Cubs vs. Marlins: Lester vs Smith (Game 33)

CHC (19-13): LHP Jon Lester (2-1, 1.73 ERA)
MIA (10-24): LHP Caleb Smith (3-0, 2.00 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Jon Lester was stellar in his last outing, throwing 7 scoreless against the Mariners. He hasn't allowed more than 2 runs in a start this year and has a WHIP just below 1. He was on the IL for the series in Miami and will be facing the Marlins for the first time this season. Curtis Granderson has faced him in 51 ABs over the years and posted an .894 OPS. Martin Prado is 7-16 against him.

Caleb Smith is off to a heck of a start and went 7 while allowing a solo HR last time out against Cleveland. His walk rate is well below his career average in the early going. He's a bit of a flyball pitcher, and the wind will probably be blowing in from CF tonight. He missed the Cubs last time around and nobody has seen him more than 3 times. Bryant is 2-3 with a double and a homer and has heated up recently. Small sample size fun: The best offensive numbers on the Cubs against lefties this year are Baez (1.773 OPS), Schwarber (1.038!) and Heyward (.853). Contreras has struck out 10 times in 29 PAs against left-handed pitchers.

Comments

caleb smith was a cub "for a few minutes" when he was a rule5 pick (returned to the yanks) a couple years ago.

almora/bryant/rizzo/baez/contreras/bote(2nd)/heyward/zobrist(LF)/lester

almora leading off...okay, then.

the wind blowing in just saved lester 3 runs.

wind is the player of the game.

wind cost baez a 3r HR...wind is no longer player of the game.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

what a game.

I'll take it!

Can we say now that KB is not over the hill?

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  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 6 min ago (view)

    I strongly believe that there will be some major changes on the Cubs after this season, even if the Cubs somehow win the World Series. There won't be a tear-down/rebuild lke 2012-14, but I can see the Cubs going younger.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 41 min ago (view)

    I think Jon Lester wil be treated as a much-respected "franchise legend" next season, getting the honor of starting on Opening Day, but then being considered the #3 or #4 starter after that before getting his well-earned $10M "golden parachute" after the season. He won't be disrepected by the club, but his time as the go-to guy at the top of the rotation will be over. (Actually it's already over). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Keep in mind that Yu Darvish does have an opt-out after this season, so if he and/or his agent think he can get at least 4/$81M (which is what he presently is owed 2020-23) as a post-2019 FA he could opt-out.   

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 29 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Colin Rea hasn't pitched in almost two weeks so I doubt that the Cubs will call him up (they probably should have assigned him to the AFL to get him back into SP shape, but they didn't). That said, If the Cubs were to call-up Rea right now (and they would really need to do it ASAP for him to be useful as a SP) they could recall Justin Steele and place him on the 60-day IL to open up a spot on the 40 for Rea, so that part really isn't a problem. 

     

  • Charlie 2 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Regarding last night's 9th: Kyle Ryan unwilling or unable to throw his curveball is a little ugly.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 44 min ago (view)

    SS Zack Short (replacing Nico Hoerner) and RHRP Scott Effross have been added to the AFL Mesa Solar Sox roster. 

     

  • bradsbeard 2 hours 45 min ago (view)

    With all of Lester, Hamels, and Q struggling, how likely would you say a Graveman or Rea callup would be at this point in the season to add some long man depth or even take one of those guys’ next turns? Assuming they could call up Steele and place him on the 60 day IL to free up a roster spot. Obviously there’s the matter of Graveman’s bonus but Rea would be relatively cheap for two weeks. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 46 min ago (view)

    Maybe Rizzo can wear Bill Buckner high-tops. It's not like Rizz was a fast runner to begin with. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 51 min ago (view)

    DJL: I think Cole Hamels has probably pitched his way out of a QO.

    Even though it means the Cubs won't get a compensation draft pick were Hamels to sign elsewhere prior to next June's draft, the danger in offering a QO would be that he would either accept the QO and tie-up about $20M in 2020 payroll, or decline the QO and then (like Keuchel and Kimbrel) wait until after the June draft to sign with another club so that the Cubs wouldn't get a draft pick. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 20 min ago (view)

    Yeah him and Q both have been pretty crappy down the stretch. I wonder if Hamels is pitching his way out of a qualifying offer.

     

  • crunch 19 hours 38 min ago (view)

    cole hamels continues to suck.

    3.1, 4.1, 3.1 innings his last 3 starts.  he hasn't been the same since coming back after his july injury rest.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 35 min ago (view)

    so far so good...

    go schwarb

    it's kinda frightening that schwarb in LF is a better option than schwarb playing 1st with rizzo out.  i wonder how bad it really is...

     

  • crunch 23 hours 23 min ago (view)

    zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini (1st) / heyward / hoe / ham

     

  • crunch 23 hours 25 min ago (view)

    rizzo to wear a boot for 5-7 days then they'll see where it goes from there.

     

  • Charlie 1 day 19 min ago (view)

    It makes sense, for sure. I'm more concerned about the Brewers than the Nats, though. The optimal outcome would be Cubs sweep, Nats sweep, Brewers get swept. Can't pass the Nats that way, but can take the division lead and put the Brewers further back.

    Odds on that (using Fangraphs #s):

    Cubs sweep: 24.6%

    Cubs sweep and Cards get swept: 4.9%

    Cubs sweep, Cards get swept, Brewers get swept: 0.29%

    I can dream.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    I just want whatever will maximize the odds of the playoffs. The Cubs have the opportunity to take care of the Cards themselves. Ideally there is still a wild card slot for them if they can’t.