sCrubs @ Cardinals: Series Thread (Game 160-162)

Welp, the Cubs were mathematically eliminated early in the last series and appeared to be completely broken in body and spirit thereafter. Perhaps they were reserving whatever fight is left in them for this final series against the Cards. The Cubs can still play spoiler to the team that swept them at home last weekend; the Cards lead the Brewers by only one game and could even fall behind the Nats in the Wild Card should the Cubs manage to play decent ball. Nothing will compensate for this team's horrendous couple of weeks, but any chance to scuff the Cards' boots is worthwhile. Read below for the match-ups.

Game 160, Friday, September 27, 7:15pmCDT
CHC: RHP Alec Mills (1-0, 2.90 ERA)
STL: RHP Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.45 ERA)

Darvish is done for the season and Alec Mills gets another chance to make an impression before the offseason. So far, he has looked like a candidate to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation or a place in the bullpen as long reliever and spot starter in 2019. He gave the Cubs 4.2 scoreless innings against the Cards last weekend and their best shot at a win in the series. Hopefully, there's more of that in the tank.

Hudson lasted only three innings and allowed three earned runs on four walks and three hits last time out. It was his only start against the Cubs.

Game 161, Saturday, September 28, 6:15pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.92 ERA)
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (3.98 ERA)

Hamels returns after a skipped start to make his likely last appearance with the Cubs. Things haven't been great for him in the second half, but prior to that he gave the Cubs two half seasons of essentially ace performance. It's a bummer that he won't be getting a Wrigley ovation. He's 1-1 in two starts against the Cards this year, allowing one unearned run and collecting fourteen strikeouts in 15 innings along the way.

Wainwright defeated the D-Back last time out, pitching five innings and allowing five earned runs in Arizona. Before that, he strung together four very strong starts and allowed only one earned run along the way. He's 0-2 in three starts against the Cubs this year.

Game 162, Sunday, September 29, 2:15pmCDT

The starters here will likely depend on whether the game matters for the standings. The Cubs should give Chatwood a start out of respect for the work he's done this season to remake himself as a useful reliever, but they'll use him earlier in the series if he helps their chances to take a chunk out of the Cards. Miles Mikolas should be available for this one, and the Cards may even start Flaherty if they are desperate to win the game, but the Cards can also send out Daniel Ponce de Leon if this one is moot.




kemp RF / zobrist / schwarber / contreras / happ 3rd / caratini 1st / hoe / almora / mills

cast has a sore groin.  kemp was due to play CF before the lineup shuffle...kemp was also due to lead off for some f'n reason, too.  joe had 2 shots to not have kemp lead off and he didn't take it.

kemp is not a good RF'r...that's all.

last WGN game


piggybacking on this...WGN is why i'm a cubs fan.

i live closer to the braves and orioles (and now the nationals) than the cubs, but like braves fans from 1000s of miles away, the "Superstation" cable TV coverage of WGN (cubs/wsox), TBS (braves), and even WWOR (mets) opened up fanbases in otherwise odd areas.  I was born in the mid-70s and came up in the 80s and 90s as a baseball fan.  those afternoon/day games on WGN roped me in.

we live in an era where you have every game from every area you can stream to your tv, computer, or phone.  i'd much rather live in these times as a fan than the 80s/90s because of the on-demand choice, but i wonder what team i would be a fan of if i came of age in this era.

I’m with you crunch. My mom did stay at home daycare while I was growing up in the 90’s. When all the little kids went down for a nap my mom and I would watch afternoon baseball on WGN. It was the only time where I had my mom all to myself, as I have two sisters and she got paid to watch two other kids. She taught me baseball as did Harry, Steve Stone, and Thom Brennaman. Being a Cubs fan from a suburb of Portland, OR, always means people give me a weird look. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is why I think Cubs fans “travel” so well. People grew up watching the Cubs all across the nation. So when they play a team that’s close, people come out to the ballpark to watch. I’ll miss WGN because it provided Major League Baseball to me and allowed me time to form a bond with my mother. Incidentally my mom and I flew out to Cleveland for Game 7, and it was a wonderful experience to share with her as our Cubs finally won the World Series.

yeah, i know at this point in time i won't miss WGN because of anything they can provide that another channel showing the cubs cannot...they don't have some special graphics setup and the announce crews have long since been shared between TV stations (not counting national broadcast games).

it's just a little weird to see WGN and cubs baseball separated because WGN gave me the cubs.


