#Cubs Hendricks vs. Bucs in series finale

The Cubs close their four-game series in Pittsburgh with a day game Thursday. Kyle Hendricks gets the start. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Schwarber LF

Coghlan RF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Montero C

Russell SS

Hendricks P

La Stella 2B

72 Comments

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Please tell us how y`all feel about Jon Lester and if you feel he has met expectations in 2015, or if he has indeed underperformed. I`m going to repeatedly ask for your opinions on this matter until I actually receive multiple responses or until someone stops me.

Hey jhosk, great game today! Another Cub win even though there were several other opportunities for the Cubs to add on scores. I might have agreed with you on the first half of the season. But, the season is 162 games long and every player or team has it’s ups and downs. If not for Lester keeping us in games and Arrieta being lights out we wouldn’t be where we are today. I’m holding my final judgement until we see how we do in the playoffs(we still have to get in). This is such a young team as they are still learning. Adding a few more pieces over the winter and more experience will raise the expectations for next year and beyond. And, what if they get into the playoffs and continue to exceed expectations? I think as Cub fans we would like to see our team competitive every year. I’m just a lifetime Cub fan who is excited as to what is happening. I’m not into sabermetrics like some. Did hear something from our announcers during the game today. Hendricks, who a lot of us probably think he has under-performed(I have no idea really), has been pulled from 7 games where the Cubs had the lead and did not figure into the decision. We just came off a great roadtrip, 7-4. Now we come home. One game at a time for 9 games. Maddon gets my vote for manager of the year. And again, if our Cubs manage to go on and meet that prediction from “Back To the Future” it will all be a moot point. It’s ok to dream!

You are a stand-up guy, tomntex. Thanks for responding. I want to clear something up regarding Hendricks. Absolutely he has underperformed, and I doubt he`ll be part of our rotation in 2016. If he is, we will be vulnerable. It`s my opinion that Lester has also underperformed in 2015, but you and I and all other Cubs` fans know he will be back, and we hope he spends the winter trying to improve his batting issue and his reluctance to throw to bases to hold runners. That`s what this is all about, meaning receiving input as to whether Jon Lester has met expectations in 2015 or indeed has underperformed. I want to hear what others feel about Lester`s season. I`m waiting for y`all to chime in. And please take into account Jon`s `FIP` before y`all reply. I`m a patient man, at times, not always, and am waiting for other posters to divulge their opinions on this matter. But if you do not, I`m going to begin calling you out by name. I know who you are; trust me.

It`s my understanding that posters on this blog delivering personal attacks on other posters is verboten. What is the penalty for such despicable behavior?

Hello?

The significance of this fourth game is not lost on this poster. There has been a lot of talk about Arreita, Hammel and Lester of late. Not to be brushed aside is the need for Hendricks to step up and bring a dominating performance to the bump. He has not done so this season (dominate in any game). A series split after last night’s grueling victory would be somewhat anti-climactic opposed to taking 3 of 4 on the road from the team in our headlights. Kendricks can make a bold statement to the Bucos today. How Kendricks finishes this season may very well nail down or cost him a spot in next season’s rotation.

Joey, you might want to look up Hendricks starts, he has had a couple very good starts. He has not been consistent, I am not looking to see a great pitched game tonight.
The Cubs will need some run support tonight.
This is also Hendricks first full season and I think Maddon has used a quick hook on him most of the year, for that reason. This fan is not ready to threaten his rotation spot next year.

ASSper BAGgs…blah, blah, blah. I need not do any such thing as I said he has not dominated this season, not that he hasn’t had A COUPLE OF VERY GOOD STARTS. My God…do you not know the difference???? I am clearly stating it would be a good time for him to dominate. One does not need to look up his starts to know he has yet to throw a dominating game. You earn another big “DUH”. THIS FAN will leave it up to Epstein, David Price and a few other relevant names to threaten Kendrick’s 2016 spot as opposed to the name ASSper BAGgs. I said MAY cost him his 2016 rotation spot, not threaten his spot. Kendricks has pitched acceptably well this year for a fifth starter but certainly not well enough to prevent Epstein from acquiring talent that may push him off the rotation.

(He has not done so this season (dominate in any game).
Your words joey, not mine.

Blah ASSper BAGgs. Yeah……right….my words….He has not dominated in any game this season. If you think he has DOMINIATED a game this season your bar is set lower than I thought. Not surprising ASSper BAGgs.

Why so defensive joey? Just calling to your attention a mistake you may have made?

