#Cubs Lester vs. Bucs in series finale

Jon Lester will wrap up the Cubs series in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Jason Heyward is not in the lineup for the third straight game to nurse a sore right wrist and Ben Zobrist makes his first start in the outfield. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

La Stella 2B

Bryant LF

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist RF

Baez 3B

Russell SS

Ross C

Lester P

*Looking ahead to the Cubs’ series against the Nationals, here are the pitching matchups:

Thursday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 3.52) vs. RHP Joe Ross (3-0, 0.79)
Friday: RHP John Lackey (3-1, 4.32) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (3-1, 3.55)
Saturday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.24) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.15)
Sunday: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-0, 0.84) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (2-2, 2.35)

28 Comments

Pingback: #Cubs Lester vs. Bucs in series finale | Cubs Chronicles

Unless my mind is playing tricks, I thought I read recently that Anthony Rizzo was going to be given a day off, and I believe it was supposed to be last Sunday. What happened with that plan? Did I ever mention everyone needs to be rested occasionally? As Joe M. has suggested often, it`s often more beneficial to the player mentally, than any other way.

Try rain outs…. Also remember when you hated Lester ?!? How you like him now?

I never hated Lester. Just did not think he reached expectations in 2015, and guess what, he himself felt same way. You are mistaken as usual. And rainouts have no correlation with a player needing an off-day. You are two for two.

Lol well he would’ve played but the games were cancelled so he got his day off you numb skull.

With the injuries right now, it’s hard to give anyone a breather

For Petrey 10: We`ve repeated over and over that the manager preaches the benefit of the mental aspect of a player getting a day off. The entire point is that it behooves a player to sit and observe his teammates play an entire game on that given day. Do I need to point out that no game is played when there`s a rainout, and therefore no opportunity for that individual to benefit mentally? You whiffed again. Also, you`ve violated the standards and practices governing the privilege to comment on this blog with your ad hominem attack directed at myself. I suggest you go back and read those rules of civil conduct .They were posted a while ago, but someone should be able to identify them in the archives. It would be prudent perhaps for everyone to read those requirements, even though I can`t recall any contributor, aside from yourself, who has chosen to ignore those guidelines in a long while.

One more thing for Petrey 10. That unfortunate word you chose to utilize is one word, not two, and you misspelled it, to boot. I refer, of course, to “numskull.” { You had a bad day and night yesterday. Perhaps today will be better?}

Rizzo needs rest for his body… Not mentally… A mental day off would be for those struggling …. Rizzo is on a streak and let him streak.
2) this isn’t your blog so you don’t govern squat
3) why do you think this is your blog ?
4) I didn’t know spelling needed to be perfect in your rules
5) can we make a rule that you need to actually know what your talking about before you start running your mouth?

I see some people have already forgotten my request to avoid personal attacks

Some people? Are you serious? You and I and everyone else knows it`s one individual who has been egregious. He`s been protected for years on this blog. He referred to myself as a numskull. You`ll notice I did not reply in kind. It`s time to step up and do the right thing.

Aloha Folks! Kudos to Lester, starting off the bottom of the 4th with a hit-walk-hit, bases loaded no outs! To get out of that inning against this good hitting Pirates team with no runs is amazing. And he did this for a second game in a row. Great job Lester and Zobrist for that dinger! Mahalo!

For Petrey 10: I`ll place my knowledge of the game versus yours every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Let the other posters judge who knows more. Also, if you insist on wanting to banter with me, you`ll continue to have bad days, because you`re an amateur at that. {By the way, in your No. 5 item above, it`s “you`re” which you should have utilized, not “your.” I`m specifically referencing the phrase “what you`re talking about.” Got it?

Aloha jhosk, I think Carrie made a good about injuries hindering the team. Petrey also brought up the rainouts that have added to this. The next series at home is a huge one! The Nationals are playing very good ball and hitting lights out; their pitching is strong too. Look what they did to the Royals. So I hope the team can get back early and be well-rested for Harper/Murphy and CO. Take care now. Mahalo!

Thanks k.g. Any observations re: today`s game are much appreciated, as I did not see it.

