Yankees 5, Cubs 4 (18 innings)

In Postgame by berselius209 Comments

OSS: Cubs and Yankees set a record for the most strikeouts in a game in an 18 inning marathon.

Three Five up:

  1. Kyle Schwarber made an amazing defensive play on a foul ball in extras, falling into the stands and somehow not getting hurt on that concrete wall. He also doubled twice and drew two walks
  2. Rizzo was the Cubs WPA leader by far on the day, taking a 100 mph Chapman fastball off his forearm to tie the game and hitting a leadoff double in the 12th that never amounted to a run. He also drew two intentional walks, as the pitchers' spot ended up right behind him later in the game.
  3. Javier Baez homered for the first run, and worked the best PA we've seen out of him all year during the Cubs rally in the ninth. Baez vs Chapman is about as obvious a mismatch as you can get (other han maybe Baez vs Rich Hill), but he stayed patient, worked a long at bat, and pushed a single to left to bring the Cubs within one.
  4. Jon Lester gave up the requisite first inning run, but then was just absolutely locked in the rest of the way. He threw around 120 pitches but looked about as fresh in the last inning as when he was cruising through the middle.
  5. They lost the game in the end, but the bullpen did a pretty great job in this one considering that they threw 8.2 innings yesterday. Between them they threw 11 innings, allowing 3 runs, 13 Ks, and three walks.

Three Four down:

  1. So many runners left on base, so many strikeouts. It's hard to pick one play in particular. The most negative play on the day for either team was Kyle Schwarber's strikeout with runners on second and third and one out in the ninth.
  2. If Heyward couldn't even make a PH appearance in an 18 inning game, the Cubs should have DL'ed him rather than have Lackey and Hendricks take at bats at key moments.
  3. Russell had an 0-fer for the day, but did draw two walks. This put him on base twice as often as Willson Contreras, who effectively tied him in negative WPA.
  4. As usual Joe West's strike zone judgement was a dumpster fire, for both teams.

Next up: Up too late for a real preview, but here are the pitching matchups

Monday: Jake Arrieta vs Antonio Senzatela, RHP, 7:40 PM CT

Tuesday: John Lackey vs Kyle Freeland, LHP, 7:40 PM CT

Wednesday: Kyle Hendricks vs German Marquez, RHP, 2:10 PM CT

I wish this series wasn't so inconveniently scheduled, I've enjoyed my trips to Denver the past two years.

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Comments

  1. URK

    I’m still mad. I’ve learned to put aside counterfactuals in most things, but have a hard time not going back to that fucking strike-that-should-have-been-called-a ball on Russell. Also, Jason Heyward better hit the goddamn DL if he’s unavailable enough in a game like that that Kyle Hendricks has the last at-bat.

    I guess I’d be more mad if I’d started watching before the 11th inning. Counting my (dying laughing) blessings.

      Quote  Reply

  2. Berselius is too lazy to login

    URK,

    I’d be more mad if I couldn’t look down at my World Series Champions tshirt.

      Quote  Reply

  3. Myles

    Let’s go with an unconventional 5th starter: Carl Edwards Jr.

    He and Cease are basically the only two pitchers in the organization with the stuff to be a #3 starter or better besides the actual starting pitchers. Cease has no chance of making it to the major league club this year. Edwards Jr. has an easy pitching motion. Can we at least TRY him there? I understand that he’s 160 pounds. I understand that he only has 2 pitches that he’s shown at the major league level. Those two pitches are really, really good. If he can throw the changeup even 5 times a start, he can lean on the curve and heat to get him through 5-6 innings a start, I’d think. If it doesn’t work, you can send him back to the bullpen (unless he gets an owie). He just seems to have a starter’s delivery and the results have been there.

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  4. Perkins

    Berselius is too lazy to login:
    URK,

    I’d be more mad if I couldn’t look down at my World Series Champions tshirt.

    Yeah, I’m also having trouble getting too emotionally spun up over this. But it would be nice if the Cubs remembered they’re supposed to be good and pulled away from the pack sometime before October.

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  5. Edwin

    Myles,

    I’d imagine that throwing the fastball/curveball that often might over expose those pitches, so while I’m sure they’d still be effective, I don’t know if it would work over 5-6 innings. Maybe instead of being really really good, they end up just being good, and then the lack of a 3rd pitch really exposes him. Plus, if he’s relying on his curveball that much I’d be worried about blisters or arm injuries cropping up.

