Cubs @ Rays: Lester vs Snell (Game 151)

CHC (84-66): LHP Jon Lester (11-7, 4.30) 
TB (73-78): LHP Blake Snell (3-6, 4.25)       
First pitch: 6:10pmCST

Lester won his third start in a row on Thursday against the Mets (6 IP, 2 ER, 5 K, 4 BB). He’s 5-4 with a 4.04 on the road this season. Overall, these Rays are  35-136 (.257) against him. Bourjos is 7-17 with a HR.

The struggling Snell spent some time in the minors this season. He’s 3-1 with a 3.75 in 11 post-All-star Game starts. The Cubs are 4-16 against him. Almora, Baez, and Contreras are 1-2, and Bryant is 1-3.

Arrieta (14-9) returns to face Davies (17-9) in Milwaukee tomorrow at 7:10pmCST. This four-game set should put an end this inane September Brewers scoreboard watching.

Go Cubs! 




Fuck lester

Should the Cubs play well enough to qualify for the postseason, not really pumped at the thought of Lester leading off a series. Hell, even Lackey has been pitching better than him for awhile now. Righties are mashing him - he just looks fatigued.

If Arrieta can come back and post one strong start before the postseason, they should treat him as the hot hand.

Its Jake and Kyle with Lackey in reserve

I'd still go with Hendricks over Arietta

If Arietta has a couple good starts, I would take him over Hendricks because of his mental capacity in big moments. Meanwhile. Cubs in another offensive rut heading into a Milwaukee series.

I'm not really sure how you're defining that. Hendricks has a better xFIP than Arietta with RISP and in high leverage situations and from a visual stand point when something starts going wrong with Arietta it seems to keep going wrong longer than with Hendricks. Also Arietta has a .234 BABIP in the 2nd Half despite having a lower soft contact % and a lot more fly balls given up. There will probably be some correction there. Overall for the season Hendricks has both a better ERA and xFIP.

defining it from 2015 & 2016 playoffs. Stats are overrated.

"The things that players have actually done are overrated"

Should the Cubs be able to set their rotation, I would think Hendricks or Arrieta would be game 1 starters, with Lester dropping to third. No way should he be #1 if the Cubs can avoid it.

Q is so in front of Lester. Q, Arrieta, Hendricks, Lester

Q game #1 Starter???

You know pirates will lay down

"Padres signed LHP Clayton Richard to a two-year contract extension." 33 years old... 4.82 era... 1.51 whip... leading the league in losses with 14... good job SD. good job.

maddon...go get your boy. seriously, it's not his night.

This has been a complete turd of a game from Lester. About time for him to start shouting at Bosio.

This game is going well.

Pirates blew a chance to blow game open. bases loaded, 1 out, no runs.

4.1ip 8h 3bb 0k, 7 r/er gawd. he looked "normal" aside from a bit of wildness not hitting his spots. his velocity looked fine.

Pirates doing what the Pirates do. Walked 4 people in the 7th, including the go ahead run.

maples was sporting a really sharp "side breaking" slider tonight. good amount of horizontal movement. where's that been?

He's a kid. Release point isn't a given for younger players.

yeah, but this side breaking slider thing was filthy and he's mostly been throwing regular fastballs and cutters. my view of maples has been limited as it is, but i've not seen this one showcased...or if he's attempted it, it's not been much. it didn't act like a traditional slider...had a hard horizontal break without much vertical drop. lot of movement.

So cubs go 7-1 since the Milwaukee sweep...and likely only game 1/2 a game on the Brewers. Going to be one hell of an intense series.

And the sphincter tightens...Wrigley North is gonna decide the Division.

Swarzak pitched two yesterday. On for the eighth today. Interesting pen usage by Counsell. Not good or bad, necessarily. Just fascinating.

and then he brings in Knebel for a 3rd straight day with 2 out in the 8th -- who promptly allows the tying run!

On a throw halfway to Philly.

Better to lose big than lose a close one tonight. CJ, Strop, Duensing and Davis get the night off, and the regulars get a little rest. And, the winning streak was probably going to end soon anyway -- hopefully, Cubs start another one tomorrow. Not feeling good about Lester, though -- he hasn't been sharp since coming back from the "tight lat".

Lester with a 5.11 ERA since the all star break.

Regaring the point about better to lose big early and not burn out your best relievers before heading into a huge series: Brewers 4, Pirates 6 -- thank you, Pirates!

PIT ties! neat.

PIT bails out CHC by beating MIL...STL won, though.

Frazier HR off Knebel, 6-4 Buccos win in walk off style!

It's probably a result of the recent series, but I'm not particularly worried about Saint Lou.

Pirates tied it 4-4 on throwing error by Knebel, ending his consecutive save streak at 21.

brett anderson threw 1.1ip of 8 run baseball (7 of them in the 2nd) for TOR. sure do miss him.

Did he tweet anything clever?

☜(゚ヮ゚☜) also... Brett Anderson @BAnderson3737 Sep 7 Hey Canada...I'm a slow, fat, white, leave me alone and let me into your country

It's a good thing Toronto didn't mess with his mechanics, amirite?.....#karma #whatatool

he's regretting that tweet about right now. a couple more games like this and SD will hand him a 2-year deal, though.

