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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Playoff Roster Thoughts

Getting an early jump on this now that the clinch is behind us.  Almost everything is purely speculation, since Joe hasn’t said much yet.  Any thoughts or updates can be posted here up until the roster is finalized sometime next week.

Stone Cold Locks - 14
Contreras
Rizzo
Bryant
Russell
Baez
Zobrist
Jay
Heyward
Quintana
Hendricks
Davis
Strop
Duensing
Montgomery

Locks, but maybe… -  4
Schwarber
Happ
LaStella
Rondon

Should be, but injuries - 4
Arrieta: He said he wasn’t 100%, so if his start Sunday is bumpy at all, they’d have to consider if he can go or not
Lester: Looked much better the last start, but the combo of not great and hurt for a while has to make Joe at least think twice
Almora: Everything they said the other night makes you think he’ll be fine.  But if he doesn’t get in another game this year I have to wonder if they’ll risk him not being albe to play.
Avila: I have no real reason to think he’s hurt other than he hasn’t even PH in almost a week without any explanation.  He the obvious backup catcher otherwise.

And
As of now, I’m going to assume all of the above will be healthy enough to make it, so that leaves 3 spots open.  If either Arrieta or Lester can’t go, Lackey is a lock as the replacement.  If they both can go, I think it’ll be interesting if they consider bringing him along and use him as the backup/long guy if for any reason either Arrieta or Lester have to leave early (or if Jake is still on a pitch count).  It sure feels like Lackey struggles a lot earlier in games, and he was pretty vocal about not wanting to go to the pen earlier this year.  The other reason he might still be in the pen is because there isn’t another obvious bullpen arm that deserves to go ahead of him. 

The remaining 2 spots likely will be one arm and one bat, giving the Cubs 13 bats/12 arms.  I’d personally rather go 14 bats/11 arms, but because of the uncertainty with so many pitchers, I think Joe’s going to go arm (and matchup heavy).  Wilson has to have the inside track - it’s really only him and Pena that are pitching regularly so I don’t even know if they’re considering anyone else.  It’s still quite amazing to see how much Wilson has struggled, but I bet the Cubs bring him and he is just used in a LOOGY situation (which considering we’re talking about a Harper or Murphy at bat is quite scary) or if the game is out of reach. 

I’m guessing the 25th spot comes down to either Rivera or Martin.  If Avila is limited in anyway - like maybe he can hit but can’t catch, it’ll be Rivera.  If Almora can’t go, Martin will be on the team (they need at least one real CF and I don’t think Jay is one even though he’s going to start every game there).  I tend to think that even though Contreras appears 100%, Rivera has the edge just in case.  I really don’t want to see either Rivera or Martin hit at all, so Martin has more use as a PR/defensive replacement.  If it were up to me, I’d probably be bringing both of them and leaving a pitcher home.  Had Caratini gotten a few more ABs or catching appearances, he’s be an intriguing option as the 3rd catcher, but I’m just going to assume he’s not seriously being considered. 

Thoughts?  Disagreements? 

Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 11:23 AM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5540935)
To be clear, I'm predicting the last 3 are Lackey/Wilson/Rivera, but I would probably pick Lackey/Rivera/Martin (I'd rather have Caratina than Rivera but recognize the ship has probably sailed on that).

I also think I'd line up the rotation Hendricks/Lester/Quintana/Arrieta. I can be talked into swapping Lester and Arrieta, but don't want them going back to back games in case we need a lot more coverage from the pen; with no off day between games 1/2 I went with Lester since he's not on a pitch count when Arrieta might be.
   2. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 28, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5541013)
Sept. 28:

1912 Frank Chance fired as manager of Cubs
1913 last game: Jimmy Sheckard
1930 Hack Wilson gets RBIs #190 & 191 as Cbus win 13-11
1938 The Homer in the Gloamin'. CHC beats PIT, 6-5
1943 200 wins; Paul Derringer: 200-188
1953 Cubs release Phil Cavaretta and Dutch Leonard
1959 Charlie Grimm hired to manage the Cubs for a third time
1975 Rick Reuschel's only 3-for-3 day at the plate. Double & 2 RBIs
1995 fan at Wrigley Field runs on field & yells at Randy Myeers, CHC, after he yields an 8th inning HR. Myers knocks the fan down, pins him
1995 CHC 12, HOU 11 (11). HOU blows four save opportunities: Cubs rally to tie it in the 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, and come back to win in the 11th
1997 last game: Ryne Sandberg
1997 last game: Mike Harkey
2003 last game: Mark Grace
2003 Cubs retire Ron Santo's number

   3. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 28, 2017 at 01:01 PM (#5541027)
To be clear, I'm predicting the last 3 are Lackey/Wilson/Rivera

I would predict Lackey and Rivera for sure.

Wilson I am not so sure about. Part of it is what Maddon wants in that last pitcher's spot, and whether one of Lester or Arrieta don't make it (I think it's possible that one of them is DL'd, but not necessarily likely). He could conceivably take Grimm but I think if push comes to shove, he picks the lefty, especially if Montgomery will need to start. But that also raises a need for a long guy in the pen.

Probably not worth thinking about too much until next week.
   4. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5541037)
Game 1: Fri., Oct. 6 at Nationals Park (TBS)

Game 2: Sat., Oct. 7 at Nationals Park (TBS)

Game 3: Mon., Oct. 9 at Wrigley Field (TBS)

Game 4: Tue., Oct. 10 at Wrigley Field (TBS)-*

Game 5: Thu., Oct. 12 at Nationals Park (TBS)-*

*-if necessary


I knew I didn't want to go to that wedding on the 7th.
   5. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: September 28, 2017 at 02:06 PM (#5541097)
Locks, but maybe… - 4
Schwarber


I can't imagine any scenario short of an injury in which Schwarber gets left off the playoff roster.
   6. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 28, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5541124)
I knew I didn't want to go to that wedding on the 7th.

For reasons that probably had nothing to do with the LDS, though a handy excuse to bail is always welcome.
   7. Charles S. hopes his opening day is b4 opening day Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5541130)
I'd line up the rotation Hendricks/Lester/Quintana/Arrieta


I'd switch that around a little. I like Hendricks starting at home, and Quintana in the least stressful spot for his first post-season start. To me that means Q in game two and Sad Kyle in game three. That gives us the option of bringing Q back in game five if his lefty-ness proves troublesome for the Nats. Ideally Jake goes in game 1 and Lester in 4 to preserve the lefty/righty separation, but I'd go with whoever is healthier in game one and the other in game four.

