Cubs vs. Pittsburgh: Series Thread (Games 7-9)

With the finale in Cincinnati rained out, the Cubs gather their things and head home to take on the Pirates. The Cubs come into the series atop the division with a 4-2 lead. The Pirates, meanwhile, bring up the rear with the Cincinnati Reds, both at 2-4.

Game 7, Friday, July 31, first pitch 7:15pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
PIT: RHP Trevor Williams (0-1, 7.36 ERA)

Both Darvish and Williams left something to be desired in their initial starts. K.B. is hitting .375 with 2 HRs of Williams in 16 ABs, and he has now had an extra day to rest his sore left elbow. Schwarber is at .364 with 3 long balls in 22 ABs. Josh Bell has the lone homerun off of Darvish among current Pirates.

Game 8, Saturday, August 1, first Pitch 7:15pmCDT
CHC: RHP Tyler Chatwood (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
PIT: RHP Mitch Keller (1-0, 1.80 ERA)

Tyler Chatwood got his 2020 season off on the right foot, going  6 innings and striking out 8 while earning his first win. His fastball command was sharp enough, and he mixed a slider-cutter hybrid especially effectively against lefties. Mitch Keller improved to 2-5 for his MLB career by winning his first start of 2020 on five inings pitched and 2 strikeouts. No current Cub has more than 5 ABs against him.

Game 9, Sunday, August 2, first pitch 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Jon Lester gets the ball for the matinee finale. Despite being somewhat behind schedule as far as building up for the season, he managed 5 innings pitched, 1 strikeout, and his first win of 2020. He allowed no hits and only one baserunner but had no shot at completing it as he was on a strict pitch count. Adam Frazier is 6-11 off of him.


So the Cubs are playing a 59 game schedule now? At this pace it projects to a 50-52 game season at best. 

Remember when we could've taken Nate Pearson in the Draft and instead took Brendon Little?


Can't keep crying over Earl Cunningham and other "little" mistakes.

Hard to believe but 10% of the season is over. 

There's no crying in baseball!

To be fair this little mistake was a tad more recent. Just kinda shaking my head, considering their pedigrees at the time. Draft is a crapshoot of course.

STL/MIL postponed friday because "someone" with STL tested positive.

supposedly it's at least 2 STL players...saturday game still on (for now)...hoping to play doubleheader sunday.

Here are some covid tracing informational stats.

The Cardinals just came from Minnesota but had Thursday off.  The cancelled game was scheduled in Milwaukee. The Twins played last night vs. Indians in Minn.  I'm not sure but suspect the Cards had their day off in a Milwaukee hotel. 

The two positive tests are pitchers. Here is the Cardinal pitching roster: Jr Fernandez, Jack Flaherty, Gio Gallegos, John Gant Austin Gomber, Ryan Helsley, Dakota Hudson, KH Kim, Carlos Martinez, Andrew Miller, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Adam Wainwright, Tyler Webb, Kodi Whitley, Jake Woodford (15 pitchers, 3 catchers, 7 IF, 5 OF). Remember they already have lost Miles Mikolas for the season.

Cubs have signed Cody Allen to minor league contract and he'll be reporting to South Bend. His stats from last year while with the Angels are remarkably similar to Kimbrel's with the Cubs ...

What went wrong w Cody Allen? Physical ailment? Colorado high altitude  Damage?  Any insight?

Age/ wear and tear seems the likely culprit.

Don't know why I thought this was a road series. Post corrected.

cubs great (for 12 innings) fernando rodney signs a minor league deal with HOU and is expected to be up pretty soon.  it will be his 12th team.  not bad for a 43 year old.

Oh oh... Manfred Mann and his Earth Band is on the brink.

Report: Rob Manfred warns that MLB could shut down by Monday if it can't contain coronavirus

im still bummed (seriously) about the 2021 WBC being cancelled.  it's a sideshow for some, but i enjoyed it.

no minor league ball is also cruddy.  weird 2020 MLB is still something worth nice to finish this out.

I genuinely think they should stop 2020 and the prospect of it still makes me sad.

at some point working around cancelations from covid along with weather is going to make it hard to even have a fair 60 game season.