Aloha jhosk- I was listening to the game at work (on a break!). I think Lester did a very good job today and had a moment like he did against the Braves in the 4th today with the Pirates, bases loaded and no outs. That was a nail-biter because the Buc started off with a hit, bb then another hit. So for him to get out of that inning was huge. He had thrown 100+ pitches by the 5th inning. I think he could have gone another but they did get 8 hits against him so that could have been taken into account. Warren has been so good but just made a mistake which I do not think you will see a lot of out him; to me it is just the game. I like the small-ball aspect that Maddon has worked so hard on with this team and the defense being played. You have to wonder, when Montero and Szczur come off the DL, what happens with Baez and La Stella. Meaning they come off the bench. I also think Soler has to really work had to make some immediate adjustments. For one, he is very powerful but notice that he does not adjust his swing. How many times have you seen Rizzo with 2 strikes on him and he chokes up on the bat, shortens his swing. Soler could learn something from Rizzo as he has made very contact in those situations. I am sure he is frustrated but that comes with the territory if he wants to play then he has to make good on the opportunities he is given like Szczur and LaStella have. Tomorrow is a huge game and test for this young team, Hendricks has to keep the ball low and in the park with Murphy-Harper-Werth-Ramos! Lastly, I hope Heyward comes back and produces too. I think he is just off to a cool start but can get back to his form of last year and his defense is really needed against these better teams. Though, I will have to give kudos to the team playing without him in a large PNC park. Take care now. Mahalo!

Aloha jhosk- I know you like history and factoids. As you may know, Joe Ross the pitcher for the Nationals is from my area, in fact he is just down the road from me. I know his high school well and thought he would stay in the area for college like his brother (Tyson) but had signed a letter of intent with UCLA before being drafted by the Padres. I am sure San Diego wishes now that they did not trade him! If you get a chance I hope you can see the game, Joe throws a hard sinker in the 90’s! He has a good change-up too. He is the type of pitcher you want to throw in a park like Wrigley, so the team has to be patient with their approach at the plate and wait for their pitch. Not saying they can’t hit any long balls off him but small-ball early on would wear him and his team out. As you know, sinker ball pitchers get a lot of ground outs too but I am fine with that, meaning put the ball in play and see what the defense can do; hoping that the hitters find the holes. I am hoping and a praying that Hendricks matches Ross pitch for pitch and keeps his stuff low as well. Should be a good game. Take care now. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., the Nats` have an impressive rotation, and Joe Ross is a major factor why. By the way, his brother, Tyson, was on that list of starters along with Gray and others we`ve often discussed. Did not know the brothers originally come from the Bay Area. That always interests me. As for the Nats, they appear to be the team the experts expected to achieve great things in 2015, but instead finished the season as the most underachieving club in the game. {But keep in mind, it`s still early May, and it`s possible the Nats could revert to the 2015 form.} At least we will not have to face Strasburg, given he started yesterday`s game versus the Royals. Harper homered and was 2 for 4 yesterday, but have you noticed he was in a slump for multiple games prior, and his batting average had fallen to .256 entering yesterday`s contest? I often miss games when played in the afternoon. Did you happen to see a recent interview with Joe Maddon in which he was asked what he`d like most to change about the game? He replied that he would like to see night games exclusively. Also, like myself, Joe does not like those new rules involving contact at second base and home plate, the Chase Utley rule, and the Buster Posey rule, respectively, if you like. One more thing about the Nats. Did you notice that Papelbon surrendered five hits and three earned runs in the ninth of Tuesday`s game, and blew the save and the game to the Royals? Did I ever mention that I do not admire Jonathon Papelbon? But I do not hate him. I would never feel that way about any baseball player, whether it`s a Cub or a foe. {I mention that, because I was accused of hating on a player recently.} One has to consider the source. Enjoy tonight`s contest, k.g.

Aloha jhosk- well the Bay Area is a buzzing as it prepares for Lincecum’s “showcase” tomorrow. One has to wonder who might sign him, if all is good? I always thought if he could stay healthy, that he just might make a good reliever as Eckersley was. Those are big what-ifs, I hear he wants to start. We will see. Take care now. Mahalo!

