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Sunday, July 23, 2017

What a difference a week makes

I was fortunate enough to witness in person the last game before the All Star Break, when Jon Lester gave up 10 runs (only 4 earned) and only got two outs in the first inning.

Since then:

7-1
.304/.355/.556, 6.38 R/G, 2.12 HR/G
3.63 (2.16 for SP)

And a big trade that brought a quality-controlled starter, who put up a game score of 83 in his first start. Lester has made two starts since the one I saw on July 9th, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA, walking 1 and striking out 16 in 15 innings.

 

Andere Richtingen Posted: July 23, 2017 at 11:44 AM | 142 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: July 30, 2017 at 11:45 PM (#5502961)
@anthonyfenech:

The deal would be Justin Wilson and Alex Avila for Jeimer Candelario, Isaac Paredes and a Player To Be Named Later or cash, I'm told.
   102. Meatwad in mourning Posted: July 31, 2017 at 01:25 AM (#5502982)
I have never heard of the ss in the trade. Seems like a good deal,for the cubs.
   103. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 31, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5503153)
July 31 in Cubs history:
1901 Cin 5, CHC 4 (14). Noodles Hahn fans 11 for the win. Tom Hughes fans 15 in the loss
1938 Gabby Hartnett steals base for the first time in 3 years. Age 37
1957 Leon Durham born
1979 last game: Don Kessinger
2000 Cubs trade Scott Downs to MTL for Rondell White
2004 MIN-MTL-BOX-CHC trade. Cubs get Nomar & Matt Murton. MTL gets Alex Gonzalez. BOX: O. Cabrera, Mientkiewicz.
2006 Cubs trade Todd Walker to SDP for minor leaguer
2006 Cubs trade Greg Maddux to LA for Cesar Iztruis
2010 CHC trade Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to LAD
2012 CHC trades Ryan Dempster to TEX for 2 minor leaguers
2012 CHC trades Geovany Soto to TEX for a prospect
2016 CHC 7, SEA 6 (12). SEA led 6-0 (and 6-3 in the 9th). Travis Wood alternates between P & LF. Cubs win on 2-out, 2-strike, suicide squeeze play by pinch hitter Jon Lester







   104. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 31, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5503186)
That Dempster trade brought Kyle Hendricks.
   105. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2017 at 10:58 AM (#5503195)
2016 CHC 7, SEA 6 (12). SEA led 6-0 (and 6-3 in the 9th). Travis Wood alternates between P & LF. Cubs win on 2-out, 2-strike, suicide squeeze play by pinch hitter Jon Lester

That game was awesome.
   106. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: July 31, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5503216)
That game was awesome.

On its own merits, and because it was the first game of an 11-game win streak, IIRC.

Still not enough to get me to spring for the ironic Brian Matusz jersey, though.
   107. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 31, 2017 at 11:16 AM (#5503221)
That game was awesome.


Was that the game where Wood made a leaping, into the vines, catch in left. Possibly run saving?
   108. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 31, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5503231)
Was that the game where Wood made a leaping, into the vines, catch in left. Possibly run saving?

It was indeed.
   109. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 31, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5503242)
It was indeed.


Yeah, probably my favorite game last year, non-playoff version.
   110. Voodoo Posted: July 31, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5503247)
Yeah, probably my favorite game last year, non-playoff version.


Mine, too. With the Javiar Baez's Mother's Day walk-off HR a close second (completed four game sweep of Nats, Cubs had tied it late to send it to extras).
   111. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 31, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5503745)
Mine, too. With the Javiar Baez's Mother's Day walk-off HR a close second (completed four game sweep of Nats, Cubs had tied it late to send it to extras).

The Mother's Day game is also the day they walked Bryce Harper six times - and he never scored.

I was at that game. When I think of it, I recall the two-round fistfight on the CTA bus afterwards. The bus driver pulled over the call the cops. I walked to the blue line from there.
   112. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 31, 2017 at 07:10 PM (#5503762)
I missed most of the big Seattle comeback game. I was sick with what turned out to be pneumonia, and my wife was out of town. I had a major grant deadline, so I was taking care of the kids, sick, and trying to get by with about three hours of sleep a night. My wife came back from her trip, and after working all day and into the night on Sunday I got home and tried to go to sleep but couldn't. I listened to the game on the radio in bed, miserably tired and sick but not able to sleep comfortably. Finally, I fell asleep with the Cubs still behind 6-3. I remember waking up, checking my phone, and YES! After the painful loss the night before, it restored confidence that the Cubs were back on track.

Oh, and despite writing it in a fever dream, I got the grant.
   113. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 31, 2017 at 07:54 PM (#5503782)

Oh, and despite writing it in a fever dream, I got the grant.


