Pirates @ Cubs: Archer vs Montgomery (Game 157)

PIT (79-76): RHP Chris Archer (5-8, 4.49)
CHC (91-65): LHP Mike Montgomery (5-5, 3.75)
First pitch: 7:05pmCST

Montgomery won in Arizona his last time out (6 IP, 1 ER). He's 2-0 with a 2.63 in two starts (and three games) against the Pirates. Overall, they are 17-70 (.243) against him. Mercer is 4-9 with a HR.

Archer gave up 1 ER in 7 innings and beat KC his last time out. The Cubs are 15-47 (.319) against him for their careers. Baez is 3-6.

Quintana and Nova tomorrow at the same time.

Go Cubs!


Looks like rain will blow through in next hour or so.

If the Cubs win 2 of 3 against the Pirates, and the Cards win the next two from the Brewers....Cards are eliminated from Division contention and the Brewers would be 3 back with 3 to go.  Seems like the best case scenario heading into the weekend.

Braun is picking the wrong time to get hot again.

And of course Braun and Aguilar hit first inning homers. No doubt the Cards will have their shit together after the Brewers series

The Cards could seriously screw the Cubs in full this week.  They'll now be fighting for their playoff lives this weekend, so it will be a crazy intense series.  I don't feel like the Cubs have the same urgency.

they're back on the field warming up...game should start soon.


Just checked score and Cubs weren't down after top 1st. Unpossible

You just needed a little patience.

3-0 Pirates, 6-0 Brewers

Cubs 1 for 19 with RISP since the 3rd inning against the White Sox Sunday.  That's an .053 average.  

this game is dildos.

When do we get our solo HR?

Very strong 2004 vibe right now -- talented team at home the last week of the season playing a team that has been eliminated from the playoffs -- and everybody stops hitting at the same time.  Things got so bad I remember Nomar sac bunting on his own rather than trying to drive in a run.  That, plus the Pirate pitchers have the Cubs' number.  Still 5 games to turn things around -- they will likely need to win at least 4 to stay ahead of the Brewers, but this has an all-too-familiar feel to it.   

yeah, sure...walk in a run.  whatever.  #1 team in the NL right here.

on the bat side of things, maddon needs to start batting the pitcher 2nd so it's like having 7 additional lead off men.

And Braun just homered again.

KB out of the game with a left wrist contusion. Nice work by Chris Archer tonight. 

Osuna gets the retaliatory fastball to the left bicep. Good.

awesome catch baez!

now he needs to hit 7 solo homers.

hey look, another error after and awesome play.  he's pulled a few of those lately.

cubs have used 8 pitchers through 8...none were tyler chatwood.

Cubs half game over Brewers

Dodgers half game over Rockies

Rockies half game over Cards

4.5 games to go.   Kinda Crazy.  Wish Cubs weren’t on that list.

Worst case:  Cubs and Brewers tie, then play a tie-breaker Monday and the loser plays the Wild Card game Tuesday.    

BILLYBUCKS: It would be Brewers at Cubs on Monday in an N. L. Central Championship tie-breaker Game #163 if they finish in a tie (home-field is determined by head-to-head record). Also, if the Dodgers, Rockies, and Cardinals finish in a three-way tie (not implausible), it would be Rockies at Dodgers on Monday in a Game #163 to determine N. L. West Champ, then the loser of the Rockies-Dodgers N. L. West tie-breaker game would play a Game #164 at Cardinals on Tuesday to determine the N. L. Wild Card #2 (home field in this scenario goes to club that did not play and lose the previous day), and then the N. L. Wild Card game would be pushed back to Wednesday and the loser of the Cubs-Brewers game on Monday would host it. So even if things go sideways for the Cubs, they would at least host both a game #163 N. L. Central Championship tie-breaker game on Monday and (if they lose it) they would host the N. L. Wild Card game on Tuesday (or on Wednesday if LAD, STL, and COL were to finish in a three-way tie).

And the Rockies could conceivably play at LAD on Monday, at STL on Tuesday, at Cubs or MIL on Wednesday, and then at Cubs or MIL on Thursday & Friday, before finally returning home and getting a day off after playing 15 days in a row!  

Cubs starting pitchers going forward would be Quintana today vs PIT, Lester Thursday vs PIT, Hendricks-Hamels-Montgomery FRI-SAT-SUN vs STL, Quintana vs MIL on Monday (N. L. Central Championship tie-breaker game if necessary), Lester on TUE or WED in N. L. Wild Card game (if the Cubs don't win N. L. Central), and then Hendricks-Hamels on THU-FRI in first two games of NLDS.

If the Cubs do have to play both Monday (N. L. Central tie-breaker game vs MIL) and Wednesday (delayed N. L. Wild Card game because of three-way tie between LAD-STL-COL), Lester wouldn't pitch in the NLDS until Game #4 (it would be Hendricks-Hamels-Quintana-Lester-Hendricks, with the lattter two games played only "if necessaery"). So under that scanario, Lester might not even pitch in the NLDS. 

BTW, "tie-breaker" games are considered regular season games and so they are played with the expanded September rosters. Also, even players on MLB clubs not involved in the tie-breaker games accrue one additional day of MLB Service Time if the player had not yet accrued 172 days of MLB Service Time that season (or possibly even two additional days if multiple tie-breaker games need to be played because of a three-way tie, or even three additional days if for example the Cubs & Brewers play a tie-breaker game on Monday and LAD, STL, and COL finish in a tie and the N. L. West Championship tie-breaker game on Monday is postponed a day because of rain so that the N. L. Wild Card #2 tie-breaker game is not played until Wednesday).

And this applies to - ALL - players who are on an MLB Active List or MLB DL on the last scheduled day of the MLB regular season (Sunday), even if the player's club is not playing a tie-breaker game, and even if the player is on a club in the other league. 

Damn this is getting scary!

FYI: I have put in a request to have the banner changed. 

The parallels between this Cubs team and the 1980s Bears are interesting (and not in a good way):

1984/2015: Young team exceeds expectations and makes the playoffs.  Coach/manager is a media darling.

1985/2016: Epic & Historic Championship season, talk of mulitple titles.

1986/2017: Championship hangover season.  Good team makes the playoffs but no title.

Bears next several years:  Good playoff teams, but lots of grumbling by fans due to high expectations, never win another title, popular coach fired.  Cubs??

Recent comments

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  • Charlie 3 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.


  • crunch 5 hours 26 min ago (view)

    RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists


  • bradsbeard 9 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure. 


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 11 min ago (view)

    There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games. 


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 6 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.

    He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls. 


  • bradsbeard 1 day 28 min ago (view)

    Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me. 


  • KingKongvsGodzilla 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!


  • crunch 3 days 7 hours ago (view)

    jim hickey new nats pitching coach.


  • bradsbeard 4 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there. 


  • tim815 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.


  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.

    big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.

    too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).


  • bradsbeard 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability


  • Hagsag 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?


  • tim815 5 days 4 hours ago (view)


    Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.



  • crunch 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    yup, they're gonna try.  starts in about a month.