Reds @ Cubs: Stephenson vs Quintana (Game 160)

CIN (82-76): RHP Robert Stephenson (5-6, 4.86) 
CHC (90-69): LHP José Quintana (11-11, 4.06)    
First pitch: 1:20pmCST

Eliminating your historic rival from the post-season with your B-team the day after clinching the division: priceless.

After that dreadful weekend against the Brewers, the Cubs have gone 13-3, including last night’s knock-out of the rather-lifeless Cardinals. (Matheny looked concussed and/or constipated.) The Cubs are getting hot (read: shaking off their Series hangover) at exactly the right time.

Quintana, today’s starter, had his best outing as a Cub on Sunday, shutting out the Brewers for the full 9 and striking out 10. A few more of those in the post-season would be nice. He beat the Reds in August, giving up 1 ER over 5 innings. They are 6-24 (.250) against him. Votto and Hamilton are 1-3.

Stephenson lost to the Red Sox his last time out (6 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 2 BB). In four games against the Cubs this season, he’s 0-1 with a  4.76. Overall, they are 12-38 (.316) against him. Zobrist is 3-2; Russell has a HR.

Stephens (2-0) and Lester (12-8) go tomorrow at 3:05pmCST.

Go Cubs! 


I super want the Cubs to collect their 90th win. I feel like 90 is the cut-off between a decent team and a middling team. It's arbitrary, but it seems like a nice round number.

good news. they got 90 last night. the 89-69 record in the post is in error...probably some site's w/l record he checked hadn't been updated to reflect last night's game. enjoy your roundness.

Corrected. I'm happy they hit 90 and would be fine with 90, 92, or 93. 91 seems ugly to me, though...

91 looks like a prime number, even though it's not. Shifty, that one.

cubs just got ugly. 2 more chances to get pretty before the playoffs.

Having 3 straight years with less than 70 losses would seem kinda cool if we take the next 2.

So, I've been wondering about this a lot over the season: Homerun rates are up across the league, but they are not evenly distributed across all hitters. The Cubs, for instance, have more 20 HR hitters than ever, but neither Bryant nor Rizzo have hit HRs at unusually high rates compared to their own averages. So what hitters have most benefited and who have least benefited from the more aerodynamic baseball? Andrew Perpetua basically comes up with an answer for that over at Rotographs: It may not be *the* answer, but his method suggests that these guys would lose a pretty high percentage of their homeruns if there were a sudden return to the baseball production norms of a couple years ago: Baez (31.8%) Happ (26.4%) La Stella (52%) Heyward (25%) And these guys would lose relatively fewer of their homeruns: Bryant (4.8%) Zobrist (13%) Russell (10%) Schwarber (14.6%) Rizzo (17.2%) The full spreadsheet is available here: I bring this up in part thinking about what the value of a power hitter really is now that there are so many 20 HR hitters in the league. If that continues to be true, can a team afford to carry a Schwarber because he can hit 30+? Is Rizzo less valuable relative to the rest of the league? In effect, have the changes to the ball actually hurt these guys careers while helping players like Happ? It's also a problem for GMs who don't know if the ball is going to return to its previous norms (soon or ever) and if they have to go about evaluating the value of hitters in the majors and the potential of players in the minors differently. I wonder if studies like this were applied to pitchers, which pitchers would appear to have been damaged the most. How much have Cubs SP posted down years because something was off mechanically vs. because the ball was flying?

Why do people keep saying that Schwarber is a 30-HR hitter, rather than, say, a 45-HR hitter? Because he didn't do it at age 24, coming off a lost season and a major rehab? How is Giancarlo Stanton doing at age 27, several years removed from his serious injury?

Yeah. On a per/PA basis, Schwarber is on about a 35 HR pace over 600 PAs. Since June (21 HRs/270 PAs) he's on a 47 HR pace over 600 PAs. Granted, those numbers are skewed because he isn't facing many LHP. But if he were to figure LHP out, he's definitely got 40+ HR power.

fwiw, today through the end of the season is free.

*game doesn't matter* oh well, let's let rondon hit. *close play at 1st for an out* challenge! challenge! after a 3 minute delay rondon has his 1st MLB hit in 3 career PA with a 20ft dribbler in front on the catcher. btw, he really enjoyed being able to do the "wave to the dugout after a hit" thing.

happ!!!! unf. cubs take a 1 run lead in the bottom 8th with a 3r HR!

Cubs A team: .565 Winning Percentage Cubs B/B+ team: 1.000 Winning Percentage

I’m kinda hoping playoff rotation goes: Hendricks Quintana Arrieta Lester (w Lackey ready to piggyback if Lester sucks)

Thinking about how amazing we thought our rotation was last year, versus the high upside but unpredictability of everyone past Hendricks this year, doesn't give me a ton of hope. Lots of articles I'm reading suggest Lester will be clear #1 starter. Say wha?

This is correct, and I suspect the Cubs know it.

Last year the Cubs were head and shoulders better than anybody else in baseball. They won 8 more games than anybody else over the regular season,and were +16, +12, and +9 against the Giants, Dodgers, and Indians respectively. Yet each series was on a knife-edge on more than one occasion well before the final rain delay. Cubs have been better since the All-Star Game than anybody else except the Dodgers (I think). What I understand about sports psychology is top-level athletes tell themselves what's good rather than what's true. Cubs have to be going into the playoffs saying "why NOT us"? From the outside I see it completely possible that the Cubs get swept by the Nats. I also think the longer the series goes the better the Cubs chances due to the having-been-there-before factor plus the Dusty effect. But I also think the Cubs players think differently about how things might go than I do.

Harvard Grad Tom Morello (with Cubs hat on) on Bill Maher show now. Interesting guy - and fucking amazing guitarist.

Yeah he’s from the northern suburbs. He went to my high school actually.

"I thought I was a pretty good guitar player. Then that guy showed up." Nils Lofgren on Tom Morello.

Recent comments

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  • Hagsag 12 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber invited to the ML camp.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 17 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Ryan Tepera returns. Major League deal


  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    spring training TV is usually fluid...adding and subtracting broadcast games...

    first cubs TV (as of now) is March 3 (wednesday) on ESPN at 3pm EST.

    radio broadcasts available for almost every game that's not televised.  the cubs get going on monday and some other teams will start the day before.


  • crunch 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    dj snelton's left elbow is screwed up...6 weeks rest then re-evaluate.

    looks like he's going to try to avoid having surgery.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August. 


  • Mike Wellman 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.

    This team has no direction at the moment.


  • Sonicwind75 4 days 13 hours ago (view)

    As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer.  Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague.  Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio.  I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.


  • Cubster 5 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Barry Foote bobble day! Cool!


  • Mornington Crescent 5 days 16 hours ago (view)

    They also gave away Larry Craig bobblefoot dolls as a promotion.


  • crunch 6 days 8 hours ago (view)

    alcantara passes through waivers and is assigned to AAA.

    marisnick contract final, phllip ervin (OF) DFA'd


  • Hagsag 6 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Yes they did.


  • crunch 6 days 11 hours ago (view)

    welcome to the "big time" st paul saints...they built a nice park, the fans showed up, and they go from indies to AAA (with a bit of $ help from the twins for part ownership).

    billy murray is a part owner of the group that owns the saints, btw.


  • Mike Wellman 6 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Hagsag, the River Bandits made the cut tho, right?


  • Craig A. 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Could have an option year remaining.  Bleacher Nation walked it back, per the link above.


  • Hagsag 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Living in the Quad Cities area, I look forward to hopefully coming to Des Moines to see the I Cubs a few times this summer.