Cubs vs. Padres: Series Thread (Games 97-99)
The Cubs (52-44) take on the Padres (46-50) in a three-game set of matinees at Wrigley. The Padres are a thoroughly mediocre team, but they've played streaky ball since early June and have jumped up and surprised both the Dodgers and the Brewers during that time with three wins against each. The streaks have run both ways, as they've also gone through four losing streaks of at least three games during that period. This will be the first time the Cubs face them in 2019. Since last year, they've added Manny Machado. He's been good for them so far, albeit with a slightly lower than usual batting average for him. But rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. has been the offensive star, offering power, speed, and (thanks to a .430 BABIP) a high average. Hunter Renfroe also seems to be enjoying 2019--he just recently passed his previous single season high in homeruns and now sits at 27. Kirby Yates is enjoying a banner year out of the bullpen, leading the pitching staff in fWAR, striking out 14.36 per 9 innings and generally going untouched by the 2019 homerun boom. See below for game-by-game matchups.
Game 97, Friday, July 19, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (9-6, 3.74 ERA)
SD: LHP Eric Lauer (5-7, 4.04 ERA)
Lester earned his ninth win against Pittsburgh with a 6.2 innings and three earned runs allowed. Eric Hosmer is 6-19 with a homer off of him. Wil Myers is 2-16 with eight strikeouts.
Eric Lauer went 6-7 with a 4.34 ERA in his 2018 rookie season. This year he's improved most of his peripherals a touch, lowering walks and homeruns and boosting his groundball rate, but sacrificing some strikeouts along the way. Most recently, he pitched six innings and allowed two runs, one earned, in a no-decision against the Dodgers. The Cubs went 5-10 off of him in an abbreviated start on July 15 of last year.
Game 98, Saturday, July 20, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (7-7, 4.21 ERA)
SD: LHP Joey Lucchesi (7-4, 3.92 ERA)
Quintana has won three games in a row, allowing six earned runs in 19 innings. He's allowed zero homeruns during that stretch. Ian Kinsler is 15-48 with two homeruns off of him. Hosmer is 13-71 with 14 strikeouts. Machado is 3-15.
Joey Lucchesi is the second sophomore starter working against the Cubs in this series. He went 8-9 last year with a 4.08 ERA, striking out more than a batter per inning along the way. This year the strikeouts are down to 8.55 per nine innings, but he's also giving up slightly fewer homeruns. He got a no-decision in last start against Atlanta, pitching five innings and allowing two earned runs. He pitched 5.2 innings at Wrigley last August and current Cubs went 7-21 in that start. Javy went 2-3 with a homerun.
Game 99, Sunday, July 21, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-7, 3.46 ERA)
SD: RHP Cal Quantrill (2-2, 4.21 ERA)
Hendricks last went six innings and allowed two earned runs against the Reds, looking recovered from the shoulder issues that sent him to the IL briefly. Current Padres ar 15-57 off of him with 13 strikeouts.
Cal Quantrill has made 8 starts and appeared out of the bullpen four times in this, his rookie season. He features a mid-90s fastball and a plus changeup. He got a no-decision in his last start, going six innings and allowing no runs to Atlanta. He had been pitching out of the bullpen for the last few weeks of June but returned to the rotation in July. No current Cubs have faced him.
crunch 5 min 4 sec ago (view)
zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini(1st) / heyward / hoerner / darvish
Arizona Phil 7 min 29 sec ago (view)
Betcha the Dodgers are really glad that they didn't trade Gavin Lux for Vazquez at the trade deadline.
crunch 12 min 46 sec ago (view)
28 year old PIT closer felipe vazquez (one of the best in the game for the last 3 years) nabbed for hooking up with a child for the past couple years (age 13-15).
anything less than a full exoneration pretty much sinks his career unless he wants to run for office in Georgia.
he's being charged with "one count of computer pornography - solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minor" (this was all uncovered when the mother of the child discovered text messages)
Arizona Phil 1 hour 34 min ago (view)
I strongly believe that there will be some major changes on the Cubs after this season, even if the Cubs somehow win the World Series. There won't be a tear-down/rebuild lke 2012-14, but I can see the Cubs going younger.
Arizona Phil 2 hours 9 min ago (view)
I think Jon Lester wil be treated as a much-respected "franchise legend" next season, getting the honor of starting on Opening Day, but then being considered the #3 or #4 starter after that before getting his well-earned $10M "golden parachute" after the season. He won't be disrepected by the club, but his time as the go-to guy at the top of the rotation will be over. (Actually it's already over).
Arizona Phil 2 hours 30 min ago (view)
Keep in mind that Yu Darvish does have an opt-out after this season, so if he and/or his agent think he can get at least 4/$81M (which is what he presently is owed 2020-23) as a post-2019 FA he could opt-out.
Arizona Phil 2 hours 57 min ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Colin Rea hasn't pitched in almost two weeks so I doubt that the Cubs will call him up (they probably should have assigned him to the AFL to get him back into SP shape, but they didn't). That said, If the Cubs were to call-up Rea right now (and they would really need to do it ASAP for him to be useful as a SP) they could recall Justin Steele and place him on the 60-day IL to open up a spot on the 40 for Rea, so that part really isn't a problem.
Charlie 3 hours 11 min ago (view)
Regarding last night's 9th: Kyle Ryan unwilling or unable to throw his curveball is a little ugly.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 12 min ago (view)
SS Zack Short (replacing Nico Hoerner) and RHRP Scott Effross have been added to the AFL Mesa Solar Sox roster.
bradsbeard 3 hours 13 min ago (view)
With all of Lester, Hamels, and Q struggling, how likely would you say a Graveman or Rea callup would be at this point in the season to add some long man depth or even take one of those guys’ next turns? Assuming they could call up Steele and place him on the 60 day IL to free up a roster spot. Obviously there’s the matter of Graveman’s bonus but Rea would be relatively cheap for two weeks.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 14 min ago (view)
Maybe Rizzo can wear Bill Buckner high-tops. It's not like Rizz was a fast runner to begin with.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 20 min ago (view)
DJL: I think Cole Hamels has probably pitched his way out of a QO.
Even though it means the Cubs won't get a compensation draft pick were Hamels to sign elsewhere prior to next June's draft, the danger in offering a QO would be that he would either accept the QO and tie-up about $20M in 2020 payroll, or decline the QO and then (like Keuchel and Kimbrel) wait until after the June draft to sign with another club so that the Cubs wouldn't get a draft pick.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 49 min ago (view)
Yeah him and Q both have been pretty crappy down the stretch. I wonder if Hamels is pitching his way out of a qualifying offer.
crunch 20 hours 7 min ago (view)
cole hamels continues to suck.
3.1, 4.1, 3.1 innings his last 3 starts. he hasn't been the same since coming back after his july injury rest.
crunch 21 hours 3 min ago (view)
so far so good...
it's kinda frightening that schwarb in LF is a better option than schwarb playing 1st with rizzo out. i wonder how bad it really is...
crunch 23 hours 51 min ago (view)
zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini (1st) / heyward / hoe / ham