Despite? You mean because.
   114. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: August 01, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5504530)
Sahadev Sharma‏ @sahadevsharma 24m24 minutes ago

Justin Grimm and Victor Caratini will be sent to Iowa to make room for Wilson and Avila on the 25-man roster


As expected.

Lineup tonight, against a LHP: Zobrist/Bryant/Rizzo/Contreras/Almora/Russell/Baez/Happ (LF)/Lester
   115. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 01, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5504544)
Aug. 1 in Cubs history:

1905 Frank Selee resigns as CHC manager. Players elect Frank Chance as new skipper in narrow vote. Tuberculosis for Selee
1964 Eddie Mathews hits his only leadoff HR. I have no idea why he was hitting leadoff. Pitcher: Larry Jackson of the Cubs
1967 Cubs purchse OF'r Don Young from Cards
1987 Andre Dawson, CHC, hits 3 HR in one game for 2nd time
   116. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 01, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5504600)
1964 Eddie Mathews hits his only leadoff HR. I have no idea why he was hitting leadoff.


Mathews batted 1st in 37 games that year. He hit 13 HR in that spot in the order. Hard to believe only 1 leading off the game.
   117. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 01, 2017 at 05:25 PM (#5504641)
1987 Andre Dawson, CHC, hits 3 HR in one game for 2nd time

I had graduated but came back to Chicago for the wedding of two good friends. I went to a couple of other games but couldn't even watch that one on tv. Stupid friends getting married. (And happy 30th anniversary!)
   118. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 01, 2017 at 05:30 PM (#5504643)
Oh, and would be pretty awesome if Dag Nabbit's "Today in Cubs History" thing were to be a fixture here. As long as it doesn't include things like "Andere Richtingen wishes he went to the Cubs game instead of going to his friends' wedding" in Facebook (which isn't true -- it was actually a pretty awesome/wild wedding).
   119. Brian C Posted: August 01, 2017 at 08:08 PM (#5504743)
Sahadev Sharma‏ @sahadevsharma 24m24 minutes ago

Justin Grimm and Victor Caratini will be sent to Iowa to make room for Wilson and Avila on the 25-man roster

Also, Dylan Floro DFA'd to make room on the 40-man.
   120. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: August 01, 2017 at 09:45 PM (#5504796)
The defending World Series champs came dangerously close to becoming trade-deadline sellers and trying to shop upcoming free agents like All-Star closer Wade Davis and Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta.

“If we had fallen eight, nine out, we would have certainly been looking at considering moving some of the players who were rentals,” Epstein revealed Tuesday at Wrigley Field. “But we immediately played great out of the stretch and didn’t have to head down that road, which you honestly never want to go down.”

"With the new CBA the way it is,” Epstein said, referring to the restrictions on spending internationally, luxury-tax implications and a modified qualifying-offer system, “contending teams, when they have an off year, have to take a hard look at selling in a given year, because it’s important to recoup young talent whenever you have an opportunity to do so.

“You never want to be in that situation, but it forces you to be realistic if you are.”
   121. Walt Davis Posted: August 02, 2017 at 02:45 AM (#5504922)
"Ran" some numbers today

14-3 since the break with the Brewers conveniently going 6-11. Losses of 11-4, 3-1, 2-1.

101 RS (just under 6 per) vs 53 RA (just over 3 per) ... pythag of 13.3 wins

SPs are 11-1 (Quintana!)

3-1 in 1-run games including 1-0 in extras

6-1 in games decided by 5+

Lester's first career HR means the apocalypse is nigh, so enjoy it while you can!

In short, since the break they've looked like the 2nd half 2015, all of 2016 Cubs.
   122. Walt Davis Posted: August 02, 2017 at 03:05 AM (#5504923)
Some numbers that b-r ran for me (and everybody else)

In the 16 games before today, the pitchers have given up a line of 198/277/346, 2.98 ERA, 234 BABIP, 144/49 K/BB in 145 IP. Too soon to call but the SP most likely to continue the annual Arrieta/Hendricks 2nd half unhittable tradition is probably Quintana (25 Ks in 19 innings) ... but could be Hendricks if Maddon would actually let him throw more than 80 pitches.

Uehara is in a rough patch with 3 HR in his last 5.1 IP.

Our battling batting boys have put up a line of 272/344/488 which is a nice improvement on the 239 BA before the break. The BABIP is up from 280 to 309, the HR/PA rate up from 3.5% to 4.4%.

