Cubs vs. White Sox: Lester vs. Giolito

CHC (39-33): LHP Jon Lester (5-5, 4.08 ERA)
CHW (35-36): RHP Lucas Giolito (10-1, 2.22 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Having squandered the opportunity to join the league-wide pile-on against Ivan Nova last night, the Cubs try to dodge the two-game sweep at the hands of the Sox' best pitcher. Lester heads things up on the run-prevention side. He allowed six earned runs while suffering a loss against the Dodgers last time out. Going back to May 18 he has an ERA of 7.59. Jose Abreu is 6-15 with a homerun off of him.

Lucas Giolito is finally backing up the prospect hype. He leads the AL in ERA and is tied with the Twins' Odorizzi in wins. He most recently defeated the Yankees, contributing six innings and allowing one earned run on four hits and four walks. Current Cubs have seen very little of him. They are 6-41 as a group with eight walks. Javy is 2-6 with the only dinger in the bunch. Schwarber is 1-3 with with 3 walks.

Paging the front desk: The Cubs' offense is overdue for their wake-up call.

Comments

Oh well, better Strop than Q (sigh)...

Did Steve Stone always babble so incessantly?

yes...also, he's the world's best pitching coach who has known how to "fix" every pitching problem with at least 1000 pitchers he's seen while calling games.

him and hawk were just toxic, bitter, and he's at least a bit less of all that since hawk left.

he's a true chicago baseball institution, though.  he's earned it.

The Brewers and Cards have basically regressed in lock step with the Cubs lately, but not gaining a couple games over the last 10 or so feels like a huge missed opportunity. This has been a really tired stretch.

I don't quite know if Lester is just completely done, or is he "going through a bad stretch"?

To actually count on him as a "stopper" seems ubsurd. It was Hendricks. But not now.

There have been a couple off-season moves that did not aid the team at all - namely the subtraction of LaStella, and addition of Descalso.

The Cole signing was the best.

And, while not this year, the trade for Q will go down as one of the worst in Cubs history, unfortunately.

Hamels or Hendricks seem likely to be the defacto stoppers, but the Cubs failed to give Cole more than one run worth of support.

Lester's been hurt by BABIP and HR/9, both of which can swing hard in small samples. But he runs that fine line between weak contact and getting mashed even when he's doing well. I think he's probably done being an ace, but not done contributing.

Re. Q: Cubs got 1.3 fWAR from Chapman in 2016 and gave up Torres. It seems no more Q's fault they haven't won a world series with him than it was Chapman's fault they won it with him. If the Cubs won the series with Q this year, would you change that evaluation, or do you think Eloy will be that much better than Gleyber?

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

1st pitch leadoff homer...

lester...what's going on?

contreras grand slam!

3rd of his cubs career.

...and a solo HR.  all 5 RBIs belong to him after 3 innings.

...and a flawless throw to nail t.anderson trying to steal 3rd.

is there anyone in baseball who loves to shed their helmet while running as much as almora?

He loves it almost as much as Javy loves insisting on replays.

ha.

Ozzie Albies routinely loses his helmet while running the bases - his helmet even has a parody twitter account. 

lester goes 5.2ip and gives up 3 runs.  it wasn't pretty, but it wasn't ugly.

cubs win!

MIL lost, so the cubs are in 1st by a half game.

The Adbert Alzolay era begins tomorrow. Collins DFAd

The thing about Tim Collins is that because he has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), he must give his consent each time he is optioned or outrighted to the minors, and while he obviously did give his consent when he was optioned to the minors after being signed in March and then again in April and again in May after brief call-ups to MLB, he is no longer willing to do it, and so to get him off the 25-man roster, the Cubs have no choice but to release him (if he isn't traded or claimed off waivers sometime in the next seven days). 

The Cubs could give Alzolay three starts (6/20 vs NYM, 6/25 vs ATL, and 6/30 at CIN), then option him to the minors on 7/1 when (presumably) Craig Kimbrel and Tony Barnette are brought up, then leave Alzolay at Iowa for 14 days through the All-Star Break, and recall him to start the game on 7/15 or 7/16 vs CIN (if Hendricks isn't ready to come off the IL after the ASB). 