Hopefully Tommy Edman remembers that’s hes Tommy Edman soon. 

cards have a long-annoying streak of calling up "some dude" not on anyone's top prospect lists who turns out to be nothing short of all-star quality.  the cubs could use some of this luck.

They really have. I posted during the last series a short list that type of player that immediately came  to mind. It’s infuriating.

I wouldn't call it luck (although if the Cubs found something interesting in the draft, it would have to be luck).

Apart from Nico Hoerner, the Cubs haven't drafted a player since Happ in the first round in 2015 who has thrown a pitch or stepped to the plate in the majors.

If you don't include top five picks--which the Cubs will never see again while Theo is around to guide a mediocre team toward stability--who have they drafted since 2012 who has a future, outside of Cease and Hoerner and maybe, just maybe, Happ?

I would say, begin by firing the scouts, but the problem is Theo doesn't believe in scouting, so he might not replace them. The game is all mathematical to him. Theo stands for theorist. We're the guinea pigs.

“Apart from their successes, the Cubs have been a total failure.”

cubs 7 run 7th...nice.

kemp RF / hoe 2nd / shwarb / happ CF / lucroy / caratini 1st / russell / bote 3rd / ham

if maddon sticks around next year they need to take kemp away from him...leading off is one thing, but having him play RF after last night is another.

bote channeling baez for some slick baserunning/sliding.  nice.

also p.alonso (NYM) has the new rookie HR record with 53 (last set by a.judge)

ham only goes 4ip in his return, but it was a hell of a 4 innings

4ip 2h 0bb 8k, 0r

shame he's not in line for the win because he dominated and has been supported by 4 cubs homers (most given up by wainwright in a game)

The Kyle Ryan is good argument has been taking on a fair bit of water of late...

Same goes for the David Phelps is worth $5 million argument...

wieck...more like weak...

seriously, though...bad night...looking forward to seeing him in 2020, bigs or waiting in the wings to hit the bigs.

strop...more like stop...

seriously, though...stop

cubs win.  MIL/COL heading to extras for those that are keeping count of bird spoiler exploits.

rockies win...brewers, cubs can't help you if can't help yourself.

Where was this Brewers last second stumble last year???


*Nelson laugh*

Maddon Out. End of an incredible era that spoiled me.

A large part of me thinks if you win the World Series with the Cubs you should manage however long you want...but clearly his magic stopped working So time to move on.   

There was probably a mutual aspect as well.  Joe will get pretty much any job he wants.  

Once again I'm going to predict Mike Borzello will be the new Cubs manager.

Borzello pre-dates the Maddon hire (he was a part of the original Cubs Epstein-Hoyer regime in 2012) and so he really works for Epstein-Hoyer not for Maddon and more importantly he knows he's just one cog in a large organization, he is the Cubs de facto MLB R&D, planning, and strategy coach and understands the Cubs advanced analytic & metric systems backward & forward, and to keep him from taking another job elsewhere in MLB post-2018 he was given a raise and was promoted to the newly-created position of "associate pitching coach" in 2019.  

I don't think Joe Maddon is the type of manager who is inclined to look over his shoulder, but whenever he did, Mike Borzello was right there. And I don't think Borzello will be opening a restaurant anytime soon, and (perhaps most-importantly) he will be willing to work for a lot less than $5M a year.  

i'm predicting kanye west.

1- he's from chicago

2- he's a genius

3- baseball rhymes with enthrall, which kanye does every minute of the day

4- he's a genius

Zobrist for manager.

kemp RF (this is how you get fired) / zobrist / happ 3rd / schwarber / contreras / caratini 1st / hoe / russell / holland

Kemp was runner-up player of last night's game.

evidently it was a robust 1-5, with no walks and a great effort RF catch that would have been a popout for a more experienced RF'r.

happ, russell, schwarb, caratini, and ham had a hell of a game.

10 pitches, 2 walks.

good start to the game d.holland.

maddon, save some room for d.holland in your car on the way out of town...

