Cubs 7, Pirates 1 (6.18.17)

In Postgame by berselius231 Comments

OSS: Cubs win a road series for the first time since April

Three up:

  1. Anthony Rizzo continues to thrive in the leadoff spot, launching yet another home run. He had three hits total and scored three runs.
  2. He was knocked in by Willson Contreras in his other non-HR runs, who was the spark that got the Cubs moving today.
  3. Lackey had what felt like his first non-awful start in a month, allowing one run and five baserunners in six innings. Lackey had given up four or more runs in four of his last six starts. He did continue his streak of coughing up a home run in each of his starts. Strangely enough the last time he kept the opposing team in the park was at Coors Field.

Three down:

  1. The Cubs most negative play of the game was in the only stretch I caught before my flight, an Albert Almora strikeout in the third where the Cubs looked about to really break things open. Taillon had opened the inning with two singles, a walk, and a double and Almora had runners on second and third with one out. I'm a little confused by the WPA calculation here – Heyward lined out to the second baseman with no outs on the previous play and it was a -.028 WPA to Almora's -.044.
  2. Those two plays (along with La Stella's groundout to end the inning) were among the Cubs lowest WPA plays, along with a cryptic "Javier Baez forced out" in the second. It's not listed as a CS in the mlb.com pbp either, which seems strange.
  3. This one is leftover from last night's game, where the Fox announcers mentioned that Joe had given Russell 'a few days off' earlier in the month to help him out of his slump without mentioning anything happening off the field. Great work, fellas 😐

Next up: The Cubs return home to face the Padres, who swept them in SD a few weeks back. Hopefully the Cubs can return the favor.

Share this Post

Comments

  1. Rizzo the Rat

    I’m a little confused by the WPA calculation here – Heyward lined out to the second baseman with no outs on the previous play and it was a -.028 WPA to Almora’s -.044.

    The chances of scoring go down a lot more after you make the second out.

      Quote  Reply

  2. Edwin

    I think there was a Badger running back one time where the Broadcast team noted that coaching staff decided the RB should stay home and not travel to road games to help with his maturity and development. They failed to mention that it was also due in part because the RB was on probation and wasn’t legally allowed to leave the state.

      Quote  Reply

  3. dmick89

    cerulean,

    Nay. I’d probably have pulled off that trade in the offseason, but I don’t feel like giving up anything so this team can maybe win 90 games if everything goes well. I’d be perfectly fine if they didn’t make any trades and if they do, I’d rather they sell some pieces.

      Quote  Reply

  4. Edwin

    cerulean,

    Archer’s performance is great, I just worry about longevity. He really only throws 4-seam fastballs and sliders about 45%-50% each, and then sometimes mixes in a change. I thought both throwing a breaking ball that often and relying on just two pitches that much of the time was an increased injury risk.

      Quote  Reply

  5. EnricoPallazzo

    dmick89:
    cerulean,

    Nay. I’d probably have pulled off that trade in the offseason, but I don’t feel like giving up anything so this team can maybe win 90 games if everything goes well. I’d be perfectly fine if they didn’t make any trades and if they do, I’d rather they sell some pieces.

    i think this FO is light years better than past FOs in terms of doing what’s best for the team and not necessarily giving a fuck if the short-term public opinion will be negative. that said, i have a hard time seeing them being sellers at the break. i agree with you that it might be the most prudent move, but i just don’t see them throwing up a white flag on 2017.

      Quote  Reply

  6. URK

    dmick89:
    cerulean,

    Nay. I’d probably have pulled off that trade in the offseason, but I don’t feel like giving up anything so this team can maybe win 90 games if everything goes well. I’d be perfectly fine if they didn’t make any trades and if they do, I’d rather they sell some pieces.

    It wouldn’t be a rental though–he’s got 4 years left on his contract & they’ll need pitching after this season. As far as selling off major leaguers, I think that would mean selling low on anyone who wasn’t Bryzzo, who obviously isn’t going anywhere.

      Quote  Reply

  7. dmick89

    URK: I think that would mean selling low on anyone who wasn’t Bryzzo, who obviously isn’t going anywhere.

    Arrieta and Lackey are the two that I’m thinking of. If I was the Cubs, I’d trade both at the deadline for whatever they can get.

    EnricoPallazzo: that said, i have a hard time seeing them being sellers at the break.

    I do too.

      Quote  Reply

  8. cerulean

    Rizzo the Rat:
    How does a shortstop tear a UCL in his left elbow?

    That’s a dumb question. It’s obvious that shortstops tend to tear ligaments sliding into home. It’s why infielders are always righthanded because the left is always more exposed at plays at the plate. Duh.

