Cubs vs. Reds: Mills vs. DeSclafani (Game 95)

CHC (50-44): RHP Alec Mills (0-0, -.-- ERA)
CIN (43-48): RHP Anthony DeSclafani (5-4, 4.26 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Bad news first: The Cubs dropped the first game of the series in frustrating fashion (no hitting with RISP, fielding errors, bullpen inadequacy) and Willson is going to the IL with a foot injury. In the meantime, the Cubs are sending Mike Montgomery to KC in exchange for Martin Maldonado. Caratini seems likely to get plenty of at bats and the Cubs will have the option to use him more in the pinch if they keep Maldonado around after Contreras's IL stint ends.

More bad news, for me specifically: I forgot that Cole Hamels injured his oblique! Alec Mills's spot start comes as a surprise to me only. The 27-year-old righty has spent all of 2019 at AAA so far. I no longer know to evaluate minor league pitching stats now that the pitcher-friendly PCL combines with the juiced MLB ball, but he's gone 6-2 with a 4.73 ERA for the I-Cubs. He wasn't too bad in 18 innings with Chicago last year, making two starts and appearing twice out of the bullpen. The first of those starts was was a no-decision against Cincinnati, in which Mills allowed one earned run over 5.2 innings while striking out eight. He allowed one run to score on a Philip Ervin double in the second. The Cubs won that August 24th game on a walk-off HR from Bote.

Following his victory over the Cubs on June 30, DeSclafani's last start was a no-decision against Cleveland. He allowed two earned runs in six innings pitched on a pair of solo homeruns. Bryant is 7-20 off of him with a homerun (1-3 with a double against him on 6/30) and Schwarber is 5-14 with a homer and three walks (2-3 with two singles off him and a homer off Lorenzen on 6/30).

The Cubs are 3-7 against the Reds prior to today's game.

Comments

schwarber / baez / bryant / rizzo / garcia(2nd) / heyward / almora / maldonado / mills

almora picks up a career highlight reel catch in CF.

even heyward was pumped.

okay, im done with alec mills.

next.

31 pitches, 3 HBP by mills...and only 3 runs given up in 1.2ip so far!

montgomery is going to be used as a SP for KC.  good for him.

also, a.mills has calmed down into a hell of a nice welcome back start.  he's back on my xmas card list.

they're celebrating the 69 cubs at the park tonight.

they had a bunch of vets (led by billy williams) do the 7th along with a video edited together of ernie banks + ron santo singing the 7th so they could all sing along.  great touch.

Williams can carry a tune, if I remember correctly.

Dempster was unbelievable the other night, hitting only one note on-key, the second to the last word in the song, "ball."  Maybe he can do comedy, but forget about song-and-dance.

More rare sighting in last few weeks: a Descalso plate appearance or a Rizzo home run?  Descalso PA wins by an eyelash

Descalso actually had one his better at bats (even though he should have been rung up on a missed strike three) — a line drive one hopper to the shortstop

Near warning track power Rizzo not nearly as fun as home run derby Rizzo

rizzo's power outage has been a little alarming.  it seems to be bad luck more than anything obvious, though.

He is very streaky, both with his hitting for average and his power. I’m not too worried about it from the Cubs standpoint yet. From my fantasy team standpoint  a different matter though.

I’m trying really hard to reverse jinx it but floundering in a bad way. Seems likely he’ll hit 6 + in a week when the dam finally breaks

I really enjoyed his left-field hitting Monday night, though. It's not like he's forgotten how to swing a bat.

His two strike approach is very commendable on a team with so much swing and miss in it. Hoping he’ll run into an early count fastball soon that exits the park - he’s most certainly due. 

Well that settles it: Lorenzen is a better base runner than Brach. Brach haint got nuttin’

lorenzen is low-key one of the most exciting players in the game, seriously.  he's fun on the mound, at the plate, and baserunning.

phew...kimbrel is fresh off taking a half season away from the game, but im ready for a bit less drama out of his appearances.

Throws strikes like Chatwood.  Holds runners like Darvish.

From what a friend of mine who is a big Red Sox fan (ugh) had to say about him, don’t hold your breath on the stress free outings. He’ll usually get the job done but it’s frequently painful.