"hey guys!  room for 1 more?" - underwood

"yeah!" - maddon and holland

*various attempted high-5s that embarrasingly miss their targets*

what a f'n dumpster fire of a last game so far...

bottom 3rd, 0 outs, 0-8 cards...

zobrist at SS for the first time in 2 season.

...and the cubs go down without an attempt to compete.

see you in 2020 cubbies.  so long joe, good luck wherever you land next.

wow.  that's it.  okay, then.

Bye crunch.

nah, you're stuck with me and at least 3-5 pointless posts a day.  sorry.

there are rumors about trading me to a blog devoted to bringing the tampa bay rays to montreal full time, though it's being held up by french language barrier concerns.

You're going nowhere, my friend. 

GEORGE A: That's what my professors told me in college. 

Hang tough crunch.


not like it was expected, but theo clarified to the press that the bryant and baez injuries will not require any surgery.

Had this discussion with a Cub fan friend last night. How much would Quintanna get if he was a free agent this offseason? Part of the attractiveness of Quintanna when Cubs traded for him was not just his pitching performance, but also his under-market contract.  Curious how much of the surplus value has eroded during his time as a Cub. 

the last 2 seasons have been a weird time for pitching contracts.

a couple years ago the cubs rushed like hell to sign a contract with t.chatwood that looked overpaid less than a couple months later...before he even took the mound to showcase how much he sucked.  the front office either highly overvalued chatwood after losing out on m.mikolas to STL or they didn't anticipate that the market for pitching was about to slow down for all but the expected top contributors.

Q has a decent mix of youth, health, ability to K batters, control,'s kinda hard to even tell how much that's worth since he's put together 2 underwhelming seasons on whole.  it's most likely worth more than the $11.5m option on him for a single season use next year, though.

Ha haha ha Brew Crew. You're done. Eff Hader and eff Braun to hell. And welcome to the lifetime Buckner club, rookie Grisham. Go Nats. 

d.ortiz joining Fox for pre-game/post-game stuff this off-season.  neat.

"The Cubs turned some of the rumors into reality on Tuesday, when the team confirmed that Mark Loretta, David Ross and Will Venable represent the team's internal candidates. There will also be external contenders for the vacated manager's seat, but Chicago has not revealed any of those names in this early stage of the search."

i hope STL wins 3 in a row really quick.  6 innings into game 1 and i'm already sick the ATL "tommy hawk chawp" thing.

OAK does 2972984723894732894729473984732984 things, most of them weird.  on the other end of the spectrum, ATL does only 1 single thing and it's the "tommy hawk chawp" for hours...over and over and over and over and over and over...

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Padres are doing background work on Joe Maddon. While a lot of folks are figuring Maddon is ticketed for the Angels, the Padres aren’t assuming it.

.... SD and LAA might get into a "bidding war" over maddon.  have fun with that.

m.loretta has been interviewed by the cubs.  girardi, d.ross, and w.venable interview next week.

hurrah for girardi and all, but at 3x, 5x, 7x, etc. the cost of any of those other guys...naw.

No thanks on girardi in general. If Maddon was too trusting in certain bullpen guys, Girardi takes that x1000.

he's a bit of a weird power tripper, too...nothing extrodinary, but when he got his 1st job with MIA he laid down a bunch of stupid rules (like no facial hair) then promptly went to war with ownership (lorias are assholes, themselves), upper management, and his own players.

then he moved onto NYY where he cruised through managing a lineup of hired guns he didn't have to think about too much.

all that aside, i'm well over paying 4-6+ million for a f'n manager...hell, 3m is too much.  this team could use the money elsewhere.

