Cubs vs. Cardinals Series Thread (Games 29-31)
It's rivalry time, folks! The redbirds come into town with a 20-11 record and the first spot in the division. This is the first time the two teams will face off in 2019. Despite the gap in their records, the two teams should be matched pretty evenly. The Cards come into the series second in the NL in runs scored, but the Cubs are only 4 runs behind them and trail only the Dodgers in WRC+ and actually lead the NL in WOBA. Both teams also bring tremendous production from the SS position, where Paul DeJong and Javier Baez have each contributed to the offensive resurgence of shortstops across the maors. The Cards have had a slightly better bullpen, but the Cubs have had the edge from starting pitchers. See the pitching matchups below.
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-4, 5.33 ERA)
STL: RHP Jack Fleherty (3-1, 4.06 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Hendricks got knocked around for 7 earned runs in his start against the D-Backs. 2019 has not yet seen the sharp command that had allowed him to succeed in previous years. Marcell Ozuna had Hendricks's number in the past (1.157 OPS against) and has been showing off his power in the early going this year.
Jack Flaherty has lowered his walk rates and kept his strikeout rate over 10 per nine innings, but he's allowed 7 homeruns already. He faced the Cubs 3 times in 2018 and went 1-1 with 5 earned runs in 12.2 innings.
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.02 ERA)
STL: RHP Michael Wacha (2-0, 4.78 ERA)
First pitch 3:05pmCDT
Darvish had his best start of the season last time out. He went 6 innings and allowed only 1 earned run for a win against the D-Backs. He also still gave up 4 walks and another homerun (7 on the season). Most Cardinals will be facing him for the first time.
Wacha missed much of 2018 with one of those pesky oblique injuries. In 2019, it's the base on balls that's nagging at him. Last time out he pitched 5 innings and was good enough to get a win against the Nats (3 earned runs). There are a bunch of Cubs' hitters with gaudy numbers against him. As a group, they have a .997 OPS against him in 163 at bats.
CHC: LHP José Quintana (3-1, 3.48 ERA)
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (3-2, 3.73 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT
Quintana has been extremely sharp in most of his starts so far. Last time, he was good enough to get through 5.2 allowing only 5 baserunners, but two of those baserunners got to trot their way around. As a group, the current Cardinals have mashed against him (.979 OPS against).
Adam Wainwright is now in his 15th season as a Cardinal and is recovering from an injury-shortened 2018. His velocity is down a bit, as you might expect of a pitcher in his late 30s. He's been effective against current Cubs, and Javy has a particularly bad 3-17 against him with 5 strikeouts.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 55 min ago (view)
Down three in WC with 6 to play, if the answer isn’t “everyone” you’re doing it wrong.
Hagsag 4 hours 36 min ago (view)
Do you know who was available to pitch in relief?
crunch 5 hours 25 min ago (view)
cubs lose their 6th in a row, 5 in a row by 1 run.
MIL won and has a 4 game lead for the 2nd WC slot.
xrays negative on bryant's ankle.
Charlie 5 hours 32 min ago (view)
I liked the idea if not the result.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 42 min ago (view)
Another Joe Maddon baffling decision. I wonder if Wittenmyer will say it was Theos fault.
Edit: to stem the tide, he goes with Pedro Strop. Gotta give Pedro the chance to work his way back into postseason favor!
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 45 min ago (view)
Even if we allow Hendricks to be called the ace, Lester is a 4. The others are 5s. That’s not a rotation that leads anyone to the postseason.
crunch 5 hours 48 min ago (view)
...and the cardinals have the lead.
crunch 5 hours 54 min ago (view)
why is darvish still pitching...
crunch 5 hours 55 min ago (view)
you'd assume they have to bring in an ace of some sorts because none of those 6 are any better than a 2-3 slot rotation type as we know them now.
well, to be fair hendricks is an ace on paper, but even if he keeps doing what he's doing for another decade i dunno if i would ever feel comfortable calling the dude throwing 86mph an ace. he's earned ace status, though. meh, semantics...and prejustice against soft tossers...
Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 18 min ago (view)
We’d be in deep, deep trouble if that’s the starting 5 next March. I’d think only one of those 3 start the year in the rotation. Trades or maybe FA signings will fill out rotation.
crunch 6 hours 19 min ago (view)
that would make the offseason interesting if he did.
no ham, no darvish, lester pitching like a middle/end rotation guy...
Q and hendricks locked in with lester...graveman + a.mills + chatwood could compete to slot in, but it's highly unlikely they're the full answer for both slots...
Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 58 min ago (view)
Anybody else getting the feeling Yu might opt out?
Words I’d never thought I’d say. I’m even more surprised that I’d rather he not opt out!
crunch 7 hours 38 min ago (view)
...and k.bryant screws his leg/knee/ankle reaching trying to beat out a single...which he didn't.
he's being helped off the field. neat.
i.happ playing 3rd because whatever.
crunch 8 hours 13 min ago (view)
cards have caught one hell of a case of cubbery in the bottom 1st.
3 miscues, 1 cubs run.
Charlie 9 hours 41 min ago (view)
What a millstone Yelich must have been!
Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 28 min ago (view)
I think he made a few good points but was misguided in laying next to no blame on Maddon. He’s made many questionable decisions and plenty of those decisions have cost the team games.
Gordo was correct in laying blame on ownership. They hamstrung the front office. I have a hard time believing all they would have added was Descalso and Brach if they could have. Every time they had more money become available they added.