Cubs vs. Padres: Series Thread (Games 143-146)

This weekend saw the Cubs lose three out of four to the trailing Brewers, fall to 4.5 behind the Cardinals in the division, and shrink their Wild Card lead to 1.5 games with the D-Backs, Phillies, and Brewers all pounding on the door behind them. Meanwhile, fans got news that Javy's jammed thumb is actually a fracture, and Russell was hit in the face with a fastball. If this didn't feel like a turn in the wrong direction, the team's inability to capitalize on the rally after Russell was hit felt like a failure to turn in the right direction. Nico Hoerner is called up to reinforce the middle infield, and maybe the rookie will be able to invigorate the team and the fans after the disappointing series in Milwaukee. He and the rest of the Cubs will take on the Padres for four games on the west coast. Continue below for match-ups.


Game 143, Monday, September 9, 9:10pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 3.39 ERA)
SDP: RHP Cal Quantrill (6-6, 4.57 ERA)

Hendricks went six solid innings last time out, allowing one earned run on a walk and three hits to Seattle. He lost his other start against the Padres this year but allowed only two runs in seven innings in that start. Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, and Eric Hosmer have all had some success against him in limited at bats.

Quantrill defeated the Cubs on July 21, shutting them out for 5.2 and allowing only two hits. He pitched in relief of opener Adrian Morejon hat day. Rizzo and Kyle Hendricks have the only his off of him.


Game 144, Tuesday, September 10, 9:10pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (13-8, 4.00 ERA)
SDP: RHP Ronald Bolaños (0-1, 3.00 ERA)

Quintana earned the lone win in the Brewers series, pitching five innings and allowing four earned runs but benefiting from a booming Cubs offense. He similarly won out against the Padres on July 20, despite allowing five earned runs, including three homers, in five innings. Hosmer has only a .529 OPS against him in 74 at bats.

Bolaños took a loss in his MLB debute, allowing two earned runs in six innings of work against the D-Backs. He leaned heavily on his mid-to-upper-90s fastball in that start, mixing in a smaller portion of sliders, slow curves, and the occasional changeup as well. Having made the jump from AA to the majors, this is his first exposure to the juiced MLB baseball. May he begin to feel its effects.


Game 145, Wednesday, September 11, 9:10pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (7-6, 3.95 ERA)
SDP: RHP Chris Paddack (8-7, 3.54 ERA)

Hamels departed his last start after only 3.1, allowing five earned runs to Milwaukee in his second consecutive start against that offense. He allowed nine hits, two homers, in that 3.1 innings. He was on the I.L. for the last round against the Padres. Machado is 1-14 and Hosmer 0-13 off he veteran lefty.

Paddack was handed a no-decision after 5.1 scoreless innings in his last start. He's relied on strikeouts to a great extent in his debut season, K-ing more than a batter per inning while limiting walks but allowing a fair amount of contact in the air and 1.53 homeruns per nine innings. He missed the Cubs in July.


Game 146, Thursday, September 12, 2:40pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (5-6, 4.12 ERA)
SDP: RHP Dinelson Lamet (2-4, 3.95 ERA)

Darvish allowed one walk and three hits while striking out seven and shutting out the Brewers for five innings in his last start. Perhaps Petco can help him keep the ball in the park, his one consistent shortcoming this season. He hasn't faced the Padres this year. He's held Hosmer to 2-14 in his career.

After missing 2018, Lamet has returned to make eleven starts with the Padres this season. In that time he's thrown his slider 43.9% of the time and his changeup on 1.4% of the time; splits favor left-handed batters. Lamet missed the Cubs in July, but the Cubs faced him way back in May of 2017 in his second MLB start. He won that match, in which Schwarber (1-2) took him deep and Heyward went 2-2.


Much luck to the Rockies, who welcome the Cardinals for three games starting on the 10th.

Comments

Another series where the cubs mlb.com beat writer won’t be at the games. I feel like that dude is seriously never covering the team.

she was a bit boring/safe, but carrie muskat covered the team very well (imo) for many years.

I thought so too. I never had a problem with her writing. I don’t think the modern day beat writer is ever really going to write anything that isn’t safe. She was always there though which to me is the most important thing about a beat writer.

zobrist / schwarb / cast / rizzo / caratini / HOERNER / heyward / bote(3rd) / hendricks

Rosario DFA’d with Hoerner call up. Makes sense

alzolay down, norwood up

The Cubs optioned RHP Adbert Alzolay to South Bend and recalled RHRP James Norwood from Iowa.

