#Cubs lineup vs Phillies

Jon Lester will open the Cubs homestand against the Phillies on Friday. The Cubs rotation is 8-4 with a 1.98 ERA over the last 20 games, dating to June 30, and the Cubs have won 12 of the 20 games. This series begins a stretch where the Cubs will play last place teams in 16 of their 23 games (Phillies, Rockies, Brewers, White Sox). The Phillies have won five of their last six games, and the bullpen is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in that stretch. All Lester needs is a few runs. The Cubs are averaging 2.7 runs of support per start for Lester, fifth worst in MLB.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler RF

Coghlan LF

Castro SS

Ross C

Lester P

Russell 2B

* According to MLB Network research, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have seen the most 95 plus mph fastballs in the league, and both have performed better than average:

Bryant: 269 pitches 95 mph or more: .333 batting average/.667 slugging percentage (18-for-54 with 3 home runs)
Rizzo: 238 pitches 95 mph or more: .280 batting average/.420 slugging percentage (14-for-50 with 1 home run)


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The Phils are by far the worst team in the game; at least their record says they are. But they are on a roll presently, having won five of six contests. Also, the Phillies have a player named Herrera, as do we. Their Herrera, Odubel, is a rookie outfielder who garnered the game winning hit in an 11 pitch `at bat` in their most recent game. The Phils are still wanting to trade Hamels, but he has been uncharacteristically `unimpressive` in his most recent outings. {Not a good thing for one`s trade value.}

What are he numbers for Teagarden?

I am not one to take for granted the string of poor teams we are facing…they are ML teams and will be playing for at least pride. By the way, looking at our line up even the last place teams must be thinking “well, we just have to get through the first five, then our pitcher gets a break facing the slumping, non-hustling Castro, the impotent Ross and the just as impotent Lester…back to the hot/cold Russell. At least when facing a good pitcher in Lester we have the luxury of a weaker line up to face” I am genuinely hoping Ross gets a hit or two and he can inch his average closer to .190 (sigh) making his presence a little less excruciating. At least we have a weapon in Schwarber on the bench.

Jerome Williams…THE Jerome Williams. ERA approaching 7.0, RHP….they must be chaining Schwarber to the bench in order to keep him from beating Ross to the batter’s box. Well, let’s hope the Cubs tee off on Williams first two innings not showing much offense but it’s early, I just hope they don’t “play down” to the Phillies level. This JEROME WILLIAMS we’re facing…

Aloha fonzie- I have to tell you that I had a bad feeling in the stomach as the innings went on and the team could not drive in the runs. I felt early one that Ross and Coghlan’s defense is what keep the team alive, in the hunt. Lester has pitched very well but today something seemed like it was off because the Phillies were hitting him pretty hard every inning and had a string of innings where they had at least 1 hit in each. The team left a lot of folks on base today as they have in the past. I have to also give the Phillies credit because their manager had them running. Yes Ross through out a person at second but they kept running throughout the day. I would love to see Maddon do more of this during this “drought.” Coghlan had a good day, including a SB. The other thing is, the offense woes are deeper than just one person, meaning Schwarber or anyone else could not save the day. When I see the players swinging badly at breaking pitches, over and over again and over the course of many weeks it says where they are and as young players this will continue as they make the necessary adjustments to the major league pitching. Schwarber will go through this as well because the pitching at the MLB level is just that much better than AAA and below. The pitching staffs on this level make adjustments quicker and better so hitters need to do the same. But right now the opposing teams know that what to use to get the young hitters out with and it is work quite effectively. Bryant was not looking good at his AB before he hit his solo shot, a mistake pitch by Williams. Williams is not the most dominant pitcher but the Cubs could only get the 3 runs off of him and none there after. Well I now hope for a little luck because if the Giants win tonight, they overtake the Cubs for the 2nd WC spot. These next games are so crucial. Take care now. Mahalo.

Aloha again fonzie- please forgive my many grammar/spelling errors (verb tense) up above. Today was a frustrating game but as my wife said during the 2009/2010 Giants campaigns, it was “Torture Ball!” This is what it will be for us Cubs fans for a little more but I know there is light at the end of this tunnel. Take care now and try to have a peaceful night, that is what I am telling myself right now. Mahalo!

