Cubs @ Reds: Series Thread (Games 115-118)

The Cubs extended their division lead a bit by taking two out of three from the A's. They'll get four whacks at the Reds this weekend, who remain a surprisingly not terrible team. Read more for match-ups.


Game 115, Thursday, August 8, 6:10pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (6-3, 2.84 ERA)
CIN: LHP Alex Wood (1-0, 3.18 ERA)

Hamels pitched 5 scoreless against Milwaukee on August 3 but got a no-decision in his return from the I.L. His only work against Cincinnati this season was the 1-inning affair that sent him to the I.L. on June 28. Votto is 6-24 off of him.

Alex Wood has made two starts this season, allowing four earned runs across 11.1 innings. Bryant is 3-8 with a homer off of him and Heyward is 4-10.


Game 116, Friday, August 9, 6:10pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (4-5, 4.36 ERA)
CIN: RHP Trevor Bauer (9-8, 3.85 ERA)

Yu Darvish has been much improved lately. He's issued two walks since July 3, and struck out 44 in that time. The one mark against him is that even during that stretch he hasn't been able to avoid damage from homeruns, allowing five long balls in those six starts. Derek Dietrich is 4-10 with two homeruns off of him.

Trevor Bauer was traded to the Reds shortly after his in-game long-toss incident. His first start since the trade resulted in a no-decisions, as he pitched 4.2 and allowed two earned runs. Albert Almora has 3 singles against him in 6 at bats. Castellanos is 14-50 with four doubles and one homerun. Bauer has struck him out 10 times.


Game 117, Saturday, August 10, 6:10pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-8, 3.06 ERA)
CIN: RHP Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.25 ERA)

Hendricks allowed two earned runs over 6.1 innings in his last start and last allowed more than two earned runs on June 14. Votto is 10-26 with three homeruns off of him.

Gray pitched around four walks in his last start to hold Atlanta scoreless in seven innings. He last allowed more than two earned runs on June 21. Castellanos is 3-6 with a double and a triple off of him. Zobrist is 4-7. (How close is he to a potential return?)


Game 118, Sunday, August 11, 12:10pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (9-8, 4.39 ERA)
CIN: RHP Luis Castillo (11-4, 2.63 ERA)

Lester has been bad lately. Let's go back to his last good start. He pitched seven scoreless innings against the Brewers on July 27. Reds hitters have put up a .829 OPS against him over 160 at bats. Suarez has his number and is 12-37 with 4 homeruns.

Luis Castillo has been good lately. He's struck out 20 batters over his last 14 innings and allowed only one walk. Let's go back to his last bad start. He allowed six earned runs in five innings to the Rockies on July 26. Ian Happ is 4-7 off of him and Kyle Schwarber is 5-14 with three homeruns.

Comments

STL loses their 5th in a row as MIL slides back into 2nd place, 3 games back of the cubs.

cubs picked a good time to start playing good baseball.  it's been a nice week and half.

bring on the reds.

No coincidence that Cubs got on that roll at home.

Please Cubs, at least play .500 on the road going forward. Given how they play at home, .500 on the road likely wins the Central

davis back to iowa...lucroy joins today.

lucroy is quite stiff behind the plate this season.  hopefully everyone throwing to him can keep it near his glove.  not really hyped up about this addition, though it's probably better all-around than davis.

Yeah, at least Caratini can get a day off here or there now 

Can anybody tell me why, besides the strikeouts, Happ couldn't be the Cubs 2B for a long time? He's a switch hitter with power. Maybe I don't understand analytics, or maybe he's a crappy fielder, but wasn't he moved off 2B because of Javy? But now that Javy is the everyday SS, couldn't Happ play everyday at 2B? If everyone else has been inconsistent, why not let the guy who turns 25 next week, and who already has 41 career homers and a career 110 OBS+ play?

Nico Hoerner.

*nods head vigorously* Understood

Happ was drafted as an OF and played only OF his first year as a pro, but he had played all over including 2B in college and really wanted a shot to play there, so he worked on it at instructs the winter after he was drafted and then spent most of his time there until he was called up to the majors. I think just about everybody thought he wouldn’t be able to stick as a 2B, though I’ve never thought he was terrible there. He mostly doesn’t look like an infielder due to the way he moves and his throws aren’t great. But I’d guess he can be passable there as long as he’s hitting. I do think he looked really good in CF the first few games back, and that seemed to be his focus in Iowa, so ideally he‘d be the starting CF next season but we’ll see how the OF shakes out over the winter. 

Nico been shagging some flies lately too...

heyward (RF) / cast (LF) / bryant / rizzo / baez / almora / happ (2nd) / lucroy / ham

the 3rd inning has been awesome and total crap.  i doubt ham is gonna pitch a 4th inning and he may not make it out of the 3rd.

who's ready for a few innings of chatwood?  meh.

Ask and you shall receive!

Chatwood‘s stuff plays well against that Reds righty lineup. 

i wonder what the reds would give the cubs for happ.

he straight up owns this park.