It was a paper move only because Alzolay is not going to actually physically join the South Bend Cubs, but even so Alzolay could - ONLY - be optioned to South Bend because a player cannot be optioned to a club's minor league affiliate whose season has ended, and South Bend is the only Cubs minor league affiliate still playing.  

p.alonzo (NYM) with 2HR tonight through 5 innings...47 on the year.  it's his 8th multi-HR game.

it's crazy there's 5 guys who could legit hit 50+ this season (alonzo, trout, yelich, bellinger, e.suarez)...all currently have 44+ HR.

soft arcing bloop single to RF on an 0-2 pitch for nico.

Reminded me of one Starlin Castro.

hit it off the thin part of the bat guessing location wrong.  his swing plane was on target, but the barrell wasn't.  he missed the pitch before quite badly, pulled swinging on a ball off the outer corner.  being able to make contact counts for something as long as you're not pounding it into the infield grass, though.

he's getting a lot of chances with the glove so far tonight through 3ip.  looks comfortable, but not as smooth as baez/russell.

he let a few go toward rizzo a few feet off target, though rizzo's snagged them.

Hoerner already showing some defensive chops that makes me glad Bote isn’t playing SS.

if bote is playing SS something is seriously wrong anyway.  technically he can play SS, but he's best used at 2nd/3rd (though he's had a weird stint playing bad 3rd this season).

i'm just happy to not see as much tony kemp...who's dangerously close to having a mindblowing sub-.400 OPS (57 PA .405 OPS)

hoerner scores his 1st run on a wild pitch.  welcome to the bigs.

nico gets his 1st RBI on a TRIPLE down the LF line (little clumbsy D helped)

first hit, extra base hit, first run scored, first RBI...and only 3 PA.  he could have done it with 1PA if he hit a homer.  totally uneconomical batting, not a legit prospect.

Nice of the rookie to read the script. Way to show up prepared.

zobrist / schwarb / cast / rizzo / bryant / contreras / heyward / hoe / Q

Why isn't Maples up yet?

i really want him to click, but time is running out on his massive control issues.

high velocity fastball and a truly filthy slider...but hard to tell where he's going to put either and it can go on/off without warning.

heyword HR #20

heyward, rizzo, contreras, baez, bryant, and schwarber with 20+ HR.

c.yelich fractured right kneecap...done for the season...fouled a ball off his knee.

wow.

There goes the 50 HR year for him.

Oof. Zobrist's defense. This is not the veteran presence he needs to bring to the team right now.

Defining quality of the 2019 team is inability to get their s*** together: yes or no?

who would have thought lester would be the worst SP on the team?

...then you got a guy like steve cishek who's throwing quite good baseball overall in 2019, but has had a unique talent of blowing games at the same time.  pedro strop (arguably the best relief pitcher in cubs history) has been joining cishek in blowing games, but his numbers are looking like someone who's blowing games.

there's been annoying injuries, but the team has had adequate backups who can hit and the injuries haven't left the team hobbled.  there's ob% and power on this team in the lineup and on the bench.

so yeah, that seems like an inibility to control their bowels.

The biggest issues I see on the team are the inability to hold leads including starters and dreadful situational hitting.

Like, yeah these guys don’t strike out all the time, but with so many of them there’s been so many times where all we needed wasn’t to avoid a K that ends up as the result.

CHARLIE: Of the five contending years since the Cubs got good in 2015, the 2019 version is the most disappointing. The games are actually hard to watch.

The 2019 Cubs remind me of an NFL team that gets out to a double-digit lead over a clearly inferior opponent through three quarters and then plays a "prevent victory" defense and can't protect the lead and then after blowing the lead the kicker misses a chip-shot FG that would have won the game, or an NBA team that doesn't exert the energy to make defensive stops in the 4th quarter and then after allowing the opponent back in the game misses free throws at the end that would have won the game anyway, or an NHL team that can't convert power plays throughout the game and then blows a two-goal lead in the last five minutes and then falls flat in overtime, or a golfer who squanders a four-shot lead going into the back nine and then can't make easy putts over the last two holes that would have sealed the victory.   

