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.

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 53 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 35 min ago (view)

    Do you know who was available to pitch in relief?

     

  • crunch 5 hours 24 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 30 min ago (view)

    I liked the idea if not the result.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 41 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 44 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 47 min ago (view)

    ...and the cardinals have the lead.

    sigh.

     

  • crunch 5 hours 53 min ago (view)

    why is darvish still pitching...

     

  • crunch 5 hours 54 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 17 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 17 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 57 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 37 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 12 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 39 min ago (view)

    What a millstone Yelich must have been!

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 27 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.