Cubs @ Phillies: Hamels vs. Nola (Game 120)

CHC (64-55): LHP Cole Hamels (6-3, 3.09 ERA)
PHI (61-58): RHP Aaron Nola (10-3, 3.67 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

Hamels returns to his old stomping grounds for the first time as a visitor. He struggled in his last start, going only 3 innings and allowing five runs, four earned, in Cincinnati. Before that he was solid, and prior to that spent a month on the I.L. He got a no decision against the Phils on May 22 in his only start against his former team, allowing 3 earned runs on 9 hits in 4 innings. He's held Bryce Harper to 9-37 with one double and 8 walks. Realmuto is 4-11 with two doubles off of Hamels.

Nola took a loss to the Giants last time out, allowing three earned runs and striking out only three in five innings. The start before that, he struck out ten White Sox and allowed one earned run on three hits in seven innings. He earned a win against the Cubs on May 23, allowing three earned runs on four hits and four walks in 5.1 innings. Cubs are 17-90 against him with 35 strikeouts and a .627 OPS. Rizzo is 4-9 with two homeruns.

Comments

...and now jason heyward has "left knee inflamation"

being upset about not having heyward around is a new feeling.  neat.

his leadoff hitting replacement is a guy who's ob% (.238) is lower than his batting average (.250).  this is a radical new form of moneysballs.  some say it's ahead of the curve, but in reality it's ahead of the screwball.

kemp(2nd) / cast(RF) / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarber / happ(CF) / caratini / ham

Good thing both Castellanos and Happ have been hitting. Can't say I understand Kemp getting the start.

I saw the OBP as less than the BA and assumed it to be a misprint but I seem to recall watching a telecast that showed an opposing pitcher with the same condition. How is this possible. What am I missing?

sac fly counts as a plate appearance, but doesn't factor into ob%.  the oddness of this is a bit more glaring with low PA.

ham melting down on the mound and the cubs video feed goes dead.

nice.

This teams complete inability to play competent baseball on the road is reaching truly unreal levels

BIG and instant standing O for ham.

nice.

this just keeps getting worse.  neat-o.

this game is a straight up crime scene.

10 runs in 2.1 innings, all earned, 8 belong to ham as his replacement a.mills gives up a grand slam to close his night.

in other news, the geraniums at citizen's bank park look fantastic.

I kind of adore the flowers there. Sat in the left field bleachers for a double header there in 2015 while very sleep deprived and the pastoral quality of the mostly empty stadium and the flowers is pretty burned into my memory.

Their horticulture game is highly stepped up.  They're not doing anything wildly spectacular, but inside and outside the park there's good visual interest all season long.

I work in this industry and I love seeing how many parks incorporate living plants into ballparks beyond what's outside the gates.

Coors Field in Denver has a rather neat vegetable garden.

Write a post (by which I mean series)!

Unfortunately, I've seen very little of this stuff in person.  I mostly know about it because I've actively seeked it out on the internet and read about it.

It is some stuff I'd love to see in person, though.

that game was straight up hot garbage.

big up alec mills (or brad mills as len keeps calling him) for jumping on the grenade tonight.  6ip 4h 2bb 4k, 3r/er

Cubs suspend South Bend RHSP Riley Thompson indefinitely. 

What happened?

seamer: He might have missed the team bus at the start of the current road trip (club left South Bend for Cleveland on Tuesday and he was suspended on Wednesday). 

He was tossed for use of a foreign substance on a baseball on the mound in his most recent start.

Whether that had anything to do with it or not. 

TIM: That would be a definite possibility.  

manager of the opposing team comment to local paper...

“You (could) see (Thompson) going to his glove, like right where his upper thumb is,” manager Anthony Contreras said. “He kept going to it and then as I got closer to it, as I was moving down the (third-base) line, I could hear the ball snapping off his fingers. He kept doing it. It was blatant. (He) just kept going to it. ... So I just asked the umpires, 'Hey, after the (third) inning, when he comes back out can you just check his glove?'”

the description sounds like he might have been using something other than pine tar.  while pine tar is illegal, it's one of those "everyone uses it" things that rarely gets raised as a major ball doctoring issue.  the "snap" sounds familiar to the sunscreen/rosin doctoring that's not as well recieved by competitors.  you can get some "spitball" like action while maintaining a great grip.  dunno, though...

That's got to be it. Tim's got it. Has to be connected to the foreign substance on the glove issue. The MWL (league) suspension must be pending and meanwhile the Cubs did their own internal suspension before the team bus left South Bend. 

Very disappointing with regard to Riley Thompson's suspension because I have him as the #3 Cubs SP prospect (behind only Marquez and Alzolay).

it's kinda hacky to doctor a ball by reaching into your equipment.

there's plenty of guys out there with pinetar or tuf-skin/firm-grip somewhere on their body they can hit up without looking like they're up to something sketchy.

Obviously the Cubs Player Development Dept. needs to do a better job of teaching guys how to cheat and get away with it. 

kevin gross or mike scott might be looking a job.

RIP joe niekro.

Alex Lange got tossed out of an early-season game at Myrtle Beach.  Suntan lotion where it didn't belong.  Traded.  Riley Thompson threw a curveball that nobody on earth could hit to strike out his last batter Saturday (see the video highlights.)  Six K's in three innings.  Ejected.  Suspended.  I guess the Cubs want people to make the majors on their playing ability, not their cheating ability.  Smart.

