Cubs vs. Pirates: Darvish vs. Archer (Game 87)

CHC (45-41): RHP Yu Darvish (2-4, 4.98 ERA)
PIT (41-43): RHP Chris Archer (3-6, 5.50 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

The third game of the set is a battle of shadows of former aces. Yu Darvish has spent all of 2019 trying to regain some modicum of control after missing most of 2018. Of late he's surrendered fewer walks but allowed too many homeruns. He gave up seven homeruns in five June starts, 29.1 innings pitched. Most recently he struck out eight while allowing five earned runs in five innings to Atlanta. He lost to Pittsburgh on April 10, allowing five runs, four earned in 5.1 innings pitched. Subtracting out Cervelli (6-10) and Chisenhall (2-10 with a homerun), current Pirates are 10-30 off of him with two homeruns and two walks. Corey Dickerson is 4-7 with one of those homeruns.

Something is very much up with Chris Archer. His walks are way up and so is his homerun rate. He's posting his lowest groundball percentage and his highest flyball percentage and homerun-per-flyball percentage. His strikeouts are down a touch too, but still more than one per each inning pitched. His velocity is also down a little over one MPH, which is often suggestive of a health issue. Last time out he got a no-decision in four innings and allowed a couple earned runs. He has yet to get through a start without issuing a walk, and the last time he started without allowing an earned run was April 1. On June 11 he allowed five homeruns to Atlanta. This will be his first start against this Cubs this year. Javy is 5-9 off of him, Heyward is 3-4 with three walks, and Rizzo is 2-9 with three walks. Schwarber has the lone Cub homerun but is also 1-6 with four strikeouts.

Comments

maples down, r.garcia up

Get your playoff ticket orders in now.  

Seriously, this move is about two weeks too late - hope Robel can add a spark to a semi-catatonic lineup. 

A very good recap of an interview this afternoon with a clearly frustrated (and pissed) Theo on the Cubs flagship station 670 the Score

https://www.bleachernation.com/2019/07/03/theo-epstein-speaks-disgust-worst-depth-maddon-zobrist-and-morrow-changes-coming-much-more/

There potentially could be a lot of changes to the roster this year

Also, if you’ve sensed that the Cubs this year have particularly been toast if they‘ve trailed relatively early in games, your sense is correct: Cubs are now 5-27 when trailing after four innings

https://twitter.com/matrueblood/status/1144331769107406848?s=21

Schwarber/ Baez/ Rizzo/ Contreras (RF)/ Caratini/ Bote/ Baddison/ Almora/ Darvish

3 easy outs at the bottom of the lineup as usual. How Joe takes Heyward out with the roll he’s been on is shocking. Especially in favor of Albert.

It was suggested here during Darvish’s last start that Willson should start in left field and Caratini should catch — well, Willson’s starting in right but glad to see the brass is paying attention to TCR! Lol

Schwarber playing the giant LF and Willson getting the rare RF start seems like a heck of a gamble, but I guess you gotta do something to get the offense going.

Backs were against the wall with both KB and JHey not available to start. Hopefully Almora is focused and hitterish tonight

Yeah, any combination of two of Descalso, Almora and Russell in the starting lineup hasn’t worked out so hot

Also, best not strike out four times right after the mid-year team meeting or your ass will be sitting on the bench!

Also, also ... both KB and JHey getting a rest due to banged up knees - KB hard slides in Cincy requiring icing his knees and JHey from a slide(s) last night. 

la stella with a fractured leg

out 8-10+ weeks

damn

Boo to human frailty and mortality in general.

What a bummer for Tommy. I hope he still attends the ceremonies and gets his recognition in person.

Losing Zobrist reminds me of when the Blackhawks lost Marian Hossa.

Why haven't Descalso and Montgomery been DFA'd yet?

Option Rosario when Edwards gets back and DFA Montgomery to give Alzolay another start after the all star break. Replace Descalso with Zagunis.

Cubs still have two more years of club control over Monty and he does have respectable numbers as a starter the last couple seasons — hard to just DFA that. I‘d rather see him hit the IL for something and get some kind of value for Monty down the road. 

Descalso can go if an immenent injury is out of the question. 

Both need to get of the 25 asap. 

Agreed on Monty. I think he’s just having “one of those years” and will bounce back next year. Descalso is trash.

While we’re at it, get rid of Edwards too. He‘s only good in low pressure spots.

Caratini with homers from both sides of the plate. Get that man an outfielders glove and stick him in center!

r.garcia K’s on 4 pitches.

welcome to the bigs.

He fits right in.

First two pitches were cookie breaking balls square in the middle of the zone. Swung right thru both of them. He’s like Happ, but older and speaks Italian. 

He’s had one big league at bat. He might be Ian Happ, but he might also be useful.

Ian Happ, however, is still unfortunately for us, Ian Happ

Definitely will give Garcia a chance - just having fun. With the way this season is shaping up, there’s going to be ample opportunity for dark humor ...

The strikeout rate in the minors suggests the Happ comparison--34.2% at Iowa this year.

Ginormous difference between the bench depth with these two teams

Told ya Willson is a gold glove outfielder - Ye of little faith!!!

Doh!

Occupational hazard when you put a catcher in right field I guess. That 9ty inning was straight up painful.

Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory 

You wonder if both JHey and KB were that banged up that neither could come in for defense in the ninth?  Sure would have helped if Kimbrel handn’t walked the second batter - great at bat by that dude, laid off some nasty pitches. 

