Cubs @ Cardinals: Arrieta vs Martinez (Game 157)

CHC (88-68): RHP Jake Arrieta (14-9, 3.43)  
STL (81-75): RHP Carlos Martinez (12-11, 3.63) 
First pitch: 7:00pmCST

You can run around in a sausage costume, but you cannot hide from getting eliminated from the NL Central, Brewers… Today is the day.

Arrieta had a solid return from the DL on Thursday, giving up 1 ER over 5 innings in Milwaukee. He’s 1-1 with a 3.00 in his three starts against the Cards this season. Overall, they are 39-183 (.213) against him. Grichuk is 7-20 with 2 HR.

Martinez was a little wobbly but won in Cincinnati his last time out (6.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 K, 1 BB). He’s 1-1 with a 4.26 in his four starts against the Cubs this year. For their careers, the Cubs are 58-219 (.265) against him. Rizzo is 9-34 with 3 HR.

Tomorrow, Lackey (11-11) facing Wacha (12-8) at 6:00pmCST.

Go Cubs! 


I'm getting the feeling that last night's lineup is the one we will likely see against a right handed starter in the playoffs. If this is correct, it begs the question what can you get for Schwarber in the off season?

Schwarber's .970 Sept OPS and 29 HR take a back seat to Jay's .699 Sept OPS and Zobrist's .708 Sept. OPS. Roughly same numbers post-AS break. Joe must really be afraid of his defense. Also, it seems J & Z are more likely to give good ABs against quality pitchers, and the Nats have a lot of them. Maybe they package Schwarber and Caratini to an AL team for a closer next year? I assume they will want a veteran backup next year. Still would have Heyward, Happ, Almora and Zobrist to play OF.

I would rather they trade him for a starter.

I don't understand sitting Schwarber against righties, but maybe the concern against Weaver was the way his fastball plays up in the zone. I would've liked to see Schwarber's bat in there and Javy getting some rest.

I expect Bryant, Rizzo, Russell, and Baez will play every inning. This leaves only left and right for Zobrist. Hayward may sit against lefties, but against righties I see Zobrist in left over Schwarber. With Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Contreras, and Russell in the lineup, the Cubs have the luxury of not really needing Schwarber’s power.

I would rather see Zobrist ride the bench than Schwarber, unless Zobrist goes on a hot streak. Schwarber's numbers in the middle of the lineup, where Zobrst has hit a lot, are pretty decent. I'd like to see him batting after Contreras, in the #5 spot.

You may be right, but I don't think there is much chance that Zobrist will sit.

Brett over at BleacherNation has a detailed analysis of Zobrist's slight hard-hit results showing post-ASG. Its not a pretty picture. Also, his batting from the left side as I recall, is fairly dismal. But - as the reigning World Series MVP, there is that.

Thanks, I will check it out.

"Cubs have the luxury of not really needing Schwarber’s power" Rash words. Schwarber started the first two games of the Brewers series, against righties. Those were the games that mattered. Maddon wants everyone to feel like a first-stringer. But I continue to believe that Schwarber figures prominently in their plans going forward. I don't quite see where Russell fits in with this team long term, but after an off year, they'll probably wait another offseason before putting him in their shop window.

Actually, in the WS Games, it couldn't have worked out better for the Cubs 'cause they could just DH Schwarbs - which is his "natural" position. Jon Jay has proved to be a terrific signing, in spite of a little nose-dive. 2017 Dexter is slashing .367 .495 .862 .125 with a 1.8 WAR Is our platoons exceeding this?

Help me settle something. I've been told by a family member that I shouldn't talk as if the Cubs have already won the pennant, that by talking like that, with confidence, I will jinx the team. My arguments are the following: 1 - The words I use won't affect the outcome of these games, and 2 - The magic number is down to 1 with 6 games left. Who is correct?

Your family member is correct. I've got too many scars... - "Prior and Wood haven't lost back-to-back games all year!" - "Five outs to go!" - "I'm sure Chris Conte will make the smart play on 4th down!" But, to be honest -- is it possible the Cubs could lose 6 in a row? Sure. That the Brewers could simultaneously win 6 in a row? Sure. I never feel comfortable until the deal is done.

Hmmmm...That's one in a row for each....Cubs and Reds both had the tying run at 2nd in the 9th but couldn't score...12 opportunities to clinch now becomes 10. Ryno -- you need to unjinx now!

Ryno, you are correct unless a black cat crosses your path forcing you to walk under a ladder and into a goat.

You can run around in a sausage costume, but you cannot hide from getting eliminated from the NL Central, Brewers… Today is the day. ===== CT Steve puts new meaning into Braun-schwarber aka Liver Wurst

If it wasn't for their fat contracts, you wouldn't see Heyward OR Zobrist in the lineup much, other than as a reserve. Happ, Almora, Schwarber, Jay, LaStella and of course, Javy--all are better options. Frankly, I wish there was room in the lineup for TLS; I love his approach, he'd be an ideal #2 hitter behind John Jay in a sabermetrically-designed lineup card. Too bad he can't play OF.

