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.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 57 min ago (view)
I agree with all of this. I think KB is traded for a SP. I guess here is my guess at the pitchers:
Bullpen: Mills/ Alzolay, Underwood, Adam, Tepera, Wick, Kimbrel, Ryan, Wieck (Alzolay if he loses the 5th spot battle with Mills is still starter number 6, and likely being groomed to join the rotation either later in the year or 2022)
Charlie 17 hours 37 min ago (view)
Frazier beat him on an inside corner two-seamer (albeit belt high), but the Hayes homer came on an 0-2 meatball. Not very professorial.
crunch 17 hours 44 min ago (view)
hendricks starts the game giving up back to back homers. wtf...
crunch 20 hours 13 min ago (view)
happ / rizzo / contreras / schwarber(DH) / maybin(LF) / heyward / baez / kipnis / bote
George Altman 21 hours 29 min ago (view)
Let's hope so. It would be great next year to NOT have to 'piece together a bullpen'.
Arizona Phil 21 hours 50 min ago (view)
DJL: I think that if Lester, Chatwood, Quintana, Jeffress, and Chafin leave via free-agency and do not return or are not replaced by at least one veteran MLB FA SP, the default Cubs 2021 Opening Day pitching staff will be Darvish, Hendricks, Mills (out of options), Alzolay (could be out of options - TBD), and either Rea, T. Miller, Steele, Abbott, Marquez, or D.
Arizona Phil 22 hours 43 min ago (view)
I understand that any team can win a three-game series, but if I'm a division winner I'd want to be the #3 seed rather than the #2 seed in both the A. L. and the N. L., because I would rather face the worst second place team (Houston in the A. L. and probably Miami or Philadelphia in N. L.) than the best wild card team (Cleveland in the A. L. and probably Cincinnati or Milwaukee in the N.L.).
Hagsag 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
Maybe, if he makes the roster!
Charlie 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Jose Martinez is going to hit some big post season homerun, isn't he?
Cubster 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
Is the Chafin experiment over yet?
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
well that sucked.
even with the loss the cubs officially clinched a playoff slot tonight, though.
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
oh, it's totally the hitters unless the coach is forcing guys into trying ill advised changes...which is doubtful to the point of obsurdity for this many slumping hitters.
it's just that a near team-wide hitting outage with no one getting "fixed" isn't a good look for a hitting coach.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
How many hitting coaches would that be over the past five years?
At a certain point maybe it's just the hitters? I love the current group but we've been burning through hitting coaches recently
crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
anthony iapoce might want to start updating his resume...
i'm not saying it's his fault, but it doesn't seem like much is going right with the bats and it's getting worse over time.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
I look at the 8 man pen for next year and would assume 6 RHP 2 LHP. The LHP would currently be two of Ryan, Wieck, and Steele (and I guess Osich but I suspect he's non-tendered).
The 6 RHP would be from Kimbrel, Wick, Tepera, Adam, Underwood, Alzolay, Winkler, Rea (and potentially others). I feel like they're only keeping one of Tepera/ Winkler for final arb year. Tough to say which is better value at this point.
crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
im impressed tepera has "only" given up 2hr in 19.2ip, but i wouldn't hold out on that holding up. also, his control is sketchy as ever...
he's got promising stuff, but at age 33 (few weeks from now) what more does he have to learn/show?
it would probably cost the cubs 1.5m or so to keep him around (900K this year). they liked something about him to pick him up, but who knows where that's at now...