Cubs vs. Reds: Series Thread (Games 49-51)
The Cubs came up a bit short on their comeback attempt yesterday and had to accept a 2-2 split with the Phillies. They move on to greet the Reds to Wrigley for a 3-game set.
The Cubs matched up with the Reds in mid-May for a tough 1-2 series loss. Every game in that series was decided by 2 runs or fewer. The Cubs will run out an exact repeat of their starters in that series, but Tanner Roark will be the only familiar face on the other side. The Reds are well rested, having played only 5 games and having 3 days off since then. See below for the game-by-game matchups.
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.21 ERA)
CIN: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-2, 4.60 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Hendricks got his fourth win despite allowing four runs in his last start against the Nationals. Three of those runs scored on an Anthony Rendon homerun. The start before that, he beat the Reds in eight innings and allowed only one run while striking out seven. A Joey Votto solo homer accounted for the only damage. Hendricks went 3-4 and drove in two in that game as well. Current Reds have faced Hendricks 191 times, with most of those PAs concentrated among Cincinnati vets. The cumulative OPS against him is only .664. Joey Votto has not been impressed by Hendricks's wily ways, having outdone him to the tune of 11 walks, and 9 hits (3 homeruns) in 21 at bats. As ever, Hendricks can probably aim to handle the rest of the lineup and trust his own batters to collectively outproduce Votto. Dietrich and Suarez always have the potential to sneak up on you and go yard, of course.
Anthony DeSclafani's 2019 has been pretty strongly defined by two of the three true values. He's striking out batters at a much higher rate than he usually does (10 per 9 innings), but he's also allowing 2 homeruns per nine innings. His groundball rate is way down in the early going. The pitch tracking system seems to think he's using his sinker less this year, but that doesn't appear to be working out for him. The Dodgers tagged him for 3 homeruns in 4 innings of work on May 17 and he's had a full week to either forget about it or stew over it. Bryant is 5-15 off of him and Javy is 2-5 with a homerun. Rizzo is 4-24.
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.06 ERA)
CIN: RHP Tyler Mahle (1-5, 3.51 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Darvish has shown signs of improvement in his last few starts. After issuing no walks and striking out 11 Reds in a May 15 no-decision, he went 6 innings against the Phillies in his last start. Things were going swimmingly until a shaky 6th that saw him walk two, give up a stolen base, and allow a run-scoring single and triple. Mixed in their was a potential double-play that twas not. Current Reds have seen little of him, but Derek Dietrich (possibly the Reds' best position player so far?) is 3-6 with a homerun.
Tyler Mahle earned his first win in his last start against the Dodgers, going 6 shutout innings. Despite the record, he seems to have figured something out this year, cutting his walk rate by more than half compared to the last two years while missing more bats. Kyle Schwarber is 3-7 and Javy is 4-8, each with a homerun, against the 24-year-old righty. Other current Cubs have only five hits against him in 43 at bats and have 0 walks.
CHC: LHP Jose Quintana (4-3, 3.30 ERA)
CIN: RHP Tanner Roark (3-3, 3.51 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Hooray, hooray, no Sunday night game!
Quintana pitched 6 scoreless innings allowing two hits and three walks for a no-decision in the Phillies series. He had a stretch of five middling starts before that but he has generally been the Cubs' most dependable starter. Leaving out his early relief appearance and his first clunker of a start, he's gone at least 5 in every start since and has gone 6 or more innings in 6 out of 8 of those starts. Votto is unsurprisingly the Red to watch out for, 8-17 against Quintana.
Tanner Roark has succeeded this year in large part due to his very low HR-per-fly-ball rate. That shouldn't be sustainable, as he's not getting ground balls or weak contact, nor is he suppressing walks. Maybe the Cubs can turn his stats around a bit. He allowed 3 earned runs in 5 innings facing the Cubs when the teams last matched up. Tyler Chatwood is 1-1 off of him and Kyle Hendricks is 2-2 with a pair of runs-batted-in. Kris Bryant's 7-14 pales in comparison.
Have fun, Cubs fans! May we be spared ESPN for months to come!
Expect wet and weird conditions Saturday and Sunday with high potential for delays, weird defensive plays, and windblown homers. Flash floods and thunderstorms are in the forecast starting Friday night. Radar suggests the worst of it should be in the evenings. If that forecast holds true, the wind will be blowing out toward the lake and could be gusting at times.
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 43 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 46 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 49 min ago (view)
...and the cardinals have the lead.
crunch 5 hours 55 min ago (view)
why is darvish still pitching...
crunch 5 hours 56 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 19 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 29 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.