The Cubs certainly have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to position players.

Zobrist has been much better in August and September than he's been all year. Remember he's had injury issues that will effect an aging player, but he's getting over all that. He's getting great at bats, making pitchers work, and coming up with clutch hits. I'm fine with him getting more playing time than Schwarber. Heyward' slash line in September is .262/.360/.400/.760. In fine with him playing almost everyday, at least against RHP. His glove seems to positively effect each game. He's also been grinding out good at bats lately, as Jon Jay has ground out great at bats! All of this helps a team win in the postseason. Yes, Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Russel, should be in the lineup every day, especially in the playoffs (Contreras too for playoffs). The fact is most our other players would be starters on most other teams. So we have 12 position players who would start on most teams. Lastly, Schwarber won't be going any where. He still has yet to get a full season in the big leagues. He's still learning the game. I kinda write 2017 off as a bad year for him. What major leaguer wouldn't mind hitting almost 30 HR knowing their having a bad season. He's shown much promise in the 2nd half. No reason to rush to trade him for relief or starting pitching this offseason. Let him come into his own and he will greatly benefit the Cubs in extending the middle of our batting order deep down the lineup. And don't forget the praise he gets for the intangibles in the clubhouse that we don't ever get to see... Keeping all the players we have around leaves us with so much depth to withstand the injuries we've dealt with this year. If we were short by just one player (had they been traded) this team may not be playing as strong down the stretch as we have been, as many players have been afforded their rest and are playing great when it matters most.

I guess it depends on what you mean exactly by, "Zobrist has been much better in August and September than he's been all year." Seems like his "oomf" has gotten worse... Hi power went from "Average" to "Poor", where it currently is. Zobrist: First Half: .152 ISO, 34.1 Hard-hit rate – .367 Second Half: .134 ISO, 30.5 Hard-hit rate Since August 1: .129 ISO, 30.7 Hard-hit rate Since September 1: .108 ISO, 27.3 Hard-hit rate

From the article you referenced: "If you take a look at his splits in the second half, you’ll notice that he’s been perfectly playable against right-handed pitchers (108 wRC+)" So I guess the question is do you want Zobrist's small advantage in batting average and OBP; maybe not so small on advantage defense; or Schwarber's huge advantage in power.

Yes, Rob, valid point for sure. If I can't have Mike Freeman, then, maybe I go with Zo? But, as we have seen - Schwarbs can make a difference in a short series.

Certainly true. My real question is not should Schwarber play over player X, but since we are (I am) even asking the question about a player who will likely hit 30+ in what might be his worst season, what does that tell us about what is likely to happen in the off season. Who knows, but I'm really just killing time before the playoffs (unless that just jinxed us).

I generally want Schwarber's power in the lineup and Javy's defense at 2B. Neither Schwarber nor Zobrist is very good defensively in LF. But Baez is a difference maker at 2B.

E-man... yes he doesn't have the same ooomph, yet he crushed that ball in Milwaukee that gave us some breathing room at a crucial time. I'm, in no way, trying to refute what the advanced stats say, and do recognize their usefulness. But like I say, an aging player who isn't 100% heathy will suffer in ways we've noticed. I think he's gotten past most those aches and pains and his game is improving. In comparison to Schwarber, I much prefer Zobrist's ability to get on base and not strike out so much. He keeps the guys moving around the bases, and extending rallies, while the strikeout that Kyle is prone to doesn't help move base runners over or extend rallies. I think we've got plenty of power in our lineup to win while just putting Schwarbs in for the situations where Joe and the stat geeks think he'll be successful. Having said all that, if Kyle gets back to that approach where he's shortened his swing and going oppo and up the middle, then it's a no brainer to have him in the lineup against RHP. There's just been no real consistency for Kyle in that manner, just a couple short bursts here and there. I guess to say it bluntly, I much prefer more balance of different types of players in our lineup to the boom and bust of all the younger hitters with all the thump in their bats. Now as they mature more over the next couple years, I really do expect that to change and be very dangerous from the 1 to about the 7th spot of the lineup.

I think against a power pitcher like Scherzer, you probably don't want the trio of Baez, Happ, and Schwarber all in there (plus the pitcher's spot). But outside of those 3, the Cubs don't have high strikeout hitters. Most of the hitters in the lineup are right around the league average and Rizzo, Heyward, Zobrist, La Stella, and Almora all strike out significantly under the league average. The boom or bust lineup is mostly a thing of the past for the Cubs already.

