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.
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.
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.