Hey! There’s one of the hits I was hoping for! And he picked off a runner, good job by Ross, glad to see it as we will need all he can give during his limited playing time. If we wind up winning the game by one run that was a big pick off play.

I agree with #17`s comments above regarding the glaring need for those two position players. Also, it is not a stretch to suggest had Kyle Schwarber caught today rather than Ross, there`s a good chance we win that game.

We all have to remember that this is a very young team starting three rookies and sometimes four. It would be great if we made the playoffs but we are not ready. The next 16 games will decide if we stay close. It has been a good year thus far but we are expecting too much from this team. Next year will be different as Cub fans will expect this team to contend. Let’s hope for the best, maybe this team will surprise us still. No crazy trades please!

In addition to the three rookies, we have some veterans who are `deadwood.` Is it too much to ask for someone to come through with a clutch hit occasionally? We should have won yesterday`s game vs. the worst team on the planet. We pitched more than well enough to win, and the contest never should have gone to `extras.` We had plenty of opportunities to produce offensively, and instead `sh*t the bed.` I disagree that we expect too much from this team. I`ll never accept mediocrity.

Aloha jhosk- I know that may not have been the best way to have put it about Schwarber. I just think the offense woes are so deep right now that even in today’s game a Schwarber may not have made a difference but he could have. I think the defense of Coghlan and Ross help to keep them in the game and Coghlan’s hr would have been the game winner. But as we have talked about, these games are so close there is no room for error. I thought the Phillies hit the ball well today and it showed when they came up against Motte. Not to sound like a “downer,” I told myself to go into the season with realistic expectations. That is why I knew with all the work that was going into the organization the past so many years and leading into this year, if they could play at .500 or better would be a tremendous turnaround. Of course for Cub’s fans who have had to endure an over a 100+ yr drought every year is tough. I want them to win just as bad as anyone else but I also would like the organization to have longevity too like the SF Giants of today, the Cardinals for decades and so forth. The question becomes how much does the FO give away for a 1-game playoff with no guarantees? Remember, the Giants were not favored last year and the Pirates were playing great ball, maybe the best in that last month leading into the Wild Card game. Tonight the Giants are shelling the A’s and in the 9th, the score is 9-3 Giants. Things are coming together for them right now and if the result holds the Giants overtake the 2nd spot in the WC. I am not saying the Cubs are out of it yet but they are not playing well and I would hate to see the FO give away key young folks for short term rentals. I looked up what you mentioned the other day about David Price and read may articles about his interest in playing for his former manager and the Cubs. I think that is great but it is not worth it for the Cubs to give Detroit major prospects just to get him for 2months. I say if you want him that bad, wait til the off-season and get him as a FA because all you are giving up is cash (mainly). Hang in there jhosk, there is a bright future ahead for this team/organization. Mahalo!

What happened to Mark Grace`s comment? It disappeared faster than dew on a hot day. It was in response to his observations that I made mine. I do not recall Mark typing anything objectionable, and yet his remarks were excised.

I do not recall referencing David Price recently, k.g. I did invoke the names of two Friars, James Shields and Craig Kimbrel. I did not want Shields for the Cubs over the winter, and still do not. Kimbrel is a different matter. He`s not as `lights out` as he was in his Braves` days, but is still one of the best `closers` in the game. We still need a closer, but at what cost? And is Kimbrel even available? As I said prior, it`s a `long shot.` I certainly agree we do not want Price as a two month `rental.` And yes, those Giants are resilient. They are `relevant` almost every season. They may indeed have the game`s best manager.

Aloha jhosk- I thought it was you, it could have been Jasper or fonzie who brought up the Price topic. Yes, the team will need a good reliever. I just wish one of the current pitchers could stand up to the task but it does not seem to be playing out that way. The Phillies are getting a lot of interest on their closer. Yes the Giants are on a roll, 9-1 in their last 10 games. They are now only 3 games out of the lead and are the #2 WC team at the moment with MadBum going for them tonight. I fear if the Cubs cannot gain ground in these last 7 games before month’s end, it could mean no WC and there is no way they are catching the Cardinals or Pirates at this point. Hope Arrieta continues his streak of strong outings. Mahalo!

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