who knows -- maybe that's the outing that gets him back on track.

yeah, not a big deal either way re Davis. This was a nice, big, fat, win. Downside is bullpen usage. Upside is if we win 1 of next 2 we can continue to breathe a bit.

It's also funny/sad that Maples name and his 23.12 ERA is brought up before Uehara's - and rightfully so, Uehara appears to be toast at this point.

He's hurt. Some sort of an infection. But, yeah, he's done.

It's still possible that the Cubs will acquire another bullpen arm prior to the 9/25 noon (Eastern) deadline for making waiver trades. (Beginning this year, trades are prohibited over the final seven days of the MLB regular season).

Obviously any pitcher acquired wouldn't be eligible to participate in the post-season, but he could at least help the Cubs get to the post-season. 

More clubs have (seemingly) fallen out of Wild Card contention over the past two or three days, and it's very possible that the Orioles, Rays, Royals, and/or Rangers will be more-willing to trade a bullpen arm now than they were a week ago. The Cubs might also now be at the point where they are willing to up the ante on an earlier "final offer" for a RP they targeted but gave up on acquiring in July or August.  

The Cubs might target a reliever who is under control beyond 2017, or even a RP who will be a FA post-2017. Anybody who could give the Cubs an edge in the late innings of a close game would be a plus, and the Cubs would probably be willing to over-pay to get one.  

It would have to be a RP who has already cleared Trade Waivers, because otherwise the Cardinals, Brewers, and/or Rockies would probably make a claim just to block the Cubs from winning the claim.

Because the MLB office does not release the names of players who have cleared Trade Waivers, I don't know who the Cubs might be able to acquire. But if they secured Trade Waivers on Pierce Johnson in August and are waiting out the DFA period before using him in a trade for an established MLB reliever, now is probably the time to pull the trigger.

I'm skeptical that the Cubs will be able to survive the next 16 days with the bullpen remaining as-is. They have to play 13 high-pressure games in a row without a day off starting on Tuesday, and that will put an even bigger strain on the bullpen. 

If Russell isn't ready to go and Baez is truly hurt from today's game, the Cubs might look at Alcides Escobar from KC. He cleared waivers--because he's an awful hitter--but he's a competent glove SS and would inspire more confidence than Freeman for a stretch run. Royals are done so you figure they'd take a PTBNL, much less a Pierce Johnson.

JHB: Absolutely.

If the Royals are willing to move Escobar and the Cubs and Royals can agree on the return, there is no reason to wait any longer. 

This is not much different than the Cubs claiming Rene Rivera off waivers from the Mets in August to add depth at catcher after they'd already acquired Alex Avila on 7/31.

Two other possibilities, for your bullpen query: Sergio Romo (Tampa) and our old friend Trevor Cahill, now with the Royals.

rondon bone chips in throwing elbow...shut down "at least a week"

Easy as can be 8-2 win. Hardly worth talking about. Except that the Cubs dug in and overcame some adversity and won the biggest game of the year to this point. Worst missed strike call I've ever seen. Lackey had every right to be furious, hopefully if it ever happens again he'll head back out to the mound with a couple extra mph on his fastball. He was pitching a hell of a game to that point. Contreras didn't frame the pitch better since it was inconceivable that the pitch was anything other than a strike. Only one guy in any kind of uniform missed it. Hopefully MLB acts quickly, suspends Contreras for 3, Cubs appeal it to 2 and he misses the TB games. Great job of the offense grinding until Martinez got stressed, and then keeping the pressure on AB after AB in the 6th. Joe trying to get a low leverage inning out of Grimm. Got part of it. Wilson with a huge out. Cubs now playing downhill for the next two games. Only horrible outcome to the series was a Cards sweep, can't happen now. Hendricks and the lefties tomorrow, Davis for one if a save situation comes up.

Lackey since the break: 11 starts, 61 IP, 3.69 ERA, 1.20 WHIP. One more year?

For the year though the 17th worst ERA, 5th worst FIP, 17th worst innings pitched and he's a complete jackass on top of that. I am so absolutely over Lackey.

Whoa! Snap!

Well, sure, there's all that....but, unless they sign Jake, they will need 2 starters. I'm betting they bring him back on a one-year deal.

Almost missed it -- 81st win! .500 season guaranteed!

Would have been amusing if this Brewers/Marlins series was played at a neutral ballpark. There would be 8 fans in the stand. Not very fair to the Cubs and Cards, but financially this was totally the right decision.

Yeah, not sure there was a better solution, but the Brewers effectively play 6 more home games than road games. That's not right.

