Cubs @ Brewers: Arrieta vs Davies (Game 152)

CHC (84-67): RHP Jake Arrieta (14-9, 3.48)  
MIL (81-71): RHP Zach Davies (17-9, 3.89) 
First pitch: 7:10pmCST

Don’t say revenge. 

The Cubs could have stepped on the neck of the Brewers last week at Wrigley, but opted to get swept instead. Now the magic number to clinch the division is 8. I have no problem with having that happen on Sunday.

Arrieta last pitched on September 4th in Pittsburgh (2.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 K, 1 BB) before his hammy starting barking. He had been on quite a run before that, so let’s hope he picks up where he left off.

He’s 2-0 with a 2.08 in two starts against Milwaukee this season. Overall, the Brewers are 28-126 (.222) against him. Braun is 7-24 with 3* HR.

Davies lost in Miami his last time out (4 IP,  er, 2 K, 0 BB). In four starts against the Cubs this season, he’s 2-2 with a 3.96. For their careers, the Cubs are 45-161 (.280). Bryant is 9-25 with a HR.

No word on what ailment Braun will suffer over the weekend—other than the obvious. If Bernie Brewer is a no-show, it’s because I slashed his tires.

Lackey (11-11) and Woodruff (2-2) throw tomorrow at 6:30pmCST on ESPN*.

Go Cubs! 


While the Cubs magic number over the Brewers is indeed eight, it's seven over the Cardinals, so for the Cubs to clinch the N. L. Central on Sunday they would not only have to sweep the Brewers four-straight, but the Cardinals would have to lose at least three of their next four (one at CIN and three at PIT).  

Of course another possibility is that by the end of the weekend the Cubs will be a 1/2-game behind the Brewers, and then what the Colorado Rockies are doing in San Diego will be just as important to the Cubs as it is now to the Brewers and Cards. 

Here is how the MLB Rule 33 tie-breakers work: 

SEEDING - TWO CLUBS SAME DIVISION: In the case of a tie between two clubs for a division championship, the club with the best head-to-head record gets the #1 seed and gets the home game. If the two clubs are tied head-to-head, then intradivision winning percentage (record within division) is used to determine seeding. If clubs are stil tied, then the intraleague winning percentage (the record within the clubs' own league) over the last half of intraleague games played is used to determine seeding. If still tied, then go one additional intraleague game further back from half (not including games two clubs played against each other) until one club has a better wnning percentage.  

SEEDING - TWO CLUBS TIED - WILD CARD: Same procedure as two clubs tied for division except intradivision winning percentage (record within club's own division) is not used (go directly from head-to-head to second-half intraleague record if head-to-head tied). 

SEEDING - THREE OR MORE CLUBS TIED - DIVISION: Club with best head-to-head against the other clubs gets #1 seed, then the head-to-head between the two remaining clubs, etc. If one club has a better head-to-head record against a second club and the second club has a better head-to-head record against the third club and the third club has a better head-to-head aganst the first club, then composite record among the three clubs in common games against each other is used. If still tied then go to last-half of intraleague record.

SEEDING - THREE OR MORE CLUB TIED - WILD CARD:  Club with best head-to-head against the other clubs gets #1 seed, then the head-to-head between the two (or more) remaining clubs. If one club has a better head-to-head against a second club and the second club has a better head-to-head record against the third club and the third club has a better head-to-head aganst the first club, then composite record amiong the three clubs in common games against each othet is used. If still tied then go to intradivision record, and then go to last half of intraleague record.   

TWO TEAM TIE FOR DIVISION OR WILD CARD: The two clubs play each other in a tie-breaker game on the Monday after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.  

THREE-TEAM TIE FOR DIVISION OR WILD CARD: Clubs choose designation based upon seeding. Clubs are Designated Club "A," Club "B," or Club "C". Club "A" and Club "B" play on Monday at Club "A" and Club "C" gets a "bye." The winner of Monday's game between Club "A" and Club "B" is the home team on Tuesday versus Club "C." 

TWO-TEAM TIE FOR DIVISION AND THREE-TEAM TIE FOR WILD CARD WITH TWO OF THE TEAMS TIED FOR WILD CARD ALSO TIED FOR DIVISION: The division winner is determined first and then the loser of the division tie-breaker game plays a wild card tie-breaker game at the third club (the club from the other division that was tied for the Wild Card) the next day after that. .

