Cubs vs. Cleveland: Series Thread (Games 49 & 50)

With first place still in their possession and an Alec Mills no-hitter under their belt, the Cubs return to Wrigley to take on the first of several AL central opponents. Cleveland comes into the series in third place, 5 games out of first and 2 games out of second. The Cubs begin the series 4 games up in the division.

Game 1, Tuesday, Sep. 15, 7:15 pm central
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (7-2, 1.77 ERA)
CLE: RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-4, 3.12 ERA)

Yu Darvish ended a 7-game winning streak when he allowed 3 earned runs to the Reds over 6 innings. After a wild first inning, he returned to the dominant form to which Cubs fans are now accustomed. He has roughly 3 starts remaining and 72 strikeouts. If everything breaks right, he could strikeout 100 and win 10 games in this 60 game season.

After missing most of 2019 as he recovered from leukemia, Carlos Carrasco appears not to have missed a beat. The Cubs will be fortunate to miss Cy Young probable Shane Bieber, but the veteran Carrasco continues to strike out more than 10 opponents for 9 innings, holds walks at a reasonable level, and elicits ground balls at a more than respectable rate. Current Cubs have hardly seen him at all. Rizzo is 2-2 with a homerun. Billy Hamilton, who used to have to bat, is 3-10 with a triple.

Game 2, Wednesday, Sep. 16, 7:15 pm central
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (2-2, 5.05 ERA)
CLE: RHP Aaron Civale (3-5, 3.88 ERA)

Lester could not earn a decision in the Cubs 1-0 loss to the Brewers, but he pitched 6 scoreless innings and struck out a season high 8 opponents. Can he translate that success from the floundering Brewers' hitters to the merely middling Cleveland lineup? Francisco Lindor (4-11 with a homerun) and Franmil Reyes (5-7 with a homerun) have had Lester's number in limited exposure.

Aaron Civale debuted in 2019 and made 10 major league starts. Including his 9 starts in 2020, he now has a 3.11 ERA and a 6-9 career record. He brings a low 90s fastball and a troubling mix of off-speed stuff, including both a cutter and a slider, a nasty curve, and a changeup. Only Cameron Maybin (1-5) has faced him before.


happ / bryant(3rd) / rizzo / contreras(DH) / schwarber / baez / heyward / kipnis / caratini

game 1

baez in the 6 slot.  it's been frustrating to watch because he doesn't look totally lost at the plate...or that he's over/under-doing's just not happening for him right now.

He keeps looking like he *could* get on a tear of liners to right field and then he just doesn't. His strikeout to walk ratio has gone from really bad to truly horrendous, but his underlying plate discipline numbers are not actually worse. The only big differences I can see in his peripherals are that he's missing in the strike zone more than usual and he's seeing more sliders (and fewer fastballs) than any other single season in his career. There's nothing super explanatory there--it just backs the eye test conclusion that he looks off.

The Cat says Strop is in Chicago!

SF/SEA postponed because of bad air quality from know, typical 2020 shit.

In Portland myself and I gotta say that time outdoors feels unhealthy. Just hoping the fires end [checks watch] ever.

While a world-wide famine, thermo-nuclear war, and/or sudden magnetic pole reversal is still quite possible sometime in the next couple of months (obviously none of which would be significant enough to interrupt the completion of the 2020 World Series), I've got my money on a gamma-ray burst that will destroy the ozone layer and fry all electronics or (more likely) a mass global extinction-level asteroid strike on or about 11/3. Then the 2021 MLB season can proceed pretty much as planned, except the start of Spring Training might be delayed until March.  

all of this makes too much sense and seems quite 2020 reasonable.  i'm ready.  bring it on.

Ross was really downplaying the chances of Chatwood pitching again in 2020. We have not seen the last of Alzolay for the irregular season.

i like baez batting 6th so far.

dugout going nuts for his HR...they know he needs that.  good dugout, good crew...

i gotta say it's nice seeing a guy with baez's personality handle his lack of success well.  he's not done any public showings of overly-negative angst throughout all of this.

Ready for KB to sit out the rest of the 2020 season and let Bote finish the season at third.  Give  him a mulligan and start 2021 anew  - with Bote at the ready should he crater again. 

i kinda wonder if KB is even a 2021 cub.  finishing the season poorly would still make him a $20m-ish dude next year in arbitration ($18.6m this year).  heating up even a little bit towards the end would tack on a few more million.

that said, his trade value is a 1-year club controlled $20m+ guy coming off a down season who's D at 3rd probably shouldn't have him at 3rd as a regular.

KB non-tendered would be in line with this crazy year

So far tonight, KB has picked up his 5th RBI and 4th error on the season. Also the first time this year that Rizzo has driven him in. Nuts

thing that's personally weirding me out about rizzo is he now fully looks like an older vet, especially compared to the younger kids.  he's as lean and fit as ever, he's just starting to "show his age (31)" compared to a lot of the other guys.

