Cubs vs. Athletics: Series Thread (Games 112-114)

The Cubs are in first place after sweeping the Brewers at home and now prepare for a three-game set against the Athletics. With the Cardinals still hot on their tail, they'll need to keep up the kind of intensity they've shown over the last few days. Although they are 8.5 games back in the AL West, don't expect the A's to go down easy. They are 64-48 and playing for an AL Wild Card spot and are an all around tough opponent. See match-ups below.


Game 112, Monday, August 5, 7:05pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-8, 3.07 ERA)
OAK: RHP Chris Bassitt (7-5, 3.84 ERA)

Hendricks starts things against the A's. He's coming off seven shutout innings and a win against the Cardinals. He last allowed a run on July 21, against the Padres. Khris Davis is 5-17 off of him, former Cardinal Stephen Piscotty is 4-15, and former Philly Cameron Rupp is 0-7.

Bassitt has accumulated 292 major league innings and 48 starts since 2014, briefly with the White Sox and then bouncing between the minors and the majors with the Athletics. He's spent the majority of 2019 healthy and in the majors. Nick Castellanos is 4-11 with three doubles off of him.


Game 113, Tuesday, August 6, 7:05pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (9-7, 3.86 ERA)
OAK: LHP Brett Anderson (9-7, 4.04 ERA)

Lester surrendered five earned runs in a five-inning loss to the Cardinals last time out. Current A's have a .596 OPS against him in 56 at bats.

Former Cub Brett Anderson is back at it with the A's. He rebounded from his rough 2017 with a decent half-season in 2018 and has improved on that performance this year. His strikeout rate has just about hit bedrock, but he continues to get groundballs more than half the time. He hasn't won since July 5, having lost his last two and getting handed no-decisions in the two starts before that. He's allowed 13 earned runs in 24.1 innings during that stretch. Current Cubs are 6-20 off of him with three strikeouts.


Game 114, Wednesday August 7, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (9-7, 4.40 ERA)
OAK: RHP Homer Bailey (9-7, 5.20 ERA)

Q allowed two earned runs over six innings and got a win as part of the Milwaukee sweep. Going back to the beginning of July, he's allowed sixteen earned runs over 28.2 innings and hasn't had a scoreless appearance since June 29. Current A's have a .860 OPS against him in 63 at bats. Robbie Grossman is 5-20.

The A's picked up Homer Bailey from the Royals after the All-Star break, and he's gone 2-1 in four starts since then. Most recently he got a no-decision while allowing two earned runs in six innings to the Brewers. Rizzo is 11-28 with two homeruns and six walks off of him. Heyward is 7-21 with a homerun.


Meanwhile, the Cardinals take on the Los Angels juggernaut and the Brewers try to make up some ground in a series against the last-place Pirates. Is it time for scoreboard watching yet? The division has been so tight all year that I feel like I've never really not been watching the standings.

Comments

I'm moved into my new place, but now I hop on a plane to Chicago for the week! Technically, I'm in town for a conference. But I'm meeting my dad there ahead of time and we are going to our first Wrigley games together. I'll be there Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. You'll know who to blame if things go awry.

CHARLIE: Don't forget that TCR expenses (game tickets, computers & phones, vehicle rentals, Uber & Lift, gambling losses, hotels, escort services, airline tickets, personal injury lawyers, restaurants, bar tabs, bail bonds, etc) are tax deductible. 

The Brave New World of post-Trade Deadline Outright Assignment Waiver claims has begun, as the Cincinnati Reds claim RHSP Kevin Gausman off waivers from the Braves, and so Reds assume 100% of what remains of Gausman's contract (about $3M in 2019 salary plus club control via salary arbitration in 2020).  

Craig Kimbrel to 10-day IL (retro to Sunday 8/4) with knee inflammation, so Duane Underwood Jr gets called-up from AAA (but maybe just for one day since Pedro Strop is eligible to be reinstated from IL tomorrow). 

Ugh. Was just starting to feel pretty good about the bullpen.  Maybe Strop can get the Brach work load (i.e., scrub work) now but don’t see Maddon doing that unfortunately 

Things seem to be going [reviews Injured List] not super well.

heyward / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarber / caratini / kemp(2nd) / hendricks

cast 1st HR as a cub. neat.

Baez #27, 2-2. But Maddon takes Out Hendricks with a man on and 1 out in 7th. phew, Wick is wicked and gets the DP.

make that 28...and make that 2-6

a cubs winning streak is neat stuff.  i could get used to this.  hopefully the pen can hold 4 runs over 2 innings.

