Cubs vs. Braves: Lester vs. Teheran (Game 78)

CHC (42-35): LHP Jon Lester (6-5, 4.13 ERA)
ATL (46-32): RHP Julio Teheran (5-5, 3.40 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs sandwiched their losses between two juicy slices of victory* and topped it all with some Javy special sauce to achieve the split vs. the Mets on Sunday. Jon Lester takes his turn tonight in the opener against the Braves. He'll be trying to further distance himself from a run of drudgery (for fans and himself alike). The team last faced Atlanta during the hell week that opened 2019. Lester faced off against Teheran and got a no-decision, pitching six innings and allowing two earned runs. Swanson and Albies tagged him for solo homeruns in that game. Most recently Lester worked his way to a win against the White Sox, going 5.2 and yielding three earned runs. His strikeouts and walks have been fine lately; it's the longball he'll have to avoid to return to form. Freddie Freeman is 6-22 against Lester with two homeruns and ten strikeouts. Nick Markakis has 92 at bats against him and an OPS of .586.

Julio Teheran takes on the task of suppressing Cubs offense. He's a befuddling pitcher. Remember when he was the rumored return for a 2012 Dempster trade that was not to be? Since then, he's slid back and forth between being a one-win pitcher and a three-win pitcher. This year, he's leaning toward the better side of that scale, due largely to allowing fewer homeruns than in previous seasons. Last time out he allowed six earned runs in four innings to the Mets and took the loss. His splits are fairly even this year, but across his career lefties have hit him much better than righties. Schwarber is 4-9 with zero strikeouts and Descalso is 3-12 with a pair of doubles (and Maddon is clearly trying to build him up); I suspect both will start. As a team,

*Laymen sometimes refer to this as the "turd sandwich," but in the biz they call this the reverse sandwich, wherein one puts the bread in the middle. It is the least enjoyable way to eat what is otherwise an ordinary sandwich.

Comments

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / contreras / heyward(CF) / bote(2nd) / cargo(RF) / lester

Can't wait to never learn what happened between Contreras and Flowers.

while sharing chocolate chip cookie recipies contreras learned that flowers puts walnuts in his recipe and he's just not going to take that crap without speaking up.  he took it a bit too far and said flowers might as well be making oatmeal raisin cookies, so it's all a big mess right now.

also, flowers survived his AB the next inning without incident.

Walnuts suck. Just sayin’

I dub this canon.

I second & nominate Crunch as winner of the internet....

And the one gaping hole in the lineup (insert Descalso or Almora or Russell or Camargo) bites the Cubs in the ass with momentum killing gidp

For my sins, I have to watch the local Braves tv broadcast with Chip Carey and Jeff Francoeur. Not ideal. 

Pro tip to the Cubs: score a ton of runs, then score a ton more. These Braves specialize in pulverizing and bludgeoning teams into oblivion, particularly after the six inning. 

mission accomplished.

also, wow at that 10 mile long leash teheran got to totally suck.

Not the first time Bote has frozen on a catchable ball from Javy at second ... and leads to two unearned runs. Damn. Love Bote, but when you’re playing with Javy, you better expect the unexpected 

if javy has the ball you gotta play like you're on a basketball court.  until the play is dead, no matter what your view is, that ball could be coming at you at any time from any angle.

bote also goofed earlier in the season playing 3rd during a lester start by not knowing how extreme one needs to cover for him.  yeah, technically it should be lester's play, but realistically the 3rd baseman has more range to cover with lester on the mound.

he's not an awesome 2nd, but he's not bad.  i've been a bit surpirsed at how iffy his play at 3rd has been given how nice it was last year.  hopefully he'll adapt to the quirkier stuff.

welcome to the cubs barnette.

6 pitches to his 1st batter, solo HR.

you're gonna fit in just fine.

But for Flowers and the pitchers spot, the Braves lineup is relentless. When McCann plays, the only hole is the pitchers spot. Tough club. 

gonna be in ATL over the 4th and catching the young braves club in person.  i really don't like going to that park (hey, who wants 3-4 hours of the "tommy hawk chawp"?), but i wanna see this collection of kids.

