Cubs @ Pirates: Series Thread (Games 122-124)
The Cubs may want to flee the state after that performance in Philadelphia, but they only make it as far as the western side of Pennsylvania. There, they find the last place Pirates waiting for them. The Pirates ended an 8-game skid by taking the first two in their last series, against the Angels. The Pittsburgh club is firmly in the role of spoiler following that 8-game losing streak and a 9-game losing streak that lead them into the trade deadline. The Cubs head into the series in a tie with the Cardinals and only 1 game ahead of the Brewers. See below for the matchups.
Game 122, Friday, August 16, 6:05pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-9, 3.48 ERA)
PIT: RHP Joe Musgrove (8-11, 4.71 ERA)
Hendricks only went 2.2 in Cincinnati for his last start and allowed seven earned runs, including three homeruns. It was easily his worst start of the season so far. He faced the Pirates on July 2 and surrendered two earned runs in three innings of work. Adam Frazier is 4-8 off of him with a homerun. Gregory Polanco and his 10-28 and two homeruns off Hendricks are on the IL.
Musgrove lost to the Cardinals last time out (thanks). He allowed three earned runs on six hits and three walks in 5.1 innings pitched. He's 0-1 in two starts against the Cubs this season having allowed four runs, two earned, on only five hits and two walks in 9.1 innings. Current Cubs are 17-97 off of him with a single homerun and 9 walks. If you're following along that = terrible.
Game 123: Saturday, August 17, 12:35pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (9-8, 4.43 ERA)
PIT: LHP Steven Brault (3-1, 4.33 ERA)
Lester allowed three earned runs in five innings in Cincinnati last weekend. He's 1-0 in two Wrigley starts against the Pirates this season, allowing three runs, one earned, in 9.1 innings pitched. Josh Bell is 6-22 with one homerun off of him.
Brault swung back into the rotation at the end of May and has been decent there since, although he finds himself exiting the game around the fifth inning in about half his outings. Last time out he went 4.2 and allowed four earned runs in a no decision to the Cardinals. He pitched three innings in relief against the Cubs on April eighth and allowed four earned runs. The Cubs have hammered him for a .990 OPS in 105 at bats. Bryant is 7-12 with a homerun, three walks, and zero strikeouts off of him. Javy is 5-9 with a homerun, three walks, and zero strikeouts.
Game 124: Sunday, August 18, 6:10pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (10-7, 4.11 ERA)
PIT: RHP Mitch Keller (1-1, 7.94 ERA)
Quintana set a career high with 14 strikeouts in his last start and has been great in his last two. He's allowed two earned runs on seven hits and one walk vs. 21 strikeouts in his last 13 innings pitched. He's won all three of his starts against the Pirates this season, allowing three earned runs and collecting 21 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched against them. The three Pirates who have had some success against him--Cervelli, Osuna, and Polanco--are all unavailable at the beginning of this series. My superstitious side thinks there are too many ducks lined up here and that Cubbery must be imminent.
Perhaps that cubbery comes in the form of a rookie pitcher the Cubs have never faced. Mitch Keller is 1-1 in his first four MLB starts. He hasn't been especially efficient, striking out more than a batter per inning but also allowing 4.24 walks per nine and posting a low groundball rate. His fastball has averaged 95.7 MPH, and he'll mix a slider, a curve, and the occasional changeup. No Cubs have faced him.
bradsbeard 3 hours 32 min 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.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 48 min ago (view)
So I guess he's the first guy since Rondon we've taken in rule 5 with a shot at making the roster. That's kinda cool
crunch 3 hours 54 min ago (view)
"Megill is a guy we tried to trade for, actually, prior to the Rule 5." - hoyer
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 3 min ago (view)
That's a bummer. He does what few on the big league club do: put the bat on the ball.
Also hate to lose Rucker. He's a perfect type to be on AAA shuttle and cheap middle relief at minimum.
QuietMan 4 hours 4 min ago (view)
Good stuff indeed.
crunch 4 hours 6 min ago (view)
A's trade for machin...probably not getting him back.
crunch 4 hours 17 min ago (view)
cubs seem to be using the minor league phase of the rule5 to attempt to build a farm system...better than their recent non-1st-round draft record so far, i guess.
crunch 4 hours 22 min ago (view)
he was rumored as a cubs trade target from SD last year...along with rowan wick and brad wieck...
they seem to have a real focus on the SD minor league system.
cubbies.4ever 4 hours 27 min ago (view)
is Trevor Megill worth a spot? Probably better than most of the bullpen last year
crunch 4 hours 28 min ago (view)
cubs/giants GMs stepped out of the Rule5 "draft room" to talk shop.
someone might be getting traded related to the draft.
crunch 4 hours 29 min ago (view)
carlos sepulveda to the dodgers
crunch 4 hours 32 min ago (view)
cubs lose faustino carrera. was hoping he would go unnoticed in the system.
crunch 4 hours 36 min ago (view)
machin expected to be traded.
crunch 4 hours 38 min ago (view)
vimael machin to phillies
trevor megill (RHP) to the cubs from SD
cubbies.4ever 4 hours 41 min ago (view)
Cubs lose Michael Rucker
Mike Wellman 4 hours 57 min ago (view)
"And while there was no question about Clemente's talent and upside, he was very inexperienced and nowhere near MLB-ready in February 1954..." Same here - I was born that month of that year...