I like the idea of having Lackey on the roster as an emergency starter or long man. he's looked good lately, and as much as I hate to say it, he's growing on me as a player.

I like Martin as the 25th man. I think you get more out of a PR/defensive OF than you do out of a 3rd catcher in a short series, particularly when the first two catchers are both quality hitters.
   8. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:15 PM (#5541133)
I can't imagine any scenario short of an injury in which Schwarber gets left off the playoff roster.

I would not say it's anywhere near likely, but...he's only started 13 games this month, and only finished 2 of those. It would appear that Zobrist is in line to start in LF (against righties; against lefties I'd imagine the OF is Jay/Almora/Zobrist left to right), so that probably means he's just a PH. I could see a combination of circumstances where that fact that he doesn't have defensive or baserunning value and can't PH against lefties like LaStella, plus the Cubs feeling the need to bring more pitchers because of the uncertainty there, that he just ends up drawing a short straw when it comes to the roster; that would mean both Rivera and Martin go ahead of him and I'd hate that. I'd say the same thing about Happ (but he can play all over and run) or LaStella (he's not starting a single game, so maybe he draws a short straw) or Rondon (really not going to pick Grimm over him), but......which just puts him in the locks but not stone cold locks scenario. So that's why I felt there was a very thin dividing line between those groups.

Again, what I would do is just start him in LF and sub him out late if leading. I just don't think Joe is benching Zobrist - or Heyward and starting a really poor defensive OF of Schwarber/Jay/Zobrist - even if he probably should.
   9. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5541136)
Wilson I am not so sure about. Part of it is what Maddon wants in that last pitcher's spot, and whether one of Lester or Arrieta don't make it (I think it's possible that one of them is DL'd, but not necessarily likely). He could conceivably take Grimm but I think if push comes to shove, he picks the lefty, especially if Montgomery will need to start. But that also raises a need for a long guy in the pen.

I did forget about Grimm - and sort of wish Joe would too - but yeah, it's possibly he could go ahead of Wilson since you do have Monty and Duensing as lefties.

I'd switch that around a little. I like Hendricks starting at home, and Quintana in the least stressful spot for his first post-season start. To me that means Q in game two and Sad Kyle in game three. That gives us the option of bringing Q back in game five if his lefty-ness proves troublesome for the Nats. Ideally Jake goes in game 1 and Lester in 4 to preserve the lefty/righty separation, but I'd go with whoever is healthier in game one and the other in game four.

I don't disagree with any of the reasoning, but Hendricks is the best/most reliable SP right now, hate to only have him as an option once.
   10. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:25 PM (#5541146)
My eyes!!!!

Martin/LaStella/Happ(RF)/Avila/Schwarber/Caratini(1b)/Davis(3b)/Freeman/Hendricks

Poor Kyle. Also, poor Avila and Schwarber. So much for my worry about Avila being hurt. Quality post-clinch lineup, and awesomely satisfying if they win and eliminate the Cards.
   11. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5541152)
Nice. Stick Heyward out there for Happ, and that's about as good a Hacking Mass lineup 1-8 as the Cubs are capable of fielding. Well, I guess if you put Rivera in for Avila it'd be even worse.
   12. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5541158)
Who is Davis?
   13. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:36 PM (#5541160)
I'm not seeing much reason to put Wilson on the LDS roster. (Yes, he's got a pretty good track record, but Montgomery and Duensing are perfectly suitable alternatives, and Wilson's been an absolute trainwreck as a Cub with the exception of a couple appearances.) I would not want to see him anywhere near a high leverage situation, and would trust either Monty or Duensing over him in a heartbeat in such a spot. In a best of 5, they might opt for three bullpen lefties with some justification if the third one was Aroldis Chapman. Since it's Justin Wilson, no thanks.
   14. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:36 PM (#5541162)
Who is Davis?

Taylor Davis, AAA scrub catcher.
   15. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5541164)
That Cub defensive alignment is pretty spectacular--Avila plus two other guys whose primary position is catcher, plus Schwarber. If not for the injury risk, I'd say stick Contreras in right just for shits and giggles.
   16. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 28, 2017 at 03:41 PM (#5541167)
I don't disagree with any of the reasoning, but Hendricks is the best/most reliable SP right now, hate to only have him as an option once.

Mister, you'll take the 5 innings Maddon might deign to allow Kyle to throw in a single LDS start provided he's near perfect, and you'll like it.
   17. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 04:11 PM (#5541192)
You and I saw in person Joe let Kyle pitch 7+ in a NLCS clinching game. It can happen again.

Man, that was awesome.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 28, 2017 at 04:16 PM (#5541196)
What's the record for most guys with catching experience in a single lineup?
   19. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 04:22 PM (#5541204)
Thank you for registering for the chance to purchase tickets to Cubs 2017 postseason games to be played at Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, your entry was not selected in this week’s random drawing for National League Division Series tickets.

Your entry will continue to be included in any additional random drawings that take place throughout the 2017 postseason, subject to the terms and conditions at www.cubs.com/postseason. Your $50 deposit may be applied to the ticket purchase, if applicable, or will be refunded at the conclusion of the postseason.


Lame.
   20. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 28, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5541220)
Got the same email.

Fortunately, DC is an easy trip for me so I'll be there for Games 1 and 2. As I posted in the previous thread, You can get NLDS tickets to the DC games the old fashioned way.
   21. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 28, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5541228)
You and I saw in person Joe let Kyle pitch 7+ in a NLCS clinching game. It can happen again.

Man, that was awesome.


Yes it was. Great evening all the way around, great collection of Cub fan primates there in person, and the Cubs played a nearly perfect game.

And yes--he let Hendricks go until he gave up a baserunner, which seems to be the cue to remove Hendricks if it's the 5th inning or later (though I note and acknowledge that he's given Kyle more rope lately; I shall ask not whether this is merely a reflection of Joe's even greater distrust of most of the bullpen). In light of that, I remain baffled by the quick hook in game 7 of the WS, but I've already beaten that dead horse. Watching the DVD of LCS game 6 (which was a bonus disc with the world series DVD set), it's funny to hear Smoltz talking early in the game very casually about how "you know [Hendricks] isn't going seven." Indeed, he went beyond seven.