And with that start (his 11th MLB start of the season), Brett Anderson has qualified for his first Performance Bonus ($250K for 11 GS). There probably isn't enough time left in the season for him to qualify for his second Performanmce Bonus ($750K for 14 GS), so he'll have to make-do with the $250K. (Since his first five starts were with the Cubs, the Cubs are responsible for 45% of the Performance Bonus, which is about $112K). The Cubs are also on the hook for Brett Anderson's $3.5M base salary offset by the Blue Jays paying the MLB pro-rated minimum salary for the 34 days Anderson will be on the Jays 40-man roster (which is about $100K).    

Also, because a player cannot be optioned to the minors after the conclusion of the minor league season, Pierce Johnson must be carried on the Giants MLB Active Roster for the final 12 days of the MLB regular season, meaning he will accrue MLB Service Time and get paid at the MLB rate (about $3,000 per day or about $36,000 over the final 12 days) instead of the minor league split rate (about $500 per day or about $6,000 over the final 12 days). Couple that with being Designated for Assignment for seven day prior to being claimed off waivers (when a player on Optional Assignment is Designated for Assignment, the player is "Recalled - Not to Report" from his Minor League Optional Assignment and he accrues MLB Service Time and is paid at the Major League Rate for the days he is DFA), and so that's another seven days of MLB Service Time and $20,000 (instead of $3,500) for a total pay day of about $55,000 (instead of $10,000) and 19 days of MLB Service Time (instead of zero MLB Service Time accrued) over what he would have received in $$$ and MLB Service Time if he had remained with the Cubs on Optional Assignment until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. 

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  • crunch 23 hours 17 min ago (view)

    j.girardi did a 2nd interview with PHI on Monday and he's supposedly the favorite for the job.


  • bradsbeard 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    The draft over the ASB and the trade deadline pushed back until August 15th or so would make sense. Otherwise, I don't know how scouting departments are going to handle the draft lead up and the trade deadline running almost simultaneously.  


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    One other thing about MLB player development that is very different from NFL, NBA, and NHL player development is that most MLB clubs have upwards of 300 minor league players under contract (not including players on their MLB 40-man roster, the Cubs presently have 301 minor leaguers under contract on nine minor league affiliates).


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    JUST SAYIN: MLB is the only one of the four major North American professional sports that holds its draft and signs its draft picks during the season.


  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    umpire eric cooper has died...complications from knee surgery (blood clot)...52 years old


  • crunch 2 days 27 min ago (view)

    "MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports former player David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada "appear to be the frontrunners" for the Cubs' managerial opening."

    espada's had 2 interviews.  for a guy who's actively at his "other job," having a 2nd interview seems like both sides want to make this work.  SF and PIT are also supposedly interested in espada.


  • JustSayin' 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

     That's a fair description of the benefits of the plan but If I have to choose between "better way" and "owners' greed," I pick the latter.  MLB wants better MiLB facilities, on average, without paying a cent.  They want to deal with the social and legal pressure they are getting for not even paying minor league players minimum wage per real hour worked by having less players.  In addition, the draft is to be moved to late August, so every draftee would lose compensation for the stub year in which they are drafted.  For this reason, I'm not sure your point about col


  • Hagsag 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Mr. Phil.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Besides reducing the costs that are associated with operating a minor league club, reducing the number of minor league affiliates would allow MLB organizations to increase the salaries of their remainng minor league players (who would be the organization's most-legit prospects) without having to increase the organization's aggregate minor league payroll. 


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    The discussions on this matter have been quite varried.  There seems to be a lot of pressure connected to this on minor league team owners who haven't upgraded their facilities/park in a while or who lag in quality compared to their competitors.

    It seems like this would not only cause some teams to fold, but some radical redistribution of existing teams/cities into new minor league levels rather than just pruning some teams over others.


  • Hagsag 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on the discussion to eliminate 42 low minor league teams in 2021? What would this do to the Dominican League? Thanks.


  • crunch 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    yanks/astros game 6 was a f'n classic.  wow.

    altuve continues to build his astros legend.


  • bradsbeard 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Thanks for this. I agree they’ll probably take their chances in the Rule 5 if he will resign, though I really wouldn’t mind adding him back to the 40 man. I feel like he has a good chance to be effective out of the bullpen. 


  • bradsbeard 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    I hope Sagara doesn’t end up leaving because of the shakeup. The Athletic did report that his position might be eliminated but that he should be offered another role in the organization somewhere. All I know is Sagara’s name came up frequently in connection with the pitch lab, and he was credited for improvements with Ryan, Wick, and Wieck. Maybe he’ll end up focusing more specifically in that role helping guys tweak things in the lab. 


  • JustSayin' 4 days 18 min ago (view)

    Does anyone have insight into the new management hires and musical chairs the Cubs announced yesterday?  Craig Breslow might be the only guy out there with extensive MLB experience AND the grey matter to challenge any quant not making sense. His role intrigues me but are they going to give him real responsibility to clear out the deadwood (including the existing minor league coordinator who was never good enough to be the pitchers he's coaching?)  Or, is this a superficial change aimed at keeping ownership off Theo's back? 


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: I think the Cubs want to retain Oscar de la Cruz post-2019, just not on the MLB 40-man roster.