ASSper BAGgs, defensive because you are an ASSper BAGgs. How could my opinion that Kendricks has not dominated in a game be a mistake when just an opinion??? Was it jhosk who mentioned “ad hominem”? Well he may have nailed it when it comes to you…you’re “ad hominem” to the point of “ad nauseam”

Aloha Folks, regardless how Hendricks does or not on the mound, this team needs to play better defense (no errors) and get the RISP stat back in their favor. It does not help to get double-digit hits and only a few runs to show for it. I hope Hendricks can go 7 innings but as Jasper points out, the odds of this happening are high and he could get pulled if doing all right after the 5th which means the bp takes over. Anyhow, need the defense and the offense to show up today, one reason I believe La Stella is in at second. Take care, game time soon! Mahalo!

That is my point k.g. I think it a good time for Kendricks to step up and dominate a game lasting into the 8th inning and NOT give Maddon the thought to pull him early. I am not expecting this yet stating Kendricks is also subject to some scrutiny this deep into the season just as much as Lester and Hammel. Not meant to disparage the young man as some would mistakenly think. I believe his 2016 rotation spot is in question not due to his talent but due to the far superior talent Epstein will hopefully add to the starting staff. Kendricks’ competition will be fierce during the off season. If he give us just one dominating performance to go along with a few of his very good starts it may give Epstein reason to stick with him. If he doesn’t, he may be pushed down in the pecking order.

Don’t understand his 2016 spot being in question today? Plus, you already have Kendricks signed?
I don’t know what Epstein/Hoyer will do, but it will be exciting waiting and watching on what decisions they make.

Who mentioned TODAY being definitive for 2016? I know I said how he finishes this season (certainly not TODAY’S start) may impact his spot on next years staff, not TODAY’S game. Yeesh.
What I said about TODAY was that Kendricks can make a bold statement to the Bucos. My God man…you keep reading what you want…

Honestly joey, reading your posts, its hard to tell if you are speaking of Hendricks or Kendricks.
Either way, I feel if a rotation spot is up for grabs in 2016 already, the first to go is Haren’s as he will not be back.
Second to go would be Hammels as he is under contract control one more year and may have some value.

Honestly ASSper BAGgs? That’s a stretch….Why would I be speaking of Kendricks??? You really couldn’t tell I meant Hendricks? THE CUBS’ Hendricks? (stay on topic maybe) Just because I misspelled his name? Really?…The simple typing error defense, good Lord that is lame. Another “DUH” for you as you point out the retiring Haren will not be back, that’s a given and still allows for Hendrick to lose his spot considering he was indeed pulled after three innings today. Just because he is signed is no guarantee he starts on the ML team next year. If I’m not mistaken there might have been one or two signed, ML pitchers in the history of the game that found themselves back in the minors for improvement despite being signed. I see two added starting pitchers for next year, hopefully one of which will be Price. That leaves one open spot for (as of now…) Hammel and Hendricks to duke it out and neither has secured an advantage. With Hendricks’ poor performance I would think a minor league assignment to begin next year for more seasoning would not be surprising.

Good question joeyduhfish, if you mean Hendricks, why are you writing Kendricks? Did the short bus break down today?

Hey ASSper BAGgs. Try hard….T Y P O. It was a simple typing error, you know, the kind you pounce on in order to create something from nothing. It was a good question however and I am not at all surprised you didn’t answer it. You thinking I actually did mean Kendricks when we were clearly discussing Hendricks is ridiculous on your part, more so than my typo. Again you reply to my posts to further your agenda and nothing more, nothing relevant to the discussion. Although your fetish prevents you from addressing me by my name you truly live up to YOURS, ASSper BAGgs.

LMAO. You crack me up.

Who cares from someone as boring and bANAL as yourself?

I tried looking up the bANAL, could not find it. Could you please give the definition joeyduhfish?

Sure thing ASSper BAGgs. Here you go: bANAL, the boring, the insignificant, the uninteresting. Also known as ASSper BAGgs.

joeyduhfish, I am a 61 y/o retired senior, I don’t understand why you keep calling me names and cursing at me. I just come on here to discuss baseball. Like jhosk, I feel attacked.