I generally agree, however I've seen enough cold spells and high strikeout numbers our lineup has put up even this year (and sometimes against no-name pitchers), that I expect some of that to reer its ugly head when facing better pitching in the postseason. To think we're cured and impervious to those happenings (especially during the postseason when 2 runs will win ballgames) would be foolish. Just look at how many times we've been shutout this year, and how our lineup went cold last postseason against the Dodgers pitching; and even scoring just enough against Cueto in game 1. And yes, Baez, Happ, and Schwarbs all in a lineup against an ace is a big no-no; that obviously is obvious. The balance I like in our lineup rarely should include all those guys together, unless it's a back of the rotation pitcher we're facing, and we won't see many of those playing against the Nats or Dodgers.

carson kelly (yet another cards AAA prospect) behind the plate for the cards. molina might be done for the season.

Mike Freeman! Now THERE'S a REAL PROFESSIONAL hitter!

Cubs #1 Team Batting Title at Hand! As of today, the Cubs lead the NL in Team Batting according to ESPN. 1 in OBP .339 2 in OPS .778 1 in HR 215 3 in RBI 756 Eat it Dusty!

I will not look this up, but with Jay, Almora and Heyward, is there a better OF in the NL in the playoffs? Dodgers have a very good one for sure. And the Nats. Colo is good - but defensively, the Cubs are damn solid.

I was thinking the same thing earlier this week. Defensively the Cubs can play a plus defender at all positions and not lose much offensively.

im so down for clinching the division tonight. got a few quarts of bean/beef chili going (texas-style purists can save their breath) and it would be nice to have some cardinals tears to wash it down.

DFA arrieta. also, are they really bringing the infield in to the grass for jeddddd jerko?

and.........enough of the Mike Freeman Experience please. What's the point with this dude? Friggin Maddon.

49 pitches, 5 runs in, bottom 2nd with 2 outs. ugg. arrieta, bruh.

They still have 2 more games to clinch there. Like the chances still.

Fucking ESPN! Show the goddamn game! I don't want to see your bullshit announcing crew get more cameratime than the friggin game! ESPN just fucking die already, I HATE IT.

mike freeman just made the US Olympic diving team. congrats.

contreras down in pain after getting smacked in the knee with a foul. ow. staying in. hopefully he'll just end up with a bruise tomorrow and rest for a day or 2. after a few pitches it looks like he's comfortable and mobile back there.

just when you thought jon lester couldn't be any more not fun... “Great effort,” pitcher Jon Lester said. “But I don’t understand the other stuff. “A guy fell into him and got nacho cheese on his arm and now he’s taking pictures and signing autographs. It shows you where our society’s at right now with all that stuff.”

Lester's not really a nacho kind of guy, he's more into the whole chicken and beer thing.

As long as they don't allow front-row fans into the clubhouse during the in-game picnic.

*extreme Andy Rooney voice*

...and almora just destroyed the OF wall with his shoulder, ribcage, and face. that one don't look good. looking like his right shoulder got rather tweaked. l.martin coming in to play CF for some f'n reason.

Honestly, I don't need to see Zobrist or Heyward ever hit again. For realz.

buckle up, chances are very high heyward's here through 2023.

It's so funny to read shit like this postgame after they were the clutch hitters of the game for us.

After two weeks worth of really good games, I guess they were due for a clunker. Bad Jake, bad fielding, flailing miserably w/RISP, and now a right shoulder injury to Almora. Yuck.

Joe going with the "if you're going to lose, lose big" strategy -- executed to perfection by Pena. Reds get the tying run to 3rd but can't score. Magic Number still 1.

omg this 8th. please don't be a tease... cubs only down by 1!

j.wilson pulled after 7 pitches. he walked his 1st batter and went 2-0 on the next one before joe was "naw." ...and CJ comes in, throws 2 pitches, and walks the guy justin left in the middle of an AB (justin gets that BB on his line, btw). so technically, j.wilson just walked 2 guys with 7 pitches. that's technical cubbery at it's finest.

Soon enough, it's gonna be painful to recognize the Cubs gave up Jeimer Candelario for two months of Alex Avila. Because J Wilson ain't gonna be here long. Possible non-tender case.

He may be OK next year. Relievers are an odd bunch. Rosenthal was lights-out one year, terrible the next.

Joe wasn't f'ng around with Steve Blass, er, Justin Wilson tonight.

that game sucked to lose, but at the same time it feels like the cubs didn't deserve to win anyway. so many missed chances to score in many different innings coming up weak or empty.

I've hardly seen any plays this year in games the Cubs lost. I'm usually watching on "tape-delay," and I don't start until I know it's fair weather. Otherwise, it's just too many hours. It occurred to me recently--now that the Bears are getting interesting--that your time investment in a pro football team is roughly 17 times three or three-and-a-half hours. With the Cubs, it's 162 times three. That's fine, if you're going to live forever . . .