    Also, he hasn’t pitched a starter’s workload in a long time, so I’m not sure how many innings he’d be able to be stretchd out to. Last season he pitched about 68 innings, in 2015 it was 60, in 2014 it was 53, and in 2013 it was 116. The last time he even started was 2014. I don’t see the Cubs making that switch in-season.

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  6. Myles

    KenricoPallazzo:
    has anyone read keith law’s new book?

    I haven’t, but it’s on my list.

    Just finished the Cubs Way. Started really strong, kind sagged at the end, would have preferred some type of prologue, but overall pretty good.

    Want to hate read A Season For The Ages at some point.

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  7. URK

    Berselius is too lazy to login,

    Perkins,

    Yeah– I’m already not really mad anymore, just a little disappointed. It’s just a sportsball game. But, having given up on the game before the 9th, then tuning in in the 11th, and especially seeing Schwarber’s catch, all led to heightened emotions, like sportsball is supposed to do.

    it would be really great to see this team go on a tear like I know they can though. I hope there are some roster/DL moves today and am curious what they’ll be.

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  8. dmick89

    Perkins: Yeah, I’m also having trouble gettingtoo emotionally spun up over this. But it would be nice if the Cubs remembered they’re supposed to be good and pulled away from the pack sometime before October.

    I still get pissed, though not as much as I used to. Since the first home series I’ve barely even thought of the WS Championship. Most Cubs fans wanted to see a championship, but I’ve wanted Yankees-like dominance of the NL. A championship is part of that and so is 2015, but the job isn’t finished yet. Not even close.

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  9. Perkins

    dmick89: I still get pissed, though not as much as I used to. Since the first home series I’ve barely even thought of the WS Championship. Most Cubs fans wanted to see a championship, but I’ve wanted Yankees-like dominance of the NL. A championship is part of that and so is 2015, but the job isn’t finished yet. Not even close.

    That’s certainly fair, and I’m hoping for the same thing. I’d say that the 2016 World Series has made me less inclined to be reactive and more inclined to give the team the benefit of the doubt. I’m also operating under the assumption that they treated April like spring training since the rest of the NL Central is pretty far below them by true talent level.

    I’d feel a lot better though, if the starters could pitch deeper into games and quit giving up runs in the first, and if the offense could remember how to hit with RISP. I’m not entirely frustrated so far, but I am pretty confused. I was expecting this season to be another steamroll of the NL Central, not to see the Cubs around .500 in early May within a couple of games of the other teams.

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  10. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: I still get pissed, though not as much as I used to. Since the first home series I’ve barely even thought of the WS Championship. Most Cubs fans wanted to see a championship, but I’ve wanted Yankees-like dominance of the NL. A championship is part of that and so is 2015, but the job isn’t finished yet. Not even close.

    I’m of the same mind, but wondering if the length and intensity of last year’s run, not to mention the outsized meaning of the win, doesn’t just elevate the risk of regression physically but emotionally and psychologically as well, and we’re seeing that bear some early season fruit. Seem to recall it being similar with the Red Sox in 2005 (and they ended up winning 95, IIRC—but were quickly ejected out of the playoffs).

    Winning any World Series is incredibly difficult. The Cubs finally winning one was the Holy Grail of sports. It’s hard not to think, at least for a little bit, that it’s all downhill from here. I know if I had played through last year’s brutal, glorious postseason crucible, I might have a little trouble getting up to do this shit all over again so soon. (dying laughing) I’m not exactly super thrilled as a fan right now. Baseball could have been delayed a little while this year and I would have been fine with it.

    And, of course, it could be baseball is always incredibly difficult, and slumps occur all the time, and this team is simply experiencing one early. The talent is still there to easily win the division, even if the SP and defense don’t appear likely to be near as good as last year.

    I guess what I’m trying to say: It’s all Dodgers-in-5 from here on out.

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  11. Perkins

    To day’s base ball squadron:
    Schwarber
    Bryant (RF)
    Rizzo
    Zobrist
    Montero
    LaStella (3B)
    Baez (SS)
    Arrieta
    Almora Jr.