I hear you, k.g. You know I`ve been a fan of Lincecum for many years, but feel he is toast now. I will love to see my assessment being proved wrong. Stop me if you`ve heard this before, but I was a major supporter of Eck when he was with the Cubs, and he once sat next to me at the bar at the Sheraton in Montreal in 1984, after a game which he started, and pitched very effectively, but the Cubs eventually lost by one run, when Andre Dawson hit a weak fly just over the reach of Keith Moreland who was our first baseman. It all happened immediately in front of myself, as I was sitting in a first row seat along that first baseline. You`ll recall when Eckersley went to Oakland and his manager,Tony La Russa, recommended Dennis go to the bullpen, and Eck recoiled. He did not appreciate that suggestion one bit, but he acquiesced, and the rest is history. Eck was very successful as a reliever, and is now in the Hall of Fame for both what he did as a reliever and as a starter.(Didn`t he win close to 200 games as a starter betwixt Cleveland, Boston and Chicago?} Did I mention the Cubs won tonight? I was unable to take your advice, and see the game. I was in transit and was only able to hear portions of the contest on my XM/Sirius car radio. I did hear enough to know that my boy, La Stella, had several impressive ab`s. Even when he was retired in his third ab, he squared a ball up, and drove a laser to an outfielder who recorded the putout. On paper, the Nats had the advantage with their starter, Ross, having more impressive numbers than ours, but once again, the games are not played on paper. Do you follow me? {Jasper will recognize my prior question, as I`ve often posed it to him, and he`s just as often had a clever reply for it.}

Aloha jhosk- that is pretty cool that you met Eck. I learned some time ago that he is a Bay Area native and a friend of mine who played in the minors here and close in age with Eck was telling me about how he was a pitcher years ago and how he was impressed before he made it in the majors. You are right, he was close to 200 games won with 390 saves! I think more currently of John Smoltz who had a little over 200 games won with 150+ saves. So what the Eck did was truly amazing. My collegiate coach was good friends with Sandy Alderson when he was with the A’s. We were blessed to have interaction with their team (practices/clinics) and to watch their games. So, for me to see Eck continue to play and in his new role was a lot of fun. Glad you go to hear some of the game last night, I think Joe Ross is one to watch out for and the Cubs did a very good job of small-ball against him. He pitched one heck of game and kudos to Hendricks who pitched a great game! Kyle had to give that kind of performance against a pitcher like Ross. I think when Hendricks left the game he had only given up 2 hits. Your boy LaStella had Ross’ number and to see Zobrist the last couple of games, he now has 20rbi’s! I think Petrey said if the team takes at least 2 games out of this series it will have been successful. I will concur with him that the Nats pitching is right up there too so Lackey has a big task today and needs to keep the ball in the park to give the team a chance. Game starting soon. Take care now. Mahalo!

Lol wow ….

Believe it or not, k.g., I did not meet Eckersley. He came into the bar at the Sheraton Montreal where the Cubs were staying on that trip, and sat on the stool next to myself, and ordered a drink, but I never said a word to him, and he never spoke to myself. Keep in mind the Cubs had just lost a one run game to the Expos, a game which Dennis had started and pitched deep into, and I recollect the final score may have been 2-1, or something similar. I knew Eck was likely not to be in the best frame of mind, and decided to leave him alone. Before long, other Cubs players filed into the bar, and I was the “fly on the wall,” if you like. I recall Leon Durham and Larry Bowa especially. This was August and the Cubs had just come from New York where they had swept the Mets in four games, and keep in mind the Mets were major rivals at the time, unlike these days when each is in a separate division. The Cubs were leading their opponents by a comfortable margin in the standings. I was struck by how unhappy the players were despite their favorable position at the time. Bowa complained about the fact that manager Frey did not choose to come out of the dugout and argue a very close play at first base late in the game, and Eckersley agreed with Bowa. My impression of Bowa that night solidified my belief that he is a whiner, and not one of my favorites. His offensive skills were limited, to put it politely, and I`m referencing his entire career, not just 1984. {By the way, this was the same night coach Don Zimmer rode in our subway car back to the hotel after the game, and we more than enjoyed conversing with him. I know I`ve commented on that in the past, but you may have forgotten.} Also, it`s been well documented that Eck went through a period in his career when he struggled with alcohol, and this night I just described transpired during that period, I feel confident.

