Cubs 4, Nats 9

In Major League Baseball, Postgame by JonKneeV133 Comments

OSS: Cubs bullpen in shambles (again) as Nats make late comeback

Three up:

  1. Willson Contreras smacked two solo homers bringing his total to 21. His wOBA is up to .369. His ISO is 45 points better than last year.
  2. Jon Lester pitched a good game until running into trouble in the 7th. Prior to the 7th, Lester had 7 Ks through 6 while giving up only 4 baserunners and 1 run.
  3. Um, I guess Jason Heyward? Heyward went 3-4 with a double. He did get picked off in the 6th with Lester at the dish.

Three down:

  1. Someone needs to check on Carl Edwards, Jr. In 3 appearances in August, he's given up 7 runs over 1.2 innings. He's struck out just 1 of the 15 batters he's faced. Watching him pitch, he is grooving pitches right down Main Street or it's not even close to the zone. He's completely lost command.
  2. Joe left Lester in to bat for himself in the bottom of the 6th with runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Heyward was TOOTBLAN'd and Lester struckout. Lester was replaced the next half inning after giving up 3 hits and 2 runs. Joe is still figuring out how to coach a National League team after 2.5+ seasons.
  3. Ian Happ went 1-4 with 2 Ks. He has 1 HR in the last 30 days. His OPS has dropped 60+ points in the same timespan. 

Next up:  Cubs travel to San Francisco (9:05 pm CST) just in time since I think if they continued to play good team they'd drop to 2nd place in the division. Unfortunately, we will be listening to the ESPN broadcast tonight. Jake Arrieta (3.88 ERA) takes on Matt Moore (5.80 ERA). 

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  1. Author
    JonKneeV

    myles:
    It might be time to consider if Willson Contreras is the best player on the team, now. I still think it’s clearly Bryant, but I’m willing to listen to arguments to the contrary.

    I think it’s pretty clear that Willson has been the best player so far this season.

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  2. dmick89

    Cubs travel to San Francisco (9:05 pm CST) just in time since I think if they continued to play good team they’d drop to 2nd place in the division.

    If I had to place any bets on this series, I’d say they come away with a win, but look like shit in the other two. I expect the bullpen to blow every other potential win.

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  3. Edwin

    In his minor league career Contreras hit 39 HR over 2,012 PA. In his MLB career he has 34 HR in 648 PA. I really wasn’t expecting this much power from him.

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  4. EnricoPallazzo

    Myles: Found out his middle name was “Smoak-Inmeerors.”

    ok but why are you saying that? do you think his rise in K rate is a fluke? it certainly may be. i’m not saying he’s legit but i also don’t see much in his numbers that suggest that his 2017 season is all smoke and mirrors.

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  5. Author
    JonKneeV

    Edwin:
    In his minor league career Contreras hit 39 HR over 2,012 PA.In his MLB career he has 34 HR in 648 PA.I really wasn’t expecting this much power from him.

    He’s tapped into his power somehow. I haven’t seen any articles diving into any changes to his swing, mechanics, or size since 2014. 2015 was his breakout season at AA where he hit over .300. Prior to 2015, he was a middling prospect that was toward the end of top 20-25 lists IIRC. Beyond his power, he wasn’t a very good hitter, period, before 2015.

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  6. Edwin

    JonKneeV,

    For that matter, his power didn’t really break out until 2016. Before 2016 his highest ISO for a season was .174 in 2013. In 2015 his ISO was .145.

      Quote  Reply

  7. dmick89

    As for Tseng, I’m not so sure it’s all smoke and mirrors. He’s thrown over 100 innings this year and his strikeout rate is a lot higher than it was before. I still expect some regression, but I feel confident that his true strikeout rate is higher than it was this time last year. He’s also 22 and pitching pretty well at AAA. That’s a hitter’s league so that’s not nothing. Small sample at AAA, but even 22 at AA is pretty good.