Story going around is that some Cardinals went to a casino.

bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarber / contreras(DH) / heyward / caratini / kipnis / happ

-hoener +kipnis is the change from yesterday's lineup.

rizzo takes his 10,000,000 HBP of his career.

151, actually...22nd (oops, not 26) all time and he's been the active player leader for a little while.  he's 30.

On the inside, he's probably more like 63. I have to imagine the beanings age you.

im actually surprised he's not had his arm screwed up with as many as he takes off the arm.  batters don't get to use that oldschool barry bonds armor anymore.

Tigers beat Castillo and the Reds, 7-2 - that's a bonus. 

nothing like hoping the cubs score an extra run in the 8th so we might not see kimbrel in the 9th.  either way, c'mon good cubs stuff.

Came here to say the same thing.

bases loaded, 0 out...looking good...

...and rizzo gets it done.

Couple of more runs and maybe feel slightly OK about bringing in Kimbrel. 

What the hell!!!

yeah, i'm half joking when i rag on a player like this, but f'n wow.

manfred: guys, covid...quit doing covid spreading stuff

baez: *spits a swimming pool of mouth germs all over the infield*

jesus christ...i mean, really kimbrel...

1st batter faced...homer.

2nd batter faced...homer.

Christopher Kamka @ckamka
Craig Kimbrel allowing multiple HR

With Cubs:    4 times in 25 games
Prior to that:  1 time in 542 games

97 mph down the heart of the plate tend to leave the ballpark pretty quickly 

trump announced that if MLB would quit testing they could finish this season.

Pres. Rump gives MLB the option of 1) stop testing. 2) Playing night games without lights. Either option sounds kind of dangerous.

Lorenzo Cain opts out of 2020. No reason yet, either medical predisposition, family or others but he's out.

Baseball hanging in by threads that seem to be unraveling. Enjoy each game like it might be the last.

Per Roto: Multiple Cardinals players have tested positive for the coronavirus in the wake of the club’s most recent tests.  The exact number isn’t yet known, though SportsGrid’s Craig Mish (Twitter link) reports “more than five” positive results amongst the players, while The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that “between four and six” of a “combination of staff and players” tested positive.  Former big leaguer Trevor Plouffe tweeted earlier this morning that “at least four” St. Louis players are positive.

StL-Mil Saturday game in Milwaukee is cancelled. 
Also Reds-Tigers canceled By Rain. 
The Current hurricane threat to Florida but might lead to weather cancellations up the east coast next week.

The Cubs are scheduled to be in StL next weekend. If the Cardinals go full "Marlins", that might be iffy.

Sheesh. This is getting icky.

bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarber / contreras / heyward / hoerner / happ / caratini(DH)

i really don't want to do another year of "so...bote exists" but here we are.  i know the dude isn't due for hitting .350 with 40 homers or anything like that, but he sure sits a lot for a guy that performs when given a chance.

I am starting to wonder if: a.) he is a jerk? or b.) he has a hole in his swing that coaches see but pitchers haven't eploited yet. Alternatively, middle child syndrome (with Hoerner as the favored baby and Kipnis the respected elder).

At least Descalso isn't blocking him?

i know nothing about bote, the person.  he consistently hits in all kinds of situations, though...and he showed a lot of progress last year (and this year...and this past spring)...

it could be viewed as a plus that he's great "cold" off the bench, therefore...etc etc

CRUNCH: One thing I know about David Bote "the person" was that in 2017 he left the AFL early (and missed the AFL Championship Game) so that he could go home and take care of his infant daughter so that his wife could go back to work. 

gotta be great for him to lock down a 15m guarenteed contract a year and half later.

it could end up being one of the best cubs contracts ever if he's good enough to have the 2 team option years picked up.

...and bote is in for bryant (last minute change)

happ / rizzo / baez / schwarber / contreras / heyward / hoerner / caratini(DH) / bote

bryant "gastro-intestinal issues"

Sometimes you gotta pass on those Taco Bell runs with the Professor

hefty spending big 2020 money at wrigley.

trash bags representing hard with a mound ad, a bleacher ad tarp, and both back home plate ad spaces to start the cubs 1st.

also, the radio side has the "hefty hefty hefty homerun" call by pat.  not kidding...

if the cubs want to make more money they could have the pen wear hefty trash bags as a uniform if they keep representing garbage so closely.

