The Cubs just managed to tread water in the division and lost ground in the wild card by going 2-2 against the Padres. Four games back of the Cardinals and in a virtual tie with the Brewers, the Cubs have some homework to do. See below for the daily match-ups with the Pirates.
This weekend saw the Cubs lose three out of four to the trailing Brewers, fall to 4.5 behind the Cardinals in the division, and shrink their Wild Card lead to 1.5 games with the D-Backs, Phillies, and Brewers all pounding on the door behind them. Meanwhile, fans got news that Javy's jammed thumb is actually a fracture, and Russell was hit in the face with a fastball. If this didn't feel like a turn in the wrong direction, the team's inability to capitalize on the rally after Russell was hit felt like a failure to turn in the right direction. Nico Hoerner is called up to reinforce the middle infield, and maybe the rookie will be able to invigorate the team and the fans after the disappointing series in Milwaukee. He and the rest of the Cubs will take on the Padres for four games on the west coast. Continue below for match-ups.
Here is the Cubs 2019 post-season roster eligibility list:
POST-SEASON ROSTER ELIGIBILITY RULES
A club's Post-Season Eligibility List is established at midnight (Eastern) on August 31st.
A club's Active List (25-man roster) must be submitted to the MLB Commissioner prior to the start of the first game of each post-season series (Wild Card game, LDS, LCS, and World Series).
So with the Cubs selecting the contract of LHRP Danny Hultzen from AAA Iowa today, Hultzen becomes the Cubs first 2019 Draft-Excluded Player.
In addition to being a Draft-Excluded Player (which limits what the Cubs can do with him in the off-season, especially after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft), Hultzen is also out of minor league options (so he can't be optioned to Iowa if he doesn't make the Cubs 2020 Opening Day 25-man roster), and he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted (because he has been outrighted previously in his career).
The Cubs begin an eight-game road trip that pits them against the Brewers and Padres for four games each. Trailing in the division and fending off Wild Card hopefuls behind them, the Cubs will be feeling pressure to at least keep pace. Zobrist and Bote could see additional playing time with Javy and Bryant both nursing injuries. The Cubs enter the series 2.5 behind the Cards. See below for match-ups.
Odd that both the C-Cubs & I-Cubs are idle today.
The locals have punched their playoff ticket and begin a best-of-five series in Round Rock tomorrow night, albeit with a carcass of a roster now that fire marshals have revised MLB dugout capacities upward. Game three and any others required are slated for Des Moines over the weekend.
CHC (74-63): LHP Jon Lester (11-9, 4.36 ERA)
SEA (48-81): RHP Félix Hernández (1-4, 6.02 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT
Lester gave his team six innings of one-run baseball against the Mets in his final August start. Today, he and his supporting cast will go for a two-game sweep against the visiting Mariners. Kyle Seager with two homeruns off of the lefty, and Dee Gordon is 2-8. Most other Mariners have only a few at bats against the veteran.