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  8. dmick89

    I don’t really know anything about Tseng other than the numbers so maybe he’s another 60 mph fastball guy the Cubs have who is striking people out because he throws so fucking slow.

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  9. Myles

    I remain unconvinced that someone with Hendricks’ stuff without Hendricks’ command of the game can get major league hitters out. He sits 90, with a bad change and a fringy curveball. I’d love to be wrong and this year is convincing, but he doesn’t seem like the type of starter that has MLB success.

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  10. dmick89

    Myles,

    I’m not saying he’s going to be above average or even that I’m convinced myself, but if he continues to strike batters out at AAA, he could be average or fit near the end of the rotation. He’s not Pedro, but considering the pitching prospects in this organization, I’ll take it.

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  11. Berselius is too lazy to log in

    SK: Please tell me that was a So I Married an Axe Murderer reference

    Don’t tell me what to do.

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  12. berselius

    uncle dave:
    Was at the game tonight and saw the rarest of things…a Junior Lake jersey.Also, the IPHR, I guess.

    I’m not sure if this unseats the Bonifacio Cubs jersey that I saw in AZ last year as the most mind-boggling jersey spotted at a ballpack.

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  13. Perkins

    berselius,

    True story: I once owned both a Joe Borowski jersey and a Rich Harden jersey.

    The Borowski was an authentic that I got for about $40 right after they DFA-ed him in 2005…I was a poor college student and it was a good conversation starter. (dying laughing)

    As to the Harden jersey, I got it right before he stopped striking out the world and kind of fell off a cliff.

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  14. Myles

    berselius: I’m not sure if this unseats the Bonifacio Cubs jersey that I saw in AZ last year as the most mind-boggling jersey spotted at a ballpack.

    On the way to a Cubs game last year I saw an entire family get out of a car in Trevor Cahill jerseys.

      Quote  Reply

  15. SK

    Only actual jersey I have is a blank, gray CHICAGO one. It’s really pretty fucking boring , and so never worn.

    My Aramis shirsey has pretty much been retired.

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  16. EnricoPallazzo

    i confess i was actually kind of pissed about the junior lake trade. not because i thought tommy hunter was going to be bad, but because i thought junior lake was going to be good. turns out i was wrong on both counts.

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  17. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    There’s an attractive woman I used to see at Wrigley who was always wearing a different Grimm jersey. Turns out it’s his wife.

      Quote  Reply

  18. Berselius

    dmick89:
    Am I the only one here who has a Sosa jersey?

    Santo is the only actual Jersey that I justified shelling out for. I had a Sosa shirsey at some point that disappeared into the mists of history.

      Quote  Reply

  19. Berselius

    To-night’s base ball squadron vs sinister pitcher Ty Blach

    LF Jay
    3B Bryant
    1B Rizzo
    C Supernova
    2B Happ
    CF Almora
    RF Heyward
    SS Baez
    P Quintana

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  20. Rizzo the Rat

    Apparently Mike Trout is 26, which puts him on pace to win zero playoff games through his age 40 season.

      Quote  Reply

  21. Berselius is too lazy to log in

    It feels like Rizzo has hit into a dozen double plays in the last week.

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  22. Berselius is too lazy to log in

    dmick89,

    It’s going to take another dozen or so starts like this for me to agree with this. Quintana has been pretty great.

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  23. Rizzo the Rat

    I didn’t like how Koji tried to play through something, giving up damage in the process. But, since the Cubs lost it in the first inning, no big deal.

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  24. Edwin

    If there was a device in the Harry Potter universe that let the user go back in time, why did they only think to use it to take more classes? Why not go back in time, snuff out Tom Riddle, and save lives?

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  25. myles

    Edwin:
    Kyle’s really struggling to find the zone.He’ll probably be up to 60 pitches by the time the inning is over.

    65. Good thing our bullpen is so good and healthy.

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  26. dmick89

    If each team in the NL Central kindly donated just two wins to the Reds, they could really make this division a lot of fun.