Somehow, someway they gotta incorporate Bosley's Law into their Cub Ad campaign

Well ... damn. All excited to squeeze a Tom Bosley reference here but its for the competition instead. 

Hefty is a quality product and would sue if it were to be associated with Cubs "relief" pitchers.

where the hell has this chatwood been the past 3 years?

Back to back nights for Ryan maybe not the best play - he was throwing 88 yesterday but 85 tonight 

ryan pumps his ERA up to 9.00

that said, he's not 1 of the 7 relievers with 10.00+ ERA.

Need Bote at short and Happ at 2nd for these late inning nailbiters

phew...drama 9th win.

6-2 to start the season.  bullpens are overrated.

"bullpens are overrated"

2019 Nats agree! 🤣

ha.  speaking of, it's been wild to see trevor rosenthal looking like a closer again with KC after spending 2019 with WAS/DET/NYY looking like a washup.  he was dominate in spring and it's carrying over into the season.

WAS paid him $6.9m for 6.1 innings of 22.74 ERA ball.

I fully expect the eventual DFA'd Kimbrel to turn it around and torture the Cubs in 2021-25

The Cardinals continue to provoke more questions than answers. Are they one rainout away from the Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire nod intended)?

on MLBTR: The Cardinals and Brewers scheduled doubleheader for Sunday has been postponed, MLB announced in a statement. The Cardinals had 3 players and 1 staff member test positive for coronavirus this weekend with four pending tests still unresolved, tweetsESPN’s Jesse Rogers. The positive tests will affect the schedule for the next week as well. The Tigers and Cardinals were originally supposed to play a home-and-home pair of series this week in St. Louis and Detroit. Following the cases of coronavirus in St. Louis, however, all four games will be played in Detroit, including a doubleheader on Wednesday. 

Make the Deadbirds forfeit the season!

it looks like MLB has quarantined the entire city of St. Louis for this week.

Justin Steele is moving on up!

Not sure who is moving on down to South Bend (or perhaps placed on the IL)

Norwood to  Chicago, IL (formerly DL). Shoulder inflammation.


Well done, Dr Cubster

contreras breaks up the no-hitter with a double in the 5th.

lester needs to throw a complete game today.

60 game schedules are a perfect fit for Lester. Hell, if we know 2021 will also go 60, Cubs could do a lot worse than re-signing Big Jon

Telecast with Len/JD saying that several more Cardinals tested positive this am. Can't find it on twitter or net yet.

Another Pirate pitcher removed with injury. 

KB in Covid protocol even though he had a negative rapid test today.

This is stressful. 

...and no one seems to know where y.cespedes (NYM) is...didn't show up for the game today and isn't answering calls.  they're on the road @ATL.

Magic City wings could be in play here. 

cepedes is "opting out" of 2020, but didn't let the team properly know.  glad they found him.

When then is ever over, gonna have to have some of them Magic City wings, they must be something!

more on Cardinals...

Jeff Passan says: The latest round of coronavirus tests from the St. Louis Cardinals are, in the words of someone with the team, "not good." There are expected to be multiple new positives, sources tell ESPN. Cardinals took more tests this morning, and results of those should arrive by tonight.

Robt Murray: The St. Louis Cardinals have multiple new positive tests, according to sources with direct knowledge.

2:31 PM · Aug 2, 2020

we're 10-ish games in and the future is looking dim for finishing the season, much less forming a 16-team post-season.

at this point it seems making it to playoffs with enough people to fill a roster is a wiser move than actually winning games.

For all the heat Lester took to this point, he's really "pitched" excellent in both starts. In fact, the entire starting staff has been really good. Bullpen not so much although I've liked Jeffress.

Any other readers in southern Il.--are you blacked out of Cubs games? My dad is always blacked out as of this year even though MLB tv lists his zip as blacked out for Cards only.