Our SP are hitting like Schwarber -- 6 for 23 with 1 double, 2 HR and 2 BB. Otherwise led by Contreras (1016 OPS), Schwarber (914), Rizzo (909) and Baez (906). Javy is LITERALLY either hitting a HR or missing by 2 feet in every PA. (Or 302/348/558) Happ's the only guy who's been really struggling while Heyward has found a power stroke (6 XBH since the break! I'm sure he had only 6 for the entire 2nd half last year!)
   123. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 02, 2017 at 09:41 AM (#5504997)
Aug 2:
1900 NYG manager George Davis leds crowd on assault of ump William Terry aftr 7-6 loss to CHC on disputed call
1911 Cubs 1, Brk 0 (10). BRK: 1 hit; Cubs 4 hits. King Cole: 10 IP, 1 H, 0R, 2W, 2K. Nap Rucker: 9IP, 4 H, 1R/ER, 4W, 5K
1932 Cubs fire manager Rogers Hornsby & replace him w/ Charlie Grimm. RH owes players $ (covering gmabling losses)
1936 Danny MacFayden becomes 3rd pitchcer since Cy Young to beat all 16 teams. Beats CHC. (Hoyt, Zachary; later Borowy)
1950 Andy Pafko, CHC, hits 3 HR in one game
1987 Greg Maddux's last relief outing
1990 MLB debut: Frank Thomas (No, not a Cub - but it's Frank Effing THomas. Alex Fernandez debuted in the same game)
1999 2,000 hits: Mark Grace. 1,709 games
2010 MIL 18, CHC 1: 26 hits








   124. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: August 02, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5505032)
but could be Hendricks if Maddon would actually let him throw more than 80 pitches.

While I agree and this is definitely true historically - and most notably game 7 - I don't really have any complaints about Hendricks being treated delicately after missing 7+ weeks with a finger problem (he threw 92 and 86 in those games in 9.1 innings, so it wasn't like Hendricks was being Hendricksy in those starts either).

---

It was nice seeing Happ get a few hits last night. Bryant also had a really good game defensively. Also, Russell seems to be making better and more consistent contact.
   125. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 02, 2017 at 10:48 AM (#5505044)
Facing Zack Godley today, whom the Cubs traded for Monterrible. He's having a pretty good year, and one wonders if he were in the Cubs rotation if they wouldn't have parted company with Jimenez and Cease.
   126. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: August 02, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5505060)
Godley was the less notable of the prospects in the deal at the time, IIRC. He was 24 and just made it to A+ (though he was a 2013 draft so hadn't been in the system that long). Looks like the DBacks moved him up aggressively and he's been ok and better than ok this year; I highly doubt he would have been seen as enough to not upgrade the rotation to Quintana. So sure, it's nice for them he's worked out, but he's just starting consistently as a 27 year old; it's near impossible for me to have any sort of regrets on that type of guy.
   127. Brian C Posted: August 02, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5505068)
I noticed that Bryant is going through one of those stretches where he gets a lot of hits but very few homers. In his last 18 games, he has 2 homers but is hitting .313/.377/.463, and has only struck out 12 times in 77 PA. In fact, his K rate has dropped again this season and is still falling, and he's nearly cut his K/BB ratio in half from his rookie season.

I don't know what any of this means, but it's interesting.
   128. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 02, 2017 at 11:22 AM (#5505095)
The Cubs are hitting well again, and we're seeing the "lineup with no easy outs" we thought we'd see all season. They're up to 5th in runs scored in the National League after hovering around 8th-9th place for a long time.

Moreover, save for Ben Zobrist (a special case; he's been hitting very well since the All-Star break), everyone with at least 100 PA has an OPS+ of 87 or higher. Schwarber, Russell, and Almora have done good work getting out of deep holes.
   129. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: August 02, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5505101)
Yeah, this is the team we expected coming into the season. The offense, the pitching, and the defense have all rounded into form. It was the reason to remain optimistic, and the reason to think they can still do damage in the playoffs.

FG projects the Cubs to have the best record the rest of the season: 34-23* and tied with the Dodgers for the best remaining run differential (+50). Projects them to the 7th most r/g (4.95, only trailing the Rockies in the NL) and 2nd fewest ra/g (4.07, trailing only Dodgers). That would give the Cubs the 4th best record in baseball. That's pretty much what I think of this team - actually, I still think they're a better team than the Astros or Nats, but that's clearly my bias talking.

   130. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: August 02, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5505388)
Lineup today: Zobrist/Bryant/Rizzo/Schwarber/Avila/Russell/Heyward/Jay/Arrieta
   131. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 03, 2017 at 09:32 AM (#5505701)
Aug. 3:

1855 Silver Flint, catcher, born
1921 Bill Killefer's first game as MLB manager. It's with the Cubs
1932 Cubs release Rogers Hornsby
1976 Joe Wallis hits lead-off (of an inning), inside the park HR for Cubs against Steve Carlton. Cubs lose 8-5 (already down 4-0 when Wallis HRs)
1977 CHC place Bruce Sutter on the 21-day DL
1997 Sammy Sosa's best WPA HR: 0.899. Btm12th, down 2-3, 2 out, 1 on.