Chatwood announced as starter for tonight, but since Alzolay was scheduled to go for Iowa today I don't think it's a fluke he was called up.  He could piggyback nicely after Chatwood throws 96 pitches in 4 innings with 9 Ks and 5 walks.

I would absolutely accept that scenario, including the line for Chatwood (provide there's no homerun mixed in there).

kinda neat...

"Per ESPN.com's Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball's executive council has granted the Rays permission to explore a plan that would allow them to start the season playing home games in Tampa Bay and finish their home schedule in Montreal. "

for a team like TB that likes to under-pay their people, talent having to have 2 residences (or just a place to crash) is a bit of a kick in the teeth, though.  since it's an AL market, most everyone who has to play them will already have their papers for travel into canada (because TOR)...so that's not too disruptive.

Recent comments

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  • George Altman 1 hour 23 min ago (view)

    If this post had a 'like' button, I would press it.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 56 min ago (view)

    Infielders Ed Howard IV, Fabian Pertuz, Ryan Reynolds, and Yeison Santana, 1B Grayson Byrd, and OF Darius Hill  have been moved down to the Myrtle Beach (Lo-A) squad from the South Bend (Hi-A) squad at Minor League Camp. 

     

  • Jackstraw 2 hours 45 min ago (view)

    I think somebody finally found and turned off the SUCK mode on their Cubs game controller. 

    It's important we ALL do that, every day.

     

  • crunch 6 hours 4 min ago (view)

    i think the cubs can risk losing shelby miller.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Contreras is amazing. It's why I've been so adamant that its completely nuts how often he's popped up in trade rumors. 

     

  • Sonicwind75 6 hours 53 min ago (view)

    And the baseball gods smite us with great vengeance. 

     

  • crunch 7 hours 41 min ago (view)

    in a world of bryzzo and baez, contreras deserves his props for his all-around game.

    he protected lester's shortcomings for years.  good luck with that 40% caught stealing rate and less people attempting it in WAS with aged alex avila and yan gomes, guy.

     

  • crunch 7 hours 59 min ago (view)

    cubs are scoring runs early and have a lead.

    i'm not prepared for this.  deep down inside i'm nearly positive this is a good thing, but i'm going to do some research and try to make sure this is a good thing.

    okay, i just checked with my friend that's a dodgers fan and this is a good thing.  go cubs.

    game 14...only the 2nd time with multiple extra base hits in an inning for the cubs this year according to boog.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 14 min ago (view)

    Winkler and Workman return today, Steele and Strop head to alternate site.  Yay

     

  • Charlie 10 hours 58 min ago (view)

    No numbers really needed to show that this offense is terrible right now, but I decided to peruse team stats today to see exactly where the Cubs have struggled the most. I was unsurprised to find they have the third highest pull %, the second lowest line drive %, and the highest K% in the majors right now. BABIP is also the lowest in the majors, whih is to be expected when the team is making poor contact and doing so in the teeth of the shift.

    That's not fun baseball to watch.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 23 min ago (view)

    Don't worry, Joc is DEFINITELY an upgrade.

     

  • CTSteve 13 hours 25 min ago (view)

    And off of a lefty. 

    Neat.

     

  • Arizona Phil 17 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Most players get only three minor league options, but a player who has accrued less than five "full seasons" is eligible for a 4th minor league option.

     

  • Charlie 21 hours 8 min ago (view)

    I agree that Contreras really sticks that front elbow (and shoulder and to some extent his head) pretty close to the zone. Plus he likes to reach toward the outer half to pull the ball and sometimes to lunge a little at the outside corner, so pitchers will want to work him inside frequently. He should get a thicker elbow guard.

     

  • bradsbeard 22 hours 12 min ago (view)

    Sounds like Steele will be in line for a 4th option year FWIW. 

     

  • crunch 23 hours 20 min ago (view)

    limited capacity (and it's a "thunderstick" giveaway night), but LAD @ SD is practically a playoff level atmosphere here in april.

    this one could be hot for years.