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.
JustSayin' 4 hours 42 min ago (view)
South Bend won seven post-season games. No team they played won any against them. So the Midwest League Cubs run the table and win the Championship! A couple recurring offensive stars, solid defense and lots of strong pitching did the trick.
crunch 7 hours 33 min ago (view)
home or away for WAS...they can throw scherzer, strasburg, or corbin at anyone down the stretch and still have an ace for the 1-game wildcard.
that should play well into their advantage in the last couple weeks as well as the WC playoff. if the cubs can't luck their way back into 1st it's going to be a hell of a Wild Card if WAS is in no matter who's on top of the WC standings.
Charlie 8 hours 7 min ago (view)
Might as well catch the Cards while they're at it ;)
Last time I can remember the division and the Wild Card race this tight was 2015. Funny how similar and yet how different that situation was!
crunch 9 hours 6 min ago (view)
the funny thing is, like early-career randy johnson, batters are extremely uneasy in the box when facing him. part of that helps lead to weak contact and Ks...it also leads to walks and HBPs, though...
Craig A. 9 hours 51 min ago (view)
Cubs better aim for the first wild card. There’ a very slim chance we beat Washington at home.
Craig A. 9 hours 53 min ago (view)
So we keep Maples for intimidation?
crunch 10 hours 27 min ago (view)
maples showcasing how he can fall apart from batter to batter...from a sick 3-pitch K to a 2-2 HBP to a 3-1 HBP.
it's all wild, not retalitory...umps in a bad place since warnings were given based on early HBP's by PIT and maples is tossed. even PIT doesn't think it was intentional and their dugout is calm.
crunch 11 hours 16 min ago (view)
236 homers...franchise record previously set in 2004.
hoerner puts the team over the top.
crunch 12 hours 14 min ago (view)
maddon (whether he's here next season or not) seems to be in no hurry to get him work. it's actually a bit impressive how we've not heard even a shred of shade about his lack of use from descalso.
...but he did see what the organization did to pretty much end tony barnette's career...so there's that. i think lastella ruined throwing roster movement and player use tantrums for everyone.
Dolorous Jon Lester 19 hours 59 min ago (view)
I can’t imagine they go into next season like that. He’s been insanely bad.
crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
Eric S 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
He gets infrequent pinch hitting appearances - and seemingly K’s in each one.
I guess Descalso is the back up plan to start at second next season should Hoerner get injured while cliff diving or hit by falling space debris in the off season
Hagsag 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
Roller coaster crunch.lol
crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
i keep forgetting descalso is back with the cubs. he's practically been shelved on the pine.
crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
South Bend Cubs (YouTube)
JustSayin' 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
Our Midwest League Cubs played very entertaining and exciting games the last two nights in South Bend. Now 6-0 in the post-season, one victory in Clinton, Iowa seals the deal! If you want to see an imperfect team playing as a unit and getting the most out of what they have, try to find replays of any South Bend Cubs 2019 playoff game so far. Some Sports Center quality highlights mixed in with stuff you might see at a high school game but about as much heart as you will see on any baseball field. What the game should be all about.