Cubs @ Atlanta: Lester vs. Teheran (Game 5)

CHC (1-3): LHP Jon Lester
ATL (1-3): RHP Julio Teheran 
First pitch: 6:20pmCST 

We are only four games into the season. Yet, three painful losses in a row have emphasized some questions about the team: Who will step up in the bullpen? How much of the starting rotation is on the decline? Why do I even watch baseball?

Jon Lester owns the only Cubs' win so far. He pitched six innings allowing 2 runs when the Cubs celebrated the return of baseball with a 12-4 rout of the Rangers. In 9 career starts against ATL, Lester has gone 6-2 with a 2.48 ERA. Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, and Matt Joyce all have their OPS over 1.000 against Lester in their careers.

Julio Teheran took a loss on opening day against the Phillies (5 IP, 3 ER). He's 3-1 in 8 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.44 ERA. Few current Cubs have done much against him: Schwarber is 3-7 and Almora is 1-2 with a HR.

A solid win would do a lot to wash away the memory of the embarrassing series opener. I assume everyone spent the off day breaking in new gloves.

Enjoy the game, and hang out on if you are looking for some company! I'm going to try it out on mobile tonight.

Comments

zobrist(RF)/bryant/rizzo/baez/schwarb/contreras/descalso(2nd)/lester/heyward(CF)

it seems we're on a streak of doing that "pitcher 8th" thing again.

j.heyward has GIDP 5 times in 5 games.  neat.

But he mixed it up this time. A 3-6-3 instead of a 4-6-3.

that's why he gets the big bucks

My hottest take is that Jason Heyward needs to strike out more.

It's like running Cody Parkey out there for eight years.

I have lawyers looking for an escape clause in my fan contract.

this pen is a big bag of mashed up assholes.

That is rather insulting to mashed up assholes.  hmmm, is it too early for a hot dog. 

ha.

quite honestly, though the pen could have been upgraded better this offseason i don't have that much of an issue with it.  that said, at this point i have no idea who i would trust to bring into a close/tied game with men on to put out that fire.

part of me realizes the cubs have a very high payroll (#2 i think), so i don't feel cheated as a fan...but it would have been nice to pick up some pen parts that are more than low-priced free agent gambles.

The front office has denied that the early bullpen struggles will affect their strategy. But I wonder if behind the scenes there are arguments about whether they should be pursuing Kimbrel.

Fun start to the season. Good baseball.

Recent comments

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  • QuietMan 11 hours 41 min ago (view)

    I'm thinking players should demand that this be added to their list.  "Sorry Honey, can't do it."

    Thanks Phil.

     

  • crunch 12 hours 42 min ago (view)

    or washing the dishes turns out to be popping wheelies on a motorcycle riding around scottsdale...

    jeff kent deserves to be in the HOF...lou whitaker needs to get in first...

     

  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 18 min ago (view)

    jdrnym: Once the MLB regular season starts, the "Practice Squad" will be a sub-group of the Club Player Pool, as will be the MLB Active List roster and the various MLB injured lists. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Q-MAN: Yes, unless "washing the dishes" is listed as a forbidden off-field activity in his contract 

     

  • crunch 14 hours 52 min ago (view)

    oh boy...chatwood and a.mills in the rotation...because the minor league system sure as hell don't have much to offer for competition.

     

  • QuietMan 15 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Non Baseball related injury.  Does he still get paid?

     

  • Ryno 15 hours 54 min ago (view)

    A digital nerve sounds like something that would be repaired with a copper wire and solder.

     

  • Cubster 16 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Per Sun-Times: Jose Quintana out two weeks after cutting a digital nerve in his pitching  left thumb and requiring microsurgery to repair the nerve, from a kitchen dishwashing accident last week. Hard to say what impact that might have on his repertoire. The sensation can take 2-3 months to return if the repair is successful.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    All makes sense, but I think there is one important point of clarification in there -- are you using "practice squad" and "Club Player Pool" interchangeably? If so, I understood the first sentence of your third-to-last paragraph above to mean that Mills/Sadler/Underwood could be outrighted and still be in the Pool, therefore retaining their eligibility to re-selected to the major league active roster later in the season.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: Zack Short is still on Optional Assignment to the minors (as are Alzolay, M. Amaya, R. Garcia, Maples, T. Miller, Norwood, Rea, M. Rodriguez, and Steele), but he can be recalled at any time without restriction (no "ten-day rule") because he was optioned to the minors prior to the transaction freeze in March. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    the toles update is worse than his troubled past.  toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years.  he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.

    hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Those two are definitely on more precarious ground once the roster is trimmed to 26, I would say.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Right, just went through the roster quick. Underwood, Sadler, same deal.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Can't answer the Short thing. But I'd agree with your assessment of Mills if he weren't basically a lock to make the roster.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Is Zack Short's official designation still "on optional assignment" even though he's not on the Pool? If so, he can't just be recalled even though he's on the 40-man roster, right?

    And someone like Alec Mills who's on the Pool and out of options... he's virtually locked onto the active roster because he can't get taken off (via an outright) and remain eligible to be re-added. Seems like the kind of player you'd prefer to leave off the initial Pool.

     

  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    though he went to the hospital for treatment he was never admitted, so he's yet another person who got dragged hard by Covid, but who's case isn't showing up in the hospital admission, ICU bed, or death numbers most of us are looking at.

    there's a whole slew of people who have had to shut down their lives for 2-4-6-etc weeks to get over this that are falling outside of the numbers we're tracking most closely.