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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  • JustSayin' 3 hours 23 min ago (view)

    I think what your saying applies to all franchises in all big-time team sports.  The virus is asymptomatic in many carriers.  The national positive test % rate is mid/high single digits.  If your pro sports franchise does 3-4 x better than that, it still means some players and coaches will test positive and things will grind to a partial or complete halt.  At least baseball didn't try to "bubble" in AZ and FL, which are looking like two of the worst (and worst-led) states in which to be located at the currrent stage of the pandemic.

     

  • crunch 4 hours 23 min ago (view)

    rizzo took BP and did some field work today.  also, almora is good to go...he ran into a wall on friday and got a little banged up.

     

  • Cubster 11 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Aroldis Chapman is now Covid positive with mild symptoms

     

  • crunch 1 day 16 min ago (view)

    the COVID-Division should be fun.

    teams from TX, AZ, CA, WA, and CO exclusively playing each other...  CO is all "wtf, really?"

     

  • Cubster 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    ...and so it goes (per Roto): Astros general manager James Click wrote in a statement that a member of the staff "was potentially exposed to a COVID-positive individual outside the organization.” The team is working with MLB and team doctors on testing protocol and cleaning before resuming workouts. 

    Does the visiting team bring a Covid positive bio-weapon to the player's parking lot?

     

  • Charlie 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    I've been wondering how this would proceed. Since teams will have to figure out how existing contracts will be paid, I thought there was a *chance* they would proceed with free agency as usual and plan for payment under potential shortened seasons would just be figured out in negotiations with the MLBPA. But that was probably an overly optimistic thought.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    Meanwhile Theo shoots down any potential of extension talks. I get that it's a crazy time financially in baseball, but it's really gonna suck when all these players leave after 21 and 22.

     

  • Cubster 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    WSox Michael Kopech has opted out of 2020. I didn't see a disclosed reason yet but he is recovering from TJ S 

     

  • crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    buster posey (SF) opting out of 2020...recently adopted twin daughters who were born premature.

     

  • Cubster 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    per Tribune: Kimbrel's OK, just working on his changeup (formerly his fastball).

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 35 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released RHRP (and their erstwhile closer) Brandon Morrow. There is no indication that they plan to re-sign him to another (different) 2020 minor league contract without the Article XX-B $100K retention bonus provision (as happened with Jason Kipnis last week).  

     

  • crunch 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    rizzo takes another day off (lower back).  ross says the club is "exercising caution."

    klye ryan is expected to join the team tomorrow after some mysterious holdup.

     

  • Ryno 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Has anyone seen Darvish's pitch "The Supreme"?  Isn't it just a sinker?

     

  • Ryno 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    In other words:  This lineup sucks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Jason Kipnis was released on June 29th and then he was re-signed to a new (different) 2020 minor league contract that does not require a $100K retention bonus if he is not added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 2020 MLB Opening Day (7/23).  

    Brandon Morrow remains on his original 2020 minor league contract which pays him a $100K retention bonus if he is not released by 7/18 or added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 7/23. 

     

  • Eric S 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    There is that re Kimbrel - at worst, just another year on the books.

     July 1st is Bobby Bonilla Day - the day that check is cut and paid annually.