Cubs @ Mets: Hendricks vs. Syndergaard (Game 132)
CHC (70-61): RHP Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 3.20 ERA)
NYM (67-64): RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-6, 3.71 ERA)
First pitch 6:10pmCDT
The Cubs started the road series with a win over Marcus Stroman and continue with another tough match-up today. Hendricks takes the mound, fresh off a very good performance against the Giants that yielded him a win. He pitched seven scoreless, collecting seven strikeouts and allowing three hits along the way. The Mets most dangerous hitters have seen little of Mr. Tenure Track, but Todd Frazier is 3-12 with two doubles and two walks. The bullpen should be extremely well rested following an off day and an 8-inning start from Yu.
Noah Syndergaard has missed slightly fewer bats this year and has a higher ERA than usual, but most of his peripherals suggest he's been pretty near as dominant as in his past. He's still averaging 98 MPH on his fastball and getting groundballs in almost half of all balls in play. Current Cubs have been shockingly fine against him. Javy, who broke out of a slump in a big way last night, is 4-7 with two strikeouts off the fireballer. Bryant is 3-8, Heyward is 4-11, and Russell (also with a HR yesterday) is an adequate 2-6. No current Cubs has homered off the righty. Rizzo, 2-10 with four strikeouts off of Syndergaard, may just get another day to rest his back.
bradsbeard 1 hour 38 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 51 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 44 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 1 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 12 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 45 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 52 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 28 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 54 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 50 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 50 min ago (view)
Per Bruce Levine, Kris Bryant will be leading off for the Cubs.
crunch 11 hours 26 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 2 min ago (view)
That would be so devious!
tim815 13 hours 31 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...
Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
Another possibility for a "26th man" in 2020 would be a young pitcher selected in the Rule 5 Draft who has big league upside but who is clearly not yet "big league ready," or a pitcher who is out of minor league options who might not be quite MLB ready.