      Quote  Reply

  9. cerulean

    berselius:
    To-day’s base ball squadron

    Rizzo
    Happ
    Bryant
    Contreras
    Schwarber
    Baez
    Almora
    Lester
    Jay

    Rizzappryantrerberba…ahh, fuck it!

    I can’t make heads or tails of these lineups any more.

      Quote  Reply

  10. cerulean

    Considering how lost the offense has seemed, having likes of a potential Stanton or Judge to come up sometime next year makes me want to nix any Jimenez trades.

    Yeah, the starters haven’t been good, but it’s the offense that really worries me.

      Quote  Reply

  11. cerulean

    In a hole against Clayton “Cy Young” Kershaw Richards. Cubs lose, because of course they would lose against the hapless Friars.

      Quote  Reply

  12. cerulean

    Joniak needs to watch that George Carlin bit on the difference between baseball and football. He’s too damn clinical.

      Quote  Reply

  13. cerulean

    dmick89:
    Wow. No pinch hitter. Joe is an idiot when it comes to some things.

    Joe is trying to save the arms in the bullpen. They pitched a lot of innings last year.

      Quote  Reply

  14. cerulean

    Perkins:
    I miss the Rondon who could get people out.

    He looks bad, like tipping pitches bad. He also seems more pear-shaped than he used to be, but I may be misremembering.

      Quote  Reply

  15. Perkins

    cerulean: He looks bad, like tipping pitches bad. He also seems more pear-shaped than he used to be, but I may be misremembering.

    I also noticed that. He’s reminding me of when Marmol got fat and bad. The stuff still seems to be there, but his command is just gone.

      Quote  Reply

  16. Perkins

    cerulean,

    I get that. I’m 31 and still working on dropping the weight I gained from all the drinking during last year’s postseason. But I recently discovered that I no longer hate salad, so things are looking up.

      Quote  Reply

  17. Rice Cube

    So Rizzo is gonna have to watch his head the next couple games. Padres are up in arms over that slide. I thought it was a little bit dirty but not egregious.

      Quote  Reply

  18. dmick89

    Rice Cube,

    I thought it was clean. He didn’t go out of his way to take the catcher out and he didn’t do it when the catcher wasn’t prepared for it. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often, but I’m guessing the players don’t completely understand the rule and they don’t want to be called a dirty player.

      Quote  Reply

  19. Edwin

    dmick89,

    Looked to me like the Catcher gave Rizzo a lane, so I can see why the Padres would be upset. But it’s certainly not a dirty play by Rizzo.

      Quote  Reply

  20. Perkins

    uncle dave: You can be one or the other, but…

    No issue with fat ballplayers, as long as they’re good. In Marmol’s case, the loss of velocity and command on the fastball were a pretty big deal. That may have been partially related to conditioning, though.

      Quote  Reply

  21. uncle dave

    Perkins,

    No issue here, either, would be a pretty obvious glass house situation for me. It’s really difficult to be a fat athlete, though. I say that as someone who was a fat athlete, and then wasn’t. It made a big, fat difference. I can’t imagine performing at a professional level period, much less with a bunch of extra pounds to lug around.

    I’d not thought about what that would mean for a pitcher, but that position strikes me as the one that requires the most conditioning of any on the diamond since you’re involved in every play.

      Quote  Reply

  22. Edwin

    If someone says on a Tuesday, they’ll schedule something for “next Wednesday”, do they mean the first Wednesday (the next day), or the following Wednesday? Technically the first Wednesday is the next Wednesday.

      Quote  Reply

  23. EnricoPallazzo

    Edwin:
    If someone says on a Tuesday, they’ll schedule something for “next Wednesday”, do they mean the first Wednesday (the next day), or the following Wednesday?Technically the first Wednesday is the next Wednesday.

    i disagree. the first wednesday is “this wednesday” or just “wednesday”. “next wednesday” means next week.

      Quote  Reply

  24. Rice Cube

    It seems there’s a small chance Rizzo might be disciplined for what MLB has ruled is a bad slide. But that would be against precedent and the Padres aren’t inclined to hit him.

      Quote  Reply

  25. dmick89

    So what MLB really means is that at no point is a baserunner to ever run over a catcher. If I’m a manager, I tell all my catchers to just stand in the base path after the ball has been hit.

      Quote  Reply

  26. Edwin

    dmick89,

    I think the goal is to avoid Catcher/runner collisions, yes. The catcher needs to give the runner a lane, and the runner is supposed to take that lane instead of altering their slide path to force a collision. In this case it looked like the Padres catcher gave Rizzo a lane, but Rizzo chose to go for the collision. It’s close, but it seems like a decent call to me.

