Series Preview: Chicago Cubs (68-58) at Philadelphia Phillies (46-80)

In Series Previews by berselius125 Comments

Finally free of the last of the anti-stat GMs, the Phillies set about to be the next big teardown and rebuild team. They had a promising season in 2016, as some of their young talent hit the bigs, and maybe things were starting to look 2014 Cubs-ish about them. In 2017, pretty much everyone not named Aaron Nola took a giant step backwards, and suddenly they find themselves back in 2012 Cubs land. Sucks to be a Phillies fan. But hey, the tickets are cheap, and based on my experience of Phillies games you'll get some side betting action on the 3-4 fights that break out in the stands every game.

Team Leaders

Cubs

  • OBP: Kris Bryant (.400)
  • ISO: Ian Happ (.262)
  • HR: Anthony Rizzo (28)
  • R+RBI: Rizzo (161)
  • wRC+: Bryant (141)
  • BSR: Javier Baez (3.0)
  • SP K/9: Jose Quntana (9.60)
  • SP BB/9: Jon Lester (2.79)
  • SP FIP: Lester (3.79)
  • RP K/9: Carl Edwards Jr  (12.97)
  • RP BB/9: Brian Duensing (2.29)
  • RP FIP: Duensing (3.13)
  • WAR: Bryant (4.6)

Phightins

  • OBP: Aaron Altherr (.357)
  • ISO: Altherr (.252)
  • HR: Tommy Joseph (18)
  • R+RBI: Maikel Franco (109)
  • wRC+: Altherr (130)
  • BSR: Michael Saunders (3.1)
  • SP K/9: Nick Pivetta (9.57)
  • SP BB/9: Jeremy Hellickson (2.40)
  • SP FIP: Nola (3.30)
  • RP K/9: Edubray Ramos (11.32)
  • RP BB/9: Pat Neshek (1.12)
  • RP FIP: Neshek (1.92)
  • WAR: Nola (3.3)

As always with bad teams late in the year, I offer no guarantees that half of those guys are still with the squad.

Injury News, transactions, blood pacts, etc.

Addison Russell is starting to work his way back from his foot injury, and could be back sometime next week. Lester is down with shoulder fatigue, and Willson is still out with his hamstring injury. No word on when either of those guys are returning, from last I've seen.

Aaron Altherr, who leads the Phils in most statistical categories, has been out since early August with a hamstring injury of his own. The hamstring bug also hit CF Odubel Cabrera, who leads the Phils position players in WAR.

Pitching Matchups

K%, BB%, ERA, FIP listed for each pitcher

Friday: Jose Quintana, LHP (25.3%, 8.7%, 4.27, 3.99) vs Jerad Eickhoff, RHP (20.2%, 9.1%, 4.46, 4.17 ), 6:05 PM CT

Saturday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (20.5%, 8.1%, 3.52, 4.15) vs Ben Lively, RHP (10.3%, 7.4%, 3.70, 4.39), 6:05 PM CT

Sunday: John Lackey, RHP (19.9%, 7.4%, 4.90, 5.57) vs ????‍♂️, 12:35 PM CT

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Comments

  1. dmick89

    I haven’t seen all the nonsense that happened between the Yankees and Tigers, but Betances should be banned from baseball for no less than a calendar year. Girardi should be suspended for at least half a season for that too. I’d be ok if they banned Betances for life.

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  2. EnricoPallazzo

    dmick89:
    I haven’t seen all the nonsense that happened between the Yankees and Tigers, but Betances should be banned from baseball for no less than a calendar year. Girardi should be suspended for at least half a season for that too. I’d be ok if they banned Betances for life.

    yeah minimum one year for betances but i really would have no problem with a lifetime ban. if girardi in any way advocated this, lifetime ban for him too. make a fucking example of someone.

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  3. dmick89

    EnricoPallazzo,

    I also think any player who runs (or walks) toward the initial fight should be suspended and that any suspensions resulting from altercations or players being intentionally hit with pitches cannot be replaced on the MLB roster. All we’d be left with from now on is the umpires dealing with the two people initially fighting. Play wouldn’t have to be stopped forever and fans wouldn’t have to watch adults behave like 3 year olds.

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  4. Myles

    If you intentionally hit someone in the head with a baseball, no shit should you be banned from baseball for life. You should be tried for fucking battery!

    It’s one of the main reasons I hated Chapman. Someone WILL die from it. Girardi’s post-game presser proved he’s a giant sack of shit, too. “Boys will be boys.” Go fuck yourself.

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  5. Myles

    If you’re worried about having to discern intent, just make any pitcher who hits a batter above the shoulder get an automatic 81-game suspension. Accidental headshots aren’t all that common, but a half-season suspension makes it impossible for anyone to do it intentionally, pretty much. How many accidental headshots are there a season? 5? less?

