Cubs @ Cardinals - Lester vs. Lynn; Game 26 Thread

Another day, another bullpen implosion...

Jon Lester vs. Lance Lynn

#Fowler CFBourjos CF
*Coghlan LF*Carpenter 3B
*Rizzo 1BHolliday LF
Bryant 3BReynolds 1B
Soler RFPeralta SS
Castro SSMolina C
Ross C*Heyward RF
*Lester PKozma 2B
Russell 2BLynn P

The Cubs take a lead, the Cubs blow a lead, the Cubs lose...seems to be the reoccuring thread in the bulk of the Cubs losses this year. Luckily we're only 15% into the season and the Cubs do have the wild card spot at the moment. We should have certainly expected inconsistency from a young team, especially with the bats, but nothing more frustrating than losing games when you have a pretty decent lead. Injuries have certainly not helped (Grimm and Ramirez), but neither has the quick hook of starters that have exposed the injuries. Of course, a baseball season is nothing if not a long con, sometimes you have to give a little early to reap the rewards later and hopefully this all just a big set-up for the Cubs own 20-6 stretch in July or August.

In roster manuevering, Justin Grimm was activated off the disabled list and A. Varvaro was DFA'd. On the position player side, Matt Szczur back up with Junior Lake being optioned, Maddon citing the lack of left-handed starters that the Cubs will not be facing in upcoming games as the main reason and feels Szczur is better suited in a bench role.




STELLA!!!! Where are you when we need you most?!? Step aside Addison, step aside. This message brought to you from the previous thread.

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

I honestly cannot see a situation in which happens. If we don't want to trade Castro (and I can't see him going anywhere) moving one of the established leaders who's still just 25 for someone who is 21. If we are looking to trade him he needs to be showcased at SS.

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In reply to by JoePepitone

This is what is so good about watching this new fangled approach to roster building. New fangled for Cubs fans, that is. Watching these young players develop is a gas. So much better than watching journeymen get beat day in and day out. Even when these guys lose, they make it interesting. A little bullpen help and we'd be looking at a possible St. Louis sweep tonight. Addison Russell has grown before our eyes in just a couple weeks. Bryant developed after, well, one day. This is fun.

How bad was Russell's error? Killer. Need to play clean in St. Louis. At least we survived the 6th with the lead....

....annnnd Castro with a grounder to SS for a 6-4-3 DP. Stop me if you've heard this one before.....

I cannot believe Carlos V. has a 0.66 era -- and the Cubs can do nothing against him -- with his 86-87mph stuff. Truly amazing.

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In reply to by Old and Blue

"getting every call from the ump" One of the Cardinals' many tools and tricks is to get inside the head of the plate umpire. Matheny is just adding on to the space that LaRussa established there. That's why I loved seeing Maddon get himself tossed in the sixth inning. A visiting manager has to get his needle out and be ready to use it to combat the noise from the other dugout.

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

between lou sticking up for his dugout full of players pissed about the zone and castro bringing a touch of e.andrus-style humor, it was a good night for the "game beyond the game"...especially after a losing streak. there's 200+ days of travel, hotels, practice, clubhouse chilling, and actually playing with nearly the same people without much of a break. that can be as much of a grind as anything going on when the game is actually being played.

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

I am not sure I get the lights analogy--that's not something another player can control. And I don't think Castro did it in purpose to try to screw up Rizzo. Of course he was having some fun. And I of course think having fun is important. I just don't think it was the best time/situation to do something like that. If the play is over and Castro starts walking behind Bryant mocking him and the whole stands laugh then great; just kind of silly to do it during a play like that. 

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In reply to by Rob G.

Whereas others probably look at #weaklink's play there as typical Castro bumbling, I thought it was cool how he remained calm after the slight bobble, last inning, guy on third, in a game that, although not a must win, was a very nice to have, and he made the play.

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In reply to by Old and Blue

Yes -- nice composure by Starlin there. After the bobble, which disrupted the timing of the throw (and Russell's catch), I thought for sure that ball was going to wind up in RF with base runners zooming around. As Russell's expression said after he made the catch: "Phew!".

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In reply to by Rob G.

I wonder if he'll get fined or suspended for those comments. It's not the NBA so hopefully not. Joey Votto will argue that strike zones this year have been shit everywhere, but I'm glad he did that. If nothing else, it reinforces to Bryant that he's taking a good approach up there. Even Castro is trying to be more selective. It's much harder for him, as we saw during the Dale Sveum era, and I think that effort is resulting in some of his pulling off the ball. Yesterday I was happy to see those two opposite field outs to right. Folks are awfully hard on a kid who turned 25 a little more than a month ago.

per mlbtr and transaction page... The Cubs have released Blake Parker after DFA'ing him yesterday. James Russell was added to the 40 man roster, taking Parker's spot (then gets called up).

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In reply to by Cubster

Because Blake Parker is injured (elbow), he couldn't be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers. He could only be traded or released.

It's kind of an odd circumstance, because guys like Parker usually don't get released this time of year, and injured players normally aren't Designated for Assignment during the MLB regular season.

A few years ago. Pedro Strop was on the Colorado Rockies MLB 40-man roster but had been optioned to AA out of Spring Training and then subsequently was placed on the AA Tulsa DL with a stress fracture in his elbow. The Rockies DFA'd Strop after the conclusion of the minor league regular season but prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, and then they found out they couldn't place him on Outright Assignment Waivers while he was an injured player and prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular seson, so they had to release him. And after he was released, the Texas Rangers signed him. 

It's possible that Parker and the Cubs had a disagreement about how to handle his elbow issue. Like maybe no structural damage was detected, and so the Cubs wanted him to pitch, but he said he couldn't. Or he wanted surgery (he's had TJS once before in his career), but the Cubs medical staff and/or their insurance carrier wouldn't approve it.   

I wonder after Maddon's rant when Fangraphs - or TCR's mini fangraphs WISCGRAD, will do a post entitled, "Are Cubs rookies really being hazed?" I love how Maddon stands up for these guys but I have seen a lot of awful home plate umpiring this season all the way around.

...and ARZ signs salty to a minor league deal. i cant imagine him staying in the minors too long. sure, salty sucked in MIA, but he had a good spring and the C crew in ARZ is doing as poorly as they were expected. also, KC traded for C d.butera. also, this game sucks...5-0 cards. meh.

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In reply to by Ryno

yeah, i'm just used to taking the bats for granted so far. even when they slump, they don't collectively slump (so far). it's at the point where i pretty much expect 3-4+ runs a game and hope the pitching can keep up. sure, that might not be sustainable, but it isn't feeling like it. i'm not even concerned with the pitching, but it was not a fun series.

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In reply to by crunch

When I saw that Yadier Molina hit where he reached down and poked a seeing eye up the middle that had no reason to be a hit, I gained acceptance. Baseball is mystifying sometimes, and I'd love to see the stats on their hits vs. contact rate. It seemed like almost everything found a hole. EDIT: They are also, sad to say, still a very good team. The beating up on bad teams thing is not what they're about.

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