VA Phil -- It varies by season. I had a lot more free time in the early Theo years. But, yeah, I hear you. I tend to check in on my phone for the first half of the game, and will turn on to watch if the Cubs have something going, but really usually only watch the last few innings.

Anyone here thinks JWilson will make the Playoff roster? I'm going thumbs down on that one.

I think he will. Bullpen locks would seem to be Davis, CJ, Strop, Monty, Duensing and Rondon (assuming health). That leaves a couple of spots for Lackey (?), Grimm, and/or Wilson. Can't imagine they would go with Maples, Rob Z or Koji at this point. I think he's on the roster.

Sorry, I agree 100% with billybucks... if you don't want him on the playoff roster, who's the better option that's gonna help the team? Personally I think for now that Wilson should just be used as a specialist; almost as if he's a LOOGY.

Well, in case you have not seen this, his Cubs ERA is now 5.74. FIP 3.92. ERA+ went from 177 with the Tigers to 77(!) with the Cubs. 100 points worse!!! And ONE POINT WORSE than Home-Run Grimm. A WHIP of 2.23 for fuck's sake. That is just not bad. That is suck-ass stank for a "specialist" which they can't trust him even to do that. Sorry, but there is no case for him right now. I wish there was.

I agree he's been bad -- it's not so much a case "for" him, but I don't think there's a better option for the #7 guy out of the pen. He has had some good moments, and Joe might use him for the LOOGY situation that Lester's Rattled Baserunners suggests. Assuming they have 2 more in the pen after the top 6, it's Lackey, Grimm, Wilson, Maples, Rob Z., Pena or Koji. Who ya got?

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  • Cubster 5 hours 6 min ago (view)

    per Tribune: Kimbrel's OK, just working on his changeup (formerly his fastball).


  • Arizona Phil 17 hours 26 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released RHRP (and their erstwhile closer) Brandon Morrow. There is no indication that they plan to re-sign him to another (different) 2020 minor league contract without the Article XX-B $100K retention bonus provision (as happened with Jason Kipnis last week).  


  • crunch 20 hours 52 min ago (view)

    rizzo takes another day off (lower back).  ross says the club is "exercising caution."

    klye ryan is expected to join the team tomorrow after some mysterious holdup.


  • Ryno 21 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Has anyone seen Darvish's pitch "The Supreme"?  Isn't it just a sinker?


  • Ryno 21 hours 38 min ago (view)

    In other words:  This lineup sucks.


  • Arizona Phil 21 hours 55 min ago (view)

    Jason Kipnis was released on June 29th and then he was re-signed to a new (different) 2020 minor league contract that does not require a $100K retention bonus if he is not added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 2020 MLB Opening Day (7/23).  

    Brandon Morrow remains on his original 2020 minor league contract which pays him a $100K retention bonus if he is not released by 7/18 or added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 7/23. 


  • Eric S 22 hours ago (view)

    There is that re Kimbrel - at worst, just another year on the books.

     July 1st is Bobby Bonilla Day - the day that check is cut and paid annually. 


  • Cubster 22 hours 6 min ago (view)

    On the bright side regarding Kimbrel. It doesn't have the lasting bad side as the Mets arrangement with Bobby Bonilla. Unless they want to re-negotiate Kimbrel's terms.


  • Eric S 23 hours 32 min ago (view)


    Watching the last night's highlight clip was not encouraging either as discussed here:


  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    i still can't believe this front office paid anyone 16m a year to throw 60-70ip...


  • Eric S 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Unfortunately, Kimbrel in Cub mid season form as well, giving up a two out, two run oppo homer to Willson. 

    Kimbrel Cub stats which I tried to bury but were dug up again: gave up a career high 9 home runs in only 20 2/3 inning, averaged a career high 9.1 hits allowed per 9 innings and served up a 6.53 ERA for his troubles. And no full spring training build up period again.  Still hopeful he's got something left in the tank this year and next but man, he's got my full attention going into the season


  • BobbyD 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Hmm. Never thought about it that way. Maybe it is a very stable genius? 


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    maybe he's hoping it'll be bad enough to flip the population odometer over to 0 after humanity is wiped from the planet.  let's give him more time to see if he's right before we get too down on him.


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    "Shohei Ohtani threw just 15 of his 50 pitches for strikes in an intrasquad game Tuesday.  Trent Rush had him at eight walks, a hit by pitch and six wild pitches before he was shut down for a day. "



  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    anthony rizzo is in mid-season form.

    he sat out today with lower back tightness.


  • BobbyD 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Well, back in February (I think; that was about 17 years ago now), our diaper staining commander in his own mind declared we had 15 cases in the U.S. and that would quickly go to zero. 130k dead and rapidly rising now 4 months later I still have brain dead neighbors in SoCal saying if Biden gets elected we're screwed. I wonder what they think screwed looks like.