I ain't doggin' on Smoltz, though--guy's a good analyst. My favorite moment of his: game 5 of the WS, bottom 4, Cubs trail the series 3-1 and the game 1-0, Bryant/Rizzo/Zobrist due up. Smoltz talks about how you'd never say this in a regular season game, but the Cubs HAVE to score this inning, because the Indians power pen is ready to jump in at a moment's notice (and a goose egg would've taken them into the mid innings still scoreless with the lower part of the order up). He'd barely finished mouthing "You've got to put something on the board right here" (Bauer was into his windup) when Bryant went deep, sparking the 3-run rally that was the turning point of the series. (I love watching those DVDs for obvious reasons, but it was particularly fun to watch the games I attended so I could see and hear the broadcast unfold from a TV viewer's perspective--and of course, secure in the knowledge that everything ending up turning out all right.)
   22. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 28, 2017 at 04:58 PM (#5541235)
I also loved how Joe Buck was babbling in the late innings of LCS game 6 about how on edge the crowd was. Not where I was sitting, we weren't, and I'm the patron saint of being on edge--there was, as best I could tell, this jovial certitude that the Cubs would wrap up the pennant that night that permeated the crowd throughout the game. And was fully vindicated.
   23. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: September 28, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5541237)
AR, glad to hear you'll be in DC for the games on unfriendly turf. I will not be able to make many if any postseason games this year, but they can't take last October away from me.
   24. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 28, 2017 at 05:07 PM (#5541244)
I think you need three lefties in the bullpen, which means Justin Wilson - especially since Duensing seems to be running out of gas in his last few outings.

Quintana needs to start Game 1 (and 5). He's our best pitcher right now, and it's not particularly close. I don't like Hendricks against a lineup as patient and powerful as the Nationals.

We know Bryant/Russell/Baez/Rizzo will play every inning of every game in the infield. That leaves Almora, Happ, Heyward, Jay, Schwarber, and Zobrist for the three OF spots. Do you really need a 7th OF or a 3rd catcher? It's more likely that the Cubs carry 12 pitchers (that is, both Lackey and Wilson).
   25. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 28, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5541247)
I'm not seeing much reason to put Wilson on the LDS roster. (Yes, he's got a pretty good track record, but Montgomery and Duensing are perfectly suitable alternatives, and Wilson's been an absolute trainwreck as a Cub with the exception of a couple appearances.) I would not want to see him anywhere near a high leverage situation, and would trust either Monty or Duensing over him in a heartbeat in such a spot.


I don't trust Wilson either, but he does have a record - almost entirely not as a Cub - of being a pretty good pitcher. And really, if you work your way through the options, I think Wilson ends up on the roster by default. Montgomery isn't best suited as a LOOGY - I mean, he'd do well in the role, but ideally, you'd like to take advantage of his ability to pitch multiple innings - and with Harper and Murphy, I can see the advantage of being able to LOOGY those guys twice in a game.

And I go very strongly with having Hendricks start Game 1 of the NLDS. He's clearly our best pitcher right now and I can't see how that's not obvious. For the second round, I can see dropping him to Game 3 to set him up as the starter in Game 7 if necessary and/or play around with home/road. But, in round 1, you have exactly one starter who gets two starts: go with your best, which is Kyle (and for God's sake, Joe, let the man pitch into the 7th or 8th inning if he's dealing).
   26. Michael Paulionis Posted: September 28, 2017 at 05:19 PM (#5541258)
What's the record for most guys with catching experience in a single lineup?


That's a good question. I used to love to get guys with prior catching experience as my catchers in Fantasy Baseball. Guys like Brandon Inge, Craig Wilson, Rob Pick, and Chris Shelton (who I believe had Catcher eligibility because of minor league play). In fact, I might have answered the question. The 2005 Detroit Tigers had: Brandon Inge (3.4 WAR), Ivan Rodriguez (2.8 WAR), Chris Shelton (2.6 WAR), Vance Wilson (0.2). I'm pretty sure there are rosters with more guys with some catching experience, but that is a lot of WAR (9.0) coming from guys that could at least play in case of emergency.

The other difficulty is whether you can count the numerous amount of players who came up playing Catcher but gradually outgrew the position from a durability/value standpoint (i.e. Carlos Delgado, Craig Biggio, Paul Konerko, Bryce Harper). If you go by Fantasy standards, they typically had to appear in 5 games within the season to gain eligibility. I can remember having to wait until midseason to have Travis Hafner available as a 1B because he would inevitably have to be on the field during the NL games during inter-league play.
   27. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 05:37 PM (#5541279)
Quintana needs to start Game 1 (and 5). He's our best pitcher right now, and it's not particularly close. I don't like Hendricks against a lineup as patient and powerful as the Nationals.

FWIW, Kyle's has 5 career starts against the Nats. 30.1IP, 2.67ERA, 1.088WHIP, 21K/10BB/5HR. 2 of those starts were in DC, and he was worse there than at home (10IP, 3.27ERA, 1.548WHIP, 8k/4bb/2HR). He started once against them this year, in Wrigley, 7IP, 3ER, 5k/2bb/2hr.

Quintana has never faced them.

Quintana is the best pitcher now if you're only looking at his last start. Since Q has been on the Cubs (and Hendricks since the DL), here's their lines:
Hendricks: 12gs, 73IP, 2.34ERA, 63k/18bb/8HR; 3 starts with 3runs allowed, 3 with 2, 5 with 1, 1 with 0.
Quintana: 13gs, 79.2IP, 3.38ERA, 93k/21bb/9HR; 2 start with 6runs allowed, 1 with 4, 3 with 3, 4 with 2, 0 with 1, but 3 with 0.

I don't know how much stock to put in it, but it'll also be Q's first ever playoff experience.
   28. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 05:42 PM (#5541282)
We know Bryant/Russell/Baez/Rizzo will play every inning of every game in the infield. That leaves Almora, Happ, Heyward, Jay, Schwarber, and Zobrist for the three OF spots. Do you really need a 7th OF or a 3rd catcher? It's more likely that the Cubs carry 12 pitchers (that is, both Lackey and Wilson).

Of those OF, only 1 is a true CF (and Joe really only lets him play a bunch against LHP, and he's banged up). As for catchers, I think it makes it easier for Joe to use Avila as a PH if he knows he can have Rivera catch if he has too. The playoff series hopefully doesn't come down to the 24th and 25th men on the roster, but considering how much Joe value flexibility, they do have some value. Regardless, you're taking one of them even if you take Wilson.

