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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  • George Altman 2 hours 44 min ago (view)

    The single thing I want in a sports broadcast is to become smarter about the sport,  to learn something from the broadcast crew.

    Stone does that, Romo does that, Eddie O on hockey, and that's about it. I watch sporting events with the sound down very low or off. I forgot more about baseball than most broadcasters will ever know, and I'm always shocked when I see something in a football game that the crew doesn't,  and I know about NOTHING about football. 

     

  • First.Pitch.120 5 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Also... what is with only having 2 dots as the outs counter? I know that you don't really need the 3rd dot, but I find it counter-intuitive. If the dots fill in, then only having 2 throws me off b/c it's natural to subitize "3" associated with outs. You quickly see 0/3, 1/3, 2/3.  If the graphic does not have fill-in dots, then just put the #.  eg - OUTS: 1  It's minimalism for the sake of minimalism, not graphic design for effective communication.

     

  • crunch 5 hours 35 min ago (view)

    tight shots + insane amount of screen real estate being taken up with graphics is a bit of a plague...especially the ones with a non-stop bottom news ticker.

     

  • First.Pitch.120 5 hours 57 min ago (view)

    General comment on baseball broadcasting... I think that the color comentator (CC) needs to talk about 30% more & the PBP about 30% less. I would love a more stream of consciousness from the CC outlining what they would be looking for in a given situation. To that end, why not have 2 CC for national broadcasts - one a pitcher & one a position player. Would love for them to banter back & forth on micro strategy from their perspectives. I think this would turn the game's pauses between action into more of an asset.

     

  • crunch 7 hours 20 min ago (view)

    brews sign j.bradley 2/24m...decent deal for a quality CF'r.  he can opt out of the 2nd year.

     

  • crunch 8 hours 40 sec ago (view)

    the national broadcasts on ESPN suffer badly from a lack of "homework" on the teams they're covering.

    yesterday i heard more riffing between the announcers about each other more than the players.  the only thing that saved them from more of that and dead air was in-progress action and player interviews (too many player interviews, but it's spring so whatever).

     

  • Hagsag 10 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Not impressed with ESPN's broadcast. I like Mendoza's work, but how many kids did we have to see rolling around the grass. Good day to see some young players ,but half the time you had no idea who was batting or pitching.

     

  • crunch 19 hours 28 min ago (view)

    cubs game totally not a delay broadcast for ESPN...thanks for that gem heyward.

    dunno if they'll be printing up any "You better have your shit in line" t-shirts, but it's as least as good as "Try not to suck"

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Jason Adam is another who throws short arm. I don't think he was a position player, but maybe falls into the arm injury category?

     

  • Sonicwind75 1 day 51 min ago (view)

    Thanks Phil, these pitching summaries are great!

     

  • Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Thanks, AZ Phil.  Looks like a better use of the off-season by Maples than Carl Jr's hop-in-delivery was a few years ago - and not against the rules either. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Even though he is signed to a minor lesague contract and is not on the MLB 40-man roster right now, I would think Eric Sogard is a virtual lock to make the Cubs Opening Day Active List 26-man roster. 

    The Cubs were reportedly looking to sign a left-handed hitting second-baseman, and Sogard certainly fits that description. And unlike Jason Kipnis, Sogard has the versatility to play 3B and SS as well as 2B. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    ERIC: Just as you said, the short-arm technique can improve command, hopefully without impacting the quality of a pitcher's stuff.

    Based on what I saw yesterday, Maples' stuff is as good as ever, and his command was better, too. Hopefully it will continue, because he probably has the best pure stuff on the staff. Command has always been the problem.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    CUBSTER: Unless there is a wave of pitcher injuries in Spring Training I would think Shelby Miller will probably begin the season at AAA (or at the ATS, since the start of the AAA season is supposely going to be delayed) where he can get stretched out.

     

  • Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Ha! I wish that was the case!

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Eric S.... you wouldn't happen to be new Cubs NRI Eric Sogard would you????