You want your field manager to reflect the organization's philosophy but with Theo, I'm not sure I know what that is for 2020.  I am also not sure Theo knows what it is.  He's had success -- twice -- leading organizations on the cusp of greatness to championships.  Dealing effectively with a team which has had a few setbacks is another story.  Theo had mixed results with that in Boston, which is why he was available to move to Chicago in the first place.  I am not at all sure the right heads have rolled for the Cubs' poor clutch performance these past two seasons.

it was a wierd season.  the whole "respect 90" thing was thrown out the window.  i saw schwarber and bryant taking a cue from baez and being a spectator to fly balls they thought were (or were) homers.  by the end of the year schwarber was barely moving out of the box on anything deep.  dunno what was going on there, but it kept happening.

maddon's extreme short leash on pitchers bit his ass on more than a few occasions, blowing through 3 guys in an inning more than just a few times...removing starters that have barely thrown 80-90 pitches...etc.  some guys didn't look too happy getting taken out when they've barely gotten in the game or not expecting to be yanked so early.  that "strategy" is going to be limited going forward with reliever use constraints.

i don't think maddon lost control of his club, but the team seemed to be a bit "checked out" at times.

that said, whoever takes over has more issues to deal with than schwarber occasionally turning doubles into singles or not being able to use a half dozen guys to get 2 outs.

was checking in on some ex-cubs...pierce johnson's 1st year in japan (hanshin tigers) seems to have been a hell of a career move.  he settled into their pen and dominated.  amazing he wasn't their closer.

58.2ip 34h 13bb 91k, 1.38 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 58 games

that said, another ex-cub did get a majority share of some save ops...rafael dolis (who's been hanshin's main closer for years)....

55.1ip 36h 11bb 59k, 2.11 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 56 games, 19 saves

looks like the cubs had their kickass pen all-along  =p  sigh.

stupid ass ATL chanting started before 1st pitch...15 pitches later STL has 1 run in, bases loaded, and the chanting seems to be muted.

all kinds of special making me root for STL.  good job ATL.

...and after 23 pitches, STL is up 4-0 with the bases still loaded and 1 out.

neat.  hopefully i'm done hearing the "tommy hawk chawp" for a few months.

...and m.fried walks j.flaherty (STL's starting pitcher) to make it 5-0

they were highschool teammates, btw.

...and d.fowler gets a 2 RBI double.  7-0, 1 out, men on 2nd/3rd

...and wong makes it 9-0...still only 1 out.

the lack of tommy hawk chawping is it's own music.

10-0 on a passed ball.  pile it on.  see you in 2020 ATL.

No more reports. I am sick.

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.

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.)

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.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 7 hours 56 min ago (view)

    both him and his sister (who's since left twitter) have some interesting opinions on what civility and real americans are and are not.

    it may run in the family, but they're grown ass adults responsible for what things they put out in the world for public consumption.


  • Hagsag 8 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Piece of gabage.


  • crunch 11 hours 52 min ago (view)

    arrieta threw a pen today (saturday)


  • crunch 12 hours 28 min ago (view)

    beth and jd in the booth today.  beth had a great debut earlier in the year with very positive fan feedback for her work + homework.


  • crunch 12 hours 37 min ago (view)

    decided to check in on corey black to see if anyone has signed that waste of space.  dont think anyone has yet.

    he might want to remove the photo of the proud boys leader he has on his twitter as aggressively as he's removed some of his weird hot takes from the past.  actually, he should keep it there.  it will give him a reason to feel like a victim and that seems to be very important to him.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    no hitter!  4 in MLB on the season...2 have been vs CLE

    114 pitches.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    ...and CIN takes the lead because CLE is up a run on a throwing error followed by balking another runner in.

    miley gonna get his shot for a no-hitter win.


  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    w.miley (CIN) has a no-hitter through 8ip...0-0 game...106 pitches (season high)


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    after this past off-season that is the most logical gut reaction.

    there's a lot of people out there rooting for kimbrel and bryant to have a good season as a backup plan (or main plan) for the 2021 season.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Is it bad that my gut reaction was that I'm glad they didn't panic and risk injuring a valuable trade chip? Just keep him rested and healthy.   


  • champsummers 1 day 8 hours ago (view)




  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Jordan Horrobin  @JordanHorrobin
    #Cubs David Ross says Craig Kimbrel was "just down" today and that not having Kimbrel in the ninth was not injury related. 
    He also said he expects Kimbrel to be available tomorrow.


  • champsummers 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    it certainly was....

    wonder why Kimbrel didnt't come in?


  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    that was -way- too much drama.

    cubs move to .500, though.  woo.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    This top of the 9th is going from better, to bad, to worse.


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Least painful to lose if they don't want to keep a 40-man spot tied up?