Same can be said for pitchers - do you really need 12 pitchers in a 5 game series? We're - and I'm definitely talking about myself - overthinking and worrying about the margins.

Also, maybe everybody's fine when the playoffs start, but there are quite a few guys currently banged up or just coming off the DL (Contreras, Russell, Baez) so you have to plan on what you do if things go wrong. If Russell or Baez get hurt or dinged up, one of those 6OF you listed in now an IF; if Contreras pulls up lame, Schwarber is now your backup C.
   29. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 28, 2017 at 05:56 PM (#5541289)
We know Bryant/Russell/Baez/Rizzo will play every inning of every game in the infield. That leaves Almora, Happ, Heyward, Jay, Schwarber, and Zobrist for the three OF spots. Do you really need a 7th OF or a 3rd catcher? It's more likely that the Cubs carry 12 pitchers (that is, both Lackey and Wilson).


You want LaStella on that bench. You need LaStella on that bench
   30. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 28, 2017 at 06:30 PM (#5541313)
Let's work with the most obvious solution (the guys who have been playing all year and got us here), and then think about the details:

C: Contreras
1B: Rizzo
2B: Baez
SS: Russell
3B: Bryant
OF: Schwarber, Jay, Heyward
Bench: Avila, Happ, Zobrist, LaStella, Almora (obviously, alternating heavily as starters, with the exception of LaStella)

SP: Hendricks, Quintana, Arrieta, Lester, Lackey (the ones who actually start yet to be determined; whoever is left goes to the pen)
RP: Davis, Duensing, Edwards, Strop, Rondon, Montgomery

That's 12 position players and 11 pitchers. I think they will go with 13 position players and 12 pitchers. Why? Remember they went with 11 pitchers last year, which made sense but surprised me. But maybe they will go with 11 again. I am comfortable with that.

So who gets the remaining two spots? Position wise, the third catcher this year is not the issue it was a year ago. Back then there was a lack of comfort regarding Contreras handling the pitchers, but after this season that issue should be put to rest. Ávila is about as good a backup as you can have, and Schwarber is fine as an emergency backup. Rivera might make the team, but I kind of expect the Freemansons (I just made that up!) like Walt and Moses thrilled to see their man on the postseason roster, as a SS backup.

And we've already discussed the 12th pitcher: could be Wilson, could be Grimm. If one or God forbid both of Arrieta or Lester are deemed unfit, then it could be Tseng, but that's a long shot in my opinion.
   31. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 07:04 PM (#5541327)
Freemansons

Freemaniacs is better, I know it, you know it, the American public knows it. I didn't really consider him, but yeah, he's another option for the last spot.
   32. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 07:06 PM (#5541328)
Already posted this in today's game chatter, but has to go in here too.

St. Louis Cardinals @Cardinals

Tonight marks our 1,131st consecutive regular-season game in which the team still has playoff aspirations entering the day. #STLCards
   33. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 07:18 PM (#5541332)
For the record, i.d consider myself one of elroy's Caratiniphiles.
   34. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 28, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5541337)
Freemaniacs is better, I know it, you know it, the American public knows it. I didn't really consider him, but yeah, he's another option for the last spot.

But Freemansons is a DOUBLE double entendre!

Caratinoids (also biological, but not complete jargon) also works. But I would rather think of you guys as toenail fungus than as an orange or yellow plant pigment.
   35. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 28, 2017 at 09:54 PM (#5541377)
Sept. 28:

1912 Frank Chance fired as manager of Cubs
1913 last game: Jimmy Sheckard
1930 Hack Wilson gets RBIs #190 & 191 as Cbus win 13-11
1938 The Homer in the Gloamin'. CHC beats PIT, 6-5
1943 200 wins; Paul Derringer: 200-188
1953 Cubs release Phil Cavaretta and Dutch Leonard
1959 Charlie Grimm hired to manage the Cubs for a third time
1975 Rick Reuschel's only 3-for-3 day at the plate. Double & 2 RBIs
1995 fan at Wrigley Field runs on field & yells at Randy Myeers, CHC, after he yields an 8th inning HR. Myers knocks the fan down, pins him
1995 CHC 12, HOU 11 (11). HOU blows four save opportunities: Cubs rally to tie it in the 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, and come back to win in the 11th
1997 last game: Ryne Sandberg
1997 last game: Mike Harkey
2003 last game: Mark Grace
2003 Cubs retire Ron Santo's number


Dag, you need to update this list. On Sep 28, 2015, Chris Denorfia had a walk off pinch hit HR in the 11th inning to win the game 1-0, the first and only time in MLB history a 1-0 game ended on a PH HR in extras.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2017 at 09:59 PM (#5541379)
Martin/LaStella/Happ(RF)/Avila/Schwarber/Caratini(1b)/Davis(3b)/Freeman/Hendricks

Who would have bet that Almora could out-drink Schwarber?

EDIT: bugger, I missed the Almora injury. TINSTAAPPPJ
   37. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:16 PM (#5541381)
FFS, I am a Taylor Davis maniac. See, the kid even provides cover for Bryant at 3B!!

I'm pretty sure they'll go 14/11 on the roster ... but admittedly it's a choice of the lesser of two evils.

Contreras/Avila
Rizzo
Baez
Russell
Bryant
Schwarber
Jay
Happ
Heyward
Zobrist
Almora (Martin if Almora's hurt)
LaStella

Quintana/Hendricks/Arrieta/Lester (Lackey if Arrieta's hurt)
Davis
Edwards
Monty
Duensing
Strop

So I'm up to 13 + 9. Lackey, Rondon

25th spot: Rivera, Martin, or Wilson/Uehara. I guess. In that case, they'll go with Wilson and it will be 13/12. Or we can go with Jon Jay as 3rd lefty instead (1 IP, 1 hit, 16 pithes).

Dreaded possibilities ... if Lester and Arrieta are both hurt, then it's Lackey and Monty to the rotation, Wilson and Uehara in the pen. That is an ugly staff.
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:17 PM (#5541382)
For the record, i.d consider myself one of elroy's Caratiniphiles.

I'm thinking "Caratinistas," although Caratinoids is also quite good.
   39. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:40 PM (#5541394)
Koji hasn't pitched all month. I don't think he's coming back this year.
   40. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:52 PM (#5541411)
Based on their performances tonight, I'm totally cool with sticking Leonys Martin on the roster for late-inning defense. And Dillon Maples is probably worth at least considering. (I'll also somewhat reluctantly point out that Justin Wilson struck out 3 in his one inning tonight - after the f***ing leadoff walk, of course)
   41. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 28, 2017 at 11:14 PM (#5541419)
I think this makes Kiko a "Martinizer."