If he is accessing via Internet, the location would be determined by the location associated with the IP address, not his physical address, that might be the issue.  A VPN service is always a good way to disguise your physical location and get around MLB blackouts. 

Thank you!

Many areas have multiple team blackouts.

See here:

Dang. That map suggests he's right on the border of being blocked, even though MLB says he's not according to his zip. We'll see about the IP address. Thanks!

game on...stupid rain delay...


been a while since i've seen a solid home plate collision...couldn't be avoided.

cubs in 11!

7-2 record to start the year.

the "socially distanced high-5s" in the middle of the infield is good stuff.

high fives followed by Rizzo passing out hand sanitizer

elbow bumps

how do you socially distance the dogpile?

By not having one.

but...muh freedoms.  :(

Recent comments

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  • Cubster 9 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Jason Schmidt signs with Dodgers, 3/44.


  • crunch 10 hours 34 min ago (view)

    20 year, 800m contract incoming...front loaded 150m over the first 2 years with a player opt out after that...


  • videographer 16 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Darth Vader to rescue Carlos Correa's bruised ego. 


  • crunch 18 hours 17 min ago (view)

    carlos correa has hired scott boras...


  • bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    The IFA market isn't exactly an equal access thing. Not only do the Cubs have a slightly smaller bonus pool than some teams, players are often linked to teams through their trainers well before they are able to sign. It's not like when these kids are 14 that the teams know for sure that they have a top of the class player on their hands two years in the future.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Cubbies.4ever - I read that the Cubs strategy with international free agents has been to spend most of their bonus money on young, position players and then take chances on cheaper, older pitching prospects who have been late bloomers (taller, stronger, more command of pitches, etc.). They are also grabbing guys at the end of the international signing period and signing them to future service contracts. They have six pitchers that were signed last year to future service contracts, and only one position player.


  • cubbies.4ever 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Cubs IFA Signings are heavy on SS (given SS usually can play many positions as the develop), but only 1 pitcher.  Given it's still early.  Also disappointing that their best signing is #18.  Gone are the days of Soler, Eloy, Torres, Marquez, Amaya etc.  I believe Christian Hernandez last year was highly rated though.


  • Wrigley Rat 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    One more international free agent signing announced today: Daniel Benschop, OF, Aruba


  • bradsbeard 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    I hope all is well with AZ Phil. Hasn't posted in a few weeks and typically would expect him to have a post up tracking IFA signings. Maybe he's waiting for something official from the Cubs (who don't seem to have announced any of the signings officially)? 


  • Cubster 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Les Grobstein dies at age 69. Encyclopedic Chicago historian and longtime sports talk overnight radio host, plus a controversial listen.


  • Cubster 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Hernandez ranks 18th on MLB's International prospect list. Sanchez ranks at #43.
    Tribune article today on the Cub


  • CubsCentral08 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    List is up to 12 now

    Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama
    Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic
    Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela
    Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic
    Freylin Silverio, RHP, Dominican Republic
    Sandy Sanchez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Darlin de Leon, SS, Dominican Republic


  • Wrigley Rat 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    In addition to those signed today, it's worth noting that seven players were signed to future-service contracts during the last international free agent signing period, and are expected to make their system-debut this coming season (most likely in the Dominican Republic). Those players are:

    • RHP - Luis Angel Reyes
    • LHP - Kevin Valdez
    • RHP - Jensi Ramirez
    • RHP - Yafrerlyn Vasquez
    • RHP - Eligio Paredes
    • RHP - Jair Jimenez
    • OF - Edward Vargas



  • Wrigley Rat 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs added four more International Free Agents so far today:

    • Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    • Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic



  • Wrigley Rat 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Sneak peak into the International Free Agent Signings that officially start tomorrow (Saturday):

    Chicago Cubs ($5,179,700 total bonus pool) - 5 Signings (so far):

    • Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama ($1,500,000 bonus)
    • Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,300,000 bonus)
    • Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,000,000 bonus)
    • Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela



  • crunch 4 days 23 hours ago (view)

    wsox snagging cuban oscar colas...23 year old high end power prospect that could slot into the majors quickly.

    they're building a hell of a batting core on the south side of town.