I wonder if Joe even thought to bring in a defensive replacement in the 9th. Contreras looked like a pro on the play in the 8th. But I absolutely think a healthy-ish Heyward makes that 9th inning catch.

Russell throwing home was a mistake from a player not playing out of position, though.

I think any of our outfielders who get to that ball make that catch. Probably throughout the system. That one is on Joe.

Baddison’s brain fart is on no one but himself.

Agreed. Contreras probably needed to slide to make the catch; he looked to me like he was distracted by the possibility of running into the fence. Heyward does it no problem. KB probably gets there and makes the catch. Schwarber doesn't get there in time.

They said on the tv broadcast that statcast put the catch probability at 40%.  Agree that JHey and KB make it but I really can’t fault Contreras, particularly after his outstanding play in the eighth.  It took a lot of breaks for the Cubs to get that lead (Strop’s pickoff of Marte on review, Willson’s outstanding throw and Caratini‘s overall play) — good fortune ran out in the 9th. 🤷‍♂️

I straight up hate baseball after this bottom of the 9th inning.

this.

i'm now a fan of australian rules football and curling.  baseball is for jerks.

Wow. What the Cubs need is a closer. 

uggggghh

Well, better than losing 18-5. Didn’t give up any runs in the first inning. Took the first lead. Actually had a lead in the ninth. Gotta take baby steps to winning a road (or any) game. 

And the Brewers lost - I guess that helps. Meh

Cubs now 5-28 when trailing after four innings. Jeebuz, that’s bad - flashbacks to 2013-14 and throw in a dash of Mike Quade. 

Recent comments

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  • Hagsag 16 min 43 sec ago (view)

    Phil, when does the Instructional program begin? Are there pitchers in the pitching lab now?

     

  • cubbies.4ever 11 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Just to continue my conspiracy theory that Theo has a requirement you have TJS to pitch for the Cubs Trevor Megill had it in 2013.  The Cubs must have a support group for pitchers who have had TJS.

     

  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 55 min ago (view)

    After losing two players off the Iowa reserve list in the Major League Phase and selecting four players in the AAA Phase, the Iowa reserve list has one slot open, so now would be an excellent time to try and outright C. D. Pelham to AAA.

    Keep in mind that he can't elect free-agency if he's outrighted, and if he is outrighted, he won't be a minor league free-agent until post-2021.

    And if he gets claimed off waivers? No big deal.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 17 min ago (view)

    LHSP Faustino Carrera and 2B Carlos Sepulveda were among the first players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014-15. The Cubs ended up signing more than two dozen more Mexican players over the next three years. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Vimael Machin can play anywhere in the infield & outfield, but he also went through the catcher conversion program at post-2015 Instructs so he can even catch in a pinch, too. He could be a very useful 26th man.

    Machin is bi-lingual (he is from Puerto Rico and went to college at Old Dominion), and was projected by the Cubs as a future coach or manager. He's a savvy & astute baseball guy. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 34 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Every year the Cubs convert two or three position players to pitcher (it was Galazin, Hughes, and Zardon in 2019), so it's very possible that Suiter will be given a chance to pitch. 

     

  • bradsbeard 14 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Suiter, who pitched in HS and briefly in college and who doesn't appear to be much of a hitter, seems to me to be a good pitcher conversion candidate.

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 12 min ago (view)

    BTW, three of the four players selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (Stewart, Suiter, and Masters) will be minor league free-agents post-2020, and the fourth one (Vance Vizcaino) is a second-contract player (he was previously released by KC) so he could be a post-2020 minor league free-agent, too (TBD).

    Incidentally, David Masters was selected by the Cubs after signing a minor league successor contract with the Nationals. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 19 min ago (view)

    So LHSP Brailyn Marquez, INF Christopher Morel, RHSP Cory Abbott, SS Aramis Ademan, RHSP Erich Uelmen, RHSP Keegan Thompson, and LHSP Brendon Little stand-out among the Cubs 2020 first-time Rule 5 Draft eligibles, and RHRP Oscar de la Cruz, LHSP Luis Lugo, and LHRP Jordan Minch are probably the ones to watch  among the Cubs post-2020 free-agent eligibles.    

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 19 min ago (view)

    For those of you who like to plan ahead, AS THINGS STAND NOW here is how the Rule 5 Draft and minor league free-agency shape up for the Cubs post-2020: 

     

  • bradsbeard 22 hours 1 min ago (view)

    You say that in jest, but just from the 2016 draft, which did not feature a first or second round pick, the Cubs drafted 4 players who were added to 40 man rosters this winter (Hatch, Miller, Rucker, Short) with Mekkes, Giambrone, and several others being potential mid-season additions.  

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 17 min ago (view)

    So I guess he's the first guy since Rondon we've taken in rule 5 with a shot at making the roster. That's kinda cool

     

  • crunch 22 hours 23 min ago (view)

    "Megill is a guy we tried to trade for, actually, prior to the Rule 5." - hoyer

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 33 min ago (view)

    That's a bummer. He does what few on the big league club do: put the bat on the ball.

    Also hate to lose Rucker. He's a perfect type to be on AAA shuttle and cheap middle relief at minimum.

     

  • QuietMan 22 hours 33 min ago (view)

    Good stuff indeed.  

     

  • crunch 22 hours 35 min ago (view)

    A's trade for machin...probably not getting him back.