Just as a point of information, per the macro CoViD-19 agreement between the MLB & MLBPA, if an unsigned post-2020 arbitration-eligible player requests an arb hearing the player's performance in the 2020 season will - NOT - be considered by the arbitration panel. Only the player's performance up through the 2019 season can be considered (which will help somebody like Kris Bryant but hurt somebody like first-time arb-eligible Ian Happ). 

So to paraphrase that great lawyer Perry Mason, an arbitration-eligible player's performance in 2020 is incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial. 

yowsa. AZ Phil invokes Della Street. 

drone over the field delay...

i f'n hate 2020.

when oliver perez retires in 2035, if the cubs don't hire him as pitching coach i'm done with this team.

I hadn't thought about Perez in 10 years, but this bullpen version is absolutely the most fun version.

Adam showing a nasty curve ball!

He's part of the two first names crew on our pitching staff. Jason Adam, Jon Lester, Kyle Ryan

cards lost...and dakota hudson left with "elbow tightness"...and they moved into 3rd place behind CIN.

good day for people who aren't cards fans.

10 games left w 5.5 game lead over Reds. Normally thats good but this is 2020. 

seeded at #2 and obviously fluid but as of tonight Cards would miss the playoffs and #7 seed is Giants.

I definitely would prefer to not see the Reds in the first round. Or any round for that matter. 

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  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 43 min ago (view)

    Remember, the Cubs have until 5 PM (Eastern) on - SUNDAY - to decide whether to add any of the 25 minor leaguers who are eligible to be Rule 55 minor league second contract free-agents or 6YFA to the MLB 40-man roster, sign the player to a 2021 minor league successor contract, or allow the player to walk. (Some -- perhaps even most -- of the 25 have no doubt already signed successor contracts - TBD).  


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 53 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have claimed 2B-3B-LF Max Schrock off waivers from the St. Loius Cardinals, and LHRP Rex Brothers has been sent outright to AAA Iowa. 

    If Brothers doesn't elect free-agency immediately, he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA on Sunday at 5 PM Eastern, unless he agrees to sign a 2021 minor league successor contract).  

    Brothers is out of minor league options and he is arbitation-eligible post-2020, so he was likely to be non-tendered on 12/2 anyway. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 36 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: It's pronounced "MAH - day" 


  • crunch 5 hours 5 min ago (view)

    "Jon Lester said in an interview on SiriusXM Friday that he's had conversations with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein "about getting something done, coming back and being a part of the organization." " about no?  i mean, thanks for those 3 good seasons in your first 4 years as a cub...but after those last

    also, the cubs claimed 2nd/3rd max schrock off waivers from STL (no power, bit of speed, slow to react in the IF even though the glove isn't bad).  meh.


  • K Dub 5 hours 13 min ago (view)

    Cubs had a prospect named Jose Made (also Dominican) between 2007-2009. I believe his name was pronounced like the verb "made". 


  • tim815 6 hours 27 min ago (view)

    I lean two syllables.

    He was Dominican-born, so Mah-day would have made sense, but that's a good Q.


  • K Dub 14 hours 41 min ago (view)

    PHIL: How is Kevin Made's last name pronounced? Is it mah-day? Or like it's spelled - made? Thanks!


  • Cubster 15 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Brewers decline Ryan Braun's option. Any predictions as to where he goes?


  • crunch 15 hours 35 min ago (view)

    KBO (korea) ends their season tomorrow.

    a.russell started off hot, but severely cooled off to a .253/.317/.336 slash (not counting today's game).  if he comes back to the US (and finds a team that wants to sign him), it should be rather cheap.


  • Hagsag 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Around the corner or in the ditch?


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    my dream of seeing s.castro end his career with 3000+ hits and a WAR in the mid-30s, making HOF voters sweat, came to an end this year with the shortened season followed by the early injury.  he came into the year as a just-turned 30 year old (march 24) with 1617 hits.


  • George Altman 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Jerry Reinsdorf is reasons 1 thru 100 why I could never root for the White Sox and have hated the Bulls since 1999.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Feels like Ricky and Starlin Castro should form a support group.  Everytime your rebuilding team is about to turn the corner and you're gone. 


  • Cubster 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    76 yr old Tony LaRussa to manage the W/Sox. Reinsdorf decision over objections. 

    Poor Rick Renteria. History repeats itself, NOPE. This won't end well (except for bring your dog day).


  • Cubster 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    but, but, but we're rounding the corner. The vaccine is warming up in the bullpen. Tucker's missing email package from Rudy is just lost in the mail. There are no pee-pee tapes. Corona, corona, corona. I like beer.   ...and the DeutchBank will just forgive billions of MLB owner's debt if they ask nicely. How are the Russian minor leagues looking this year Phil?


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    There are going to be a lot of high-profile arbitration-eligible non-tenders on December 2nd as well, and there will not be much of a trade market for high-priced players during the off-season, either.