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.

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  • Cubster 4 hours 26 min ago (view)

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


  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 46 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 12 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 20 hours 50 min ago (view)

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


  • Ryno 20 hours 58 min ago (view)

    In other words:  This lineup sucks.


  • Arizona Phil 21 hours 15 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 21 hours 19 min 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 21 hours 25 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 22 hours 52 min ago (view)


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


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

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


  • Eric S 1 day 12 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 15 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 17 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.