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.

Comments

Edwards back from the IL. Can’t wait to see him blow a lead this weekend!

Rizzo busting out of his home run slump with gusto: grand slam!

contreras participated in "baseball activities" today...no idea what that was, but that's a good start to a IL comeback.

meanwhile, brandon morrow is on some beach sipping drinks or something.  i wonder if he's even going to pitch again for the cubs.  back in april/may he was supposed to only miss the first half of the season and supposedly he was ready to face live batters a few weeks ago after throwing some side sessions.  now...i dunno...

Morrow update today from Theo here:

https://www.bleachernation.com/2019/07/19/cubs-injury-updates-hamels-in-early-august-contreras-off-his-feet-for-another-day-morrows-timetable/

Sounds more and more likely that both Zobrist and Morrow have played their last and final games as Cubs

ugg.

i can live without zobrist, especially since the team got their $$ back from it...but morrow would be a damn nice fresh pen addition down the stretch.

He’s sipping drinks on a beach?

Could he be Mai Tai Guy???

ha.

he's a low level jerk, but i find it hard to hate the guy when he doesn't try ducking an interview to explain wtf his problem is.

Of course, the Cubs knew he was delicate when they signed him, but Maddon pushed him anyway. How much value is there to an elite player who can’t be used very much?

jon lester not fielding for himself is still stupid.

...and why the hell is tyler chatwood the only guy up in the pen in a game with a man on 2nd (after a 40ft base hit + throwing error) and 0 outs while down by 1?

Given the game conditions of an extra hot afternoon and Lester’s high stress innings, I was surprised he went out to start the 6th inning. 

some close calls, but he struggled his way out of it.  the 1 run lead remains.

he didn't look good, but he got his 6 innings in.

107 heat index. Pat described Lester after striking out Machado for final out in the 6th as a bulldog- sounds about right. 

evidently bryant is a gold glove LF'r

also, we've been seeing a bit of bryant in LF recently.

Bryant’s always been pretty good in LF. It’s RF where he looks most awkward to me. Something about staying on the left side of the field maybe. I think you’ll see Bryant and Schwarber platooned in LF going forward, though that might depend on Bote’s ability to start hitting LHP again. 

Bote’s numbers trending down unfortunately - not far from Russell‘s

1 pitch, tie game.

great job strop.

Strop has become very adroit at blowing leads giving up the long ball (same thing last Friday coming off the all star break?)

Too many of our relief arms have excelled at blowing late leads. Strop and Edwards have been the primary ones.

Should the Cubs go on to win this game ... wow.  Some crazy-stupid self inflicted damage that they’ve somehow skirted. 

SD defense is the player of the game.

Cubs win and this Kimbrel pickup paying dividends

STL down by 7...so they score 10 in the 6th...and barely manage to win a 12-11 game.

m.leake (SEA) perfect through 7ip, 67 pitches

base hit to lead off top 9th...aww.

killer performance and there should be enough in the tank to easily get the CG (only 79 pitches).

Mike Leake? Check that guy's locker for a genie lamp.

Another lefty Padre starter and JHey gets a breather.  Robel in LF (batting 5th) Almora CF (leadoff) and Bryant in RF

Almora is an ideal leadoff hitter ... said no one ever. 

I checked.  You are correct.  No one.  Ever.

currently a big fan of hispanic italians...

currently a big fan of hispanic puerto ricans...

joe sure likes putting kimbrel to work.

delay over, game on.

edwards gonna edwards...blah

The bitter side of me thinks it should have been a two for one trade for Maldonado 

Anyways, has not been a clean series for the Cubs against the Padres - fortunate to have won the series and a 7-2 home stand is a pretty big dill. Or deal. Or something

there's always nick castellanos for a chance to rid of edwards...at which point a couple month rental will probably turn edwards into their ace closer or something just as awesome.

I feel pretty safe in saying that 1. They don’t want him and 2. If they did, things wouldn’t improve for CJ.

Allowing inherited runners and 1-2 of your own in a close game is what I like to call the “Carl Jr Special.” It was formerly a Justin Grimm special, thankfully Carl stepped up to fill that void.

Edwards is frustrating at times. Some of that frustration comes from thinking he could be much better than he currently is. But prior to this year (in which he has pitched very few innings), he's overall been an OK relief pitcher in the majors. I'm happy to wait and see on him for quite a while. Still has an option and is cheap, right?