Hey ASSper BAGgs, I tried to explain this to you in the past but you FAIL miserably at accepting the fact it is YOU who continually attack and disrespect me by calling me Joey, Joeyduhfish. So, in turn I fight fire with fire hence the Hitler name and ASSper BAGgs (which fits you nicely). YOU are the one replying to me, most times egging me on. I will not back down from being bullied by you and your inexcusable mission to call me Joey instead of Fonzie, which to this day still baffles me. I hope that explains it to your 61 year old (not relevant by the way) self. I will be happy to respect you but only if you respect me by addressing me by my name, Fonzie5430. So don’t give me that line of you being a victim of attacks. I do not attack you…I DEFEND MYSELF FROM YOU. In a way I am glad you know how it “feels” as jhosk does. Although the insincerity in your recent post about being attacked is so obvious and palpable. A suggestion should you want to talk only baseball…either address me as Fonzie…or don’t even bother replying to my posts and you will not have an issue with Joey, Joeyduhfish or any other name you would bestow upon me at your whim. Continue as you have been and continue to reap what your bully self sows. Pretty simple.

The Pirate broadcasters just said the Pirates have not lost three games in a row at home since April 2014. But I guess it does not matter if we win or lose this game or any game going forward. What is critical is that our pitcher or pitchers have a very good `fip.` Eh?

Come on now jhosk…tsk, tsk. The FIP was a very enlightening comment by petrey10. I sincerely appreciated looking into it and found some very interesting stats.

I hear you fonzie, but am not buying. Is an honest difference of opinion between us. It was unfortunate that the Pirate infielder was lost to a knee in the first inning. I must say the Pirate broadcasters did not call it a dirty play by Coughlan. Said immediately after it happened that it was a clean legit baseball play.

Yes jhosk, the Pirate broadcasters got it right, no intent to injure from Coghlan. You really don’t like FIP??? I think it to be a very interesting stat. Not THE stat to make the case for Lester but certainly helpful when ranking in the top 10 and I am glad petrey10 brought it to the table. Jhosk, I will say this: it is a pleasure disagreeing with you in such a respectful manner. Much appreciated dialogue, thank you very much for the courtesy.

Thanks for the praise, fonzie. Please tell that to Petrey10. I`m afraid it may fall on deaf ears though. His recent comments suggest `nobody is home,` I`m afraid. It`s truly a sad and pathetic circumstance for the poor soul. He probably deserves compassion, but you`ll excuse me when I tell you I`m not there yet. (Smiling)

jhosk, I understand and see some of the barbs petrey10 throws your way but taken with a grain of salt they are rather tame and he does back up his posts with some facts that can be quite enlightening. I hope you don’t get stuck in a cycle regarding FIP or the disagreement you have regarding Lester’s performance. You thinking he has under performed and myself and petrey10 thinking the opposite. I have to ask you…have you looked into the FIP standings? Does that not get you to at least re-think Lester’s performance? Regarding petrey10’s thick skull comment, I think having a thick skull is something we all have in common at times. I looked into the FIP that petrey10 brought up and realized after viewing it…my skull got thinner because of it and for that I am grateful to petrey10.

You not buying it is the thick skull …. Go watch reruns on ESPN classics

Seen the replay, he definitely went after him, but that’s what he was supposed to do? I would like to see the replay of Schwarber sliding into him, didn’t get to see the game today.

Here a tweet from Mcctchen to ??? (Send our teammate Jung Ho Kang prayers. Heal up Chingu(friend). We got u. Best believe that)

One of the things I liked best about this season was the way the Cubs have played it without making enemies. I am not say Coughlin done anything wrong Kang through his interpreter stated ( “It is unfortunate that what would be considered heads up baseball would cause such a serious injury,” Kang said. “That said, Chris Coghlan was playing the game the way it should be played. I’m confident he meant me no harm. I appreciate everyone’s support.”)

The statement by Mccutchen appears as a threat, Cubs need to watch their backs next series.

Aloha Folks, I did not know that Kang was hurt? I will need to check that out too. But as you said Jasper, I like the fact that the Cubs have played this season without “agitating-provoking” others. Sometimes in the game of baseball, things happen. I will never forget the season Mike Matheny, then starting catcher for the SF Giants had to step away from the game in late May 2006 because of injuries he sustained. I hope Kang will be all right and I hope that the Pirates will be and play stand-up ball for the rest of the season. Today is the start of a huge series with Matheny and his Redbirds and I cannot believe I am saying or thinking this…I am hoping the Dodgers (do not tell the wife) take at least 2 out of 3 from Pittsburgh! But first things first, the Cubs cannot worry about what other teams do, just what they can control. Mahalo!

That was another much needed win. Wood has been very pretty good out of the BP this year. Nice to see that two inning save striking out the side in the 9th.
17 hits was also nice to see, this is getting more and more exciting. Keeping the expectations low, as this has been a wonderful season.

