Cubs @ Rockies: Series Thread (Games 108-110)

The depleted Chicago Cubs continue their season with a three-game series in Colorado. Can hot-hitting Raphael Ortega give the the B-squad the spark needed to take defeat the Rockies? See below for the mid-week pitching matchups.

Game 108, Tuesday, August 3, 7:40 pm central

CHC: RHP Zach Davies (6-7, 4.39 ERA)

COL: LHP Kyle Freeland (1-6, 4.52 ERA)

What's less exciting than watching your franchise trade a Cy Young runner up for a junkballer with one remaining year of control? Might it be watching your franchise fail to turn him around in useful trade at the deadline? Possibly it is getting ready to watch that junkballer pitch in one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in baseball history.

Kyle Freeland has had a series of disappointing seasons following his breakout 2018, when he pitched over 200 innings and kept his ERA under three despite calling Colorado his home. It is an unfortunately familiar tale for breakout starting pitchers on the Rockies. He's pitched into some hard luck lately, going six and seven innings and allowing one run each while losing both of his last starts.

Game 109, Wednesday, August 4, 7:40 pm central

CHC: RHP Alec Mills (4-4, 4.55 ERA)

COL: RHP Jon Gray (7-6, 3.62 ERA)

Like most of his starts this year, Alec Mill's last start was okay. He went six innings while allowing four runs, three earned, and losing to the Reds. He's never faced the Rockies or pitched in Colorado, so this should be a new and fun experience.

Jon Gray was taken on spot after Kris Bryant in the MLB draft but remains a member of the 4th place Rockies by virtue of having one year of club control remaining. His peripherals don't pop quite as much as they might in other years, but he's still the ace of the staff and is putting up pretty good overall numbers. Most recently he earned a victory in San Diego, going 6.1 and allowing two earned runs.

Game 110, Thursday, August 5, 2:10 pm central

CHC: RHP Jake Arrieta (5-10, 6.20 ERA)


How long Jake Arrieta remains in the Cubs' rotation probably depends on two things. First, whether he starts hitting his spots with his fastball. Second, how long it takes Keegan Thompson and Justin Steele to get stretched out in the minors. Arrieta gave four innings in his return from his IL break, and he took a loss despite allowing only two earned runs in that time. He and the team have provided no clear narrative explaining his lack of success--or pointing toward a possible solution--and it's becoming difficult to imagine his Cubs' career ending anywhere but a release. That said, a two month hot/warm streak would be a welcome consolation and a decent epilogue to Arrieta's time with the Cubs.


After the feel-good videos and goodbyes, Jed decided to say the players didn't seem to want to negotiate and place blame at their feet. Rizzo responded today, basically saying "wtf man, shut up, that's a lie."

I haven't really blamed Jed for much of this as I feel mgmt forced his hand but this... definitely a misstep Jed. And it also makes me wonder, the next core, if they don't want to sign below market extensions, are we gonna see a similar tear down?

jed shouldn't have aired things out so blatently, even if true.

"I don't know why guys didn't want to sign. I don't know why guys didn't want to even counteroffer, oftentimes. Every one of these guys would say they wanted to stay in Chicago, 'we wanted to be a Cub,' but then we would sit down and do negotiations, that wasn't how they acted."

...dude, no.  keep that to yourself.

beyond that, given the types of trades jed has been making...while i'm sure the ricketts family are sub-plot bad guys in's kinda blindingly obvious jed wants to make his own, unique, "this is what i built" mark on the cubs.  that darvish trade had nothing to do with 2021 or 2022...and a good chunk of what was done with the core last week doesn't have a lot to do with 2022.

Agreed on every point. I think Jed is trying to create "his" team, a fully separate entity than Theo. Probably targeting 2023 or 2024 to return to actual contention.

He absolutely shouldn't have aired that out. He ends up looking like the bad guy. This is a good way to burn those bridges. 

Cubs: Jed Hoyer clarifies comments about extension talks with former core players - Marquee Sports Network

Sorry I'm having trouble posting the link.

@TonyAndracki23 with the story.

similar story, similar quotes, different site/author

"It came down to dollars and cents. His agent and Greg felt he wasn't getting enough money from the Cubs. And I felt we had already reached the maximum dollar. . . . That's where it lay. . . . He turned it down." That's Larry Himes talking about Greg Maddux.

It's really good to be rigid about payroll like that. I mean, why would you want to be flexible and think outside the box and make an exception for a 26-year old reigning Cy Young Award winner? 

A GM or owner saying a player "didn't want to sign" or "didn't want to negotiate" should always be read as "we didn't want to pay them."

That said, a GM or owner can always show more finesse by saying, "I hope we can have productive talks this offseason" or something along those lines. Seems like Jed is trying to burn those bridges.