Martin is also in the running, I agree. The Cubs swap a lot of guys around in all three OF positions, so it's usually easy to find a sub, but it could be convenient to have someone always available who can come in as the superior defender.

I think Tseng's chances of being on the post-season roster improved from 1% to 5% tonight. He's rough around the edges but I like what I am seeing. For 2018 hopefully, because I don't expect to see him in October unless there is bad news.
   42. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 28, 2017 at 11:28 PM (#5541422)
And Maples looked good. He had his slider going, for sure. But those walk rates... I want to see him cut that back for a while before he makes the big time.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2017 at 11:54 PM (#5541427)
I'm taking Davisionary while it's still available.

Koji is off the DL so I assume he is "healthy". And he pitched Sept 2! :-) I'll admit I didn't even think of Maples or seriously consider Tseng but I agree that either might be the better emergency 13th pitcher.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: September 29, 2017 at 12:17 AM (#5541430)
I am interested to see how stable the playoff defensive lineup will be. The OF will have a lot of mix and match of course but I'm not convinced Baez will be starting every game although I hope he does. Joe has mostly been on a Heyward binge this month (21 of 25 starts) but the non-starts have come recently. Still I assume it will be Schwarber/Jay/Heyward against RHP which gives Joe no place to play Zo (or Happ) against RHP except 2B. OK, Happ could get some time in CF I guess.

Happ's been more solid in Sept that my impression -- mainly because his good games seem to always be games I miss. Anyway 258/329/435 ain't getting you to the HoF but it's not bad.

I don't put any stock in monthly splits but it must be a week before we have another meaningful game so we gotta talk about something:

OPS (prior to today which didn't help anybody's numbers)

Schwarber 970
Bryant 957
Almora 911
Russell 844
Heyward 813 (!) ... 264/369/444 ... that's classic Heyward!
Baez 810
Happ 764
Contreras 739
Rizzo 738
Zobrist 718
Jay 706
Avila 635
LaStella 600 (350 OBP)


ERA, IP

Strop 0.00 8.2 (8 Ks, 5 BB, 6 hits ... lucky)
Rondon 0.00 6.1 (9 Ks, 0 BB, 2 H ... please god!)
Quintana 1.63 27.2
Edwards 1.64 11.0
Hendricks 2.39 26.1
Lackey 2.51 28.2 (189 BABIP)
Davis 3.00 12.0
Monty 4.42 18.1
Lester 4.94 27.1
Duensing 5.40 8.1
Arrieta 6.10 10.1
Grimm 6.30 10.0
Wilson 11.57 4.2

Overall 4.15 with 9 K/9, 2.57 K/BB and 303 BABIP
   45. Walt Davis Posted: September 29, 2017 at 12:31 AM (#5541432)
Just noticed that Zobrist has a substantial H/R split -- 278/353/413, 316 BABIP at Wrigley; 190/289/349, 189 BABIP on the road. A lot of that road BABIP has to be bad luck and the splits would even out a lot with a normal BABIP.

The other home producers OPS

Rizzo 1017
Schwarber 903
Jay 846
Almora 923

Road gods

Russell 803

Road duds

Schwarber 656
Almora 645
Jay 677

Bryant and Contreras have hit better on the road but not enough to single out. The only OFs who have hit on the road are Happ at 821 and Heyward at 744. Meet your new road LF, Tommy LaStella (1052 on the road). :-)

Overall, 810 OPS at home, 750 on the road, about 0.5 more r/g at home.
   46. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 29, 2017 at 09:48 AM (#5541487)
Koji is off the DL so I assume he is "healthy". And he pitched Sept 2! :-) I'll admit I didn't even think of Maples or seriously consider Tseng but I agree that either might be the better emergency 13th pitcher.

He hasn't really been right in a while, and they just kinda stopped providing updates on him. If he doesn't pitch at all this weekend, he's done.

I was impressed with Tseng last night, and in spite of my arguing for Maples, I really don't expect either of them to be seriously considered. Had they been used a little more frequently since they were called up, instead of Pena and Grimm, I could see how Joe were seriously consider them. They just both seem like afterthoughts now, but probably will get plenty of chances next season.
   47. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 29, 2017 at 10:01 AM (#5541496)
I was looking at Walt and Andere's lists and couldn't figure out who I missed, but it turns out I missed Edwards. So plenty of my comments here are in that context. So, to revise:

Stone Cold Locks - 15

Contreras
Rizzo
Bryant
Russell
Baez
Zobrist
Jay
Heyward
Quintana
Hendricks
Davis
Strop
Duensing
Montgomery
Edwards

Locks, but maybe… - 4
Schwarber
Happ
LaStella
Rondon

Should be, but injuries - 4
Arrieta
Lester
Almora
Avila

Like everyone else, I see it pretty hard for the Cubs to leave off Lackey, which leaves one spot and the Cubs have 13 bats/11 pitchers. So there's only room for 1 of Wilson/Martin/Rivera. So if Joe wants 14 pitchers, it's Wilson. I assume he'll throw a couple more times; if he's clean(ish) like last night, he has a shot. If he struggles, it makes the decision easier and just between Rivera and Martin. I waver, but it really might depend whether or not Almora is 100%.

There's a small possibility they just leave off Lackey if they don't think he'll work out of the pen (not meaning refuses, but better off not trying to have him try to relieve at this point).

   48. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 29, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5541502)
I feel like they will be inclined to keep Wilson rostered.

I doubt they leave off Lackey even if they have no intention of using him out of the bullpen. Lackey as health insurance for Lester and Arrieta is probably more value than your 13th or 14th pitcher in the postseason.
   49. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 29, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5541503)
I am interested to see how stable the playoff defensive lineup will be. The OF will have a lot of mix and match of course but I'm not convinced Baez will be starting every game although I hope he does. Joe has mostly been on a Heyward binge this month (21 of 25 starts) but the non-starts have come recently. Still I assume it will be Schwarber/Jay/Heyward against RHP which gives Joe no place to play Zo (or Happ) against RHP except 2B. OK, Happ could get some time in CF I guess.