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  12. cerulean

    Myles:
    Let’s go with an unconventional 5th starter: Carl Edwards Jr.

    I am with you 95.27%.

    I would not mind seeing a halfway compromise: A Montgomery/Edwards tandem every third or fourth or fifth game would be awesome in my opinion. One starts, the other gets the win, and switch. 3–4 innings/60–75 pitches each. If it’s in the regular rotation, they could be available for some scattered innings in between. 120–140 innings on the year.

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  13. Perkins

    cerulean: I am with you 95.27%.

    I would not mind seeing a halfway compromise: A Montgomery/Edwards tandem every third or fourth or fifth game would be awesome in my opinion. One starts, the other gets the win, and switch. 3–4 innings/60–75 pitches each. If it’s in the regular rotation, they could be available for some scattered innings in between. 120–140 innings on the year.

    Another idea would be to have Montgomery and Lackey do that. Have Lester, Arrieta, and Hendricks go on days 1, 2, and 4. Have Lackey start on day 3 (and Montgomery relieves him) and do the opposite on day 5. It’s an idea posited in The Book as a way of gaining some offense (you pinch hit for the day’s starter at his first plate appearance on the tandem days) and minimizing the exposure of your lesser starting pitchers.

    Where I could see this going off the rails is Joe’s love of an eight man bullpen and the attendant short bench. Also I think Lackey would have some choice words about the arrangement.

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  14. dmick89

    I think Edwards would have a difficult time as a starter. He’d lose some velocity and be a lot more hittable. Add in the lack of a third or fourth pitch and it wouldn’t be fun in my opinion.

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  15. Berselius is too lazy to login

    I am a little surprised that there was no roster move today. Maybe the Cubs were hoping that this would be a rainout.

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  16. Perkins

    Looks like a day-night doubleheader tomorrow, which is probably good for the Cubs. Tough to take both ends of one of those, and there’s a decent chance the Cubs were going to get swept.

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  17. cerulean

    dmick89:
    I think Edwards would have a difficult time as a starter. He’d lose some velocity and be a lot more hittable. Add in the lack of a third or fourth pitch and it wouldn’t be fun in my opinion.

    Rich Hill thinks tertiary pitches are overrated. But Rich Hill also thinks it’s hard to be an effective pitcher on the bench, so…

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  18. Ryno

    You guys always want to talk to me about football, but sometimes baseball is just more relevant. If you’re interested in knowing more about Alex Scherff, I spent a while talking to him yesterday for a story. Long story short: He good.

      Quote  Reply

  19. Perkins

    Given what’s going on in New York, I bet Matt Harvey could be had cheaply. Not sure how much he has left in the tank, though.

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  20. Author
    berselius

    Ryno:
    You guys always want to talk to me about football, but sometimes baseball is just more relevant. If you’re interested in knowing more about Alex Scherff, I spent a while talking to him yesterday for a story. Long story short: He good.

    Did you ask him if teams were worried about his decision making skills after committing to aTm?

      Quote  Reply

  21. Perkins

    To day’s base ball squadron:
    Schwarber
    Bryant (RF)
    Rizzo
    Zobrist
    Montero
    LaStella (3B)
    Baez (SS)
    Arrieta
    Almora Jr.

    I wonder if Montero starts getting more starts with Willson’s offensive struggles and the offense’s overall ineptitude.

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  22. Myles

    Ryno:
    You guys always want to talk to me about football, but sometimes baseball is just more relevant. If you’re interested in knowing more about Alex Scherff, I spent a while talking to him yesterday for a story. Long story short: He good.

    That’s a weird, weird delivery.

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  23. Myles

    If you stopped the video as the ball came out of Scherff’s hand, you’d guess he was throwing batting practice. Reminds me of Rich Harden in that respect.

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  24. Berselius is too lazy to login

    Some serious weather moving through here, hope it dodges Denver tonight

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  25. Perkins

    At this point, I think you just leave Jake out there until he can’t throw. No need to tax the bullpen.

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  26. Myles

    Seriously. Jordan Zimmerman went 5/$110 MM. Jake would almost certainly have been in that realm. There is absolutely no chance he gets that at this point. He might not get half that.

