2019 Gameday Thread

Cubs vs. Pirates: Quintana vs. Lyles (Game 88)

CHC (45-42): LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 4.21 ERA)
PIT (42-43): RHP Jordan Lyles (5-4, 3.71 ERA)
First pitch 3:05pmCDT

If you are able to feel excited for baseball after last night's game, then either you are a better fan than I or you did not watch that 9th inning. Either way, kudos. Quintana takes the mound, following a good start against Cincinnati in which he pitched six scoreless innings. The start before that was an atrocious 9-run bashing. It's hard to know what to expect from Quintana lately, but it sure would be nice if he missed some more bats and avoided homeruns for a while. Quintana made his best start of the season against the Pirates back on April 11, pitching seven scoreless and striking out eleven. Current Pirates have a .660 OPS against him collectively. Josh "MVP?" Bell is 2-7 with a homerun. Corey Dickerson is 5-11 with a homerun.

Cubs vs. Pirates: Darvish vs. Archer (Game 87)

CHC (45-41): RHP Yu Darvish (2-4, 4.98 ERA)
PIT (41-43): RHP Chris Archer (3-6, 5.50 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

The third game of the set is a battle of shadows of former aces. Yu Darvish has spent all of 2019 trying to regain some modicum of control after missing most of 2018. Of late he's surrendered fewer walks but allowed too many homeruns. He gave up seven homeruns in five June starts, 29.1 innings pitched. Most recently he struck out eight while allowing five earned runs in five innings to Atlanta. He lost to Pittsburgh on April 10, allowing five runs, four earned in 5.1 innings pitched. Subtracting out Cervelli (6-10) and Chisenhall (2-10 with a homerun), current Pirates are 10-30 off of him with two homeruns and two walks. Corey Dickerson is 4-7 with one of those homeruns.

Cubs vs. Pirates: Hendricks vs. Musgrove (Game 86)

CHC (45-40): RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.36 ERA)
PIT (40-43): RHP Joe Musgrove (6-7, 4.27 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

Kyle Hendricks returns from his IL stint just in time to help the bullpen recover from yesterday's blowout loss. Hendrick's last start was probably his second worst of the season, and the news of his shoulder impingement followed hot on the heels of that loss to the Dodgers. Current Pirates are 35-147 against him with a collective .650 OPS. Polanco, 10-28 with two homeruns, is on the IL for this series. Joe Musgrove is 1-1 vs. the Prof.

Cubs vs. Pirates: Alzolay vs. Williams (Game 85)

CHC (45-39): RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 2.08 ERA)
PIT (39-43): RHP Trevor Williams (2-2, 4.25 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

The Cubs leave behind a contentious Cincinnati series and give us Alzolay's second MLB start as a distraction. The rookie right-hander was inefficient in his first start, allowing four walks to go with four strikeouts in only 4.1 innings of work. Still, the only run scored on a solo homerun by Acuna. Walks were never a big issue for Alzolay in the minors. The Pirates are a touch below average offensively, but they are 13th in the majors in wRC+ vs right-handers. Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds, and Kevin Newman have been especially potent against righties. Cub killer Francisco Cervelli has been held to a .557 OPS against righties--but he's on the IL with a concussion.

Cubs @ Reds: Series Thread (Games 82-84)

The Cubs mustered a big comeback and debuted their new closer, Kimbrel, to end the first half of the season. Today, they open the second half with a weekend series against the last-place Cincinnati Reds. Although they bring up the rear of the NL Central, the Reds are hardly a bad club in 2019. They are only 6.5 games behind the Cubs and feature a pretty good pitching staff (fourth in the majors by ERA- at 82). There offense has not kept pace with their run prevention. The two teams last faced off in Chicago near the end of May, when the Reds took the series 2-1. Read past the break for day-by-day matchups and a little first-half questionnaire.

Cubs vs. Braves: Chatwood vs. Wilson (Game 81)

CHC (43-37): RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-1, 3.69 ERA)
ATL (48-33): RHP Bryse Wilson (0-0, 8.31 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT

Although Tyler Chatwood's time with the Cubs has been disappointing so far, I find his story to be a point of some interest for 2019. He was relegated to the bullpen and likely candidate to be dumped in some fashion since before the season began. In the bullpen, he's put up a respectable ERA but somehow has still otherwise been valued at below replacement levels (-0.3 fWAR). In four outings of four innings or more (two starts), he's gone 18 innings and allowed four runs (three earned). His walk rate has improved over last year and is still terrible, at over five per nine innings. His high groundball rate has helped him work around walks some of that time. He's all but scrapped his off-speed stuff, throwing a fastball or a cutter 86.0% of the time. Will he find the zone frequently enough to mix in his slider or his curve? That could make the difference between a serviceable swing man and wasted roster space. Most recently, He pitched four innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on one walk and four hits, serving as the opening act for Adbert Alzolay's first career win. Current Atlanta hitters are 20-58 with a .926 OPS off of him. Freeman is dangerous as usual, and he's 8-16 off of Chatwood.

Cubs vs. Braves: Darvish vs. Keuchel (Game 80)

CHC (43-36): RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.75 ERA)
ATL (47-33): LHP Dallas Keuchel (0-1, 5.40 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Darvish heads to the hill in order to untie the series. Yu's last start was a no-decision marred by a pair of Mets homeruns, accounting for three of the four runs he allowed. Darvish has yet to put together a consistent good stretch, but going back about a month to May 25th he seems to have gotten a handle on the walk problem that hurt him in the first two months of the season. His ERA during that time has been 4.34 anyway largely because he's allowed almost two homeruns per nine innings. A little good luck going his way would probably do wonders for fans' confidence in him. Darvish did not pitch in the Atlanta series during the first week. Former AL MVP Josh Donaldson is 4-20 off of him with nine strikeouts. Albies and Enciarte are each 3-7, and Enciarte has the lone dinger.

Pages