I'm convinced Baez is starting every game at 2b; he did last offseason. Zo is better against righties than lefties, so that LF is really the only question mark in my mind. I think Happ has played poorly enough in CF lately (and Jay's consistently starting there and leading off), that he probably doesn't start unless Joe really likes him against the specific pitcher. Because Strasburg and Scherzer are such high K guys, I think he'll opt for Zobrist and his contact against them.

So, starting lineup games 1/2 against the Nats big 2:
Jay(CF)/Bryant/Rizzo/Contreras/Zobrist/Russell/Heyward/Baez

Starting lineup game 3 against Gonzalez (I assume he's going game 3):
Jay(LF)/Bryant/Rizzo/Contreras/Zobrist(RF)/Almora/Russell/Baez

I could see maybe Happ starting in RF instead of Zobrist, but I'll stick with Zobrist.

If Roark gets game 4, Schwarber starts there.
   50. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5541515)
Sept. 29:

1921 MLB debut: Kiki Cuyler
1923 MLB debut: Hack Wilson
1945 last game: Lon Warneke
1956 Ernie Banks hits his only inside the park HR
1957 Ernie Banks only 5-hit game: 5-for-5, 3 2B, 1 run, 1 RBI. Also his only 3 2B game
1959 last game: Andy Pafko
1966 MLB debut: Mike Andrews
1968 Walk-off SH: Adolfo Phillips: CHC 5, PIT 4
1974 last game: Ron Santo
1976 MLB debut: Rick Sutcliffe
1988 Cubs trade Jody Davis to ATL
1993 Sammy Sosa steals four bases in one game
2002 last game: Shawon Dunston
2007 last game: Sammy Sosa
2013 last game: Juan Pierre

   51. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 29, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5541556)
Semi-hungover post-clinch lineup:

Jay(CF)/Zobrist(RF)/LaStella/Contreras/Schwarber/Happ(3b!!!)/Avila(1b)/Freeman/Quintana
   52. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 29, 2017 at 11:16 AM (#5541562)
I'll admit it, I enjoy these more than I should.
   53. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 29, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5541689)
Jaake Arrieta likely is done pitching for the regular season.

The Cubs right-hander said Friday morning he probably won't make his final start Sunday against the Reds, but instead will throw a simulated game before the National League Division Series begins in a week against the Nationals.

Arrieta, who missed two-and-a-half weeks earlier this month with a sore right hamstring, said the injury had been affecting him. He said he feels fine but the leg problem has impacted his mechanics.

"It's all about October," he said i reference to being healthy for the playoffs.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday morning a decision hadn't been made but it was likely Arrieta would not pitch Sunday.

Maddon also said Arrieta could be pushed back in the playoff rotation as a result of missing his start Sunday.


That's not encouraging. Like I said before, I really don't want Arrieta and Lester to start in games played next to each other (so no 1/2 or 3/4) just in case either can't last long.
   54. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 29, 2017 at 02:23 PM (#5541701)
I'll admit it, I enjoy these more than I should.

One thing I felt really good about was Wacha thumping Rizzo on Wednesday night, and the lack of retaliation. They wanted to play some other game than baseball, and the Cubs refused to engage.

That's not encouraging.

I guess I'm encouraged that they are dealing with it rather than rushing him through it. I'm okay with some combination of Hendricks/Quintana/Lester/Lackey handling the NLDS.
   55. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 29, 2017 at 06:03 PM (#5541819)
1988 Cubs trade Jody Davis to ATL

I remember thinking how weird this was. He was traded with 3 days left in the season, and he was preparing to be a free agent in the offseason but instead signed a new 2-year deal with the Braves as part of the trade. Then he went on a huge rant against Frey and Zimmer on his way out of town.

I don't think that I've ever seen that again in all these years. Why wouldn't the Braves wait the 3 days, then sign him in the offseason (and save the 2 prospects they sent)? Davis was from Georgia and wanted to play for the Braves, I don't think they were going to lose him. Plus he was coming off a terrible year, so the free agent market probably wasn't going to lead to a bidding war.

Just weird all the way around.
   56. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 29, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5541825)
Why wouldn't the Braves wait the 3 days, then sign him in the offseason (and save the 2 prospects they sent)?


Wasn't this the era of collusion? The couple of prospects presumably let the Braves acquire Davis without having to actually sign a free agent and break the collusion agreement.
   57. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 29, 2017 at 07:22 PM (#5541840)
Wasn't this the era of collusion? The couple of prospects presumably let the Braves acquire Davis without having to actually sign a free agent and break the collusion agreement.

That was sort of after collusion. I think glimmers of it remained but that was around the end.

I think this is mostly just Bobby Cox being a terrible GM in this sense. He was a great baseball guy who recognized young talent and knew how to develop it, but he was more miss than hit in his evaluation of older players. The Braves had a horrible catching situation in 1988 with the fetid remains of Ozzie Virgil and Bruce Benedict: why bring in Jody Davis at that point? Well, they didn't give up much (Kevins Blankenship and Coffman). Why not? He was a hometown guy and he was pretty good not long before that. Of course, for a few years prior Jody looked like he was swinging the bat underwater. I remember at the time thinking that whatever the Cubs got, great job.
   58. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 29, 2017 at 08:16 PM (#5541849)
Got back from today's game a little bit ago. Went to two games in the last 24 hours. Both saw the Chicago team score three runs in the bottom of the 8th in a come-from-behind 5-4 win.

On the year, I went to seven Cub games and the Cubs won all seven. Clearly, if Theo and Jed had any brains at all, they'd comp me tickets to the entire postseason.

-----------

The Cubs are now 48-24 since the All-Star Break. Wanna know the really incredible part? They've done that while.... the team has never really fully come together. They've been great, but they've been great despite things often going awry from them.

Look at the starting rotation. For two months, Jake Arrieta pitched like an ace. Then he went down with a leg problem and really hasn't done much since. He was nice in his 70-pitch outing in Milwaukee, but it's only 70 pitches. And he sucked in St. Louis, and is still clearly hampered by his leg. The other ace is John Lester, and he's just plain been bad over the last three months; especially since coming off the DL. In the month of September, these two big name starters have combine for 9 starts in which they've pitched 37.2 IP (barely 4 innings an outing), where they've allowed 47 hits, 11 homers (!), 17 walks, and 28 Ks. That's a WHIP of 1.699. Oh, and 24 runs allowed - 22 earned. That's an ERA o 5.26 (and a R/9IP of 5.73). So how have the Cubs done with their two big name pitchers scuffling for the entire month? They've gone 18-9.