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  27. cerulean

    The good news:

    THIS GAME IS UNLIKELY TO GO INTO EXTRA INNINGS

    The bad news:

    THIS TEAM IS GOOD AT COMING BACK TO LOSE IN EXTRA INNINGS

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  28. uncle dave

    Myles,

    I’ve not been paying nearly enough attention to answer this, but with Arrieta and Zobrist seemingly in a steep decline, what does that do to the perception of the Cubs’ window of contention? I think that they’ll ultimately make the postseason this year (if for no other reason than a lack of competition within the division), but do you push your chips in to compete over the next couple of years or stutter along the best you can and hang onto Happ and Eloy?

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  29. cerulean

    josh:
    This is Coors field. Scoring 10 runs in an inning is not out of the question.

    Indeed. The Rockies are proving this true.

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  30. Myles

    uncle dave:
    Myles,

    I’ve not been paying nearly enough attention to answer this, but with Arrieta and Zobrist seemingly in a steep decline, what does that do to the perception of the Cubs’ window of contention?I think that they’ll ultimately make the postseason this year (if for no other reason than a lack of competition within the division), but do you push your chips in to compete over the next couple of years or stutter along the best you can and hang onto Happ and Eloy?

    I think there is a solid chance the Cubs cash in a few of those prospects for pitching, but only if it’s a long-term acquisition. My pet theory is Johnny Cueto, but that’s not grounded in anything other than speculation. This team doesn’t look to be a juggernaut in any sense, but that makes it more likely to me that they’d improve, not less (unless you’re in the dmick camp and think that the year might be lost).

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  31. Myles

    The pickings get slim after Cueto, unless you think Cole is gettable (which is probably a year away from being true), you are a true believer in J. A. Happ ((dying laughing)), or you are buying the bounce-back Sonny Gray.

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  32. josh

    I just don’t think the Cubs are this bad. The defense has been pretty bad and pitching. But I feel like both those areas will improve. If they can keep up hitting, they should improve. Right!?

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  33. cerulean

    I think there is a country song that goes something like this:

    At two I went to bed with a ten and at ten I woke up with a two.

    Somehow, that’s more than an apt description of the current score.

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  34. Berselius is too lazy to login

    What was the mysterious ‘injury delay’ that showed up on gameday?

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  35. cerulean

    So Candelario is looking good in the box score. If he keeps this up, we’re looking at a decent starting pitcher.

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  36. cerulean

    I wonder how the firing of Comey will impact the decades long investigation into the MLB surveillance of the American people—I mean into performance-enhancing drugs.

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  37. Berselius is too lazy to login

    Get away day’s base ball squadron

    CF Jay
    RF Bryant
    LF Schwarber
    1B Candelario
    C Montero
    SS Russell
    3B La Stella
    2B Baez
    P Hendricks

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  38. Perkins

    In my head I’m hearing Bob Uecker in Major League saying, “One hit? That’s all they got, one Goddamn hit?”

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  39. cerulean

    dmick89: Who said this?

    I don’t know. I just had vague recollections that this was something some people were saying at some time. Probably BFIBs mostly.

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  40. Perkins

    On the plus side, Hendricks looked pretty good again (though the gun still had him sitting around 85). Too bad the offense is still dildos.

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  41. dmick89

    Perkins,

    I was only home for about half the game and he did look better, as he has the last couple outings. Despite that, I don’t expect him to find much success this season unless his velocity comes back. I think he’s more likely to find it than Arrieta is without his velocity returning because Hendricks has better control. The Cubs pitching staff is probably to the point where Lackey is the second best starter and that’s not good. Especially if the offense can’t figure out how to hit with runners on. I’d consider moving Zobrist up to leadoff and Schwarber 2nd with Bryant 3rd and Rizzo 4th. After that it’s a big mess of average to below average hitters so they can do whatever they want.

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  42. cerulean

    Upside down 7.

    34 games in and the Cubs have gone nowhere. But if they go 30–4 the next 34, they will be on pace with last year.

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  43. cerulean

    Jameson Taillon is on the shelf for suspected testicular cancer. Shitballs.

    At least the Cubs are only playing poorly and no one has testicular cancer.

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  44. Perkins

    These are not conversations I expected to be having at any point this season, let alone as late as May.

