Cubs vs. Pirates: Series Thread (Games 91-93)

Welcome back from your well-deserved break. Starting Friday, the Cubs get back at the division battle with a three-game set against the Pirates. They'll try to leave behind a bit of a mid-season slump (one in which the entire division had been mired) and put some distance between themselves and their division rivals. See game-by-game matchups below.


Game 91, Friday, July 12, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (2-4, 5.01 ERA)
PIT: RHP Chris Archer (3-6, 5.49 ERA)

Darvish has faced the Pirates twice this year and is 0-1 allowing 8 earned runs in 12 innings pitched. The no-decision was his last start, in which he allowed four earned runs on two homers and no walks in 6.1 innings pitched. He's allowed nine homeruns over his last five starts. Darvish nemeses Cervelli and Chisenhall remain unavailable. Dickerson is also out of the starting lineup with a groin injury.

Chris Archer went five innings and struck out eight while also allowing three earned runs on two homers and three walks against the Cubs. Javy is 7-12 with a homerun off of him.


Game 92, Saturday, July 13, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (5-5, 4.36 ERA)
PIT: RHP Jordan Lyles (8-6, 3.72 ERA)

Jon Lester last held the White Sox to three runs, one earned, over 6.1 innings. His only start against Pittsburgh earlier this year was the two-inning affair that was shortened by his injury. He's held current Pirates to a .687 OPS in 214 at bats.

Last time out, Jordan Lyles was clobbered by the Cubs lineup. He allowed seven earned runs on ten hits, including three homeruns, in four innings pitched. Almora, Bryant, and Contreras hit the homers. Rizzo is 3-16 with four strikeouts against him.


Game 93, Sunday, July 14, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (6-7, 4.19 ERA)
PIT: RHP Trevor Williams (3-2, 4.54 ERA)

Quintana earned a win against the Pirates in his last start. He went seven deep, allowing three earned runs and striking out six. Dickerson is 5-11 off of him and Josh Bell is 2-9 with a homerun.

Trevor Williams allowed five earned runs in 5.2 innings pitched but still earned a win against the Cubs in his last start. That's because Adbert Alzolay allowed seven earned runs in only 2.2 innings pitched. Bryant is 3-11 with five walks off of him. Schwarber is 6-17 with two homeruns.

Comments

Somebody wake Theo up. Evidently, Descalso is STILL on the roster. Amazing 

Also, Cubs bats still on the All Star break 👎

after getting off to a hot start hitting leadoff, schwarb has been sub-.300 ob% quality there for a month or so.

him not being on base for rizzo/bryant/baez slugging isn't the major pressing issue with the lineup, though.

I was surprised to see Schwarber is actually on the higher end of average number of pitches seen per at bat but it’s not enough to offset the low on-base etc. He doesn’t make opposing pitchers uneasy at the plate or on the basepaths. Time travel and get 2016 Dexter back please. 

Last 8 games coming into today Schwarber had a .368 OBP. These things tend to fluctuate over small samples. 

That is encouraging. The discouraging thing is the .311 OBP over 212 PA’s when batting 1st in the order this season. Is slugging .508 at that spot though. Still strikes me as a square peg in a round hole. 

And Schwarber works two walks in the first inning - nice

Ok, I'm convinced.  There has to be some bat at Iowa that can better Decalso's wRC+ of 51.

you gotta be f'n kidding me.

Wish I could say it was shocking. Schwarber hitting into the dp ... knew it would bite them. 

Walking Bryan Reynolds with two outs - ridiculous 

......and, you can close my book on the Pedro Strop era. Recall......or trade for....anyone else.

Same fucking mistake time after time after time.  Caratini scoots to the outside edge to a RH batter, Strop misses outside-er by 6 to 12 inches.  Only guy in the league who swings at those pitches is busy playing SS for the Cubs.  Strop gets behind, fastball gets rocketed somewhere.  Once into the ivy today, the other one estimated at 454 feet.

Watching Caratini/Contreras scoot to outside edge with Strop pitching is like the moment in the horror film when the teenagers grab the candles and matches out of the kitchen drawer and then split up.

alfred hitchcock over here has a point.