Quintana has been very good and a clear upgrade for the rotation, but he's had his spotty stretches as well. John Lackey has clearly improved from his lousy first half, but by and large he's just been a guy. Kyle Hendricks has been, once again, the unsung hero on the team. But the starting rotation as a whole hasn't been dominant.

Then there's the bullpen. In the first half of the year, that was the club's strength. That was a long time ago. The bullpen ERA was 3.26 in the first half, but has ballooned to 4.64 in the 2nd half. They've allowed one fewer homer in the second half despite throwing 80 fewer innings than the first half. Seemingly everyone you want to rely on has had moments when you can't rely on them.

That leaves the offense. Clearly, it's been the main strength of the club. They've scored 408 runs in the 2nd half heading into today -- the most by any team in MLB since the All Star Break. But even here, they've had to overcome problems. Willson Contreras carried the team after the All-Star Break, but then went down with a leg injury and missed about a month. Addison Russell had recovered from his early spring death spiral. From June 11 to Aug. 2 he was hitting .289 with 19 extra base hits in 42 games. Then he went down with his foot injury and missed over six weeks. That's two of the key guys who really count on who have both missed an awful lot of the 2nd half. Even among the guys healthy and productive, things haven't always gone smoothly. Look at Kris Bryant's weird year-long struggles in clutch situations. In 118 high leverage PA, he has 17 hits and an OPS of 669.

But despite problems with their starting pitchers and despite problems with their bullpen and despite injuries to key position players -- despite all that the Cubs are the best team in the NL over the last three months.

Today's game shows how they did it. No Bryant. No Rizzo. No Baez. No Russell. Contrears yanked after six innings. (And no Heyward, though we all know how disappointing his bat has been). But look at what the Cubs still had on hand! They got Happ and they got Schwarber and they got La Stella and they got Avila and they got Jay and beyond that they got Zobrist. Yeah, he's been bad all year at the plate, but man .... Think about that: they pull a half-dozen of their best position players and what's left is left is about another half-dozen pretty good position players. I know this is hardly news to anyone here: but today's game really brought home just how much depth this lineup has. I mean, they won back-to-back games with an "eh, #### it" lineup. (To be fair, yesterday's win should be credited to the pitching staff, obviously).

I think I'm just ramblign at this point. But jeepers it's amazing how good the last 72 games have been despite so many problems they've had to overcome along the way.

And boy, I really hope at least one of Lester/Arrieta can be healthy/effective for the postseason.
   59. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 29, 2017 at 08:26 PM (#5541852)
Yeah, that sums it up pretty well.
   60. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 29, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5541862)
Runs scored in the 2nd half, NL teams:

408 CHC
348 STL
348 COL
348 ARI
347 MIA
337 PHI
322 CIN
320 NYM
318 DCN
312 ATL
295 LAD
285 SDP
274 PIT
270 SFG
264 MIL

I would not have guessed that Milwaukee would be on bottom of that last.

60 runs more than anyone else!!!
   61. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 29, 2017 at 09:30 PM (#5541868)
60 runs more than anyone else!!!

They've scored 14+ runs in a game 7 times since August 1st. They've outscored the NL, but it's really come in bunches. There have been plenty of games where they've struggled to get more than 1 or 2 runs on the board.
   62. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 30, 2017 at 12:04 AM (#5541923)
Runs scored in the 2nd half, NL teams:

The distance between 1 and 2 on that list is roughly the same as the distance between 2 and 12.

They've scored 14+ runs in a game 7 times since August 1st. They've outscored the NL, but it's really come in bunches. There have been plenty of games where they've struggled to get more than 1 or 2 runs on the board.

2 or fewer runs in 20 of 71 games in the second half (well, 20/72 counting today). Which seems like a lot, but is actually pretty comparable to the rest of the top 5: COL 16/68, ARI 17/70, MIA 24/72, STL 20/71.

The rest of the distribution: 3-5 runs 20 times, 6-8 18 times, 9+ 13 times. Again for comparison:

COL: 3-5 31, 6-8 10, 9+ 11
ARI: 3-5 27, 6-8 15, 9+ 11
MIA: 3-5 21, 6-8 18, 9+ 9
STL: 3-5 25, 6-8 15, 9+ 11

So the Cubs have more huge scores than the others, though not by a terribly wide margin. Just as much of the difference seems to be their ability to score 6 runs instead of 4 - which is pretty important when your pitching staff has been shaky. (To put it in narrative terms, they can be shut down by a starter having a really good day, but if they can put together a few runs and chase the starter, they're more likely than most teams to pile on against the bullpen.)
   63. Sunday silence Posted: September 30, 2017 at 10:01 AM (#5541972)
I really don't want Arrieta and Lester to start in games played next to each other (so no 1/2 or 3/4) just in case either can't last long.


I dont quite get your reasoning here. You dont have to set your rotation days in advance. Why not start Lester in game 2 and if he can go 7 or 8 then you go w/ Arrieta in game 3. There's an off day between 2/3 so Arrietta has like 45 hours notice..
   64. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: September 30, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5541977)
I didn't say games 2/3. That's fine. They can't start the first 2 or the third/fourth, I just implied (maybe just I see that) the off day in my wording.

Good post, dag.
   65. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 30, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5541989)
Sept. 30:

1882 16 year old Chicago sub 1Bman Milton Scott goes 2-for-5 to help team for 6-5 win
1889 Jimmy Ryan hits leadoff inside the park Hr off George Haddock
1931 Cubs draft Bobo Newsom from Little Rock (Southern Asoc) in Rule 5 draft
1972 2,000 hits: Lou Brock: 1,678 games (in 16 inning game at Wrigely - Cards win 2-1
1988 Ronald Reagan does 1/2 inning play-by-play at Wrigley for CHC game
2011 At 3 AM on overnight of 9/29-30, Starlin Casto (CHC SS) allegedly sexually assaults a women who passed out drunk at his place
2013 Cubs fire manager Dale Sveum

   66. Sunday silence Posted: September 30, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5541998)
I didn't say games 2/3. That's fine.


i wasnt sure either way, so its good to clarify.
   67. Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5541999)
#55 -- what were the compensation rules at the time? Maybe the Braves preferred giving up those two rather than the draft pick.
   68. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 30, 2017 at 02:14 PM (#5542086)
#55 -- what were the compensation rules at the time? Maybe the Braves preferred giving up those two rather than the draft pick.