Steve Cishek has no use for your Cubs winning streak!!

I GUESS.

WHATEVER.

Have to admit, Cishek does a nice job of not allowing cheapies -- those home runs were moon shots. 

happ destroyed a ball to RF for his 1st of the season.

phew.

too much drama for a win.  wow.

Holy shit. I thought for sure that was gone. 

i'm all for an exciting game, but that was too much packed into the last 2 innings even if the cubs did win.

I had already resigned myself to defeat when it came off the bat.

Brad Brach cleared Outright Assignment Waivers (he was not claimed) and declined an Outright Assignment and so the Cubs have no choice but to give him his Unconditional Release.

Therefore the Cubs are on the hook for what remains of his 2019 salary (about $500K), plus the first $500K 2019 roster bonus, plus the 2020 $1.35M player option, plus the $100K 2020 club option severance (about $2.45M total), offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary in the event he signs a major league contract with another club in 2019 and/or in 2020 (about $150K remaining in 2019 and $555K in 2020).  

So Brach will spend the next couple of days on Outright Release Waivers (waiver price is only $1 but claiming club assumes 100% of player's remaining contract and player can reject waiver claim and still get 100% of his salary). 

Jonathan Lucroy is in the exact same spot with the Angels as Brach is with the Cubs, BTW. Like Brach, Lucroy was not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers (waiver price $50,000 and claiming club assumses 100% of contract) and so now he goes on Outright Release Waivers (see previous paragraph). 

Both Brach and Lucroy will be free to sign with any club after they clear Release Waivers at 1 PM (Eastern) on Wednesday, and if they do, the player's new club will only have to pay the pro-rated MLB minimum salary for the balance of the 2019 season (about $150K). 

So if both Brach and Lucroy were to sign major league contracts with another club after clearing Release Waivers, what the Cubs would be paying Lucroy (pro-rated MLB minimum salary) would be offset by what another MLB club would be paying Brach (pro-rated MLB minimum salary), making it a de facto trade. 

2019 Kintzler placed on the ten day IL with a strained pectoral muscle. 2019 Strop activated from the IL

Insert 2019 gif of a kick to the nuts

it's umm...not lester's night.

4ip 10h 3bb 6k, 10er (11r)

major props to lester for marching back out there after giving up 8 in the 2nd to keep munching away on the shit sandwich he was eating.  that couldn't be easy to do in front of a dead house of 30K+ stunned fans.  at least they weren't boo'ing.

So we’re into August and Lester‘s ERA has gone from 3.86 to 4.46 in a single start - yeesh.

meanwhile, underwood over here putting on a f'n clinic.

2ip 0h 0bb 6k so far...

da hell is going on tonight?

That was.... intriguing 

SCHWARB CATCHING

TAYLOR DAVIS PITCHING

t.davis is throwing so slowly it's not even registering on the gun for the tv broadcast.  jd mentioned 1 pitch showing 61mph on the park gun as a high mark.  ...and now the broadcast is showing him pitching in the 50s/60s.

bases loaded, 0 out...no runs score.  great job.  cubs pen problems are solved.

Schwarber is catching

and Taylor Davis is pitching

Always a sign that the Cubs are trying to close out a tightly contested game

Taylor Davis is legit.  Can get out of a jam, created by himself (Cubs bullpen tradition), but stays cool under pressure and knows how to keep the hitters off balance with his 50 mph heater.  We found our new closer.

If by "closer" you mean "position player who finishes game after Pedro Strop puts game out of reach", I think you're right.

I've now attended two games this season, and Jon Lester is 0-2 with 15 earned runs allowed in 8.1 innings in those games. I am willing to accept payment from Lester or any other Cubs' pitcher who would like me to not attend any more games. (You have approximately 13 hours, Q.)

Good idea.  The games I've attended this year the Cubs average 7 runs scored.  I take Paypal and Venmo to make it quick and easy.  Disclaimer:  Cannot guarentee win, just the runs.

I was at the first three games after the All Star break and the Cubs swept Pittsburgh. Maybe they’ll pay me to attend games?!  :-D

today's game is a MLB "free game" stream...usual blackout restrictions apply.

lucroy/cubs

Happer with the grand slam - playing his way into more starts at second. Three run shot by Schwarber not too shabby either

I was snapping a picture of the bases-loaded infield just as Homer delivered this pitch. Got the wind-up and Happ's leg kick.