    For some reason, the defense is what stands out most to me. They went from historically good to below average with very little turnover and a young roster. Some of that is probably on the SP due to increased hard contact, but it’s hard to shake the sense that their positioning or their focus is severely lacking. My lying eyes have seen a lot of errant throws and “olé” misses on thrown or hit balls.

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  45. dmick89

    Perkins,

    Considering the drop in velocity for Hendricks and Arrieta, I’m not as surprised by the defense being worse as you are. It’s been noticeable and the really bad plays have stood out. They seem to be coming at a higher frequency this year, but I think last year’s defense got more credit than they deserved. The pitchers deserved a lot of that credit, but it was still a good defense. I think by the end of the year this team will be about average.

    What stands out the most to me is how the starting pitching can’t seem to give the offense enough time to take an early lead. The Cubs of 2016 seemed to always have that early lead and the offense has been put in a huge hole early on multiple times this season. Along those same lines is how much worse the starting pitching is and especially from Arrieta and Hendricks whose velocities are so far down they’re unlikely to be very good this year without it recovering. Second, the offense came through last year with men on base and they haven’t this year. I think situational hitting is a lot of luck. I didn’t expect the Cubs to keep coming through like they did last year, but they’ve gone from one extreme to the other.

    Combined, you’ve got the team down early (often down by multiple runs) and an offense that can’t come through when it needs to. You’ve got almost no shot of being a good team when that’s the case. Add in the worse defense and it’s really surprising this team is even .500. I suspect if the Cubs keep digging themselves an early hole that they won’t be able to finish the season .500 or better. I’m guessing things start to even out, but pitching is a big concern for me right now. It’s gone from a strength last year to a huge weakness this year.

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  46. Perkins

    dmick89,

    To be a fly on the wall in Theo Epstein’s office right now. I assume the superfriends are doing everything they can to acquire a frontline starter, but I’m not sure the farm system has what it takes.

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  47. dmick89

    4th place. I didn’t even figure this team would see that spot later that the first week or two of the season. I’d have been disappointed if they were in fourth place after the first week.

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  48. Ryno

    Berselius is too lazy to login,

    Thanks.
    I don’t know, he doesn’t go in the first round in any of the mocks I’ve seen. BA ranked him 51st overall in this draft, iirc.
    Plus, he’s 19 so he’d be eligible for the 2019 draft as a sophomore in college. I asked him if that would weigh into his decision of whether to sign with a pro team after this draft and his response made me think he’s leaning toward going to school.

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  49. Berselius is too lazy to login

    dmick89,

    Come to think of it, have the Cubs taken any HS arms with high picks in the Superfriends era?

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  50. dmick89

    Berselius is too lazy to login:
    Eddie Butler —–> Friday starter

    In AAA last year for the Rockies, he struck out 3.5 per 9 innings. It’s difficult to only strikeout that many batters. His 7.17 ERA at the mlb level last year isn’t that surprising. I think he’ll struggle to allow fewer than 6 runs per 9.

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  51. dmick89

    Berselius is too lazy to login,

    No, but maybe we wouldn’t be having these rotation issues right now if they had. He is old for a high school pitcher so that’s something to consider, but I doubt they take him unless he’s still around in the 3rd or 4th at which point he’d probably just go to college.

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  52. Ryno

    dmick89,

    Thanks.

    He hasn’t said anything about being unsignable. I got the feeling talking to him that he’s leaning toward school, so I’m sure pro teams will too.

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  53. cerulean

    I am still not worried. I knew shit would happen at some point, particularly with the lack of depth in the rotation, but I didn’t expect it to be this early. As a team, they are out of sorts, but no individual performance has me questioning their abilities like Heyward at the plate did last year. As for the rotation, these Cubs are stacked with young, coveted players.

    Wasn’t there this team with a bunch of rookies and a new manager languishing just above .500 two-thirds of the way into the season that finished more than 30 games over? Oh yeah, the 2015 Cubs.

    Of course, they got swept by the Mets, so maybe start worrying, Mets fans probably should. Hey guys, remember when the Mets had a rotation that rivaled the on-paper effectiveness of Wood, Prior, Maddux, Zambrano, and Clement?

