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 10 min ago (view)

    Not sure if serious, but Theo became the Red Sox GM in 2002. It's true though, there probably aren't many people in the organization besides Ricketts and Crane Kenney who have any strong feelings about that series. 

     

  • Craig A. 3 hours 8 min ago (view)

    I wonder if anyone on the Cubs cares or even remembers the odd events when the Marlins played the Cubs in 2003. I think Theo was in high school. To this old fart it will be more than a little unsettling to watch this post-season match-up. At least we can be fairly certain there will no fans grabbing for foul balls. 

     

  • bradsbeard 6 hours 37 min ago (view)

    Which is kind of annoying. Nobody really picked the Cubs to win this division pre-season. I guess Mattingly gets some credit for guiding the Marlins through their positives but even just letting them play that one game with half the team sick should knock him out of consideration. Meanwhile Ross kept a tight ship and the Cubs has no positives all year. I'd say Ross or Tingler should get it over Mattingly. 

     

  • crunch 7 hours 54 min ago (view)

    cubs finish 34-26 (1st, division)...they play MIA on wednesday.

    good start for d.ross, but the manager of the year is most likely going to d.mattingley (MIA) or j.tingler(SD).

     

  • crunch 8 hours 30 min ago (view)

    ...or he won't make it out of the 8th

    0.2ip 2h 3bb 1k, 5r/er...2 wild pitches

    there's some great stuff in that arm.  mid/high-80s slider, "changeup" around 90mph, fastball 97-99mph...all effortless.  21 years old and never pitched above A-ball.

     

  • crunch 8 hours 36 min ago (view)

    -deleted-

     

  • crunch 8 hours 40 min ago (view)

    rough debut...doubt we're going to see him in the 9th.

     

  • Charlie 8 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Reminds me a little of Jeff Samardzija's debut. Adrenaline throwing straight gas but all over the place. Samardzija threw a fastball all the way to the backstop in his debut (2008).

     

  • crunch 8 hours 50 min ago (view)

    back to back 3-2 count 6-pitch walks.

    he's not in the zone.  he's throwing almost totally fastballs, too.

     

  • crunch 8 hours 50 min ago (view)

    alzolay's gotta be locked in for a start given what he's done lately.

    i wonder what role j.lester will be given.  if he's starting, hopefully he's the 3rd/4th starter, if at all.  someone will probably give him a 2021 contract if he doesn't retire...hope it's not the cubs giving that contract, though.

     

  • crunch 8 hours 54 min ago (view)

    dude's thrown a 97mph and 98mph fastball to start and both looked like he was barely expending effort.

    unfortunately, neither were near the plate.

     

  • Charlie 8 hours 56 min ago (view)

    So, Alzolay gets at least one October start, right? He'd be a weapon out of the pen if the Cubs had more than two believable starters ready.

     

  • crunch 8 hours 57 min ago (view)

    Q goes 2 effective (2ip 2h 1bb 2k, 0r/er) and here comes b.marquez...

     

  • crunch 9 hours 25 min ago (view)

    yeah, a.alzolay can keep on throwing that new slider of his...it's been one hell of a thing to watch the past few games.  i wonder who taught him (or refined) this quickly effective slider.

    the curve is under more control/command, too.

    stoked to see b.marquez later this game (assuming he's pitching today as mentioned in an above post).

    the cubs producing in-house effective MLB pitching would be nice.  alzolay is 2021 ready, but i imagine marquez is more viewed as a 2022 or late 2021 guy.

     

  • Charlie 10 hours 18 min ago (view)

    I dub this, "The Billy Hamilton Game."

     

  • crunch 10 hours 25 min ago (view)

    hamilton HR...add that to the "odd stuff in 2020" list...first since 2018.