Cubs vs. Nationals: Series Thread (Game 128-130)

The Nationals roll into the Windy City scrapping for a Wild Card spot. The Cubs have a dog fight going with St. Louis, who matched the Cubs with a win Thursday and trail by only half a game going into the series. (Add to that drama the excitement of players' weekend! Yipee!) See below for the daily match-ups.


Game 128, Friday, August 23, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (10-8, 4.23 ERA)
WSH: RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 3.99 ERA)

Lester pitched around a series of traffic jams last start. He managed six scoreless innings despite four hits and five walks and two errors by Bryant. He lost to the Nats on May 18, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings. (I was there! It was bad.) Dozier is 5-15 with a homerun off of him. Trea Turner is 4-8. Rendon is 3-7 with two doubles.

Sanchez has enjoyed a resurgence since leaving the Tigers. He posted a 2.83 ERA with Atlanta last year, a mark from which he has regressed a bit in 2019. His last start contributed to that regression; he allowed five earned runs on eight hits and four walks in four innings against the Brewers. Lucroy is 4-9 off of him with two homeruns.


Game 129, Saturday, August 24, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jose Quintana (11-7, 3.91 ERA)
WSH: TBD

Quintana was excellent against the Pirates last time out. He struck out seven, allowed five hits, and shut out Pittsburgh over seven innings for the win. He has not faced the Nationals this season. Dozier is 11-52 off of him with four homeruns and 14 strikeouts. Kendricks is 5-10.

It's Joe Ross's turn in the Nats' rotation, but he's day-to-day with a leg injury. He's 3-1 in five starts this season, appearing out of the bullpen 18 times as well. Rizzo is 5-11 off of him and Bryan is 3-9. Castellanos is 1-2 with a homerun. Erick Fedde is likely to start if Ross is unavailable. Fedde won against the Brewers on August 18, allowing four earned runs in five innings. Active Cubs are 6-14 with a homerun off of him.


Game 130, Sunday, August 25, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (7-4, 3.73 ERA)
WSH: RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-5, 3.56 ERA)

Hamels labored toward his win against the Giants, walking two and allowing two homeruns but limiting the damage to three in six innings of work. He earned a victory against the Nats on May 17, allowing two earned runs in five innings.

Strasburg shutout the Pirates for seven innings in a no decision last time out. He defeated Lester and the Cubs on May 18 striking out seven and allowing one earned run in eight innings. Heyward is 15-40 with a homerun and three walks off of him. Javy is 1-12 with five strikeouts.

Comments

Feel bad for the patrons at Wrigley this afternoon - seeing Strop in the fifth inning is a bad sign. At least the weather is nice

Thru seven innings, Cubs have one hit (by Nick C, of course) - this after somehow winning yesterday’s game with a total of two hits. Clearly it’s time to fire Chili Davis again

It's the Polar Bear in an Arctic Snowstorm all white uniforms. Burn 'em! Bring back the unis from the Little League Classic. They actually looked sharp.  

All whites are distinctive.  And ugly.

I think it's becoming increasingly likely that the Cubs will not exercise Lester's 2021 $25M option after next season (paying the $10M buy-out instead and direct the remaining $15M elsewhere). The 2021 $25M option automatically vests if Lester throws at least 400 IP over the course of 2019-20, but that isn't going to happen.

Also, although it didn't seem possible at the All-Star Break, Yu Darvish just might exercise his opt-out post-2019. Darvish signed a front-loaded contract and is owed $81M 2020-23 ($20.125M AAV), so if he and his agent think he can get something better than 4/$81M he just might walk (he can only opt-out post-2019, so this will be his only chance to be a FA before post-2023).  

I didn't watch the game, but I see that Lester got knocked around despite a significant headwind from CF. That's a rare feat.

There should be a number of good players and pitchers available off Outright Assignment Waivers over the next few days as non-contending clubs look to jettison payroll even if they can't get players back. The only problem is that the claiming club assumes 100% of the player's remaining pro-rated salary (albeit only one month's worth, unless the player is signed beyond 2019 and/or has a post-season buy-out).   

What happened to Danny Hultzen this time??

cubs can't field or hit anymore.

this is not a good late-season look.

yeah, and evidently they can't pitch either.

now we need a few stupid baserunning mistakes to go with this new look.

it's kinda crazy to think there's a chance pedro strop won't make the post season roster (yeah, the cubs have to get there first) unless he shows something different the next 5 weeks.  it's been hard to watch.

oscar de la cruz since passing through waivers unclaimed...8 relief appearances

11.2ip 11h 2bb 16k, 2r/er (both earned runs in 1 appearance)

Hoping that Rizzo's back won't be a problem.

bote up, holland IL

this pen is hot f'n garbage.

So the Cubs took the weekend off for Players Weekend. Makes sense to me. 

STL sweeps...CHC gets swept...

cards 2.5 games up in the central, cubs up 1.5 games for slot #2 in the WC.

And the Nats have the #1 slot, so we might get to see a rematch of Sunday‘s game. 

Man, JAVY last two weeks in SLUMPSVILLE: 200/237/286/523

so...cubs new leadoff hitter, right?

Can someone please ask Joe for his thoughts on his contract situation??

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  • JustSayin' 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

     I hear you but welcome to the world of Theo.  The team is always a step or two away from the World Series in his mind, whether that is true or not.  Therefore, the thing to do on the margin is to trade top prospects or younger guys on the roster for that missing puzzle piece, not build for the future.  I had a front-row seat for this as a Red Sox fan.  If Pedro Martinez doesn't insist the Red Sox sign David Ortiz for table scraps and Chris Bryant isn't the no-brainer second pick in the draft, we'd all be wondering what happened to that Theo guy who was in the Red S

     

  • Cubster 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Shogo Akiyama is a lefty bat, career BA at.301 w/ Seibu Lions.  Recent OBPs: .419, .385, .398, .403 and .392. HR 20-15 in last 3 seasons Stolen bases, 12 in 2019, 18 in best season (2016). Defense supposedly plus-plus, 7-10 assists (10 in 2016). Clearly a leadoff hitter.

     

  • crunch 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    christian yelich committed internet homicide on yu darvish...

    https://twitter.com/ChristianYelich/status/1195462...

     

  • Charlie 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Little in the offseason could make me happier than the Cubs finding ways to retain the good MLB players who came up with them while remaining competitive. This Javy extension talk makes me much happier as a fan than the Bryant and Contreras trade talk.

     

  • crunch 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    "Javy Baez. The two-time All-Star shortstop and 2018 MVP runner-up already has begun negotiations on a potential long-term extension with the Cubs, according to sources."

    also, some talk of being linked to shogo akiyama (CF, Japan, 32yo in April)

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/cubs/2019/11/15/20966...

     

  • crunch 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.

    w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend).  braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.

     

  • crunch 6 days 8 hours ago (view)

    nice.

    it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control.  he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 days 11 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.

    Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A. 

     

  • crunch 6 days 11 hours ago (view)

    nice info...

    i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.

    he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 days 12 hours ago (view)

    I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection. 

    STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them. 
    EXAMPLES: See my lists above. 

     

  • crunch 6 days 14 hours ago (view)

    "There are no untouchables," Epstein said.

    In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28066390/there...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 week 17 hours ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.

     

  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!

     

  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.