Cubs vs. Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 153-156)
It's here, the Cubs vs. Cards series we've been waiting for. The Cubs feel to three games behind the Cardinals, remained in a tie with the Brewers for the second Wild Card spot, and fell behind the Nationals by 1.5 for the top Wild Card spot. That means, it would take a Cubs sweep of the four-game set to jump over the Cardinals in the division this weekend, right where you would want to be so that you don't have to end the season needing a sweep of the Cards on the road. The Cubs will have to continue to do their most important work without Javy, Rizzo, or even the backup Russell. In the meantime, they will continue to rely on mid-season additions (Castellanos), recent reactivations (Contreras, Zobrist), and 2019 newbies (Hoerner, Kyle Ryan, Rowan Wick, etc.). See below for how this hodge-podge will match up with the Cards.
Game 153, Thursday, September 19, 6:15pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (11-9, 3.26 ERA)
STL: RHP Jack Flaherty (10-8, 3.05 ERA)
This may be the biggest match-up. Will we stay invested, or hedge our emotional bets? That could depend on whether the Cubs can win this opening game. The Cubs send their best starting pitcher to face the Card's best. Hendricks has been strong in his last three starts, allowing a single earn run in each and going into the sixth as well. He's 3-0 in three starts against the Cards this year, one at home and two on the road. He has allowed one earned run in 23 innings pitched, with the first game being his 4-hit complete game shutout in St. Louis. Who else would you want starting against Flaherty? Ozuna is 12-29 with two homeruns off of him.
Something seems to have clicked for Flaherty in the second half, and he's been arguably the best pitcher in the league since then. His ERA is only 1.05 since then and he's stuck out 11.52 per nine innings. He took a loss to the Brewers in his last start, allowing three earned runs in six innings despite striking out ten. He's 1-1 in four starts against the Cubs this year, allowing nine earned runs in 21.2 innings. He'll be fortunate to miss Rizzo, who has done the vast majority of the Cubs' damage against him, going 8-15 with two homeruns.
Game 154, Friday, September 20, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (13-8, 4.37 ERA)
STL: RHP Michael Wacha (6-7, 4.76 ERA)
Quintana has been pulled early in each of his last starts, so he should be well rested? It's been a rough three-game stretch in which he has allowed thirteen earned runs in only 10.1 innings. In that time, he's benefitted from some offensive and bullpen rescues, going 1-0. It's time to pay back that favor. Cardinals hitters have, however, very much enjoyed their time against Q; they have a collective OPS of .931 in 152 at-bats. Goldschmidts stands out in particular at 8-13 with three homeruns. If he's not making his pitches, Q may find himself getting the quick hook for a third start in a row.
Michael Wacha has been terrible this year, but he's been a little sharper lately. He held Milwaukee scoreless in five innings last time out, and has allowed only nine earned runs in his last 31.2 innings over seven starts. The Cubs have collectively accrued a 1.011(!) OPS against Wacha over 218 at-bats. Bryant is 11-35 with three homeruns.
Game 155, Saturday, September 21, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.96 ERA)
STL: RHP Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.35 ERA)
Hamels looked like the Cubs best starter for quite a while, but he's long since come back to earth. He exited his last start in the fourth having allowed only two earned runs but also having walked five batters. Control has very much been the issue, as he's walked fourteen batters over his last seventeen innings. Good news? The strikeouts are still there. The Cards have generally not been able to figure him out, flailing their collective way to a .541 OPS in 179 at-bats. Matt Carpenter and Marcel Ozuna are just barely propping those numbers up, 5-15 and 9-38 (with a homerun) respectively.
After pitching a handful of innings out of the MLB bullpen last year, Dakota Hudson has been treated to 16 wins as a starter in 2019. He relies extensively on ground balls to keep the old ERA down, as he doesn't strike out many and walks over four per nine innings. He's missed the Cubs so far, making this his first exposure to them as a starter. Last time out he defeated the Nationals, allowing two earned runs in seven innings. Lucroy is 2-3 off of him.
Game 156, Sunday, September 22, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (6-7, 4.02 ERA)
STL: RHP Miles Mikolas (9-14, 4.29 ERA)
Darvish's last start was extremely weird making it somehow typical for Yu in 2019 as well. He struck out 13, including 8 in a row at one point, but lost the game anyway, allowing four earned runs including a homerun in seven innings. Before that, he struck out 14 and earned a win in San Diego. Keep the Ks coming, but let's forego the dingers. The Cards haven't seen too much of him. Ozuna is 4-10 and Jose Martinez is 3-5 with a homerun.
Mikolas has been consistently OK throughout the year, and that's been his story of late as well. He's 2-1 in his last five starts, allowing 11 earned runs in 28 innings. He's 0-2 against the Cubs in three starts this year, but he's allowed only four earned run in those 16.2 innings. Cubs lefties have mostly fared better against him, including back-ups Caratini and Happ. Schwarber, 1-12 with four strikeouts, is an exception.
Let's go, Cubs!
Hagsag 1 hour 16 min ago (view)
Explain how Lobaton is on this team?
Jackstraw 10 hours 40 min ago (view)
The Cubs have looked pretty April for the last week.
George Altman 12 hours 9 min ago (view)
I'm pretty sure I've seen enough of Arrieta and Davies to last me the rest of the summer.
crunch 14 hours 45 min ago (view)
e.sogard pitching...the highlight of the last 2 games, easy...
3 popouts...threw mid/high 60s batting practice lobs with some sink
he's scoreless through 2ip in his career. david ross career pitching comps...
crunch 15 hours 42 min ago (view)
same...only it's coffee...which isn't helping. yesterday's trash game got a sequel.
crunch 15 hours 43 min ago (view)
yeah...we can go ahead and send cory abbott back down...
crunch 15 hours 54 min ago (view)
hopefully the cubs can work out an extension for jason heyward to keep him around til then.
Hagsag 15 hours 55 min ago (view)
This game is making me drink a lot.
Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 6 min ago (view)
Just wait til the 2030 season, those kids will be entering their prime then. Look out NL Central!
crunch 17 hours 11 min ago (view)
im starting to think spending 12.6m of payroll on davies/arrietta while trading darvish away for davies and a slew of kids that dont even make the cubs top 10 prospect list wasn't a good idea.
oh yeah, cubs gave SD money in that deal, too...that's even better.
Arizona Phil 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHP Justin Shafer (ex-MIA) from Kansas City (American Association) and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa.
crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
he -really- needs to cue into this is a cubs broadcast and not a national/neutral broadcast.
dude...don't get excited about marlins 3-run homers.
crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
lot of people wanted him when len left. he's got a long game calling history, but not too much for baseball. he did host "baseball tonight" for ESPN for a quite a while, so the game isn't a mystery to him.
i find him a bit boring/dry. some people like that he has that oldschool "announcer voice" thing going on.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
He's uhhh.. not very good at it. Glad he wasn't the hire for the main role.
crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
wow...chris myers calling the cubs game for some reason (boog out for the MIA series).
he is a marquee talent, but he's not been used to call a game as far as i know.
also, zach davies looks like a kid in pajamas in those dark blue "wrigleyville" uniforms.
crunch 2 days 10 hours ago (view)
t.williams threw a 25 pitch pen thursday