FOUR-TEAM TIE FOR DIVISION OR WILD CARD: Clubs are seeded and then choose (in order of seeding) to be either Club "A," "B," "C," or "D." Club "B" plays at Club "A" and Club "D" plays at Club "C" on Monday, and then the two winners play at home of Club "A" or Club "B" on Tuesday.

Other more-complicated permutations are based upon this same seeding system. First head-to-head (with common/composite record used if three or more clubs are tied and head-to-head is inconclusive), then intradivision record (if division tie-breaker but not for wild card tie-breaker), and finally record in last half of intraleague games played (with additional games added backward from half-way as necessary). 

If a club tied for the Wild Card is also tied for a division, the division winner is always determined first, and then the club that loses the division tie-breaker plays as the road team in the wild card tie-breaker. 

The MLB Commisioner may move tie-breaker games to other sites or schedule a doubleheader at one particular site depending on circumstances (weather, travel, etc)  

Tie-breaker games are considered "regular season" games for individual statistical purposes (HR, ERA, W-L, BB/K, OBP, SLG, etc), attendance, revenue, and gate receipts, but the games do NOT count in the standings, so draft order and waiver claim priority are not affected by the outcome of a tie-breaker game. 

Thanks for the info Phil as always.

Why are they not letting Otani come to America and choose who he wants to play for at a free market contract rate? It's obvious he wants to play for the Cubs. #freeotani #racistMLBantiasians #fixisin #stopthecubhate #otaniwewanti

Jan 8th 2018 - otani signs with the cubs for $3m Jan 9th 2018 - otani signs a weekly half-hour baseball show TV deal with CSN-Chicago for $100m #notatallsketchy

Effectively, it's to allow all 30 teams to have a chance at Otani. Or Eloy Jimenez. Or Miguel Sano. Without them getting obscene signing bonuses.

schwarb #29! solo shot.

So it's felt like the Cubs offense has been Jekkyl and Hyde with wins/losses and offense but I ran the #s vs other division leaders and the Cubs have averaged 7.2 runs/win and 3.15 runs/loss and the other division leaders have averaged 6.60 runs/win and 2.61 runs/loss. The Cubs have scored .6 more runs per win and .54 more runs per loss so pretty much a wash. As frustrating as some of the games are then they definitely aren't unique.

Brewers get back-to-back walk and score. Cubs get back-to-back walks with Rizzo and Contreras up and get nothing. Crap. Other than Schwarber HRs, there has been no offense the last 3 games. Ugh.

As I said yesterday, I believe this series decides the Division. If they lay an a egg, its on them and no one else.

justin wilson is giant sack of dongs.

No walks - just rocket hits. Can Cubs trade J-Hey for Santana? Asking for a friend.

Joe conceding game - Grimm in.

Dude actually struck out two to get out of the inning - well done.

"Justin Wilson" is 2017 for "Adam Warren". Really, truly awful. Didn't like Joe going to Strop in the 7th for just (ha!) that reason -- who was going to pitch the 8th? With only 4 decent bullpen guys, this team cannot survive 5-inning starts.

Hopefully Monty available soon to help out too.

happ and baez!!! tie game with 2 out in the top 9th. happ with the pure hustle and baez with the hit to get him in.

5th infielder time. happ gets to play IF in this version of the circus shift. bases loaded, 1 out, bottom 9.

going to extras! woo.

bryant 2r HR...unnnnnnnnnng #28

For all those un-clutch arguments circulating. This series already feels like playoffs.

Fucking a!

So was Rizzo safe or out?

Out, but I presume you know that by now.

What a win - glad to see KB come thru in extras! That was a bomb

Winning first game of the series makes it almost impossible to get swept.

The operative word being almost.

Just three more games to go in this series.

I can't stop giggling that we have Wade Davis on the Cubs roster. Wadebot 2.0, so nice. Let's hope he gets the next couple of days off now.

Looking to next year, I think the Cubs will either: - Make CJ the closer and hope he can improve his control and become next year's Knebel. This assumes they believe he can handle the workload. - Continue their practice of trading young, blocked talent (Torres, Soler) to get a top-level closer by trading Caratini. I think Joe likes having an experienced catcher, Caratini is too young to sit, and the Cubs don't really have any other pieces to trade (maybe Almora?) that could bring back a reliable closer. I don't see Theo paying Davis what the market rate will be -- he just turned 32, and the Cubs will likely need to pay up for an SP next year.