Almora - what a tool non-play there. 

This smells like a Chatwood game. 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

schwarber in the bottom 10th!  walkoff homer.

Credit to Mills bouncing back strong - fifth straight quality start by the rotation certainly helps things. Yu for the series win tomorrow 

This is funny. The roller coaster life of Cub fans.

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  • crunch 2 hours 30 min ago (view)

    happ / rizzo / bryant / schwarber / contreras / heyward / baez / caratini(DH) / kipnis

    ABC broadcast (all 3 games, W/Th/F)...

    j.osich DFA'd...j.phegley added to be the "3rd/emergency" catcher

    btw, the cubs play all early day games this round.  wtf...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Couldn't agree more. It was fine for this nonsense season, but playing a full 162, what's the point of pushing for 100 wins if 80 gets you in, and there's no real benefit to winning 100, as if you lose the wrong two games, you're gone 

     

  • crunch 16 hours 8 min ago (view)

    There's a lot I hate about this playoff format and I hope we get back to 3-in with 2 teams playing a brutal 1-game playoff format.

    i don't want to watch 162...or 150...games to see 16 out of 30 teams get a shot at winning it all.

    we just watched the cubs drop 3 out of 4 to a team that was 15-38.  dropping a playoff series to a team that had the 5th best record and survived a 1-game sudden death playoff has a bit more legitamacy than a team that didn't even have a .500 record (MIL + HOU this year, btw).

     

  • Charlie 17 hours 48 min ago (view)

    Yay for playoff games taking place in the middle of a workday? I'll be watching this one well after the fact. Enjoy, to all those watching it live on Wednesday afternoon!

     

  • champsummers 19 hours 48 min ago (view)

    Gracias!

    And I did not know he was eligible already.  Makes sense..

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    ex-cub and fun baseball dude Jay Johnstone has died.  74 years old (dementia, COVID).

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    I understand why it feels unsettling. I remember the series well (though I, unlike Theo, actually was in high school). Anyway, I view it as a chance to right previous wrongs in the same way we stomped StL out of the playoffs in 2015, or the way the Nationals got to burn through two teams last year that had dumped them out of October in previous seasons.

    But if we lose, of course that was 17 years ago so it's two extremely different organizations.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    DJL: All players on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, even if the player has not spent at least ten days on Optional Assignment. Players cannot be optioned to the minors again until Spring Training. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    CHAMP: No option year is spent just by calling up a player to MLB. An option year is spent only if a player on an MLB 40-man roster is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days in a given season. 

    Also, Brailyn Marquez is (was) eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft in December, so the Cubs were going to add him to the 40 on 11/20 anyway. They just did it a couple of months early.  

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Not sure if serious, but Theo became the Red Sox GM in 2002. It's true though, there probably aren't many people in the organization besides Ricketts and Crane Kenney who have any strong feelings about that series. 

     

  • Craig A. 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    I wonder if anyone on the Cubs cares or even remembers the odd events when the Marlins played the Cubs in 2003. I think Theo was in high school. To this old fart it will be more than a little unsettling to watch this post-season match-up. At least we can be fairly certain there will no fans grabbing for foul balls. 

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Which is kind of annoying. Nobody really picked the Cubs to win this division pre-season. I guess Mattingly gets some credit for guiding the Marlins through their positives but even just letting them play that one game with half the team sick should knock him out of consideration. Meanwhile Ross kept a tight ship and the Cubs has no positives all year. I'd say Ross or Tingler should get it over Mattingly. 

     

  • crunch 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    cubs finish 34-26 (1st, division)...they play MIA on wednesday.

    good start for d.ross, but the manager of the year is most likely going to d.mattingley (MIA) or j.tingler(SD).

     

  • crunch 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    ...or he won't make it out of the 8th

    0.2ip 2h 3bb 1k, 5r/er...2 wild pitches

    there's some great stuff in that arm.  mid/high-80s slider, "changeup" around 90mph, fastball 97-99mph...all effortless.  21 years old and never pitched above A-ball.

     

  • crunch 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    -deleted-

     

  • crunch 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    rough debut...doubt we're going to see him in the 9th.