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  6. dmick89

    Myles: If you’re worried about having to discern intent, just make any pitcher who hits a batter above the shoulder get an automatic 81-game suspension. Accidental headshots aren’t all that common, but a half-season suspension makes it impossible for anyone to do it intentionally, pretty much. How many accidental headshots are there a season? 5? less?

    I am worried about whether or not it was intentional because regardless of how many accidental head shots there are (probably a lot more than you realize), you are going to change the way pitchers pitch. We can say with about a 99% certainty that Betances intentionally hit McCann. That’s the behavior that you want out of the game. I don’t want a player who accidentally hit someone in the head to even be suspended for a game, but I’d be OK with a mandatory 5 or 10 game suspension depending on whether you are a reliever or a starter. That would still change the way pitchers pitch, but not nearly as much as just banning someone for life.

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  7. dmick89

    Myles: You should be tried for fucking battery!

    Proving intent would be difficult, but I don’t know why it hasn’t been investigated before. I can remember seeing LaRussa go over to his pitcher in the dugout and the next inning someone get hit. Some of these should be investigated by the police, but they probably won’t be.

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  8. Myles

    dmick89: I am worried about whether or not it was intentional because regardless of how many accidental head shots there are (probably a lot more than you realize), you are going to change the way pitchers pitch. We can say with about a 99% certainty that Betances intentionally hit McCann. That’s the behavior that you want out of the game. I don’t want a player who accidentally hit someone in the head to even be suspended for a game, but I’d be OK with a mandatory 5 or 10 game suspension depending on whether you are a reliever or a starter. That would still change the way pitchers pitch, but not nearly as much as just banning someone for life.

    If we change the way pitchers pitch, because are they avoiding hitting people in the head by accident, than that’s a change I can get behind. You may be right about how many beanballs get neck and head, I’m genuinely curious.

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  9. uncle dave

    dmick89:
    EnricoPallazzo,

    I also think any player who runs (or walks) toward the initial fight should be suspended and that any suspensions resulting from altercations or players being intentionally hit with pitches cannot be replaced on the MLB roster. All we’d be left with from now on is the umpires dealing with the two people initially fighting. Play wouldn’t have to be stopped forever and fans wouldn’t have to watch adults behave like 3 year olds.

    The NHL used to have bench-clearing brawls all the time, and then they made a 10-game suspension automatic for anyone leaving the bench during a fight. The NHL no longer has bench-clearing brawls.

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  10. dmick89

    Myles: If we change the way pitchers pitch, because are they avoiding hitting people in the head by accident, than that’s a change I can get behind.

    You may as well do away with the inside corner. You’re going to give a huge advantage to the hitter in the attempt to try to punish those who hit players in the head. All that is really done by a mandatory suspension (a long one like you suggested) is that pitchers don’t pitch inside, hitters gain a huge advantage and move closer to the plate resulting in the same number of batters getting accidentally hit in the head.

    A lot of the time we know with a high certainty whether or not a player intentionally hit someone. Those should be the ones we focus on in my opinion, as well as the clowns who get involved after a fight has taken place. I don’t want to see people unfairly punished just so we can get rid of the ones willing to hit guys in the head. Players learn this behavior. We need to fix that and we can do that without unfairly punishing players.

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  11. dmick89

    uncle dave,

    I think it may have been you who suggested a similar penalty for MLB players either here or on ACB. I don’t watch hockey so had no idea how they handled their fights. It’s a great system and allows the officials to contain it. That’s not possible with 50 guys on a baseball field involved in the fight. We have to limit that number and severely punish players who intentionally hurt others.

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  12. dmick89

    Myles:
    I think I hate Joe Girardi.

    I agree with this. Even some of the things he was yelling at the umpire on the field were ridiculous. You could see him say that if the umpires had issued warnings this wouldn’t have happened. This was not their fault, Joe. Yes, they probably should have issued warnings, but they didn’t. The player is still responsible for his dumbass behavior.

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  13. Edwin

    But what about the proud heritage of throwing at player’s heads? What’s next, getting rid of stolen bases? Where does it end?

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  14. Myles

    dmick89: You may as well do away with the inside corner. You’re going to give a huge advantage to the hitter in the attempt to try to punish those who hit players in the head. All that is really done by a mandatory suspension (a long one like you suggested) is that pitchers don’t pitch inside, hitters gain a huge advantage and move closer to the plate resulting in the same number of batters getting accidentally hit in the head.

    A lot of the time we know with a high certainty whether or not a player intentionally hit someone. Those should be the ones we focus on in my opinion, as well as the clowns who get involved after a fight has taken place. I don’t want to see people unfairly punished just so we can get rid of the ones willing to hit guys in the head. Players learn this behavior. We need to fix that and we can do that without unfairly punishing players.

    I don’t think it would be as drastic as you think, unless of course there are way more headshots than I’m thinking of. I can only remember 2 or 3 from the Cubs in the past 10-15 years.

