Cubs @ Mets: Darvish vs. Stroman (Game 131)
CHC (69-61): RHP Yu Darvish (4-6, 4.43 ERA)
NYM (67-63): RHP Marcus Stroman (7-11, 3.18 ERA)
First pitch 6:10pmCDT
The Cubs reversed course in their last series, following a sweep of the Giants with a sweep at the hands of the Nats. The Cards defeated the Brewers on the Cubs' day off and now lead the North Siders by 3 full games. The Cubs will look to pull another about face and gather some rare road wins against the Mets, who trail the Cubs in the race for the second wild card spot by only two games.
Yu Darvish is charged with starting things off against the Metropolitans. His last start took his second half trends to their extremes. He juxtaposed zero walks and eight strikeouts to four extremely damaging homeruns allowed in 5.1 innings. The narrative was his performance unraveling in the sixth after he missed a catch covering first base, but that storytelling neglects the pair of two-run homers he allowed to Longoria and Yastrzemski in the first and fifth innings. His struggles with the longball have the the constant in his 2019. He's now allowed 30 in 26 starts. He surrendered two of those homeruns in a no-decision to the Mets on June 21. McNeil and Conforto own those dingers. Cano, 9-28 with a .845 OPS against Darvish, is on the IL with a hamstring injury.
Since coming over from Toronto, Stroman is 1-0 in four starts. He hasn't been quite as sharp as usual, 25 hits and 10 walks in 19.1 innings. Lucroy is 4-5 with a double off of him. Castellanos is 2-14 with a homerun. Most other Cubs will be getting their first looks at the righty. Rizzo is likely still unavailable due to back tightness, but expect Joe to stack as many lefties as possible otherwise to take advantage of Stroman's significant platoon splits this year.
Wrigley Rat 45 sec ago (view)
C/1B Alberto Mineo (25) has re-signed with the Cubs organization according to: https://www.mister-baseball.com/alberto-mineo-mino...
bradsbeard 1 hour 43 min ago (view)
Happ has been an above average hitter every season he's been in the majors, and he killed it in his brief return from the minors last year (with better contact and lower K rates to boot). Aside from an extended period with the lower K rates, what else are you not seeing?
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 hour 56 min ago (view)
Bote, for the moment, is adequate. Very unsold on the 2 LH hitting 2B options.
I have never seen it for Happ. I'd love for him to prove me wrong but I dont see it happening.
crunch 2 hours 49 min ago (view)
someone else may have noticed or written something about a possible issue with lefties last year (aside from the obvious disappointing numbers), but i didn't see anything that made him look lost vs them.
myself, i'm not expecting the hard time vs lefties to keep happening (though i can't point to why 2019 wasn't good for him and i may be missing something). also, how well he handled righties has me a bit pumped about his future.
bradsbeard 3 hours 6 min ago (view)
I think it was likely just a small sample size luxuation against LHP last year. His splits were essentially swapped from 2018 to 2019. For his career he's been a little above average against both sides, or essentially no significant split. I'd expect him to hit LHP better than RHP going forward though.
Eric S 3 hours 17 min ago (view)
I'd like to see Bote not get owned by lefties. Not sure what it is about his stroke that's hurting him - struggles against offspeed in general?
crunch 3 hours 50 min ago (view)
huge bote fan over here, and i think he's one of the best longterm investments the cubs have gambled on. cubs have control over him through 2026 if they exercise both his options (both 7.6m).
i'd like to see him penciled in as the main regular at 2nd, but overall i just wanna see him play more than he was late last year when he was red hot. if bryant flames out with the glove at 3rd (clock is ticking on that) we might see bote at 3rd a bit.
Eric S 3 hours 57 min ago (view)
Hopefully KB has worked on his base sliding technique - believe he jacked his knee up last year because of some rough "landings" on the basepaths. He definitely should shine in the role - and provided KB is not traded - Cubs can only go up from their leadoff hitter ranking from last year.
Charlie 4 hours 33 min ago (view)
Bote was a little better than league average with the bat last year and Happ has never been worse than league average with the bat over a full season in the majors. Not too bad at the end of your lineup (though neither is helping out too much on defense). Heyward could end up the #8 if things break OK for Bote and Happ at the plate.
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 59 min ago (view)
That would be a hell of a 1-5. The problem comes from 6-8 being a combination of Heyward, Bote/ Kipnis/ Descalso, and Happ/ Almora.
crunch 8 hours 55 min ago (view)
that should be good for 175Ks, 30 homers, 30 doubles, 60-70 RBI...
wonder who the #2 they're looking at...hopefully rizzo and not heyward.
bryant/rizzo/baez/schwarber/contreras would be a hell of a 1-5.
Rob Richardson 10 hours 54 min ago (view)
Per Bruce Levine, Kris Bryant will be leading off for the Cubs.
crunch 11 hours 30 min ago (view)
"Kris Bryant expects to remain with the Cubs in 2020 after a sit-down with team president Theo Epstein.
"Everything went great," Bryant told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It was the best meeting I had with a superior. He just gave me insight as to what kind of happened in the offseason." The star third baseman did later add that Epstein gave him no assurances that he will be kept in the loop if further trade talks were to arise, before stating, "I’m a Chicago Cub.""
Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 7 min ago (view)
That would be so devious!
tim815 13 hours 36 min ago (view)
Owners might not want to spend the extra coin. Which would be about like a dime to us.
Nice on the Cubs for upping MiLB pay.
jdrnym 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
AZPHIL, has there been official word as to whether the 26-man roster has been extended down to the minor league levels that previously had 25-man rosters? Can't really think of a reason why that shouldn't be the case...