/With all the player movement in the last week, I wonder if the Cubs are now 85% compliant for vaccinated players.  We know Sogard and Rizzo were not vaccinated and I can assume the players taking their place of the 40 man roster are vaccinated.  It will be an interesting story going forward when all trade noise settles down.

while not known as a clubhouse cancer, there's more than a few stories about his "leadership qualities" lacking or otherwise being a bit of a jerk at points in time.  they're mostly rumor, and none of the rumors are awful...

reminded a bit of this justin wilson/rizzo exchange back in 2018...

i would still like to know what the rizzo/contreras thing was about and why rizzo was all up on contreras to the point d.ross had to take him into the clubhouse.  contreras threw his gear down in frustration, ross comes over to deal with contreras, and all of a sudden rizzo is up in the situation for some reason.

Rizzo wasn't a cancer, he HAD cancer!

technically correct is the best kind of correct.

also, rizzo's charity work (himself and the time he gives, not just his money) is top notch stuff.

Off all the awards and accolades Rizzo earned during his time in Chicago; perhaps the most important is being named the Roberto Clemente Award winner in 2017.


delay of game...home plate ump seems to have tweaked his back or something...neet.

a pointless delay of a pointless game.

alec mills in colorado sucks.

Pretty solid outing after all. He's been really good since returning to the rotation. 

missed lester's 1st start as a cardinal yesterday...

5ip 9h 2bb 4k, 6r/er


Cubs scrubs win!

Scrubs?  I prefer Witness Protection Plan All Stars.  Though it doesn't really roll off the tongue.

I wonder how much longer David Ross is going to want to manage a team that is three or four years away from contending (and that's if everything breaks just right with trades, #1 draft picks, and top IFA signings, like it did in 2012-14). 

I would think somebody like current Cubs bench coach Andy Green (who managed SD during its rebuild) or Ricky Renteria (ex-Cubs manager who managed the White Sox during their rebuild) would be a more-appropriate choice to shepherd the flock through the coming dark years.  

i wonder if his interest in managing is a long-term venture or just something to do/try.

world series, book deal, tv dance contest runner up, broadcast announcer, cubs manager...

is he out there living life or is long-term managing a goal?

jake arrieta is dildos.

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  • crunch 1 hour 10 min ago (view)

    m.rodriguez to 10d IL, a.morgan returns.


  • Jackstraw 11 hours 15 min ago (view)

    I like that the team was absolutely committed to not losing back-to-back games on a walk-off passed ball.


  • Eric S 21 hours 37 min ago (view)

    And the funny thing is Rucker was the only Cubs pitcher tonight to post 0 runs allowed in the box score. You know things are really out of hand when Ross gives the okay for a Maples appearance.


  • George Altman 22 hours 50 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil,

    Is there a reason Preciado hasn't been in an ACL game in about a month?


  • crunch 1 day 5 min ago (view)

    i'd like the 2021 version of whatever d.ross is smoking bringing m.rucker into a bases loaded, 2 run lead in the 4th situation.

    dude saw the situation and said "gimmie that guy with the 8.44era 1.59whip" as the first pen option to protect a lead.

    rucker has been in 13 games and given up runs in 8 of them.


  • crunch 1 day 15 min ago (view)

    hendricks last 7 starts...

    9er, 1er, 4er, 8er, 6er, 1er, 7er

    3.68era - 1.29whip 4.81era - 1.35whip


  • Cubster 1 day 24 min ago (view)

    Hendricks becomes hammered?

    Do we miss the 2021 version of Jake Arrieta?


  • Eric S 1 day 35 min ago (view)

    Rivas in the outfield is a no go


  • Eric S 1 day 36 min ago (view)

    Thanks for posting the video. He seems a little hesitant on the base paths. Crazy thing is he's clearly out-pitched the Cubs staff ace since joining the Cards - WTH has happened to the Professor?


  • crunch 1 day 37 min ago (view)

    cubs get a 7 run lead in the 3rd...tie game in the 4th.


  • crunch 1 day 55 min ago (view)

    "Please Hammer Don't Hurt Em" - some dude in 1990

    "Okay." - JD Hammer 2021


  • Cubster 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Hammer hammered?


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    bit of an odd pause/delay in the middle of the video for some reason.  there was a better cut video of his baserunning out there, but it seems to have been removed from Twitter.

    long story short, he's as timid about baserunning as he is about throwing a baseball anywhere but to a catcher off of a mound.  we saw a little of that with the cubs, but not piling up a bunch in a single inning.


  • Eric S 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    I searched the internets and struck out finding video of Big Jon's baserunning exploits 


  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    i highly suggest seeking out a highlight reel of his baserunning tonight.


  • Eric S 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Looks like after tonight, Jon Lester will need just one more win to reach 200 career wins - notwithstanding it helps the Redbirds, hope he gets it this year.