From what I remember, 1988 would have still been in the period when they used the A/B/C free agent rankings from Elias. I know that there was some level of compensation if you signed guys who were A or B players, but I don't remember the details.

It looks like in the 1989 draft there were 7 compensation picks given from one team to another for FA signings - 3 in the 1st round, 3 in the 2nd round, and 1 in the 3rd round.

Man, 1989 was a pretty good draft. Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, John Olerud, Chuck Knoblauch, Mo Vaughn, Brian Giles, Jeff Kent, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada, Eric Young, Tim Salmon, Ryan Klesko, Trevor Hoffman, Denny Neagle, Charles Johnson.

The Cubs drafted 54 players, 51 of whom never reached the majors. The other 3 (Gary Scott, Dave Swartzbaugh, Dave Stevens) combined for a career of -3.0 WAR.
   69. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 30, 2017 at 02:22 PM (#5542091)
Man, 1989 was a pretty good draft. Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, John Olerud, Chuck Knoblauch, Mo Vaughn, Brian Giles, Jeff Kent, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada, Eric Young, Tim Salmon, Ryan Klesko, Trevor Hoffman, Denny Neagle, Charles Johnson.

The Cubs drafted 54 players, 51 of whom never reached the majors. The other 3 (Gary Scott, Dave Swartzbaugh, Dave Stevens) combined for a career of -3.0 WAR.


And now you know...the rest of the story.
   70. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 30, 2017 at 07:15 PM (#5542225)
So I'm guessing Lester gets the first spot.
   71. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 30, 2017 at 09:33 PM (#5542267)
Man, 1989 was a pretty good draft. Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, John Olerud, Chuck Knoblauch, Mo Vaughn, Brian Giles, Jeff Kent, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada, Eric Young, Tim Salmon, Ryan Klesko, Trevor Hoffman, Denny Neagle, Charles Johnson.

The Cubs drafted 54 players, 51 of whom never reached the majors. The other 3 (Gary Scott, Dave Swartzbaugh, Dave Stevens) combined for a career of -3.0 WAR.


And now you know...the rest of the story.


The sad follow up:
In the 1988 draft, the Cubs drafted 46 players, 43 of whom never reached the majors. The other 3 (Kevin Roberson, Chris Pritchett, and Jessie Hollins) combined for a career of -1.6 WAR.

In the 1990 draft, the Cubs drafted 46 players, 43 of whom never reached the majors. The other 3 (Lance Dickson, Ryan Hawblitzel, and Pedro Valdes) combined for a career of -0.6 WAR.

That's 146 players drafted in a 3-year span, with a 6% success rate (if you count success as making the majors). If you count success as having a WAR > 0 in the majors, then it's a 0% success rate. All 9 players retired with negative WAR.

(At least in 1991 they drafted Doug Glanville, Steve Trachsel, and Jon Lieber).
   72. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 30, 2017 at 09:39 PM (#5542269)
Is it playoff time yet?
   73. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 01, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5542348)
Here is how Cubs starters have matched up against the Nationals, career-wise. I don't put much stock in this but Maddon might:

Lester: 6 games, 2-1, 2.79 ERA, 38.2 IP, 31 H, 12 BB, 49 Ks, 1 HR. As a Cub, he has pitched well against them in three starts, despite going 0-1.
Hendricks: 5 games, 2-2, 2.67 ERA, 30.1 IP, 23 H, 10 BB, 21 Ks, 5 HR.
Quintana: Never faced Washington.
Arrieta: 9 games, 1-2, 5.48 ERA, 46 IP, 52 H, 25 BB, 48 Ks, 3 HR. Only three of those starts were as a Cub though: he made good starts against them in 2015-16, and had a terrible one this year.
Lackey: 8 starts, 3-1, 4.59 ERA, 49 IP, 50 H, 14 BB, 46 Ks, 7 HR. He's made six starts against them as a NLer the last three years, He's been good, okay and terrible against them.

Nothing jumps out here, but it reinforces the idea that it will be Lester/Hendricks/Quintana, in some order, for games 1-3.
   74. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 01, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5542375)
Oct. 1:

1906 Ed Reulbach, CHC, wins his 12th straight
1908 Ed Reulbach tosses his 4th straight shutout
1932 World Series Game 3: Yanks 7, Cubs 5. Ruth's Called Shot. Future S.Court justice John Paul Stevens there
1938 Cubs clinch their last peacetime pennant of the 20th century
1954 Cubs trade Johnny Klippstein to Cincy
1960 Billy Williams hits his 1st HR (off Stan Williams)
1961 Ernie Banks plays his last game at SS
1972 Milt Pappas's 11th straight win: 11 G/GS, 5 CG, 82.1 IP, 62 H, 20 R, 17 ER, 8 BB, 32 K. 1.86 ERA
1998 NLDS Game 2: Braves 2, Cubs 1 (10): Braves score 1 in bottom of the 9th, and 1 in bottom of the 10th

   75. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: October 02, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5542644)
So I'm guessing Lester gets the first spot.

Did you watch that game? I didn't see any of it. Anyone who did, how'd he look? I think I still would rather see Hendricks get games 1/5.

Lackey got an inning out of the pen yesterday; he wasn't sharp, but I'm guessing it was more important just to see how he did warming up and prepping.
   76. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 02, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5542785)
Did you watch that game? I didn't see any of it. Anyone who did, how'd he look?

What I saw looked pretty good. He hit his spots and his velocity was around where it's been all year.

Hendricks would be my choice as well, and it may turn out that way.
   77. Walt Davis Posted: October 02, 2017 at 04:48 PM (#5543101)
I thought Lester looked pretty good, much better than recent outings. I'd still go Hendricks/Quintana (or the reverse) but I'm substantially less freaked out about a Lester start. He K'd Votto twice, the second one seemed particularly impressive. Only one inning when they hit the ball pretty well.

And I come to praise Kyle Hendricks. I wouldn't have guessed that for his career and for every single season, he's held opponents below a 300 OBP. His H/R batting against are very close, looks a lot like luck (he's given up more doubles and every triple of his career on the road). This year he was slightly better on the road. And despite seeming like a BIP, GB pitcher by today's standards, he gives up very few UER. I assume fWAR is not a big fan because of the low BABIP -- and certainly some of that is Cub defense but he's kept it low every year.

Hopefully we'll make it reasonably easy by scoring 8 runs a game but that will be tough against the Nats.

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