Cubs @ Pirates: Series Thread (Games 157-159)
Having suffered a disastrous and heart-rending sweep at the hands of the Cardinals over the week, the Cubs remaining shot at the postseason is frighteningly improbable. Still, if they are to retain any hope at a Wild Card spot, the Cubs will have to take at least two out of three from the Pirates in Pittsburgh. At the same time, Nationals and/or Brewers losses to the Phillies and Reds will also be necessary. On the bright side, the Pirates have been absolutely dismal lately, combining poor baseball outcomes with horrible off-the-field news. See below for the match-ups in Western PA.
Game 157, Tuesday, September 24, 6:05pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (11-9, 3.37 ERA)
PIT: RHP Mitch Keller (1-5, 7.74 ERA)
Hendricks was so-so in his last start, getting a no-decision on four earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched. He had six strikeouts but also allowed eight hits. Before that, he defeated the Pittsburgh, allowing one earned run over six innings at Wrigley.
Mitch Keller last earned a victory on August 12, and he's gone 0-4 in six starts since then. He wasn't bad in his last start, a loss to Seattle in which he struck out seven and allowed two earned runs. The Cubs served him a loss at home on August 18, scoring six on seven hits, including a pair of homeruns.
Game 158, Wednesday, September 25, 6:05pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (13-10, 4.51 ERA)
PIT: RHP Dario Agrazal (4-5, 5.08 ERA)
Lester last went five innings and allowed one earned run in a no-decision to Cincinnati. Before that he earned a win against the Pirates in a very offense friendly day at Wrigley despite allowing seven runs, four earned, along the way.
Dario Agrazal will be making his first start against the Cubs and 14th overall start in the majors. It's been a bit of a struggle for him so far, as he has neither struck out many batters nor coaxed a high groundball rate. Last time out, the Mariners scored four off of him in five innings and handed him his fifth loss.
Game 159, Thursday, September 26, 6:05pmCDT
CHC: TBD but probably LHP José Quintana (13-8, 4.55 ERA)
PIT: RHP Joe Musgrove (10-12, 4.49 ERA)
Quintana has a string of three no decisions despite allowing 14 earned runs in just 8.1 innings over that stretch. He hasn't gone past the fourth in any of those starts. He had won every start against the Pirates until the most recent, a no-decision in which he went only 2.1 and allowed five earned runs on eight hits.
Musgrove last went five against the Mariners and allowed four runs, two earned, in a no-decision. His strikeout rate has been up a bit lately, including in an August 16th start in which he struck out nine Cubs over 7.1 innings. The Cubs are 0-1 in three of his starts this year, having scored nine runs (only two earned) in his 16.1 innings pitched against them.
The Cubs will have do their work without Bryant now, as he suffered an ankle injury in Sunday's game.
K Dub 37 min 1 sec ago (view)
PHIL: Excellent breakdown, Phil. Thanks.
I'm sure you heard. QO value was set at $17.8 million the day after you made your post.
K Dub 44 min 32 sec ago (view)
Pache, Wright, Muller and Riley feels light to you, Charlie? I respect your opinion, but I would jump at it. I highly doubt the Braves would do it, though. Were talking 2 years of Bryant at what could be 18 million and 28-30 million in his last year of arbitration.
The Cubs would be hurting their chances next year and building for 2021 in a deal like that, but that's rebuilding/retooling in one fell swoop.
Arizona Phil 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
CHARLIE: Austin Riley is actually a third-baseman but he had to play LF for the Braves in 2019 because he was blocked by Josh Donaldson, and Cristian Pache is considered to be the best defensive centerfielder in the minors and his bat has improved enough over the past year or two to where he is now rated in or just outside the top ten overall prospects in MLB.
So a package that includes Riley and Pache and one of the Braves young MLB or MLB-ready SP would probably be more than enough to get the Cubs to bite.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 7 hours ago (view)
Max Fried or Bryse Wilson
crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)
t.skaggs story keeps getting deeper.
allegations the team knew about skagg's drug abuse (also his family). teams are required to report this to MLB.
Charlie 2 days 10 hours ago (view)
Except for the headline, the linked post reads more like a trade hypothetical than a trade rumor. I like the idea of looking at this package as a discussion point for expected return for Bryant. I would say it feels a little light to me. It's deep, with two decent outfield prospects with upside and two OK pitching prospects. But Riley doesn't help the team solve the CF problem right now, so he's either redundant to Bote or sort of a Schwarber replacement. Muller's inflated BB% at AA this year worries me a bit too.
crunch 4 days 7 hours ago (view)
they get 3 guys and the cubs get 1 guy. sounds like a slam dunk for the angels. pencil trout in the cubs lineup. he's got upside.
Jackstraw 4 days 9 hours ago (view)
I'd hate to part with both Kemp and Chatwood, but if it will bring that Trout guy back, we could even throw in Almora.
crunch 4 days 12 hours ago (view)
the ricketts got a brazillian dollar tax break...they need to trickle that down and flex on the entire league.
we gonna get grandal, rendon, castellanos, g.cole, strasburg, ryu, a.chapman...maybe sign bumgarner and odorizzi to work the pen.
Arizona Phil 4 days 12 hours ago (view)
CHARLIE: If the Cubs trade Quintana and his new club pays 100% of his 2020 salary his new club assumes 100% of his salary AAV liability, but if the Cubs agree to pay a portion of Quintana's 2020 salary as part of the trade, whatever portion of Quintana's 2020 salary that is paid by the Cubs would count against the Cubs 2020 AAV.
Charlie 4 days 13 hours ago (view)
PHIL: Thanks for that Boston context--I hadn't realized the trend there. If the Cubs did decide to pick up Quintana's option and then trade him (assuming the Cubs would not agree to pay part of the contract as part of the trade), do they have to do that by a certain date in order for Quintana's contract not to count against them for the CBT? I haven't been able to find any dates attached to the CBT in a quick internet search.
Arizona Phil 4 days 14 hours ago (view)
My presumption in the Cubs declining Jose Quintana's 2020 club option as well as declining the club options on the veteran relievers who have one and non-tendering Addison Russell (and this also applies to Joe Maddon not returning as manager in 2020) is that after the monumental late-September collapse of 2019 on the heels of the 2018 Game #163 and Wild Card game defeats Ricketts will no longer accept the Cubs payroll going over the CBT threshold ($208M AAV in 2020) or extending a manager making $5M a year.
crunch 4 days 19 hours ago (view)
i actually like ATL the team...the fans and the 3+ hours of tommy hawk chawpin' non-stop is beyond annoying before even getting into how messed up it is they're still doing that in 2019. it's all they do, just that 1 single thing...for hours...
fans were so upset about not getting foam hatchets pre-game yesterday (that was the club's way to "dial it back") they were busy letting the "PC police" know they're here to chant and chop as loud as they could before the first pitch was even thrown.
it took about 10 runs to shut them up.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 9 hours ago (view)
Damn. Atlanta was the only team in the NL I was hoping would advance. I don’t know what I was hoping in LA vs WAS series. Cataclysmic event? (Side note, I live in the DC area, what a dreadful group of fans. They deserve nothing good ever.)
crunch 5 days 11 hours ago (view)
i live in the south. my personal hell has been ATL fans by a huge amount more than STL (or even CWS) fans.
i've made my decision to sell out my people for personal comfort.