Ben Zobrist went 1-for-4 today at Myrtle Beach as the DH with a HR, a walk, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI, and 1 K.

Chatwood has become a valuable piece.

he's turned things around a bit since stinking it up through june.  hopefully he can keep doing what he's been doing for the past 5 weeks.

this game is sucks...also, fireworks dude needs new job.

This team is sooooooo bad on the road

Well, doesn‘t look like Maddon will have to worry about who to pick to try to close this game out in the ninth.  Not an issue when there is no bottom of the ninth

Be brave, don’t cry.

2.2 innings of hendricks.  that was not fun.

STAWWWWWWWP

Somehow, Almora has managed to have a poorer night than Hendricks - unpossible. 

Also: Dear Joe - Please stop batting Almora at leadoff. I don’t care if the opposing pitcher is an actual batting tee - don’t do it.

joe loves running to the "let the cold guy bat leadoff" well a bit too much, and gets a bit stuborn about leaving a guy there, too.

it's past having a cold start in april/may...the trade deadline is past...there's a real 3-way battle for 1st.

That's the cold guy with the career .314 OBP but he's worse this year with a .280 OBP who doesn't take pitches. 

If Joe is somehow under the absurd notion that Almora is a table-setter, let him do it from the 9 spot. 

.235 ob% out of the leadoff spot after tonight (64 PA, 14th start leading off)

...make that a .231 ob% after getting another AB in the 9th.  also, he dropped a -very- loud Fbomb after K'ing.

Well, if you're going to go all fancy stats that neither me or Joe have access to.........................

I saw the movie Moneyball three times, once with director's commentary, and I've seen the book cover on TV at least 3 or 4 times.  I'm kinda an expert in advanced analytical thingies.

so...anyone got any of that good starting pitching to spare?

*shakes mostly empty cup*

bryant!  1st HR in CIN in 3 seasons.

cubs lead!

I hope he isn’t bringing Wick in too early. I would have used Holland for VanMeter through Votto, then gone to Wick. I really am worried Joe is going to go back to the Pedro Strop pain experience after Votto.

i thought it was "bold" to bring in maples vs votto yesterday with 2 on.  it worked (after going 3-1 on him, though).  that was interesting.

Pretty interesting to see Underwood up in the pen in these late game pressure situations too.

Sigh, now Strop up for 9th. At least it’s 7 8 9 due up. I’d still have Holland ready for VanMeter through Votto.

For a manager with the rep of being willing to try whatever and not be rigid about anything, he is sure determined to shove Strop into every possible situation to blow late leads. Fingers crossed 2018 Pedro shows up.

2018 strop appearance wish granted.

cubs win.  woo.

MIL+STL both losing, but still close enough to not get too hyped yet.

It’s mid-August but that seemed like a pretty big comeback win. Probably haven’t felt that good coming off a road series since May. Good to see KB have his finger prints all over that W too - super clutch, late inning, three run bomb. 

I definitely thinking losing this series would've felt like a big step back.

MIL loss.  neat.

STL was down by 4 in the 7th, but 5 runs coming in...including a grand slam...gives them a 1 run lead.  thanks PIT.  way to step up.

I figure the Buccos will stop playing wretched ball whenever they face the Cubs

On the other hand, that had to be a bitter pill to swallow by the Brewers today losing 1-0 to the Rangers

no cubs, no cards, no brews...a true late season off-day

I-Cub magic # = 12...11...10...AA looked sharp today...9

Recent comments

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  • Hagsag 1 hour 22 min ago (view)

    I see that Dillon Maples hasn't pitched yet. Is he injured or spending time in the lab?

     

  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 41 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of 26-year old RHRP Jonathan de Marte from Quebec (Frontier League) and he has been assigned to AZL Cubs Blue.

    He is the closer for Team Israel and has no previous experience in affiliated ball.

    He was a NDFA out of the U. of Richmond in 2017 and has been playing independent ball for the past three seasons in the Atlantic League and Can-Am League as well as winter ball in Australia this past winter. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 32 min ago (view)

    DJL: Nothing from Sunday or Monday. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 33 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: Mark Zagunis was sent outright to the minors last September, and because he did not have the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted he remains under club control through the 2020 season, and so he is signed to a minor league contract that expires at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the conclusion of the 2020 World Series. 

     

  • Wrigley Rat 11 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Thank you AZ Phil! Does that mean he's been signed to a minor league contract, then? Because he's out of options.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 11 hours 58 min 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 12 hours 8 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 12 hours 33 min ago (view)

    Most of the pitchers who threw today pitched Saturday night, so not a lot of new pitch/velo info. 

    Jon Lester:  
    FB: 86-89
    SL: 85 
    CH: 84
    CV: 70-74 
    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 12 hours 40 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 13 hours 47 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 15 hours 46 min ago (view)

    1h 50min into the game and they're through 4 innings.

    yesterday's game was 3h 45m.

     

  • crunch 17 hours 4 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 22 hours ago (view)

    Don't forget the awesome taste of RizzO's !!!