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.
Jackstraw 52 min 17 sec ago (view)
Last 30 games ERA: 5.47
Last 15 games ERA: 6.08
Last 7 games ERA: 9.45
To quote Herb Brooks, "You're playing worse every day and right now you're playing like it's next month."
crunch 57 min 8 sec ago (view)
contreras expected to be activated Wednesday.
also, this is one hell of a slow trade market with the deadline 8 days away.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 38 min ago (view)
Further losses and probably some of the recent ones Strop has coughed up too. It’s very frustrating there’s no talk of moving him down the relief depth chart too. Just “he’ll figure it out and get himself right.” I don’t think so, Joe!
Jackstraw 7 hours 8 min ago (view)
Yes, yes, and yes. Except for the very best in the game, relievers have the most variability in performance from year to year. Kintzler was horrible last year, and is very very good in 2019. Strop was good last year, this year his 5.47 ERA has been well earned.
This problem has a simple solution of Cishek-Kintzler-Kimbrell for the 7th-8th-9th. Any further losses due to Strop in the 8th are on Joe.
Eric S 7 hours 19 min ago (view)
We’re nearing August and Strop’s ERA is a tick under 5.50 - #notafluke
Charlie 8 hours 39 sec ago (view)
I had to ditch this one after the 7th to get some sleep, and, boy--right choice.
Eric S 8 hours 5 min ago (view)
To everyone in Cub nation except the folks that matter. Exasperating.
Dolorous Jon Lester 8 hours 21 min ago (view)
I think its past time where Strop shouldn’t be the 8th inning guy anymore....
erich081 16 hours 8 min ago (view)
Brach in during a one run game where the ball seems to be flying out of the park? I too like to live dangerously.
Eric S 16 hours 24 min ago (view)
Robel’s 454 foot splashdown - 6th longest homer by a Cub this season
Arizona Phil 17 hours 49 min ago (view)
RHP Aneuris Rosario (2014 IFA - Dominican Republic) has been reinstated from the Disqualified List. Now 24, Rosario spent four seasons in the DSL (2014-17) and was the one-time closer for DSL Cubs #1. He hasn't pitched since 2017.
Charlie 18 hours 10 min ago (view)
Last hurrah as a starter before the Cubs trade for an outfielder who gets on base?
crunch 19 hours 9 min ago (view)
i wonder why almora's started almost every game the past week+, especially since he's sucked at it...and he even got to hit leadoff for a game or 2.
Charlie 19 hours 37 min ago (view)
Oof. Almora and Maldonado as starters is going to be rough on the offense. Better hope for at least a Garcia triple.
crunch 20 hours 22 min ago (view)
schwarber / baez / bryant / rizzo / garcia(2nd) / heyward / almora / maldo / a.mills
ham gets a AAA rehab start tomorrow. also, i could do with less almora.
QuietMan 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
Edwards optioned to Iowa per Jesse Rogers,