    Cubs: 57-55
    Brewers: 57-58, 1.5
    Cardinals: 55-58, 2.5
    Pirates: 54-59, 3.5
    Reds: 54-59, 3.5

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  27. Smokestack Lightning

    It’s been a while since I’ve actively loathed a Cubs team. Never would have thought it would be the team after the one that took it all, but well, here we are.

    I hate these motherfuckers. Go Brewers. Or don’t. I can’t tell them what to do.

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  28. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning,

    I haven’t liked them for awhile. Glad I’m not the only one. I don’t remember the last time I watched Lackey pitch. It’s been at least a couple months. I’ve also started skipping Kyle’s starts. After this injury to Contreras i think I’ll skip the next few weeks. I suspect they’ll be eliminated by then. Glad we kept Davis.

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  29. uncle dave

    There are times when it seems like this team could get shut down by 200 pounds of ground beef if it were wearing the other team’s uniform.

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  30. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: I haven’t liked them for awhile. Glad I’m not the only one.

    I stopped paying close attention in early May. I feared I was going to regret that decision. Now I’m wondering why I even check in. Even if they somehow stagger to the postseason in this shitheap of a division, it’s almost certainly going to be a swift and embarrassing removal from it. I don’t think even the most random-y, goofiest playoff variance in a five-game series can drag this team into the NLCS.

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  31. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning: I don’t think even the most random-y, goofiest playoff variance in a five-game series can drag this team into the NLCS.

    They would certainly be overmatched in the LDS and if they somehow managed to win that one, I don’t see how they could do better than dodgers_in_5 in the LCS. I think they’d have a decent chance to win the LDS, but they’d probably lose in four. Hard to believe how much worse the Cubs have gotten in less than a season. I knew they weren’t a true 103 win team last year, but I thought they’d still easily win 90 this year. They might actually finish in fourth fucking place.

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  32. dmick89

    I’ve been saying it for a couple months, but what’s really going to end up sucking about this season is that the 83-win Cardinals will end up winning it all.

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  33. dmick89

    What are the Cubs going to do with their outfield next year? Heyward plays great defense so there’s that, but they can’t also have another no offense guy like Almora in the outfield. Happ might be OK, but he’s really struggled lately. Schwarber looks lost so I don’t think you can count on him.

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  34. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    Beef Castle put “Beef” as his nickname on his Player’s Weekend Marketing Grab uniform.

      Quote  Reply

  35. Perkins

    The Cubs are going to win 85-88 games and repeat the World Series. Prove me wrong.

    While I don’t think it’s likely they even make the NLCS, I’m also not sold that they’re doomed. They lost (badly) to lesser teams in 2007 and 2008, and an 83 win Cardinals team somehow won it all in 2006. Weird shit happens in the postseason.

    Also I just got my postseason invoice today, and I intend to wait until the last possible minute to pull the trigger on that. Really hope they don’t hike ticket prices again next season. I get the feeling there will be a lot less goodwill from the STH base.

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  36. Rizzo the Rat

    This season has obviously been disappointing, but I’m growing tired of the complaints.

    Cubs fan, five years ago: Ugh, the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in over a century, are the worst team in the league and have a middling farm system!

    Cubs fan, today: Ugh, the defending World Champion Cubs are in first place and heavily favored to win the division, but are unlikely to win the pennant!

      Quote  Reply

  37. Rizzo the Rat

    Maybe someone should open a portal to 2012 so our former selves can come here and kick our spoiled asses.

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  38. Smokestack Lightning

    Rizzo the Rat:
    Maybe someone should open a portal to 2012 so our former selves can come here and kick our spoiled asses.

    On one hand, I get what you’re saying and sort of feel bad about my kvetching. On the other though… only a Cubs fan would win a championship after 108 years of nada and suddenly think they’re spoiled.

    dmick89: Yankees fans get pissed when they aren’t as good as they expected. They should and so should we.

