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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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 53 min 14 sec ago (view)

    Managerial change making a difference I think. Hopefully the changes to the amateur scouting department also bears fruit

     

  • Cubster 2 hours 41 min ago (view)

    David Ross might be worthy of a little credit, especially sorting out the bullpen issues.

     

  • crunch 2 hours 46 min ago (view)

    this team is amazing.  i want more than 60 games of this.  darvish since mid-season last year has been great stuff.

    also, wick got to close.  kimbrel hasn't worked in quite a while.

     

  • Eric S 3 hours 27 min ago (view)

    39 pitch inning by Burnes.

     

  • crunch 4 hours 2 min ago (view)

    "allegedly"

    ...well, it is true that's the plan...but...umm..."allegedly"

     

  • QuietMan 4 hours 13 min ago (view)

    Cubs to play double headers Monday and Wednesday against the Cardinals.

     

  • Eric S 5 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Ha! Hope Nico goes on a heater!

     

  • Cubster 5 hours 10 min ago (view)

    "Not thrilled"...as if on cue, Nico leads off with a double and a later Schwarbsbomb.

     

  • Eric S 7 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Updated Bullpen tiers:

    Tier 1 (Closer/Firemen)

    Wick and Jeffress (interchangeable)

    Tier 2 (Preferred Setup roles)

    Tepera, Sadler, Rea (!)

    Tier 3 (Face lefties exclusively if possible)

    Ryan (has to get that fastball out of mid-80s or head to South Bend)

    Winkler 

    Tier 4 (Long man innings eater)

    Underwood 

    Tier 10 (reserved for use when either up or down by 10+ runs)

    Kimbrel

    I think that covers it?

     

  • Jackstraw 8 hours 32 min ago (view)

    Wait.  The bullpen can get worse?  That's unpossible.

     

  • Eric S 8 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Well, shoot.

    Here we go again: Nico, Rizzo, Javy, Willson, Schwarber (LF), Happ, Bote, Souza, Caratini

    Not thrilled with Nico leading off when the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history was available but whatever 

     

  • crunch 9 hours 8 min ago (view)

    bryant was supposedly gonna be in the lineup but he has left ring finger and wrist hurties.

     

  • Charlie 9 hours 24 min ago (view)

    I really think they could play .500 from here and would take the division.

    But leave room for at least a week long slump due to bullpen implosion.

     

  • Cubster 9 hours 27 min ago (view)

    Don't get too giddy but...

    One Quarter of the schedule is complete.

    Pace is for a 48-12 record which when extrapolated to 162 games is about 130 win season.

    Is it all downhill from here?

    Cardinals at White Sox game tomorrow is possibly canceled per Sun-Times reporting that Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the postponement. 

     

  • Eric S 9 hours 53 min ago (view)

    Brewers Game 1: KB (LF), Rizzo, Javy, Willson (DH), Happ, Bote (3B), Souza (RF), Nico, Caratini, Darvish

     

  • Eric S 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Reds just lost in tough fashion to the Royals. Down 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, one out and rap into a 5-4-3 dp to end it.