The team looked pretty great today! Javy fouling that ball off himself preserves my prospects as a "cooler."

Thankfully a non-Lester start is the magic elixir for Cub victory at Wrigley for you!  BTW, Cubs have scored a ton of runs in Q’s last three starts. Clearly he needs to start every other day. 

Also, I wouldn’t worry about Javy — he’s a baseball animal and probably will shed his leg overnight and grow a stronger one by morning. 

That would be terrifying/ific.

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  • crunch 28 min 55 sec ago (view)

    "MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports former player David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada "appear to be the frontrunners" for the Cubs' managerial opening."

    espada's had 2 interviews.  for a guy who's actively at his "other job," having a 2nd interview seems like both sides want to make this work.  SF and PIT are also supposedly interested in espada.

     

  • JustSayin' 1 hour 53 min ago (view)

     That's a fair description of the benefits of the plan but If I have to choose between "better way" and "owners' greed," I pick the latter.  MLB wants better MiLB facilities, on average, without paying a cent.  They want to deal with the social and legal pressure they are getting for not even paying minor league players minimum wage per real hour worked by having less players.  In addition, the draft is to be moved to late August, so every draftee would lose compensation for the stub year in which they are drafted.  For this reason, I'm not sure your point about col

     

  • Hagsag 2 hours 18 min ago (view)

    Thanks Mr. Phil.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 20 min ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Besides reducing the costs that are associated with operating a minor league club, reducing the number of minor league affiliates would allow MLB organizations to increase the salaries of their remainng minor league players (who would be the organization's most-legit prospects) without having to increase the organization's aggregate minor league payroll. 

     

  • crunch 3 hours 46 min ago (view)

    The discussions on this matter have been quite varried.  There seems to be a lot of pressure connected to this on minor league team owners who haven't upgraded their facilities/park in a while or who lag in quality compared to their competitors.

    It seems like this would not only cause some teams to fold, but some radical redistribution of existing teams/cities into new minor league levels rather than just pruning some teams over others.

     

  • Hagsag 15 hours 58 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on the discussion to eliminate 42 low minor league teams in 2021? What would this do to the Dominican League? Thanks.

     

  • crunch 22 hours 3 min ago (view)

    yanks/astros game 6 was a f'n classic.  wow.

    altuve continues to build his astros legend.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Thanks for this. I agree they’ll probably take their chances in the Rule 5 if he will resign, though I really wouldn’t mind adding him back to the 40 man. I feel like he has a good chance to be effective out of the bullpen. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    I hope Sagara doesn’t end up leaving because of the shakeup. The Athletic did report that his position might be eliminated but that he should be offered another role in the organization somewhere. All I know is Sagara’s name came up frequently in connection with the pitch lab, and he was credited for improvements with Ryan, Wick, and Wieck. Maybe he’ll end up focusing more specifically in that role helping guys tweak things in the lab. 

     

  • JustSayin' 2 days 20 min ago (view)

    Does anyone have insight into the new management hires and musical chairs the Cubs announced yesterday?  Craig Breslow might be the only guy out there with extensive MLB experience AND the grey matter to challenge any quant not making sense. His role intrigues me but are they going to give him real responsibility to clear out the deadwood (including the existing minor league coordinator who was never good enough to be the pitchers he's coaching?)  Or, is this a superficial change aimed at keeping ownership off Theo's back? 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: I think the Cubs want to retain Oscar de la Cruz post-2019, just not on the MLB 40-man roster.

     

  • Charlie 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Who are you all rooting for in the World Series? I'm rooting for the Nats to face and defeat Houston, I think, but with very mild interest. Let them get that championship out of the way and then maybe go the way of the post-2016 Cubs.

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what do you think the Cubs will do with Oscar de la Cruz if they don’t add him back to the 40 man? Can they try to re-sign him but wait until after the Rule 5 to make it official? Do you think they will try to keep him in the organization in some fashion? 

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Angels also make sense as a destination for Kris Bryant. 

     

  • azbobbop 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    I wonder if Maddon will take any of the coaches with him.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    I doubt that Maddon would have taken the job if the Angels aren't fully prepared to sign one or maybe even two FA TOR SP (like Gerrit Cole and/or Stephen Strasburg if he opts out). 

    When you have the best player in MLB and now the highest-paid manager, not making the playoffs again in 2020 just can't be acceptable.