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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  • crunch 9 hours 8 min ago (view)

    left handed tyler chatwood can go ahead and get picked in the rule5 if he puts up numbers like he has recently...

     

  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 41 min ago (view)

    I would think it would be a low base salary (maybe $1M) with performance bonuses based upon days spent on the MLB active list. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 47 min ago (view)

    If the Cubs sign Steven Souza Jr to an MLB contract and he doesn't spend most or all of the 2020 season on the 60-day IL, he has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued five-plus years of MLB Service Time) so even though he has two minor league options left he cannot be optioned (or outrighted) to the minors without his consent.

    Also, Souza will be an Article XX-B MLB FA post-2020 if he accrues at least 100 days of MLB Service Time in 2020 (and players do accrue MLB ST while on the IL), presuming there are no player, mutual, and/or club options in the contract. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 58 min ago (view)

    This might be another rehab signing, like Smyly in 2018 and Graveman last year. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 59 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: That was why the D'backs non-tendered Souza even though they need outfielders. It was a really catastrophic knee injury. He's lucky if he can walk without a limp, much less run.   

     

  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 4 min ago (view)

    As I mentioned here last year when he was claimed off waivers, Pelham does not have the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted and he will not be a minor league 6YFA until post-2021 (so he will be under club control through the 2021 season, and eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft if he is not added back to the 40 in the meantime). 

     

  • Wrigley Rat 10 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Pelham has cleared waivers and was assigned to Iowa.

     

  • crunch 13 hours 21 min ago (view)

    yeah, but he severely wrecked his left knee, like 3-4 different structures in his left knee.  he had to have a total reconstruction.

    he must have had something resembling a decent workout if he got a MLB deal, though...or the front office feels pressured to do something.  it's no secret the cubs checked in on his availabilty years ago so they do have a historical interest in him.

    found an article... https://www.mlb.com/news/steven-souza-jr-has-knee-...

     

  • Eric S 14 hours 13 min ago (view)

    Have to believe it's a bench move. Souza has an interesting background - pretty quick synopsis of him as a player and teammate in Bleacher Nation:

    https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2020/01/24/cubs-reportedly-close-to-signing-outfielder-steven-souza-jr/

     

  • crunch 15 hours 22 min ago (view)

    cd pellham outrighted to AAA and off the 40-man roster.

     

  • crunch 15 hours 23 min ago (view)

    replies are hillarious...

    also, i hope this is an expected bench player move...especially since he destroyed his left knee in 2019 missing the entire year...and wasn't healthy in 2018.

     

  • Eric S 17 hours 17 min ago (view)

    Cubs on the brink of actually signing a free agent to a major league contract

    https://twitter.com/ken_rosenthal/status/1220789290575245313?s=21

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Tommy Birch tweets that Taylor Davis has signed with the Orioles. Hate to see him go. I will never forget his GS against the Deadbirds.

     

  • crunch 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    cubs trade for travis lakins for a PTBNL or cash considerations from the rsox.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lakin...

     

  • Charlie 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    I mean, the "overrated" criticism is always more about other people deserving of the honor being snubbed or put through more rigamarole. Jeter was definitely a great player for a long time. I just want people to remember that guys like Scott Rolen are not 60% less deserving, as the current voting system seems to indicate.

     

  • crunch 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    speaking of the HOF...

    schilling had a nice bump in his 8th eligable year going from 60.9% to 70.0%.  he's probably gonna get in next year...and if not for his abrasive personality and questionable interests outside of baseball he would probably already be in.  he's good enough to be there based on performance alone.

    fellow 8th year guys bonds and clemens held steady, going up around 1% point to 60%-ish range.  they may or may not get some love entering their 9th or 10th years.