#Cubs lineup vs Reds – Game 2

Dan Haren gets the start Tuesday night at Wrigley for Game 2 of the three-game series between the Cubs and Reds. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber LF

Coghlan RF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Montero C

Baez 2B

Haren P

Russell SS

*The Cubs didn’t waste any time getting Javier Baez into the lineup. The infielder said his hand injury may have helped him.

“Right when I got hurt, I could only swing with one hand, and that’s what I was doing was swinging with one hand, and I
finally got my swing back,” Baez said.

*Other roster moves: both  James Russell and Rafael Soriano were designated for assignment to open spots on the 40-man roster for Quintin Berry and Trevor Cahill. David Ross was activated from the family medical emergency list. Outfielder Austin Jackson joined the team.


Did not see today`s game. I only read the wrap. I doubt Rondon pounded his chest after leaving the mound in the last inning. Baseball is a `humbling` game. Yesterday Rondon was one of the heroes. Less than 24 hours later he`s one of the `goats.` Is why it`s best to stay on an `even keel` with one`s emotions the way Jake Arrieta does. Perhaps the Reds` batters had an extra incentive to punish Rondon today, if they indeed perceived his actions last night as `showing them up.` I can`t prove that, but I suggest it`s very possible.

I guess Bryants error for the 3rd out had nothing to do with it? Did the box score not say all 3 runs were unearned?

Please read what I typed carefully, jasper. I said Rondon was `one` of the goats. The apt word is `one.` Of course, Bryant`s error was critical. But Hector did surrender that critical three run dinger to Votto after the error. The fact that the runs are `unearned` is immaterial. The bottom line is that our Cubs lost the game. You and I have issues in some areas, but we have something in common, as well. We are both Cubs` fans and want what`s best for the club to succeed. We agree about Castro. I also applaud you for bringing up Tug McGraw today, as it triggered my researching him, and I learned many things about him I had no clue about prior. One example: Tug never acknowledged his famous country music singing son, Tim, until Tim was 17. I found that stunning.

The bottom line is also that we do not have a `closer.` Anyone who has been paying attention on here knows I`ve been harping on that for months. Rondon is not a `closer.` You saw that today. We cannot seriously contend for a championship without a legitimate `closer.` Please trust me. We may very well win that one game WC playoff game vs. the Pirates because we have Arrieta starting for our side. But to expect our Cubs to go deep into the playoffs without a bullpen after that, is `pure fantasy.`

jhosk, if the Cubs win that 1 game playoff, it will be a huge bonus. If they get that one game playoff, it will be a huge bonus. If they get into any games after the regular season ends, its huge.
The beginning of the season, most agreed 500 would be huge. They need 7 games out of the next 30 for that.
They have done all this, with less than half their games, the starter getting a quality start. Think about that. After Arietta, the starting Pitching does not get quality starts, less than half they start. What does that do to a bullpen?
Then add a very long season for the newbies, probably more games than they ever played a season. They are slowing down.
Add Castro’s season long hitting and fielding slump. Lesters problem throwing to 1st base. No 5th starter, how many guys in that spot? Wood, Haren, Beeler, Roach, Wada and others.
Not much help at the trade deadline, for reasons I am sure.
All that and they are still only 7 games from 500 with 30 to go.
This season has been a huge success.

All good arguments, jasper. I plead guilty to `impatience.` You are more objective than myself. You summed up our season very well. I believe I`ve heard it said Arrieta has already pitched more innings in 2015 than any season prior. That`s concerning. Have also heard it said that Jake`s skipper has observed that Arrieta is the most `physically fit` pitcher in the game. Or was that most `physically fit` player? Not sure.

I agree with both jhosk and Jasper…Baseball is humbling and Rondon was indeed ONE of the goats. Hero to goat happening within a 24 hour period. In fact the game is so humbling that Bryant went from hero to goat within INNINGS of ONE game. With that said, the word hero is taken in context as we all must know who genuine heroes are (Benghazi)….not baseball players. Yet I understand the concept of using the word hero in context to connect the dots to goat. Without a legit, lights out closer we cannot seriously contend for a championship? Yet we ARE contending for one as we speak. If not seriously contending then how? Haphazardly? Casually? I would think every player would think there is a serious contending ball club on the field every day as well as a seriously contending manager. Sure, our chances of winning a championship are diminished without a legit closer but that does not diminish the seriousness of the players contending. After all the Reds DO have a legit closer and yet they are not contending at all, serious or not. I give the players and coaches much props for a serious, contending ball club this season that has indeed surpassed expectations and one could not (should not) argue with Jasper’s latest comment assessing the Cubs. A remarkable season that has put the world on notice that not only is this team seriously contending for a championship now, DESPITE it’s deficiencies (making it even more remarkable if not serious) but they will from this season into foreseeable future seasons be taken seriously. There will hopefully come a day when these young men such as Bryant and Rondon work in tandem as their skills improve and have each others’ backs when errors threaten a victory. Rondon had the chance to nullify Bryant’s error but he just isn’t that good…yet???

