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.
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.