Cubs vs. Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 89-91)
The Cubs ended their eleven-game skid and found themselves tied for third, 9.5 games back in the division, and probably sellers at the deadline. The All-Star break is yet to come, however, and a route to contention remains merely unlikely rather than impossible. The Cubs could go on a 10-game tear and put the front office in a more difficult position with regard to the buying or selling. They'll have to get that work started in a three-game series agianst the team that enters tied for third place. I wonder which fanbase is more disappointed with their teams' season so far, the Cubs' or the Cardinals'. The Cards made a splash in the offseason, getting Nolan Aarenado away from a frustrating franchise in Colorado. He's lived up to the hype, but the rest of the Cardinals' cast hasn't been able to hold up their end of things. It's strange to see the Cards roll into Wrigley with both teams far from contention. Will that put a damper on the rivalry? It probably depends on the beer sales. See below for the pitching matchups.
Game 89, Friday, July 9, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.83 ERA)
STL: LHP Wade LeBlance (0-1, 4.24 ERA)
I got bogged down by work and am writing this post up in the middle of the first game. Good news! Hendricks went 6.1 innings and left with a 4-2 lead. LeBlanc lasted three innings and allowed three earned runs. That's all I can tell you for now.
Game 90, Saturday, July 10, 6:15 pm central
CHC: RHP Zach Davies (5-5, 4.28 ERA)
STL: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (3-5, 3.39 ERA)
Davies, who has missed few bats throughout 2021, struck out only one Philly over his five innings last time out. Still, he held them to two earned runs and did not earn a decision. His walk to strikeout ratio looks unsustainable, and the deviation from his career norms seems connected to the depressed value of his changeup this year. Hitters appear not to be biting on it out of the zone all that much and he has missed with it in the zone a bit too often. It is hard to see Zach Davies continuing to succeed unless he rediscovers a consistent change.
Kim, a veteran of the KBO, has turned out to be one heck of a signing by the Cardinals. He broke into MLB with seven starts in 2020 and held his ERA just over one and a half. He's continued his success, with a bit of regression, in 2021. He's averaging less than one homer per nine innings and a groundball rate just shy of 50% in MLB. His peripherals and stuff do not jump out at you, but everything seems to play. Kim debuted in relief in Philadelphia and made his first MLB start at Wrigley in 2020. He has not faced the Cubs since holding them to one earned run in 3.2 innings in that game.
Game 91, Sunday, July 11, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Trevor Williams (3-2, 5.51 ERA)
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (7-5, 3.58 ERA)
Williams missed about a month following an emergency apendectomy. Although this will be his first start off of the IL, he last pitched in relief of Arrieta, going 3.2 and allowing seven runs, three earned, to the Phillies. This will be his first time facing the Cardinals in 2021. Goldschmidt, Carpenter, and DeJong have all OPSed over 1.000 against Williams in his career.
Wainwright has strung together seven straight strong starts. In that time he's gone at least five innings in every start and not allowed more than three earned runs. There's little more the club could ask from their veteran righty, who turns 40 later this season. He's faced the Cubs once already in 2021, going eight shutout innings without a decision back on May 23 in St. Louis. Ian Happ is 8-17 with four homers off of him. Javy, 5-32 with eleven strikeouts against Wainwright, might consider an additional rest day going into the All-Star break.
Arizona Phil 7 hours 29 min ago (view)
You can pretty much figure out from my AZIL game reports who the Cubs will likely target if they trade Kyle Hendricks to the Angels during the off-season (which I believe is a distinct possibility).
crunch 10 hours 49 min ago (view)
"On Wednesday, and again on Friday, manager Joe Maddon said the Angels needed to land two front-line starters or risk perpetual mediocrity. On Saturday, Mike Trout said the Angels had “a lot of money to spend” and the offseason was “going to be big.”"
$180.3m payroll and the star player + manager softly demanding more talent.
wait. you can do that?
hey d.ross and...umm...hold up...do you have to have a star player to make this kind of demand? sigh.
tim815 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
Exactly. Teams realized that under-playing the rest of the season, and assessing what's currently on-hand, works. At least, better than pickung three or four spots lower on the draft board with less spending space.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
It required a good amount of luck, and the other hard part is like a third of the league are tanking now too. Last time it was basically us and Houston.
crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
this team is very hard to watch. i can't take this for 1-2 more years. i hope the 2022 plan is at least hybrid-competitive (team built to compete, but trade-ready if failing mid-season).
rebuilding on total destruction for a slew of 1st round picks for years is/was lame even if those 1st round picks was pretty much all that worked for the cubs in the theo-era drafts.
K Dub 2 days 9 hours ago (view)
PHIL: Thanks for the update on Devers. Are you able to give us some more context (velocity, pitch mix, etc)? Also, was Drew Gray included in the group you compared Devers to when you said Devers was "by far" the ACL Cubs best pitching prospect? I ask because I know Gray only pitched 4 innings this season.
crunch 2 days 10 hours ago (view)
cards 15 wins a row...franchise record
Hagsag 2 days 22 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have no starting pitching right now with Carl in a funk.
Eric S 3 days 4 hours ago (view)
Cubs were Nootbaar'ed to the tune of 12-4 in Game 2
Cubster 3 days 5 hours ago (view)
With a Doubleheader loss, the Cubs are back on track for a better draft choice. Right now at 67 wins they pick #7, just ahead of KC and Minnesota who have 68-69 wins.
crunch 3 days 7 hours ago (view)
the shit sandwich that is zach davies is a 6 foot party sub.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 7 hours ago (view)
I am celebrating the day he signs with another team this offseason. I didn't know I could hate him more than I did when he was in Milwaukee but here we are!
crunch 3 days 7 hours ago (view)
wisdom can hit some bombs when he does connect..wow.
also davies still sucks.
tim815 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
McAvene is struggling against hitters in Instructs. He's not ready for the AZ Fall League. I'd expect to see Juan Gamez otr Aneuris Rosario first. Vazquez, I agree with, entirely.
bradsbeard 3 days 10 hours ago (view)
On the position player side, Amaya if he's healthy. Chase Strumpf makes a lot of sense (missed some time early and late, missed all of last year). Nelson Velazquez maybe as a Rule 5 guy if they're on the fence. Cam Balego and Andy Weber are two other candidates if healthy. Luis Vazquez could also use more upper level PAs and would make sense.
Lots of potential pitchers. Ideally Marquez but not sure they'll let him pitch this year. McAvene is probably another one. Would be awesome if Kohl Franklin could participate.
First.Pitch.120 3 days 11 hours ago (view)