   132. Brian C Posted: August 03, 2017 at 10:05 AM (#5505718)
Don't think it was noted here, but Brett Anderson was officially released after being DFA'd last week.
   133. Brian C Posted: August 03, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5505730)
Last year on August 3, the Cubs came back from a 4-2 deficit in the bottom of the ninth against the Marlins and won when Matt Szczur scored on a walk-off wild pitch with two outs. It was win number 4 of an 11-game winning streak.

Interestingly, BBref gives the weather conditions that day as 88 degrees with the wind blowing in at 15 mph from right field, which seems moderately improbable. A lake breeze that strong should take the edge off the heat a little even in early August, shouldn't it? The official high at O'Hare that day was 90, so at Wrigley for a 1:20pm start time, something like 80-83 and humid seems more likely if the lake breeze was on.

Looking at the boxscore for that game, I was also reminded that Joe Smith played for the Cubs last year, which I had completely forgotten about and still don't remember even after being presented with documentation that it happened.
   134. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 03, 2017 at 10:27 AM (#5505733)
Looking at the boxscore for that game, I was also reminded that Joe Smith played for the Cubs last year, which I had completely forgotten about and still don't remember even after being presented with documentation that it happened.

Come on, how could you not remember someone as distinctive as Joe Smith?
   135. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: August 03, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5505751)
Maddon talked about liking Joe Smith's "funky" stuff. But, he was somewhat hittable in his few and far between appearances, and was at least the 3rd or 4th pitcher in the depth chart left off the postseason roster (Zazstryzyzyzy, Cahill, Hammel were all ahead of him).
   136. Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: August 03, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5505770)
Lineup vs. Grienke: Jay/Bryant/Rizzo/Contreras/Schwarber/Happ(2b)/Heyward/Baez/Quintana
   137. Brian C Posted: August 03, 2017 at 11:04 AM (#5505777)
Maddon talked about liking Joe Smith's "funky" stuff.

Oh yeah! Now that you mention it, I do remember this.

Somehow 4 of the 11 hits he gave up (in 16 appearances) were homers.

I also have no memory of Joel Peralta, although he only appeared in 5 games.

   138. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: August 03, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5505790)
Godley was the less notable of the prospects in the deal at the time, IIRC. He was 24 and just made it to A+ (though he was a 2013 draft so hadn't been in the system that long). Looks like the DBacks moved him up aggressively and he's been ok and better than ok this year; I highly doubt he would have been seen as enough to not upgrade the rotation to Quintana. So sure, it's nice for them he's worked out, but he's just starting consistently as a 27 year old; it's near impossible for me to have any sort of regrets on that type of guy.


Indeed you do. The supposed prize of that deal was Jefferson Mejia - then a teenage, live-armed lottery ticket. Mejia is still struggling to make it out of short-season A ball at 22 -- striking out plenty, but walking just as many.
   139. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: August 03, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5505837)
Somehow 4 of the 11 hits he gave up (in 16 appearances) were homers.

Yep, and he allowed exactly four runs as a Cub. I remember thinking "this guy can't keep the ball in the park to save his life." That wasn't inaccurate, but the homers accounted for literally all the runs he gave up. Weird line.
   140. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: August 03, 2017 at 11:51 AM (#5505840)
I also have no memory of Joel Peralta, although he only appeared in 5 games.

I remember him only because he pitched in the Kris Bryant game at GAB, which I attended. Nobody pitched very well in that game, so Peralta fit right in.
   141. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 04, 2017 at 10:37 AM (#5506457)
Aug. 4:
1931 Cubs purchase Billy Herman from Louisville (AA) for $50,000
1932 Charlie Grimm's first game as manager
1937 Gabby Hartnett hitting streak hits 24 games, easily the longest of his career
1948 Ernie Harwell broadcasts his 1st MLB game -- Jackie Robinson steals home in it. BRK 5, CHC 4
1955 Ernie Banks hits 3 HR in one game off 3 different pitchers. CHC 11, PIT 10
1960 Billy Martin throws bat at Jim Brewer, then starts brawl in CIN-CHC game. Brewer's right cheek bone shattered
1968 WPA's worst Ernie Banks game: -0.458. 0-for-6, 1 K, 1 ROE, 2 GIDP

   142. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 04, 2017 at 10:50 AM (#5506474)
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