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 3 hours 18 min ago (view)

    Ine of my alltime favorites.

     

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

    He played in the big leagues longer than he played any other level of organized baseball combined.

     

  • crunch 17 hours 20 min ago (view)

    al kaline has died at age 85.

    from highschool to the majors without touching the minors...22 seasons, all with DET...18x all-star...3000 hit club.

     

  • Charlie 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Currently at a near full-time job that just barely covers my monthly expenses if nothing emerges.

    I make more than that.

     

  • crunch 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    "Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is considering opening the season in empty spring training parks -- with no fans and all players quarantined.

    The plan would have all teams stationed in one centralized location -- likely Arizona"

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   

     

  • JustSayin' 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.

     

  • Hagsag 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 

     

  • JustSayin' 6 days 17 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.

     

  • crunch 6 days 19 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.

     

  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.

     

  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...

     

  • JustSayin' 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca

     

  • crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...