Pirates @ Cubs: Williams vs Lester (Game 159)

PIT (80-77): RHP Trevor Williams (14-9, 3.04)
CHC (92-66): LHP Jon Lester (17-6, 3.43)
First pitch: 7:05pmCST

Lester won on the Southside on Saturday (5 IP, 2 ER). After an inconsistent couple of months, he's 3-1 with a 1.90 in September. He's 3-1 with a 3.72 in 5 starts against the Pirates this season. Overall, they are 51-208 (.245) against him. Bell is 5-16 with a HR.

Williams, who's 1-1 with a 1.38 in two games agains the Cubs this season, beat the Brewers his last time out (6 IP, 0 ER). For their careers, these Cubs are 23-95 (.242) against him. Schwarber is 4-12 with 2 HR.

Hendricks faces Wainwright and the Cards tomorrow at 1:20pmCST.

Go Cubs!


Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic reports that Addison Russell's Administrative Leave has been extended through Sunday.

BTW, if Russell does get suspended, the number of games he has missed while on Administrative Leave in 2018 (which will be ten games) can be applied as "time served" toward the eventual suspension. (Post-season games missed don't count). 

Russell's absence has really been significant (more than might be readily apparent), because it basically locks Baez in as the SS such that you can't move him to 2B or 3B or even give him a day off, and not being able to put Russell at SS and move Baez to 2B in the late innings to protect a lead could cost the Cubs at some point. 

So with Russell absent and Strop injured, it might be that the Cubs have now finally reached the "tipping point" as far as being able to win games in the post-season. It doesn't look good right now. Hopefully Strop can come back next week and pitch like he did before the hammy, but Russell's absence is a real problem going forward. It feels like the Cubs are stranded out in the middle of Lake Michigan and just treading water to avoid drowning. 

My crystal ball: if Cubs win tonight, they’ll play the Brewers on Monday to determine the winner of the NL Central. If Cubs lose tonight, Brewers will be outright NL Central champs on Sunday. Tigers pitching matchups are miserable, best chance for a Tigers win is tomorrow with Jordan Zimmermann. Cubs will be fortunate to take 2 of 3 from the Cards. 

Anybody else having issues posting comments? Couldn’t open a new comment - edit right issue.  I’m seeing posts without comments too





N. L. best records since July 7th: 

1. COL: 42-27 
2. CHC: 42-30 
3. PIT: 40-29 
4. STL: 41-30 
5. LAD: 40-31
6-T ATL: 39-31   
6-T MIL: 39-31 
8. NYM: 39-34 
9. WAS: 36-35 
10. AZ: 31-38 
11. PHI: 29-43
12. SF: 27-41 
13. MIA: 26-41 
14. CIN: 27-43 
15. SD: 26-42 

So the Pirates are a pretty good team right now (playoff quality, actually), and have been for 2-1/2 months. And the Mets aren't too bad, either. 

Thank you for the change-up on the banner image, Steve. Well selected.

Recent comments

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  • Cubster 9 min 39 sec ago (view)

    Cubs use the Rizzo option but decline Lester


  • Hagsag 3 hours 26 min ago (view)

    It is hard to blieve that Corey Black is still around. Why?


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Remember, the Cubs have until 5 PM (Eastern) on - SUNDAY - to decide whether to add any of the 25 minor leaguers who are eligible to be Rule 55 minor league second contract free-agents or 6YFA to the MLB 40-man roster, sign the player to a 2021 minor league successor contract, or allow the player to walk. (Some -- perhaps even most -- of the 25 have no doubt already signed successor contracts - TBD).  


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 16 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have claimed 2B-3B-LF Max Schrock off waivers from the St. Loius Cardinals, and LHRP Rex Brothers has been sent outright to AAA Iowa. 

    If Brothers doesn't elect free-agency immediately, he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA on Sunday at 5 PM Eastern, unless he agrees to sign a 2021 minor league successor contract).  

    Brothers is out of minor league options and he is arbitation-eligible post-2020, so he was likely to be non-tendered on 12/2 anyway. 


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 59 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: It's pronounced "MAH - day" 


  • crunch 14 hours 28 min ago (view)

    "Jon Lester said in an interview on SiriusXM Friday that he's had conversations with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein "about getting something done, coming back and being a part of the organization." "

    ummm...how about no?  i mean, thanks for those 3 good seasons in your first 4 years as a cub...but after those last 2...yeah...no.

    also, the cubs claimed 2nd/3rd max schrock off waivers from STL (no power, bit of speed, slow to react in the IF even though the glove isn't bad).  meh.


  • K Dub 14 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Cubs had a prospect named Jose Made (also Dominican) between 2007-2009. I believe his name was pronounced like the verb "made". 


  • tim815 15 hours 50 min ago (view)

    I lean two syllables.

    He was Dominican-born, so Mah-day would have made sense, but that's a good Q.


  • K Dub 1 day 4 min ago (view)

    PHIL: How is Kevin Made's last name pronounced? Is it mah-day? Or like it's spelled - made? Thanks!


  • Cubster 1 day 30 min ago (view)

    Brewers decline Ryan Braun's option. Any predictions as to where he goes?


  • crunch 1 day 57 min ago (view)

    KBO (korea) ends their season tomorrow.

    a.russell started off hot, but severely cooled off to a .253/.317/.336 slash (not counting today's game).  if he comes back to the US (and finds a team that wants to sign him), it should be rather cheap.


  • Hagsag 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Around the corner or in the ditch?


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    my dream of seeing s.castro end his career with 3000+ hits and a WAR in the mid-30s, making HOF voters sweat, came to an end this year with the shortened season followed by the early injury.  he came into the year as a just-turned 30 year old (march 24) with 1617 hits.


  • George Altman 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Jerry Reinsdorf is reasons 1 thru 100 why I could never root for the White Sox and have hated the Bulls since 1999.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Feels like Ricky and Starlin Castro should form a support group.  Everytime your rebuilding team is about to turn the corner and you're gone. 


  • Cubster 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    76 yr old Tony LaRussa to manage the W/Sox. Reinsdorf decision over objections. 

    Poor Rick Renteria. History repeats itself, NOPE. This won't end well (except for bring your dog day).