Although the contending window for the current Cubs team is through 2021, I suspect there will be some major changes made after this season. There is something wrong with the mix. Problem is, the Cubs aren't exactly loaded with trade chips that would have value to other clubs. One possibility would be to re-sign Nicholas Castellanos and then trade Kris Bryant for a younger less-established MLB player with upside or a couple of quality MLB-ready or near-MLB ready prospects (somebody like Luis Robert would be perfect), since Bryant is a Boras client and so therefore absolutely will not sign a contract extension before hitting free-agency post-2021.

And then there is the Cincinnati Reds, who seem to be taking a "no rebuild as long as Joey Votto is here" approach and therefore might have interest in acquiring Cincinnati native Kyle Schwarber and/or former U. of Cincinnati All-American Ian Happ. (Nick Senzel would be a good long-term fit at 3B if Bryant is traded, and young MLB relievers like Amir Garrett and/or Robert Stephenson would be attractive bullpen pieces).   

Off-hand I would say a top-of-the-order power/speed/OBP spark like the 2015-16 version of Dexter "You Go We Go" Fowler is one really obvious missing piece (which is why I mentioned Luis Robert), as is the lack of reliable shut-down bullpen arms, and not just the closer, but everybody in the pen (which is why I mentioned Garrett and Stephenson). At least the Cubs (finally) started to look in-house for bullpen candidates, so hopefully they won't be tempted to allocate $20M+ in 2020 payroll to journeymen "thirty something" free-agent relievers.

The bottom line is, the Cubs need to get younger in 2020 without starting another rebuild. 

Schwarber slipping on first base and falling on his face on what should have been a double with 17 games to go in the year - yeesh. Would have been fitting if the throw from right field back-picked him for an out. 

That said, at least KB hit a ball deep enough to drive in Rizzo this go around. 

Schwarber is the clumsiest pro athlete I’ve ever seen

Kendall Graveman (July 2018 TJS) has relocated his Article XIX-C minor league rehab assignment to South Bend, where he will start for the SB-Cubs in tonight's MWL playoff game. 

kemp (2nd) / schwarb / cast / rizzo / bryant / contreras / heyward / hoe / ham

kemp .164/.200/.218 in 60 PA, fwiw

64 PA .153/.188/.203

kemp drops below .400 OPS.  this might be a bit controversial, but i don't think he's leadoff material.

russell will remain out pending a medical evaluation on friday

Just how mediocre have the Cubs been for the majority of the season?

https://twitter.com/mdgonzales/status/1171875352236314624?s=21

rizzo going for a triple is as graceful as randy johnson trying to hit.

my god...

leadoff triple, though...woo

...and the cubs fail to score.

rizzo / cast / schwarb / bryant / caratini / heyward / happ (2nd) / hoe / darvish

2nd greatest leadoff hitter of all time back in the 1 slot.

Tony Kemp being #1 I presume 

obviously kemp.

i like maddon, but his "let's give the guy having a rough time more ABs in the 1 slot to sort him out" thing can be painful.

Has Hoerner hit any flyballs since his callup?  The highlights I‘ve seen have all been ground balls - hopefully when his wrist is 100% they’ll be less groundball tendencies. 

He had a little flare off the end of the bat for a hit in his first PA, also a couple deep fly balls the last two nights. 

Thanks.  Looking for encouragement that Hoerner will not be the SS/2B version of Albert Almora, particularly since he may be starting one of those positions coming out of spring training next year. 

I would think the Cubs let him bake a while longer if they believe he'll have any power.

first guy from the draft to make the majors...not surprisingly.

royals claim r.rosario

speaking of royals, j.soler hit HR #44 today

Padres smart, even with all the strikeouts, in taking a lot of pitches from Yu - wait it out and hit the soft underbelly that is the Cubs bullpen.

Darvish thru 5 IP: 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 11 K

87 pitches though. Cubs bullpen/defense has consistently butchered Yu’s games / offense needs to step up. 

Cubs 2019: The car wreck you can easily divert your eyes from if you want to keep your sanity

What a hell of an outing by Darvish. Mega kudos

Last eight outs by Darvish recorded via strikeout

Time to stick a fork in Kyle Ryan - four pitch walk with a four run lead.

And follows up with two scoreless innings thanks to two huge DPs

With a four run lead and with expanded rosters, not sure why Schwarber (whose had a good game, face plant and all) is still patrolling left field in the ninth

Deleted double post

wtf wick...

cubs win, brews win, cards win...