Rondon? For argument's sake... was really good (maybe not elite) in 2014, 2015, & for the first 2/3 of 2016. I'm not sure I'm arguing for the plan, but he's still an asset. If somebody is going to take us to the cleaners on a trade in the off season, there are worse ideas than riding him for a few months & picking up somebody mid-season (Jeurys Familia? AJ Ramos? Brad Brach?).

Isn't Rondon the one suffering from bone chips right now? Sign of elbow problems to come?

He's only sticking around 14 more months anyway.

Agree with you about CJ as closer-of-the-future. He throws his explosive fastball so smoothly, with so little effort, he should have excellent control, and will, I think in the not-too-distant future. But he's still a little nervous and jittery. He's getting over it. He had a terrific 9th inning last night; but then in the tenth, with a lead and a save situation, he started missing again. It's psychological right now. Both of his pitches are better than Rondon's. It's why Edwards never gets hit. He just tenses up and gets a little wild.

Just...WOW! Cubs down to their last strike...Brewers load the bases with one out in the 9th, and have a 3-1 count on the batter...EFFING WOW! Wade Davis is something else. My goodness.

Davis was so clutch, he should get the win AND the save. To quote Bill Raftery -- ONIONS!

As I said yesterday -- if you're going to lose, it's better to lose big and save your good bullpen guys. The difference in this game was we had our closer and they didn't have theirs.

And we have Kris Bryant and Javy Baez - and they don't. But yes - point taken. The Brew so reminds me of the 2015 Cubs with no big-time FA pitching. They "should" be very competitive for a while. But, I said that about the Pirates too.

...and the Mets. I think Nelson's injury will be a problem for them. They have already said he will miss a "chunk" of next year after surgery. But, yeah, they have young, exciting talent, and hit for a lot of power. Again, if not for Braun, they would be a very likable bunch.

Let me not forget to salute Gary Jones for almost blowing the game. Only a third-base coach could get Bryant thrown out running the bases. Watch the top of the third if you don't get the reference. Here's my quick version: Rizzo hits a ground single to right with two on and one out. With the right fielder playing at Rizzo depth, Jones for some reason tries to stop the guy on second from scoring but Jay thinks he's crazy and scores easily. Meanwhile, Bryant sees the stop sign and stops, but then realizes Jones is crazy and gets thrown out trying to take third after all. Bryant's run would have been the third run, which would have given the Cubs a lead into the 8th. Wilson doesn't come in with the Cubs protecting a lead.

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  • crunch 42 min 38 sec ago (view)

    heyward / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarb / caratini / kemp(2nd) / Q


  • crunch 2 hours 3 min ago (view)

    so stoked for the williamsport game.

    the increasing amount of off-site games is a bit concerning (middle of nowhere Field of Dreams field, really?), but I love this one.  it's played out great so far and giving the kids playing in the LL series some primo seats (hope this continues) is a great touch.


  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Craig Kimbrel reinstated from IL, Duane Underwood Jr optioned to Iowa, Mark Zagunis recalled as the "26th man" for tonight's game (special travel required to get to Williamsport so MLB Comissioner permits 26th man for both clubs). 


  • crunch 21 hours 39 min ago (view)

    at least...


  • Charlie 22 hours 34 min ago (view)

    Lester pitched 35 innings today.


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    2019...cubs fan...being thankful heyward and chatwood are


  • Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Like having a 5-1 lead going into the ninth?


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    With our vaunted late inning tandem of Tyler Chatwood and Rowan Wick!

    Who would have thought?


  • Jackstraw 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Cubs 1-10 with RISP in the series.  Left lots of ducks on the pond.  Could take some of the pressure off the pen.


  • Jackstraw 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    You could hit your thumb with a hammer.  Or take a big bite of wayyyy too hot pizza.  Just sayin.


  • Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    I’m a little surprised and confused that Bote wasn’t in the infield in the ninth? Wth - need that one out boot to complete my day


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    cubs win!  about time.


  • Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Cubs have to scratch mightily to get two runs against the mighty second half buccos


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    K, diving catch by happ for an out, HBP to load the bases, ground out


    PIT has loaded the bases 3 times in this game.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    ...and we're doing more 0 out, men on base stuff...

    2 on, 0 outs...up to 103 pitches and lester's day is done.

    bullpen time.  oh. boy.  neat.

    chatwood in.


  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    bryant has not forgotten how to hit homers.