Good deal - much better ballpark experience than at the Ted. Atlanta fans are buying in and showing up. 

Barnette’s 88-91 mph fastball really is, uh, not very special. 

Kyle Ryan playing like a man who wants to keep his big league roster spot - well done!!

It’s a shame that they had to burn Cishek with a five run lead. I guess they could have used Brach or Caratini. Probably not enough time to warm up Caratini. Wouldn’t want to risk blowing the lead with Brach. 

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  • jdrnym 8 hours 24 min ago (view)

    All makes sense, but I think there is one important point of clarification in there -- are you using "practice squad" and "Club Player Pool" interchangeably? If so, I understood the first sentence of your third-to-last paragraph above to mean that Mills/Sadler/Underwood could be outrighted and still be in the Pool, therefore retaining their eligibility to re-selected to the major league active roster later in the season.

     

  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 50 min ago (view)

    jdrnym: Zack Short is still on Optional Assignment to the minors (as are Alzolay, M. Amaya, R. Garcia, Maples, T. Miller, Norwood, Rea, M. Rodriguez, and Steele), but he can be recalled at any time without restriction (no "ten-day rule") because he was optioned to the minors prior to the transaction freeze in March. 

     

  • crunch 15 hours 13 min ago (view)

    the toles update is worse than his troubled past.  toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years.  he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.

    hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Those two are definitely on more precarious ground once the roster is trimmed to 26, I would say.

     

  • jdrnym 18 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Right, just went through the roster quick. Underwood, Sadler, same deal.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Can't answer the Short thing. But I'd agree with your assessment of Mills if he weren't basically a lock to make the roster.

     

  • jdrnym 20 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Is Zack Short's official designation still "on optional assignment" even though he's not on the Pool? If so, he can't just be recalled even though he's on the 40-man roster, right?

    And someone like Alec Mills who's on the Pool and out of options... he's virtually locked onto the active roster because he can't get taken off (via an outright) and remain eligible to be re-added. Seems like the kind of player you'd prefer to leave off the initial Pool.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 54 min ago (view)

    though he went to the hospital for treatment he was never admitted, so he's yet another person who got dragged hard by Covid, but who's case isn't showing up in the hospital admission, ICU bed, or death numbers most of us are looking at.

    there's a whole slew of people who have had to shut down their lives for 2-4-6-etc weeks to get over this that are falling outside of the numbers we're tracking most closely.

     

  • Cubster 21 hours 23 min ago (view)

    "In yet another reminder of how insidious this particular disease can be, Hottovy says he had acted quite cautiously in public before coming down with it. Fortunately, he was able to self-isolate and avoid transmitting it to his family."

     

  • crunch 22 hours 34 min ago (view)

    it'll be interesting to see how things go down when people have to start playing games in AZ.  they're damn close to being "early NYC level" screwed with a lack of planning and action.

    with the early plan of playing games in AZ/FL, they could have been huge economic winners with 15+ teams playing all their games in AZ (and spring training 2.0).  now it's looking like some teams may not even want to fly into AZ for a few dozen "away" games.

     

  • crunch 22 hours 50 min ago (view)

    cubs pitching coach tommy hottovy was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier this spring, but he is currently assumed fully recovered.

    he had a 100+ degree temperature for 6 days, lost 18 pounds, and it took 30 days for him to test negative.

    he's 38 years old, btw.

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Bravo Crunch!

     

  • crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    at least the cubs got elston back for pretty much nothing.  also, ha.

     

  • Rob Richardson 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    How many coachs, managers, and other "tier 1" individuals around the league are in higher risk groups? 

     

  • Rob Richardson 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Well said Crunch.

     

  • Cubster 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    1956 Cub Hoax...

    Hit .215, 5 HR. Age 28 season

    https://www.ebay.com/i/153938295586?chn=ps