      Quote  Reply

  27. Rice Cube

    Edwin,

    dmick89,

    MLB didn’t forbid collisions, but there has to be an effort to slide before the collision and for the catcher to give a lane to slide as well. Certain angles do show a clear lane Rizzo could’ve slid toward to avoid a direct collision. And he definitely slid late. I’m OK with this, particularly since he wasn’t fined or suspended.

      Quote  Reply

  28. dmick89

    I’d much rather Rizzo slide there just so he can avoid injury to himself, but in my opinion, if the catcher is blocking any part of the plate, and is not in the process of catching the ball (defenseless), the runner should be able to run him over. Technically, as long as a sliver of the plate is available to the runner, it would be considered a lane, which is absurd. The rule, from what I remember, was put in place to protect a defenseless catcher. So I assume it would be ok for the first baseman to catch the throws at first in front of the base as long as he allows a small lane to the baserunners. Right foot on the bag, left foot about 2 inches inside the foul line. That gives the runner a 2 inch lane. All is good. That would obviously result in collisions and I’m pretty sure the 1st baseman would be at fault, as he should be since his body was blocking part of the path to the base.

      Quote  Reply

  29. Rizzo the Rat

    This is why I’m not a huge fan of the bunt defense. They probably shouldn’t do it against a pitcher who can hit a little.

      Quote  Reply

  30. cerulean

    dmick89,

    Believe it or not, they won six of the first seven series this season. (They swept no one and were swept once, so it never felt like they were dominating. And they weren’t.)

      Quote  Reply

  31. cerulean

    The Giants are doing an incredible job wasting Buster Posey’s season. There was all that talk about Giants’ even years last year, but no one bothers to mention the odd years.

      Quote  Reply

  32. Perkins

    To-day’s base ball squadron:
    Rizzo
    Bryant (RF)
    Schwarber
    Russell
    Happ
    La Stella (3B)
    Contreras
    Butler
    Almora

      Quote  Reply

  33. dmick89

    berselius,

    It wouldn’t be worse than what this offense seems to do on a daily basis. If I’m another team, I just call up three AAA starters prior to the series and give my regular starters some extra rest. I might even consider dipping into AA if there’s a guy down there with an ERA above 5. It would be quite the confidence booster to come up for a start and shut down what’s supposed to be an MLB offense.

      Quote  Reply

  34. cerulean

    That was probably the best thing that could happen. If Butler finished the inning, Joe would have had him bat before replacing him. (Though I guess Grimm will get an AB now.)

      Quote  Reply

  35. dmick89

    The main reason I don’t want the Cubs to be buyers is because there’s way too much to fix. The offense is terrible. They need a couple starters and their bullpen could use some work. If the NL Central was worth a shit, they’d be buried already.

      Quote  Reply

  36. dmick89

    The reason the Padres are already racing toward 30 wins so early in the season is because they might have a top 25 pitching staff. Easily top 30. It’s not surprising the Cubs can’t hit them.

      Quote  Reply

  37. Rizzo the Rat

    Think about how good the Padres’ pitching will be when their rotation is healthy. Jered Weaver is beginning his rehab assignment tomorrow!

      Quote  Reply

  38. dmick89

    Edwin,

    It’s going to be pretty much impossible to come away with more than one win against the mighty Marlins. They’re one of the few teams in the world better than the Padres.

      Quote  Reply

  39. EnricoPallazzo

    dmick89: The reason the Padres are already racing toward 30 wins so early in the season is because they might have a top 25 pitching staff. Easily top 30.

    Lehigh Valley, Memphis, and Reno are all looking pretty good so i’m not sure i’d say that the padres are top 30 but definitely top 40. they’re really good, is my point.

      Quote  Reply

  40. Edwin

    Perkins,

    These days I watch boxscores more than games, so I have no idea how he was actually looking at the plate, but when I see his numbers I feel like he isn’t doing so bad. His BB% is solid, his K% is high but not unreasonably so, and with his SwStr% being just 10.8% I think there’s reason to expect his K% to drop. His ISO is above .200. Seems like what’s killing him most is his BABIP of .193, but I tend to feel a BABIP that low is mostly luck driven. Maybe there’s more to drill down there, IDK.

      Quote  Reply

  41. JonKneeV

    Edwin,

    There’s something mental going on. He’s taking pitches early in the count right down the middle and expanding the zone after he has a strike on him. He’s not even attempting to go the other way on pitches outside. He’s such a slow runner than anything in play pulled to the right side that isn’t a line drive or home run is an out. For awhile he wasn’t protecting with two strikes and it now appears he’s trying to shorten his swing to protect, but it’s had a negative affect on his bat speed and he’s not catching up.

    Basically, if you can pitch in any zone beside low, middle-in, you’re going to beat him right now.