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  15. EnricoPallazzo

    dmick89: Players learn this behavior. We need to fix that and we can do that without unfairly punishing players.

    i agree that players learn this behavior but the more i think about it, the more this is 100% on girardi. i mean it’s on betances too but it’s 100% on coaches: the first day of spring training, you say “if you ever throw at a guy’s head, you’re benched for 3 weeks” or some shit. go fuck yourself with that “boys will be boys” comment. betances acted like a piece of shit because it’s at the very least implicitly condoned by girardi and for that he should be fucking banned.

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  16. uncle dave

    dmick89,

    At this point, I don’t think the NHL goes nearly far enough. There’s no reason for fighting to result in anything but an ejection, and a common one-on-one doesn’t carry that penalty. It usually takes the two least talented players off of the ice for five minutes, which is decidedly a non-punishment. And they use the ‘self-policing’ argument to justify their ridiculously weak response to player safety issues, which is really cynical.

    Sidney Crosby is arguably the most talented and popular player in the league, and he’s been knocked out by blindside hits so many times that they basically have to keep him in a dark room 21 hours a day and just wheel him out for games. The baseball equivalent would be having Mike Trout sidelined by beanballs for half the year for four straight years.

    It amazes me that either of these leagues would allow players that they’ve invested millions of dollars in to be endangered like this (and never mind the bigger point that these guys are being endangered for no reason). It’s just dumb.

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  17. dmick89

    Myles,

    That could be, but if I’m a batter, I’m definitely moving a few inches closer to the plate. I’d still be just as likely to get hit in the head and it forces the pitcher to make adjustments.

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  18. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    Myles: but there has to be a huge penalty to it

    Gotta watch a whole 9-innings with Alvin in the bleachers. Share a bologna sandwich.

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  19. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    Myles:
    Of course Jon Lester’s nickname for Players’ Weekend is “Lester.”

    Len Kasper said awhile back that Lester did it as a joke, but I think that gives Lester too much credit. I don’t particularly see him as a meta humorist.

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  20. Rizzo the Rat

    For the record, in a one-out situation, I’d play the infield back more to encourage the pitcher to bunt.

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  21. Rizzo the Rat

    dmick89,

    He actually came into this game with a 3.79 ERA in a Cubs uniform. He hasn’t been consistently good, but he hasn’t really been terrible, either.

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  22. Rizzo the Rat

    According to Fangraphs, Quintana’s hard contact rate has actually gone down since joining the Cubs, and is in line with his career rate. And I don’t think the quality of opponents’ contact is a good way to gauge pitcher effectiveness in any case. It tends to be very noisy. I prefer to look at strikeouts and walks. His strikeout rate has been good, but his walk rate has been too high.

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  23. dmick89

    Rizzo the Rat,

    Strikeouts are up, walks are way up and home runs are up. From what little I’ve seen of him as a Cub, he gets hit pretty hard early and has suffered from some sequencing issues and then settles down, but I’ve checked out by then. His ERA in the innings I’ve seen is well over 9, which means little other than it makes me not want to watch him pitch and leaves me totally unsurprised when he gets lit up.

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  24. Rizzo the Rat

    dmick89:
    Lively strikes out fewer than 4 per 9. The Cubs will strikeout 9 times in 5 innings against him.

    Ha! They only struck out eight times!

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  25. cerulean

    So, Anybody in Houston? Apparently Harvey—I can only assume they mean Batman or a giant, invisible bunny rabbit—has dumped the equivalent of nine days of the Mississippi River on the area with another nine days worth to come over the next two days.

    If you are in Houston, godspeed.

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  26. cerulean

    Perkins:
    Walking Javy Baez on four pitches should be an immediate demotion to AAA.

    Actually, if you throw anything in the strikezone against Javy, you didn’t read the scouting report.

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  27. dmick89

    The good news is that the Cubs won’t have to play the Phillies in the playoffs if they get there. The bad news is that whoever they do play will be way better than the Phillies.

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  28. Rizzo the Rat

    Almora is probably a worse hitter and there is no platoon advantage. Plus, there is the pinch-hit penalty.

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  29. dmick89

    Rizzo the Rat,

    Yeah, that was just Joe chipping into the stupidity that we’ve seen today. I’ll take La Stella over Almora against anyone. La Stella vs a lefty is way better than Almora vs a righty. Even if that righty was me it would still be true.

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  30. Perkins

    Rizzo the Rat,

    Well, those and the no-no-hit streak, which may be over, but is still a record.

    Though in all honesty I’m kind of hoping the Dodgers win 117 and get bounced in the NLDS.

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  31. dmick89

    Perkins: Though in all honesty I’m kind of hoping the Dodgers win 117 and get bounced in the NLDS.

    That’s what I’ve been hoping for, but that’s if the Cubs reach the postseason. If the Cubs don’t, then I’d probably be rooting for the Dodgers.

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  32. dmick89

    I also wouldn’t mind watching Kershaw dominate his way through the postseason so the media can shut up about how he doesn’t pitch well in the postseason.

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