Had they managed to blow that - holy smoke. Too close and my nerves are shot. But damn that was an awesome curve by Wick to finish the game off - similar to Yu’s last pitch, also a called K

Enjoy the ride guys.

Recent comments

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  • Cubster 47 min 10 sec ago (view)

    https://twitter.com/just1deeva/status/1245654487026397184?s=21

    speaking of Trump's trained rats...

     

  • Hagsag 7 hours 16 min ago (view)

    Cubster, your comments about President Bone Spurs could not be more accurate. Thanks for posting!

     

  • BobbyD 18 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace. 

     

  • crunch 20 hours 40 min ago (view)

    though the team cheaped out on this offseason (still an overall top-tier payroll), i was at least looking forward to seeing the beginning of the david ross era...and who was going to win the 2nd base job...

    nothing about 2020 baseball feels legit anymore.  just hearing the players talk about it, you'd think they were organizing a casual pickup game for charity at an inconvient time and place...doesn't seem like they're really stoked about it.

     

  • Cubster 21 hours 49 min ago (view)

    June 1st is a week from tomorrow. Given 5 weeks of spring training before starting (July 4th?), the season is on the brink of going bye-bye. It's bad enough in 2020 to be losing prime career years for Javy Baez and Kris Bryant, let alone Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Kyle Hendricks, and Willson Contreras. If one of them gets coronavirus, loses lung capacity, and alters their career arc, Cub fans will for a long time have a bitter taste in their mouths. All for, at best,  a bizarre half-season without fans watching in the ballparks.

     

  • Alexander Dimm 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: I've been following this all spring and I fully agree.  Let's not risk the health of these ballplayers.  Let's plan for 2021 an be done with 2020.  I know that whole game will be changed next year but it's already morphing now.  Just start with a clean slate.  I don't want scientists watching baseball when they should be working on a vaccine.

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    I love baseball as much as anyone, but I cant see this working. Put the 2020 season on the shelf and plan for 2021. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    i still don't understand how any of this retains momentum if a team has an outbreak...

    it seems like that would put a pause on things not only effecting the team with the outbreak, but the schedule and future opponents...and past opponents who recently played the team with an outbreak...

    if it gets started, hopefully it can roll to end without going off the rails.  it all seems so fragile with a lot of moving pieces.

     

  • CubbyBlue 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    I wish I felt better about the possibility of baseball this year. All those details - it just seems like something's not going to work. And to me the worst thing that could happen is they get started and 2 weeks later have to shut it down, then try to start it up again. 
    Baseball's role this summer is meant to uplift, and that scenario feels soul-crushing.

     

  • crunch 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    add the bjays to the list...

    whatever works to get people paid.

     

  • crunch 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    "Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Brewers will keep their baseball operations staff intact for all of 2020.

    There will be no furloughs and only top executives in the organization will take pay cuts."

    2020 has officially crossed the line now...making me like the brewers...

    seriously though, it's about time some of these 100s-millionaire to billionaire owners acted like this.

    brewers, wsox, cards, and twins have all promised full pay for employees through june+ (and maybe longer when revisited)

     

  • crunch 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    the "slow opening" seems to be starting up this weekend and into next week for a variety of clubs...whether it's the ballpark or training facitlies.  most all of the player access seems to be limited to those on the 40-man and nothing mandatory.

    nothing for the cubs yet (that i've heard about).  chicago is still a bit "hot" but AZ is open for sports...

     

  • crunch 1 week 22 hours ago (view)

    i can't speak for this or all of the US, but my state govt level safety committee reports kinda shape up like this...and this aggregated view stated below is my own...

    we're still technically short for how all pieces of the testing scheme interact with each other on whole, but it's catching up and should be rolling smoothly for a task like this (seems to be a dedicated lab for all MLB) by the time the season is proposed to start.

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    They plan on testing 10.000 per week? I thought we were short of tests. 

     

  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    i would be surprised to see this go start-to-finish without some kind of stupid drama.  it's not that covid is gonna kill a gazillion people while they bleed from their eyes or something...it's that it's so easy to pass it others.  if you find one guy positive, chances are pretty high he's taking down a handful of others with him even if they're all good to go in a couple weeks and feel fine during that downtime.

     

  • Craig A. 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    This is going to be full of surprises. Young players who don't feel that bad may be angry that they can't  play.  A team may loose several players at once. They'll need a taxi squad that doesn't practice with the main team. Even the best plan can't prepare teams for every possibility.