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 15 hours 41 min ago (view)
a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...
Cubster 17 hours 11 min ago (view)
any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?
crunch 17 hours 37 min ago (view)
k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.
crunch 19 hours 35 min ago (view)
e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.
both are/were catcher organizational depth.
crunch 20 hours 24 min ago (view)
for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.
mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.
Arizona Phil 1 day 44 min ago (view)
Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021
Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far.
crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs). this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living. for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.
activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen. good work.
bradsbeard 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in).
Arizona Phil 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.
Hagsag 2 days 7 hours ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 2 days 18 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.
Arizona Phil 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).
Arizona Phil 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.
I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.
Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.