    Yeah. This more than the above. It’d be one thing if this team were playing up to their ability, but they’re not. Not even close. And I think there’s plenty right to be displeased about it. A decent chunk of it might be variance, bad luck, regression, what have you, but that still leaves too much just not getting it done, imo. And it’s not like they don’t know how to. This team has the chance to be a multiple WS winner and they’re letting what should be a gimme regular season slip precariously close to the precipice of a lost season altogether.

    That sort of thing shouldn’t be so easily tolerated anymore.

    (although there’s probably a more mature, less meatheaded way to express my displeasure than calling them “motherfuckers” and saying “I hate them.” (dying laughing))

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  39. Ryno

    Rizzo the Rat,

    I want the Cubs to win the next game, go to the postseason and win the World Series just like every other year. The difference is that when they don’t do all that, I can go back and watch highlights of them actually winning it all.

    I can still do that with the 2005 National Champion Texas Longhorns 12 years later, so I’m guessing the Cubs World Series will help me cope for a while.

    In other words, I don’t think the Cubs winning the World Series should do anything to your fandom except help you get through the inevitable annual letdown.

      Quote  Reply

  40. Rice Cube

    Ryno,

    I figure the World Series championship Blu-ray has at least a decade of shelf life before replaying it starts getting pathetic.

      Quote  Reply

  41. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning: This team has the chance to be a multiple WS winner and they’re letting what should be a gimme regular season slip precariously close to the precipice of a lost season altogether.

    More than just winning multiple WS championships, I’ve always just wanted this team to be really good year in and year out. In 30 years, I’m going to remember 2008 nearly as well as I remember 2016. I’m probably complaining too much since the Cubs are above .500 and in first place, though their hold on it is doesn’t look too good at the moment. The Yankees have won a million titles because they’re good almost every single year. The Cubs have that ability to do that considering the division they are in. I think people should be upset at this season. I’m almost certain the front office is. I’m sure Joe is and I’m positive the players are (that’s why we’ve heard more about the clubhouse this year). What worries me more than this season is that they look a lot more vulnerable than they did a year or two ago. I didn’t think there was any possibility we’d be in this position unless the Cubs lost one of Bryant/Rizzo for a long time and it would probably require underperformance from the other. But the Cubs haven’t gotten the production from their top picks that the team needed. The pitching hasn’t been there and the bullpen, despite what some people say, is far from good or dependable.

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  42. Berselius is too lazy to log in

    INCREDIBLE poscast today. Ken Tremendous went to Wrigley for the first time.

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  43. Ryno

    Rice Cube,

    At least.

    For me, it’s about enjoyment while watching. The Cubs are much more enjoyable now that I’m not as concerned about a WS title. It’s easier to enjoy each game or series in a vacuum.

    Still, this year’s Cubs aren’t as fun to watch because they’re underperforming so badly. It’s really not about the winning either. I enjoyed the hell out of the 2011 49ers at the beginning of the season (I had no expectations and thought their 3-1 start was a fluke) more for how physically they played than their record.

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  44. Edwin

    Over the years I’ve shifted from being less concerned with team performance, to being more interested in player performance. I don’t care as much about record as I do about the team having fun players to watch. If the team is terrible but they have a player like Sosa hitting 60 HR, I’m entertained.

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  45. Perkins

    Edwin:
    If the Cubs win another 2-3 games in a row, will we get another “we’re back” speech?

    I really hope not. I was enjoying the whole “just shut up and kick ass” approach they’d adopted before the latest “we’re back” speech. It held for a solid couple of weeks.

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  46. Smokestack Lightning

    Edwin: If the Cubs win another 2-3 games in a row, will we get another “we’re back” speech?

    At this point, I’ll be moderately surprised if we get to find out.

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  47. SK

    Those are sound clips from the ’09 season.

    I think the second one should be embedded on the site somewhere or played everytime someone includes a certain word in their post, macro style.

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