I hate that the young man was injured and lost to the team for the remainder of the season. If we do indeed face the Pirates in the WC or postseason, I want that Pirate team at full strength. The same is true if we are fortunate enough to play head to head with the dreaded Cardinals. I want to beat them when they are at full strength. No excuses. I understand weak posters of Petrey10`s ilk may feel differently, but that`s not me; trust me. I truly hope it`s not true of you either. Did I mention I feel very unhappy Kang was lost to the Pirates for the remainder of this season? He comes across as an admirable young man. I have access to virtually every blessed Pirates` game on Root Sports Network, and have observed the infielder across the entire 2015 season.

Lol u can keep trying to make comments about me. It really don’t bother me because you are too old and ignorant to learn something new. Old ways are just that old. Your way of thinking is what brought us 100 years of losing. The new way is what is going to bring the Cubs a WS. Sorry if you can’t see that. Just glad you have no bearing whatsoever on how this club is ran.

With Soler coming back today, assuming they put him back in RF, do you think Bryant goes back to 3B. Baez to 2B, leaving Castro and Coughlan out?
Will Coughlan & Soler platoon in RF?
Going to start getting interesting where to play these youngsters soon.

” It really doesn`t bother me” is actually grammatically correct, but you`ve demonstrated getting things accurate is not a priority.

Aloha Jasper- they are going to have to monitor Soler, I know his bat is good but his defense is just not there. Maybe he starts the game but if it is close in the later innings pull him for Coughlan whose bat is not bad either. I think a Bryant-Russell-Baez-Rizzo infield is strongest both defense and offense. But I am sure Maddon is looking at the match-ups for this weekend so it will be interesting to see where folks play. Mahalo!

Those are good questions, jasper, but we should be more concerned with what Dan Haren does or does not give us. Do you know what his `FIP` is? I actually do not need to know; my eyeballs tell me he has underperformed `bigtime` since he joined us. Dan had just one decent outing. But hey, it was versus the Redbirds, so perhaps there is reason for optimism. What do you think?

5.61 fip compared to 5.31 era…. Shows he’s been relatively lucky and that he most likely will be trending more towards the mean in the future… Or that he could get worse

That took all of 2 minutes… See what a little learning and research can do!!!

petrey10, are you using Baseballreference.com? That is where I went to check out Lester’s FIP and found his current listed FIP of 2.96 is his third best of his 12 seasons. Strike outs are good, walk ratio is good. The only down side of his game is his inability to hold runners. He, more times than not makes up for that flaw by pitching very well. I was hoping jhosk would come around and see Lester is indeed performing very well this year. A different story for Haren but still, he was just a stop gap gamble for a little bit of help anyway and still capable of throwing a good game every now and then. Hopefully it is now…and not then but not counting on it….

Yes fonzie I mainly use bref…. But fangraphs is great too. I know they use bref mainly on radio broadcasts… Idk what TV uses.
—-
With these stats it’s “adapt or die” so why not try to learn? I don’t know everything about them but I love learning more and seeing the value in these guys. Very interesting seeing the advance stats on catching value… That’s a very new item of discussion.

You know what petrey10? I think having a stat for pitchers taking away the fielding behind them is a great way to evaluate and judge. I am now wondering if somebody will compile the difference between outstanding plays made that help a pitcher’s line vs. errors which hinder a pitchers line. So much to think about in this game, it’s amazingly wonderful this sport with all it’s variations and nuances. I am now a big fan of FIP. What’s next I wonder?

Some of the STATS are new to me also jhosk, however that is the direction of the future and I am trying to catch on. A lot of these STATS have created the need of an IT DEPT, which is good.
That’s one of the areas this Management as excelled. Scouting reports, STATS and lots more can be had by simply printing a readout.

Haren has a excellent outing against the Cards on Labor Day, lets hope he has their number. Haren is leading the league in HR’s allowed, so hopefully the wind is blowing in a bit.

Aloha Jasper, Haren is doing pretty good but the defense as of late is hurting and Rizzo’s error was untimely. I hope the bats can come alive. Good to see Isabel’s comments. Mahalo!

Aloha Folks, I hope the bp can hold the line now. Kudos to Castro for fueling the offense today. Mahalo!