Strop's slider always seems better down than it does away.

MLB.tv is free this weekend (including tonight).

local blackout b/s appies.

JHey with the answer!!

hate to push his recent and far-too-long-to-get-here sustained success, but he's starting to look like a whole lot more valid leadoff guy than the current favorite.

I’d keep JHey right where he is - he’s in a sweet zone and I don’t want to mess with it. Trade for a stopgap 2nd baseman (Sogard/Villar) and/or outfielder (Peralta?) who can also hit leadoff - move Schwarber down to 6-8. Leadoff needs to be adressed one way or another 

i dont understand why bote isn't there more often.  he plays 2nd well enough and his shortcomings seems to mostly be not adapting to the fact that contreras and baez could throw to you at any moment for any reason, good or bad, and to be on point when either has the ball.

And Rizzo

Cubs have three offensive black holes on the roster at the moment (Descalso, Almora, and Russell).  Almora should play the most due to his defense and also the number of guys needing to move position when he is out.  I'm OK with Cubs having 2 auto outs at the bottom of the lineup if Almora is going to play near GG caliber CF.  Seems to me Joe plays Almora and Russell together since it's his best defensive lineup and he's hoping both of them will start to hit better.  Bote or Garcia at 2B are both offensive upgrades so I think they should get regular play and take advantage of whomever gets hot.  Pick whomever are the Cubs 2 most groundball pitchers and play Russell with them for his D, Bote and Garcia get the other games til somebody wins out by hitting the best.

Descalso should play every time Chatwood comes into the game.  Only then.  The position player sign of surrender.

I’m sure everyone is hoping Almora and Russell start to hit better. There could be a small sliver of hope for Albert, but I think Addison just is what he is at this point. I know he’s still pretty young but he basically puts up the same line every year. Mediocre BA, below average OBP, some HR power. 

His career arc has certainly had the wrong trajectory since 2016.

cubs win!

Never a doubt!!!🤪

Real shame we weren’t able to sign Chambers or Hendrie.

Ryan Jensen’s first start: .2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 29 pitches (13 strikes)

Definite room for improvement, but three less walks than Alzolay had tonight ...

Posey grand slam in 10th vs Brewers Breaking 6-6 tie after brewers scored on Yelich triple to tie in 9th. Cards lose to DBacks. v fine start to the 2nd half.

Three free outs at the bottom of today’s lineup. They have to be thinking Baddison should be heading back to Des Moines, right? Right? RIGHT?

Thinking the Cubs may have Jordan Lyles number

RIP corey dickerson's face

Alec Mills getting the start on Tuesday. 

*checks AAA stats*

i f'n hate tuesday.

brewers won a hell of a game.

a 1-1 duel into the 7th where leads were traded or tied until a 2-out walkoff double in the bottom of the 9th.

btw, if anyone is bored enough, the HOU/TEX game is going to the 11th and crowd is both nearly 100% still in attendance and extremely hyped up.  great game.

that was neat.

anyway, if anyone is bored enough, the ATL/SD game is in the 10th and the crowd is doing typical SD things like technically existing and occasionally reacting to the play on the field with some noise.

For the sweep: Willson out, Caratini in (Willson with a sore arch in right foot, hopefully just minor issue), KB in right field, Bote at 3rd, Robel at 2nd. 

It looked like Contreras was injured trying to catch Rosario in the top of the 8th. Rosario was missing his spots badly against the last batter or two of the inning and Contreras was jumping/leaping/diving on almost every pitch and then limped off the field after the third out. 

that baez/russell DP was sick

k.bryant in RF...i could go for less k.bryant in RF...

he's not horrible, but he's timid about going full on and his initial break for the ball isn't that great.

Rather have Schwarber in right and KB in left, assuming you’re good with Almora not starting?  KB played some CF too a few years ago IIRC

i think we might be seeing schwarb find a new home and see a bit more LF bryant in 2020...but that is pure speculation.

the pen needed help this season, but it needs a nearly total rebuild going into 2020.

corner OF'rs and 3rd/2nd isn't much a depth issue, thankfully.

