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.
Cubster 3 hours 10 min ago (view)
Bluejays locked up a playoff spot. Looks like it's the Astros that are out. They are unlikely to get a "Buffalo" home game if they are the last seed.
Tribune Cub Notes (Friday AM):
Revenue drop leads to layoffs
By Mark Gonzales
The Cubs on Thursday laid off about 60 members of their business department because of declining revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a source told the Tribune.
crunch 18 hours 16 min ago (view)
the scary part of this team-wide slump, and especially this series, is PIT is basically a AAA level talent team that had 15 wins all season coming into the cubs series.
cubs are limping into the post-season. heyward is pretty much the only consistent hitter. well, technically jose martinez has been consistent, too.
blockhead25 18 hours 33 min ago (view)
Hey, anything could happen. They could win 4 2-1 games in a series.
Or lose 8-0, 6-0 in the first round and be done.
Charlie 18 hours 53 min ago (view)
3 days left to get psyched for the post season?
blockhead25 19 hours 47 min ago (view)
This is an impressive level of offensive offense. This week feels like the final week of 2018 when we also had a lousy 4 game series with the Pirates, just without one of the other teams winning the final 8 games to catch us.
QuietMan 22 hours 23 min ago (view)
So whatever happened to the don't pitch Mills the day after Hendricks plan?
crunch 22 hours 37 min ago (view)
rizzo / contreras(DH) / heyward / schwarber / maybin(CF) / kipnis / baez / caratini / bote
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
I agree with all of this. I think KB is traded for a SP. I guess here is my guess at the pitchers:
Bullpen: Mills/ Alzolay, Underwood, Adam, Tepera, Wick, Kimbrel, Ryan, Wieck (Alzolay if he loses the 5th spot battle with Mills is still starter number 6, and likely being groomed to join the rotation either later in the year or 2022)
Charlie 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
Frazier beat him on an inside corner two-seamer (albeit belt high), but the Hayes homer came on an 0-2 meatball. Not very professorial.
crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
hendricks starts the game giving up back to back homers. wtf...
crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
happ / rizzo / contreras / schwarber(DH) / maybin(LF) / heyward / baez / kipnis / bote
George Altman 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Let's hope so. It would be great next year to NOT have to 'piece together a bullpen'.
Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
DJL: I think that if Lester, Chatwood, Quintana, Jeffress, and Chafin leave via free-agency and do not return or are not replaced by at least one veteran MLB FA SP, the default Cubs 2021 Opening Day pitching staff will be Darvish, Hendricks, Mills (out of options), Alzolay (could be out of options - TBD), and either Rea, T. Miller, Steele, Abbott, Marquez, or D.
Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
I understand that any team can win a three-game series, but if I'm a division winner I'd want to be the #3 seed rather than the #2 seed in both the A. L. and the N. L., because I would rather face the worst second place team (Houston in the A. L. and probably Miami or Philadelphia in N. L.) than the best wild card team (Cleveland in the A. L. and probably Cincinnati or Milwaukee in the N.L.).
Hagsag 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
Maybe, if he makes the roster!
Charlie 2 days 11 hours ago (view)
Jose Martinez is going to hit some big post season homerun, isn't he?