I`m respectfully requesting input from the following regarding Jon Lester`s first season with us to this point; specifically has he performed to expectations or has Jon underperformed in your opinions? : KenlyCub, Cubs2317, MatB, DeeCee, Doug, and White. By definition, this list is incomplete, and am reserving the right to cite other contributors who have not yet `chimed in` when those names penetrate my dome.

jhosk, I don’t think anyone can dis Lester this year, other than the fact he cant throw to first. I also think to much has been made of that fact, as he can adapt, improvise and most cases overcome. A smart man knows his weakness’s and Lester does.
Then please keep in mind all the changes in his life this year, he has done well. I think he will be much better next year.

You volunteered your evaluation of Lester`s season already, jasper, and you augmented that here, and I appreciate that. Others have given me their opinions also and is why their names and yours are not included in my list. How about that Cubs win today! I missed the game and regret that, jasper. Trust me. Didn`t you once tell me one of your children is a Cardinals` fan? That must make for a compelling family rivalry, if I have my facts right. Keep in mind Petrey10 suggests I`m an old man who, in effect, is out of the loop and does not know sh*t from Shinola, as we used to say in the neighborhood.

It just dawned on me why no one has responded. Please substitute `thick skull` for `dome` above. (Smiling)

Since I’m not able to see the game right now and I haven’t heard why but Bryant just got the day off right? Because he’s obviously not in the line up haha sooo just a real quick question.

Thanks for the info Isabel, Carrie still has not posted the lineup.

Sorry. Had ton to do pre game. Will make sure it’s up tomorrow

Don’t worry Carrie you know I got you haha

I apologize for not including you in my list above, Isabel. If you do wish to share your opinion, I`d be much obliged. As for Bryant`s absence from the lineup, I`m assuming he`s being rested today. The manager has made it known that it`s his philosophy regulars need `a day off` from time to time, especially at this critical juncture in the season, when we want our Cubs performing at their optimum levels , in view of the playoffs in the not too distant future.

Thanks! I knew it had to be a day off but an ignorant co-worker that knows nothing about baseball needed actual proof so this was my best idea! Haha, he believes that players don’t need days off (again he knows nothing about sports haha) but thank you!

Here you go, found it on another site. Bryant is indeed just getting a day off:
Fowler CF
Schwarber LF
Coghlan RF
Rizzo 1B
La Stella 3B
Montero C
Castro 2B
Haren P
Russell SS

True boy, thank you so much.

Usually have it on Face Book too. 4 LOB last two innings. Cubs have done a lot of that this year. Gotta do better against the Cards. Joe looks upset.

Yeah I don’t use Facebook just Twitter and that helpes a lot!

Maddon spoke about some of the old ways of baseball in his post game. His quote “that book was written in like 1900s when numerous singles were needed to score runs. Not one big guy coming to the plate and smacking a homer. I don’t read that book”
—-
Jhosk may want to listen to his manager of the MLB team if he won’t take these suggestions…. Adapt or die bud (a saying not literal)

I reckon my skull is too thick to digest your entire meaning here, Petrey10. What I do know is I`m an Earl Weaver disciple, and Earl loved and preached three run dingers. I embrace them too, and we Cubs` fans know those have been few and far between in 2015 and too many years prior to count. Starlin delivered one of those today, and I praise him for that. I do not need to remind you I have been one of his biggest critics, and for good reasons, I must add. But when he excels, I applaud that. As I`ve said in the past, when he lost his starting job and was benched, his manager advised Starlin to `Be ready.` The former ss heeded that admonition. What`s not to like? We look forward to more of that kind of production from your boy. {And I utilize that term in the most positive sense.} You`ll see no criticism of the young man from me if he can demonstrate consistency going forward. We need `all hands on deck` as this club seriously competes down the stretch for the postseason and what it could mean for the best fans in the baseball universe.

Helloe jhosk, I believe this season represents a turning point in Castro’s career. Maddon is doing what is needed for the young, potential filled player to “get it”. If indeed Castro “gets it” he may owe quite a lot to having Maddon been his manager this critical season. (Again, right man for the right job at the right time. As is Epstein!) Castro “getting it” may very well determine not only his role in the major leagues but also for which ML team he plays for in 2017. I believe Castro can still earn and deserve a starting job with the Cubs…as much as I believe he can thrive as a DH one day in the AL. Along with bolstering the pitching staff this winter the decision made by Epstein regarding what to do with Castro (i.e. the infield) will be just as interesting…the two areas may be combined in one trade…??? It is hard not to want Castro back on the field for the Cubs however when he displays his potential in such dramatic fashion….but the Maddon praised Baez is surely knocking on the door.

Well stated, fonzie. Am more than concerned with today`s pitching matchup. On paper, it surely favors the Redbirds, but wasn`t that the case yesterday too?

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