Absolutely an advantage, but time and again money wins out over competitive equality. I think all 30 team owners know and appreciate it. I think I just remember how much it helped the Cubs when the games were moved out of Houston to Milwaukee in 2008, so I have trouble being bitter about this. Of course, if they sweep the Marlins, I'll be bitter.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that there are 14 other ballparks not hosting games this weekend. Why couldn't they play at another ballpark like say the Rangers, Baltimore, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, or Commisky, or whatever the hell it's called these days. I get the Cubs totally having the advantage against Houston when they played at Wrigley north, but to play in their own ballpark, when they're supposed to be on the road... Very unfair to the Cubs, Cardinals, and Rockies, for that matter.

Indians lose!

RIP indians winning streak.

I squarely place the blame of the loss on LeBron James' stupid video tweet (or whatever it was) that he put out there congratulating the Indians, though seemed to be more about him than anything else.

It's trump's fault!

I blame Trump for sure. Then Obama.

Btw - fuck MLB for 2 game suspension

I think Willy is appealing.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 31 min 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 23 hours 18 min 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 23 hours 20 min 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. 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 23 min ago (view)

    And then the active list roster limit will expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st (max 14 pitchers in September). 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 26 min ago (view)

    The "26th man" who was added for doubleheaders will now be the "27th man" and he can be a pitcher. 


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    ATL signs cole hamels 1/18m...a'ite then.

    also, z.wheeler 5/100+ to the phillies.


  • Charlie 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    I think without the off-field issues, a front-office might at least be tempted to gamble on Russell's youth and dreams of his upside. But with what we all know about him now, the challenges of improving both on and off the field are too great to gamble on.


  • George Altman 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    This was the easiest non-tender decision, maybe ever. As if there weren't enough off-field reasons alone, there were even more baseball reasons. He became a sub .700 OPS hitter with bottom of the order OBA results. His defense, formerly his strength, became inconsistent due to attention deficit issues. He turned himself into bench infielder with suspect skills which is someone you don't pay more than $1--1.5M/yr.


  • crunch 3 days 15 min ago (view)

    he was due for a 3.5-4m payday (3.4m last year) at a minimum, anyway.

    it's as good of a time as any to cut him loose.  nico hoener's spring just became a lot more important.


  • Craig A. 3 days 31 min ago (view)

    Addison Russell, to no one's surprise, was  non-tendered. I still think he has the talent to excel in the major leagues, but it'll take a new attitude for him to realize his potential. It can't be easy to deal with his baggage in front of millions of fans. I won't forget his contributions in 2016, or that beautiful play that used to be the banner of TCR.


  • crunch 4 days 19 hours ago (view)

    keuchel doesn't have draft pick compensation attached to him and he's a decent enough ground ball pitcher...that will be attractive to a lot of clubs.  that would put 3 lefties in the cubs rotation (pending a trade) again, though.  not sure they want to go for that look again.

    that said, i still imagine the cubs are probably looking to make this thing happen via trade.  it's hard to tell what their $$ situation is, but they've done a great job signaling they're not looking to spend $$ this offseason.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Looking for impact starting pitchers, but won't be shopping at the top of the market? So I guess they won't be in the market for impact starting pitching.

    Still hoping they find a taker for Q.


  • crunch 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    "Patrick Mooney of The Athletic writes the Cubs are in the market for impact starting pitchers but won't be shopping at the top of the market."

    darvish, lester, hendricks, Q, (???, a.mills, t.chatwood)...pending trades

    d.keuchel?  r.porcello?  trade target pitcher?


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: I suspect going into his age 30 season and coming off a great year as a pinch-hitter, LaStella wanted a chance to be an everyday player, and since that obviously wasn't going to happen if he stayed with the Cubs, TLS (or his agent) may have asked the Cubs to trade him somewhere he could get that opportunity.


  • crunch 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    dunno any official reasoning, but his D is miserable and they decided to "upgrade" there with descalso for similar loot as well as getting a trade piece back.  the whole a.russell thing was lingering over the team.

    it's not like descalso is great with the glove, but la stella plays a miserable 2nd and meh 3rd.

    i do wonder if things would have turned out differently if russell wasn't due to miss significant time.


  • Sonicwind75 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Was just thinking about this, maybe that isn't a good thing for TLS?  I wonder if Maddon will use TLS differently after seeing his success last year.  That's my gripe with people complaining about Theo trading away a player that turns into an All Star.  If TLS had stayed with the Cubs, Maddon would most likely kept using him in the same manner and with the same results.