Cubs vs. Brewers: Series Thread (Games 134-136)
The Cubs greet the Brewers to Wrigley for a three game set. This series plus the 4-game set next weekend looked at one time like they would be a fight for the division lead, but with the Cubs on the heels of the first-place Cardinals they'll be looking to toss the Brewers clear out of the ring, narrowing the Royal Rumble that was the tight NL Central to a 1-on-1 grapple. The Brewers meanwhile will cling tightly to both their place in the division and their dwindling Wild Card aspirations. Read below to see which competitors will be starting in the series.
Game 134, Friday, August 30, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (11-8, 4.05 ERA)
MIL: RHP Chase Anderson (6-3, 4.34 ERA)
Quintana's last start against the Nats was shortened to only 4 innings in which he allowed five runs, four earned, on three walks and seven hits. He's 1-2 in four starts against Milwaukee this year. Ryan Braun is 11-42 with five homeruns off of him. Moustakas and Cain saw a bunch of him in the AL but haven't put up any remarkable numbers one way or the other.
Following a 10-run, 2.1 inning start against the Nats, Anderson recovered with five scoreless against the D-Backs. He has a win in relief and a no-decision in one start against the Cubs this year. Zobrist is 9-22 with three homeruns off of him--probably not enough to motivate an early roster move? K.B. is 7-26 with three homeruns. Javy is 1-17 with six strikeouts. Rizzo is a mere 2-23.
Game 135, Saturday, August 31, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (7-4, 3.73 ERA)
MIL: RHP Zach Davies (8-7, 3.90 ERA)
Hamels was handed a no-decision against the Nats after five innings and two earned runs allowed. He's 1-0 in three starts against the Brewers this year. Hernan Perez is 8-16 off of him.
Davies has dropped five straight, allowing 23 earned runs on nine walks and 27 hits (8 homeruns) in 22 innings. Two of thos were back-to-back losses to our Cubs, making him 1-2 in four starts against Chicago this year. Kyle Schwarber is 5-26 with four homeruns and seven strikeouts off of him.
Game 136, Sunday, September 1,
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (5-6, 4.25 ERA) Tyler Chatwood
MIL: LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 4.34 ERA)
Darvish followed a frustrating 4 homerun, zero walk, eight strikout outing by holding the Mets to one earned run in eight outings. The key to his game remains keeping opponents in the yard, as he leads the NL with 31 homeruns allowed. Yelich is 3-10 with two homeruns off of him.
Edit: Darvish is a late scratch with a forearm strain (yikes) and Tyler Chatwood starts in his place. Chatwood last started on July 24and provided four innings of one-run ball against the Giants. He's had a few multi-innning relief appearances since then as well. Travis Shaw and Yasmani Grandal have crushed him in 26 at bats, and Yelich is 4-10 with two walks.
Gio Gonzalez lost to the Cards last time out, allowing nine runs, seven earned, on four walks and nine hits in five innings. He's 1-0 in three starts against the Cubs. Jonathan Lucroy is 8-13 off of him. Bryant, Rizzo, and Javy are collectively 7-59 with one homerun and 18 strikeouts off of him.
bradsbeard 1 hour 37 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 50 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 43 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 11 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 51 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 53 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 49 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 49 min ago (view)
Per Bruce Levine, Kris Bryant will be leading off for the Cubs.
crunch 11 hours 25 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 30 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.