South Bend RHSP Riley Thompson has been reinstated from his suspension. 

Eugene RHSP Jeremiah Estrada (right elbow) done for the season. He has had elbow issues going back to EXST 2018, but his most-recent elbow injury occurred in the 8th inning of Eugene's game at Hillsboro on 6/28. 

TJS for RHSP Jeremiah Estrada. 

This was such a winnable series facing Vargas and Smyly. Now we are on the verge of a sweep if things break wrong tonight.

The loss to Nola hurt because they just hit us so hard. But it's the Vargas loss that is a shame.

The buzz on Riley Thompson is that he did what many pitchers do, just way too blatantly.  The opposing manager asked the umpire to check Thompson's glove because he was "going there every time" and the ball was "snapping" when it came out of his hand.  It was a ten-day suspension.  That is supposed to cost you two starts but South Bend uses a six-man rotation so Thompson only missed one.  Kudos to Buddy Bailey and the SB staff for navigating Thompson's absence effectively, with a lot of pitchers being asked to change or expand their roles over these two weeks.

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  • bradsbeard 2 hours 1 min ago (view)

    Best I can think is that maybe he was going to be squeezed out of a starting role next year with 2019 draftees and other lower level pitching pushing up into A ball. Doesn't seem like a great reason, but the pitching in the system is getting more crowded each year.

     

  • crunch 9 hours 53 min ago (view)

    i truly wonder why f.carrera wasn't more of a priority.

    he throws straight up junk, but he's got great control and command over his pitchers.  he's young enough that he could find some more velocity, too.

    i mean, this is a management team that decided to trade for dan haren and kyle hendricks.  they don't have an aversion to slow-tossing starters.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 10 hours 34 min ago (view)

    Has anyone else noticed James Norwood's picture on the Cubs top 30 prospects page is actually Brandon Kintzler?

     

  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 57 min ago (view)

    It's always interesting to see how many players each MLB club protects on its AAA affiliate's 38-man reserve list on 11/20.

    I'm not saying it absolutely and necessarily proves what a club thinks of its own prospects, but there are 38 slots available on a AAA reserve list, and if you leave 15 slots open, I think that does say something, especially when you don't lose anybody in either the MLB Phase or in the AAA Phase. (I'm looking at you, Seattle Mariners!) 

     

  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 41 min ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Instructs starts next month. The pitching lab operates year round, so guys are always coming & going. 

     

  • Hagsag 15 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Phil, when does the Instructional program begin? Are there pitchers in the pitching lab now?

     

  • cubbies.4ever 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Just to continue my conspiracy theory that Theo has a requirement you have TJS to pitch for the Cubs Trevor Megill had it in 2013.  The Cubs must have a support group for pitchers who have had TJS.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    After losing two players off the Iowa reserve list in the Major League Phase and selecting four players in the AAA Phase, the Iowa reserve list has one slot open, so now would be an excellent time to try and outright C. D. Pelham to AAA.

    Keep in mind that he can't elect free-agency if he's outrighted, and if he is outrighted, he won't be a minor league free-agent until post-2021.

    And if he gets claimed off waivers? No big deal.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    LHSP Faustino Carrera and 2B Carlos Sepulveda were among the first players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014-15. The Cubs ended up signing more than two dozen more Mexican players over the next three years. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Vimael Machin can play anywhere in the infield & outfield, but he also went through the catcher conversion program at post-2015 Instructs so he can even catch in a pinch, too. He could be a very useful 26th man.

    Machin is bi-lingual (he is from Puerto Rico and went to college at Old Dominion), and was projected by the Cubs as a future coach or manager. He's a savvy & astute baseball guy. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Every year the Cubs convert two or three position players to pitcher (it was Galazin, Hughes, and Zardon in 2019), so it's very possible that Suiter will be given a chance to pitch. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Suiter, who pitched in HS and briefly in college and who doesn't appear to be much of a hitter, seems to me to be a good pitcher conversion candidate.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    BTW, three of the four players selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (Stewart, Suiter, and Masters) will be minor league free-agents post-2020, and the fourth one (Vance Vizcaino) is a second-contract player (he was previously released by KC) so he could be a post-2020 minor league free-agent, too (TBD).

    Incidentally, David Masters was selected by the Cubs after signing a minor league successor contract with the Nationals. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    So LHSP Brailyn Marquez, INF Christopher Morel, RHSP Cory Abbott, SS Aramis Ademan, RHSP Erich Uelmen, RHSP Keegan Thompson, and LHSP Brendon Little stand-out among the Cubs 2020 first-time Rule 5 Draft eligibles, and RHRP Oscar de la Cruz, LHSP Luis Lugo, and LHRP Jordan Minch are probably the ones to watch  among the Cubs post-2020 free-agent eligibles.    

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    For those of you who like to plan ahead, AS THINGS STAND NOW here is how the Rule 5 Draft and minor league free-agency shape up for the Cubs post-2020: 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    You say that in jest, but just from the 2016 draft, which did not feature a first or second round pick, the Cubs drafted 4 players who were added to 40 man rosters this winter (Hatch, Miller, Rucker, Short) with Mekkes, Giambrone, and several others being potential mid-season additions.