Yeah a lot of the pen is scheduled for FA this offseason. Strop Cishek Kintzler, potentially Brach. Even the ghost of Cedeno.

A handful of guys who will be out of options next year who could grab a spot and a handful who are in AAA who could grab one too. Though some of either group might be DFA or non-tendered.

The thing I worry about most with Bryant in the outfield is him running into people.

heyward's 15th HR of the season.

most since 2012 (27).

cubs with a 2 run lead in the 5th.

JHey lengthening the lineup in a big way!

I was thinking the same thing.  Keep JHey hot and find a hitterish 2nd baseman and the lineup starts to look 2016 long.  Cubs did OK that year.

The Cubs went from being one of the best PH clubs in 2018 to near the bottom in 2019, in large part because they essentially exchanged Tommy LaStella (by far - THE - best PH in MLB in 2018 and the best in Cubs history) for Daniel Descalso (who has been unable to provide any production off the bench in 2019).

Why this matters is that one way a club can come back late in a game (which the Cubs have not done much this season) is with a couple of bats on the bench who can provide a productive PA as a PH in a key late-inning situation.

With the Cubs sweeping the Pirates this past weekend the Bucs may be moving into "sell" mode, and if so, Melky Cabrera would be someone the Cubs should pursue. He is a high-contact switch-hitter who can hit cold of the bench (he is hitting 375/524/563 as a PH in 2019 and has yet to strike out in 21 PH PA) and he can play some corner OF (preferably LF) as well.   

Otherwise it's getting to the point where the Cubs will need to seriously consider using Jon Lester as a PH on a routine basis (that is, on days he's not the SP). 

cubs are the first NL Central team to 50 wins, 3rd in the NL to get there (ATL + LAD, who has 61 wins)

MIL is losing by 5 going into the 9th.  they will be 2.5 games back if they lose.

Recent comments

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  • JustSayin' 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

     I hear you but welcome to the world of Theo.  The team is always a step or two away from the World Series in his mind, whether that is true or not.  Therefore, the thing to do on the margin is to trade top prospects or younger guys on the roster for that missing puzzle piece, not build for the future.  I had a front-row seat for this as a Red Sox fan.  If Pedro Martinez doesn't insist the Red Sox sign David Ortiz for table scraps and Chris Bryant isn't the no-brainer second pick in the draft, we'd all be wondering what happened to that Theo guy who was in the Red S

     

  • Cubster 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Shogo Akiyama is a lefty bat, career BA at.301 w/ Seibu Lions.  Recent OBPs: .419, .385, .398, .403 and .392. HR 20-15 in last 3 seasons Stolen bases, 12 in 2019, 18 in best season (2016). Defense supposedly plus-plus, 7-10 assists (10 in 2016). Clearly a leadoff hitter.

     

  • crunch 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    christian yelich committed internet homicide on yu darvish...

    https://twitter.com/ChristianYelich/status/1195462...

     

  • Charlie 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Little in the offseason could make me happier than the Cubs finding ways to retain the good MLB players who came up with them while remaining competitive. This Javy extension talk makes me much happier as a fan than the Bryant and Contreras trade talk.

     

  • crunch 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    "Javy Baez. The two-time All-Star shortstop and 2018 MVP runner-up already has begun negotiations on a potential long-term extension with the Cubs, according to sources."

    also, some talk of being linked to shogo akiyama (CF, Japan, 32yo in April)

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/cubs/2019/11/15/20966...

     

  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.

    w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend).  braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.

     

  • crunch 5 days 6 hours ago (view)

    nice.

    it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control.  he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 9 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.

    Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. 

     

  • crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    nice info...

    i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.

    he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection. 

    STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them. 
    EXAMPLES: See my lists above. 

     

  • crunch 5 days 13 hours ago (view)

    "There are no untouchables," Epstein said.

    In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28066390/there...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 days 15 hours ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.

     

  • crunch 1 week 7 hours ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 8 hours ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!

     

  • crunch 1 week 8 hours ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.