I think this is his last option year. And he’s not as cheap as you’d think, he’s a super two qualified player this year.

Carl Edwards Jr will be out of minor league options next season (2020), and he will (once again) be arbitration-eligible post-2019 (he was "Super Two" arb eligible post-2018) and he will be a FA post-2022. 

Cheap may not be the right word, but has put up reasonable value per dollar compared to other relievers prior to this ear.

He accrued 2.9 bWAR 2017-2018. Strop put up 3.2 bWAR during the same period. Edwards is making $1.5M this year. Strop is making $6.25M. He'll get a bump again this offseason even if he doesn't rebound in the second half, of course. I just don't see a need to trade him unless the Cubs are being offered value in return.

That said, it does make my stomach knot up a bit when I see they are bringing him into a close game.

Not as much as it makes his stomach tighten!

i dont think we should trade him. We would get nothing of value back. But I don’t think he should be a bullpen piece on a playoff contender either. He should be in Iowa. Reassess where he’s at for September and next year. If they don’t like what they see, non-tender.

cubs lose, cards win, brews win.

boo.

I feel like I've already waited & seen enough of CEJ...

Yeah.....yeah. I think I'm good too. Put him and Strop in the Shawn Greene deal.

Edwards optioned to Iowa per Jesse Rogers,

Recent comments

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 52 min 46 sec ago (view)

    I love these scouting reports. Thanks Phil!

    You wouldn't happen to have this info for the road games Sun and Mon?

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 3 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: Mark Zagunis is assigned to AAA Iowa but he did not get an NRI to MLB Spring Training. He is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 World Series if he is not added back to an MLB reserve list (40-man roster) in the meantime. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 27 min ago (view)

    Most of the pitchers who threw today pitched Saturday night, so not a lot of new pitch/velo info. 

    Jon Lester:  
    FB: 86-89
    SL: 85 
    CH: 84
    CV: 70-74 
    NOTES: First Cactus League game outing of 2020 for Lester... looked uncomfortable on the mound and even when he was warming up in the bullpen before the game... stuff and command were not sharp... hopefully Lester has at least one good year left in him...  

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 hour 34 min ago (view)

    Whatever happened to Mark Zagunis? I thought we still held his rights, but he was just out of options? Haven't heard anything about him in awhile & I think he would make a good platoon partner with Schwarber.

     

  • crunch 2 hours 42 min ago (view)

    3h 43m game today.

    at least i've seen a lot of "i need to hop on baseball reference" cubs minor leaguers and new hires in the past 2 days.

    rex brothers looked good again.

     

  • crunch 4 hours 40 min ago (view)

    1h 50min into the game and they're through 4 innings.

    yesterday's game was 3h 45m.

     

  • crunch 5 hours 58 min ago (view)

    lester seems to be leaving off where he was for the last couple months of the season in 2019.

    no one should take anything from a february spring training start...NONETHELESS...this outing looked a lot like the ones he spent in the last couple months of the season with batters sitting around waiting to swing at lester fastballs and laying off everything else.

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    he paced for 20+HR last year and might have done it if he wasn't on unpaid leave for a while.  i'd handicap him as a 15-20HR guy at worst rather than saying 20HR solid.  it's probably a safer range.

    his D isn't up there with the all-time greats of the game, but it's well above average for a young guy (turned 26 last month) who can also provide some pop.  i think more than a few teams could slot him in as a middle IF starter without having much internal competition.

     

  • Rob Richardson 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    He hit 20+ HR only once and that was four years ago. He has a career OBP of 312, a career SLG of 392, and is his SS defense really that special anymore?

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    kinda crazy a.russell is still a free agent.

    he's not the first and probably not the last domestic abuser to "serve his time" and find contracts to sign.  there's a 20HR guy who plays great D at SS sitting out there while spring training is going down without him.

    i wonder how much he's demanding (if that's an issue at all) vs teams that want no part of him...

     

  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    Don't forget the awesome taste of RizzO's !!!

     

  • crunch 2 days 14 min ago (view)

    ha.  also, this reminds me that Grand Slam cereal existed in the late 90s.  it was basically Kix with the marshmallows from Lucky Charms (in baseball items shape).  it was actually really good.

     

  • Charlie 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    I just love cereal so much

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Yeah, both of those guys have some versatility. Could make a nice platoon if it ever came to that. 

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Rooting for General Mills?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    I like that they're trying Robel and Giambrone all over the diamond.