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.
crunch 1 hour 2 min ago (view)
1h 50min into the game and they're through 4 innings.
yesterday's game was 3h 45m.
crunch 2 hours 21 min ago (view)
lester seems to be leaving off where he was for the last couple months of the season in 2019.
no one should take anything from a february spring training start...NONETHELESS...this outing looked a lot like the ones he spent in the last couple months of the season with batters sitting around waiting to swing at lester fastballs and laying off everything else.
crunch 22 hours 55 min ago (view)
he paced for 20+HR last year and might have done it if he wasn't on unpaid leave for a while. i'd handicap him as a 15-20HR guy at worst rather than saying 20HR solid. it's probably a safer range.
his D isn't up there with the all-time greats of the game, but it's well above average for a young guy (turned 26 last month) who can also provide some pop. i think more than a few teams could slot him in as a middle IF starter without having much internal competition.
Rob Richardson 23 hours 26 min ago (view)
He hit 20+ HR only once and that was four years ago. He has a career OBP of 312, a career SLG of 392, and is his SS defense really that special anymore?
crunch 1 day 44 min ago (view)
kinda crazy a.russell is still a free agent.
he's not the first and probably not the last domestic abuser to "serve his time" and find contracts to sign. there's a 20HR guy who plays great D at SS sitting out there while spring training is going down without him.
i wonder how much he's demanding (if that's an issue at all) vs teams that want no part of him...
First.Pitch.120 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
Don't forget the awesome taste of RizzO's !!!
crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
ha. also, this reminds me that Grand Slam cereal existed in the late 90s. it was basically Kix with the marshmallows from Lucky Charms (in baseball items shape). it was actually really good.
Charlie 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
I just love cereal so much
bradsbeard 2 days 24 min ago (view)
Yeah, both of those guys have some versatility. Could make a nice platoon if it ever came to that.
bradsbeard 2 days 24 min ago (view)
Rooting for General Mills?
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 42 min ago (view)
I like that they're trying Robel and Giambrone all over the diamond.
Charlie 2 days 48 min ago (view)
I'll just be here salivating over the possibility of observing a sub-70MPH curve ball. :)
Rooting for Mills in general. Seems like fun as a 5th starter.
crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
dusty baker + adam greenberg piece...
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
Man this Dodger broadcast is garbage.
Sonicwind75 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
Thanks Phil for these breakdowns. Really helpful.