    He’s still commanding some respect at the plate, hence the difference between BA and OBP. But any pitcher than can execute location is going to win.

      Quote  Reply

  42. Perkins

    Edwin,

    Yeah, he’s looked better in June. More in the first week or two than of late, but much better than he looked earlier in the season. His BABIP is still pretty low, but I’m not sure how much better that’s going to get since he’s an extreme pull hitter.

      Quote  Reply

  43. Myles

    EnricoPallazzo: Lehigh Valley, Memphis, and Reno are all looking pretty good so i’m not sure i’d say that the padres are top 30 but definitely top 40. they’re really good, is my point.

    (dying laughing)

    Don’t forget Oregon State.

      Quote  Reply

  44. dmick89

    I think Schwarber is going to continue to have all kinds of problems. He’s the kind of player who would be hitting .250/.400/.500 about 10 years ago. The shift has killed that potential for him.

      Quote  Reply

  45. Myles

    dmick89: They called up a reliever? I don’t even think Joe is trying anymore. I know the bullpen kind of sucks, but they already had too many relievers.

    More relievers will be called up until morale improves.

      Quote  Reply

  46. Myles

    dmick89:
    I think Schwarber is going to continue to have all kinds of problems. He’s the kind of player who would be hitting .250/.400/.500 about 10 years ago. The shift has killed that potential for him.

    I might be getting into Berselius-on-Randy Wells territory, but I just don’t understand his struggles when I watch him. He looks like he knows what he’s doing at the plate. I still think he’s one of the best hitters on the team. At some point, the numbers are the numbers, though.

      Quote  Reply

  47. dmick89

    Myles,

    I thought he’d lead the team in home runs and part of me thought he might be the team’s best hitter entering the season. I’ve been as big a fan as anyone, but I agree with what JKV said. I also think the shift is a huge problem for him.

      Quote  Reply

  48. Edwin

    dmick89,

    The shift is why I wasn’t a fan of him leading off. Gauranteed chance to shift on him every game, and the highest chance of hitting with bases empty. For a pull-heavy LHH that’s not ideal.

      Quote  Reply

  49. Rizzo the Rat

    Edwin:
    Maybe the Cubs can still bring Bryan LaHair back.I think he can kind of play OF.

    They’d also have to re-sign his old platoon partner, Jeff Baker.

      Quote  Reply

  50. Berselius is too lazy to login

    I go off the grid for a few days and Mark Zagunis is starting for the Cubs?!? (dying laughing)

      Quote  Reply

  51. cerulean

    I am not concerned about Schwarber —

    CONTRERAS!!!!!

    — being sent down. He’ll be fine. Hell, he has been fine in June. Rizzo sucked for a stretch when he first came up and then was average for a couple years before becoming really good. Patience, duders.

      Quote  Reply

  52. Rizzo the Rat

    Perkins,

    There was nothing he could do to avoid getting out (except not taking a lead off third), but he needed to avoid that tag longer.

      Quote  Reply

  53. Perkins

    Rizzo the Rat:
    Perkins,

    There was nothing he could do to avoid getting out (except not taking a lead off third), but he needed to avoid that tag longer.

    Yeah, I realized that. But I think letting himself get tagged that quickly makes it a TOOTBLAN.

    Though in either case, he sure as hell made up for it with that HR.

      Quote  Reply

  54. Perkins

    The Cubs should probably save some runs for the rest of the series. They only managed 9 runs in the entire series against the mighty Padres.

      Quote  Reply

  55. cerulean

    I saw just enough of this game to see Bryant groundout with the bases loaded and Arrieta give up a homerun that must have broken the sound barrier. Cubs lose 1–0.

    I’m just going to go over here now.

      Quote  Reply

  56. dmick89

    Perkins,

    Kris Bryant said they were back one time when they had won 5 of 6 or something and then they went out to SF and SD and looked like a Little League team. Rizzo said they were back after their last hot stretch and then they promptly played like that same Little League team. I wish they’d just stop talking about whether or not they’re back.

      Quote  Reply

  57. dmick89

    It’s worth pointing out that their offense sucked ass in that series against San Diego. With the exception of a game here or a game there, their offense has been less than spectacular all season long. They need great pitching to win and they don’t have great pitching.

      Quote  Reply

  58. Perkins

    dmick89,

    I agree that it’s unlikely they’re “back.” I honestly find it more amusing than anything that Montero weighed in as he did. I’ll believe they’re back when they rattle off a 6-10 game winning streak without following it with a similar duration losing streak. Maybe.

      Quote  Reply

  59. Rizzo the Rat

    I don’t know why Montero even risked a throw there. The odds of his throwing out Gordon are close to zero.

      Quote  Reply

Leave a Comment