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  54. dmick89

    cerulean: I am still not worried. I knew shit would happen at some point, particularly with the lack of depth in the rotation, but I didn’t expect it to be this early.

    I think this is what concerns me the most. It’s happened this early and I think the lack of depth is a really big deal considering the velocity loss for two of its best pitchers. If that loss is real, and I have no reason to doubt that it isn’t at this point, there’s not really any reason to expect much of anything positive out of those two this season (and maybe even beyond this year for Hendricks). I’m not that worried about the offense. I figure they’ll hit better with men on and that part of their game will start to even out. Since I think the loss of velocity is real, the rotation I’m looking at is Lester, Lackey and some below average to terrible pitchers after that. So even if (when?) this team gets to the playoffs, they don’t stand much of a chance of doing anything with that rotation.

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  55. Perkins

    Something else interesting on Hendricks: he basically swapped his four seam and cut fastball usage percentages, relative to last season (in favor of the four seam). The four-seamer is down four ticks relative to the last couple years, and the cutter is down two ticks.

    I’m wondering if part of that is just incorrect classification, or maybe he’s lost some run on his fastball and that’s making it less effective. His usage of the sinker, curve, and change have remained relatively constant (though the change has been way less valuable, probably due to the diminished separation from the fastball).

    Basically Hendricks should start taking some horse steroids or something to get the velocity back up.

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  56. Rizzo the Rat

    Yeah, I’m really only worried about the starting rotation’s velocity (which is really weird).

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  57. dmick89

    cerulean: Hey guys, remember when the Mets had a rotation that rivaled the on-paper effectiveness of Wood, Prior, Maddux, Zambrano, and Clement?

    A couple great examples of how quickly a good rotation can fall apart.

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  58. Rizzo the Rat

    The most spectacular rotation collapse I can remember is the Mets circa 1996. Wood and Prior have nothing on Wilson and Pulsipher (though Isringhausen did find success as a short reliever).

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  59. Rizzo the Rat

    He did–rather improbably–have a very good year. And if Wood and Prior had been able to repeat their 2003 performances, the rotation might have been in 2011 Phillies territory.

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  60. Perkins

    Rizzo the Rat,

    Oh yeah, the 2011 Phillies. I remember how quickly that group declined as well (though all but Hamels were on the wrong side of 30 by quite a bit, IIRC).

    This discussion is making me remember the wisdom of building through position players. It’d be really nice if the position players other than Bryant could start coming through.

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  61. cerulean

    dmick89,

    Hendricks is fine. He’s not Matt Harvey. He never relied on absolute velocity. He was not getting separation in relative velocity early on, but he pitched well in Coors with little hard contact and none of that hard contact up in the air, so his deception had to be working.

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  62. cerulean

    Keith Law and Buster Olney were talking about Theo getting Greinke from AZ. Let’s party like it’s 2015.

    He has been really good this year.

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  63. dmick89

    cerulean,

    I think Cueto is more likely. They’d have to work out an extension (he has an opt out after this year), but if they go after a starter, I think he’s their primary target.

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  64. cerulean

    dmick89,

    I think an extension is a pretty big barrier for midseason deals because you effectively have three parties who must concede some element on the deal to make it a win-win-win. If Theo ends up prying Cueto away, it will be an overpay in money and talent. Greinke would take quite a bit of talent, but would probably only be $24M a year (Dbags eating $10M per) instead of nearer $30M a year it would probably take to get Cueto to opt out of his opt out.

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  65. dmick89

    cerulean,

    If I’m the Dbacks, I’m not willing to eat any salary in a Greinke trade. It’s why I think he ends up staying put. I wouldn’t be willing to give up anything of any value to acquire him since he has no surplus value. I’m also not too willing to give up anything of value for Cueto either. If the Cubs go after pitching, it should be young pitching, but I doubt any team is too willing to trade it. My bet is the Cubs rotation remains the same the rest of the year. It’s something the Cubs should have addressed in the offseason.

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  66. Edwin

    dmick89,

    I think they’ll go after someone they think can rebound. Maybe someone like Alex Cobb, if Cobb starts to show signs of improvement. If they go after a young pitcher I’m thinking Micael Fulmer or Marcus Stroman could be good fits. Although with how Fulmer is pitching so far I bet he would be pretty hard to pry away.

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