Lets give credit where credit is due here fellas….. the Quality Starts topic was brought up…. Arrieta has 23 which is great but Lester has 17…. the league average is right around 14 so both those guys are above average in QS. I don’t know why the bashing of Lester takes place. Yes we are paying him huge money but thats not Lester’s fault and would you rather not have Lester???? I mean come on! We had to overpay to get a quality starter…. big deal. We are going to have to do that again this offseason so please everyone brace themselves for that and get over it NOW. But I will say QS for the 3,4 and 5th spot of our rotation is a huge problem.
As for not having a closer…….. we are 9th in total saves as a team. That is quite shocking IMO as we have went through a few different guys as the closer. Sure we may not have the lock down 9th inning guy but I would say that more teams are using numerous guys to take that 9th inning do to playing more match up games. Chapmans and Rivero type guys aren’t the norm…. yes it would be nice but its not required in order to win. The closer by committee for the Cubs seems to have done pretty well thus far. I am sure going into next year the bullpen will be worked on.

so…basically the Cubs are doing remarkably well despite their flaws. Right. I for one have criticized Lester for being so blatantly horrible at throwing to first base yet at the same time understand it is a mental thing with him and move on, despite that and his reliance on a very good defensive yet HORRIBLE offensive personal catcher….he is a very good pitcher, I am glad to have him on the team, don’t care how much he is paid and expect the FO to go out this off season and pay even more money to get a BETTER pitcher than Lester (i.e. David Price?). I agree Petrey the closer by committee has been working out pretty well so far this season. I do have some doubts that pretty well be adequate to nail down a playoff spot or go deep in the playoffs but I am very happy to our chances for sure. There is plenty of credit to go around considering the somewhat un-proven roster throughout the year and a lot of that credit I give to Maddon and even more to Epstein for launching the serviceable Renteria and replacing him with the available and superior Maddon.

I did not see any Lester bashing? I did point out the lack of quality starts by the staff and stand by that. The point I am making is: the Cubs starting staff is very poor ( as far as quality starts for a contender ) and to be where they are at is amazing.
Now you can give me the STATS where they rank wherever as a staff in ERA, then I must point out that cant make it 6 innings with 3 or less runs.
We all know that this takes a toll on the bullpen. STATS or no STATS, that’s a fact.
As far as the bullpen, you are 100% correct. I think the BP really missed Ramirez, this year.
Enjoyed your last line: Not only the bullpen, but cant wait to see if a FA starter or two is signed.

I too have yet to see any Lester Bashing Jasper…well White called him a spoiled brat, totally uncalled for so there is THAT bashing (but does it count coming from White?) And aside from pointing out he has really not lived up to (my) expectations and his inability to throw to first accurately….legit critiques if you ask me. I for one was not aware of how bad Lester was at throwing to first, but now seeing him pitch very often…it’s not pretty nor is it common among all around stud pitchers. But it’s water under the bridge, it is what it is, still glad to have him and I will refrain from beating the dead horse that is Lester’s inability to check runners and his personal battery mate Ross being unable to hit the ball well enough to a .200 ba. More importantly as you point out is the giddy anticipation of the added SP that will drop Lester to the #3 spot in the rotation. Can you imagine a team with the very good Jon Lester being their THIRD pitcher? Then….let the games begin…

im sorry but im confused… are you ok with Lester (calling him very good in the last sentence) or has “he really not lived up to expectations” (direct quote from line 3/4)……..
the comment was more pointed towards White and Jhosk as they have the lanterns and pitchforks out for some reason on Lester.
My biggest problem with Lester is requiring Ross to catch him…. its like having two pitchers back to back in the lineup. Part of the reason he doesn’t see as much run support in my OPINION… haven’t really done the research on the stats.
jasper on your QS point…. yes I get your point that they don’t get to a lot of QS. But my point is that its the 3,4,5 spots in the rotation. Lester and Arrieta have done a great job giving the BP some innings off. That is shown in their above average QS numbers compared to the league. I think we are both saying the same thing. Just clarifying

Simple petrey10, I am ok with Lester. He is a very good pitcher and even a very good pitcher may fail at times to live up to expectations (MY expectations). Besides, you did not provide an exact quote. you left out “(my)”. The correct “direct quote” should be: “And aside from pointing out he has really not lived up to (my) expectations and his inability to throw to first accurately….” “(my)” being pretty important as I would not assume Lester has fallen short of yours or others’ expectation. I see your point regarding White and jhosk, they seem a little more upset with Lester than myself or anyone else. Really, the issues Lester has can be corrected if he just pitches as (I) expect him to pitch which includes but not limited to very few runners on base to keep in check. The Lester/Ross tandem is a bigger issue that we agree on and that too will go away as soon as Ross’ contract expires or is body gives out, whichever comes first. Lester (and management) will have no choice but to suck it up and…JUST PITCH, and deal with the “problem” of having another catcher in the line up that can actually contribute with the bat and ironically increase Lester’s chance of a win. It really must be a big conundrum for Lester, being so NEEDY of Ross’ ability to complete him as a receiver and yet at the same time more than likely being horrified with Lester’s anemic offense. Does he go to the mound thinking…”OK, Ross is behind the plate, I’ll pitch well, he’ll throw out the runner at second but I’ll have to win with luck or I have to pitch a shutout”??? 2017 will be a very interesting year when it comes to Lester without Ross. Hey, maybe by then Lester will be the #4 starter and Maddon won’t give a darn who is catching him anyway!

Correct petrey10. I think Lester has went through an adjustment year, meaning to the NL. I think he will be much better next year. That contract, the adjustment to the NL, his expectations of himself, fan expectations, I am sure weighed him down a bit.
Another FA Starter this off season, takes a load off Lester and he will be more than fine next year, with or without Ross.

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