Aloha jhosk- I was a “young-en” in 1984 but remember that season well. I did not know a whole lot about Bowa but remember looking him up sometime ago and was amazed because he amazed over 2000 hits in his career and he was a very good fielder. One thing I do remember as a young kid listening to a telecast with I believe Steve Stone and Harry Carey and the thing they brought up was the trade for Bowa for DeJesus. Bowa informed the Cubs FO that there is this young kid that really impressed him and if they could get him added to the trade it would be sweet, he plays 3rd! Of course I am paraphrasing but you know that young kid to be Sandberg. So, I give Bowa some leeway because without the DeJesus trade going forward, the Cubs do not get Sandberg. I will say that in the last series against the Pirates, who I really respect, there is a player on that team that I have a hard time with and that is Sean Rodriguez. I have no problem with being competitive as it is part of the game. But mature folks know most of the time nothing is meant personally and you move on after the game. I think Rodriguez still had some past “energy” pent up in him from the previous season, especially the 1-game play with the Cubs. I remember how I thought Big Z was a gifted pitcher and could hit too but his emotions got in the way all too often. It was hard to see him go but I give Theo and CO credit for not bringing him back. They have put together a great team of folks and the veterans take their roles seriously (Ross, Montero, Lackey, Zobrist, Heyward). They are examples for the younger folks how to conduct themselves with decorum. I love it! Petrey made the statement if they could take 2 games in this series with the Nats it would be big. Well, they got their 2 and I hope they can get another! Take care now. Mahalo!

Yes, k.g., you bring up interesting topics per usual. Bowa was an excellent defender, and I would not have guessed he approached 2,000 knocks aggregate. Was not aware of his influence with the Cubs and Sandberg. That Sean Rodriguez ugly image of him trying to punch out the water cooler in the dugout from that 2015 one-game playoff, is one I wish could be erased from the memory bank. I was not nearly as sad as you to see ” the Crazy Venezuelan” depart. He wore out his welcome long before that for me. Today`s contest is the national game-of-the-week on Fox Sports 1.

Aloha jhosk- Well, that image of Rodriguez punching the cooler was duplicated in this past series against the Pirates and frankly it reminded me of Big Z towards the end of his stay in Chicago. I remember thinking how good of an influence Maddux was on him and wished a veteran like Greg could have been paired with him. You are right, he wore out his welcome and again I say kudos to Jed/Theo and company for building a team/family. On another note, today Soler gets the start in LF and I know it is hard not to feel the pressure but he needs to have a good day both defensively and at the plate. I hope he can be patient and take some pitches as he will get better “looks” as to what Gonzalez will be serving up. Take care now! Mahalo!

I had no clue Rodriguez repeated that unfortunate conduct recently. That`s depressing I`m wanting Soler to excel today as well. {Aside: there is something I`ve been meaning to ask. Recall when you recently expressed an interest in numbers when I commented on contracts of various players you researched, one of whom was Montero and his contract. You recounted various categories of numbers etc, all but one of which I`ve seen before. The outlier was “elastics” or a variation of that word. Could you expand on the meaning of that term? Also, is your specialty accounting or is it some other field involving numbers?}

Aloha jhosk- yes it was unfortunate. The term I think I used was elasticity, which basically means one’s variable sensitivity to a change in another variable. For example, let’s say that Carrie reports that Wrigley Field is going to raise its prices on Hot Doug’s sausages in the bleacher area. So, if they raise the price say $0.50 what will that do to affect volume in terms of sales? What if they raise it $1.00? That is what is meant by elasticity. We could also apply that to a club’s payroll. For example, if the Cubs had gone after Grienke or Price how would that have affected their opportunities to sign Heyward/Lackey/Fowler. I did not bring up Zobrist only because Theo was working on a deal to off-load Castro and his contract in order to sign Zobrist. This is a very small sampling but with the “Hot Doug’s” we could get a pretty good idea of how “sensitive” the volume of sales would be affected by a price hike and the same could be said if the price were lowered. Yes I was in finance/economics for sometime and have been out for a little bit but am considering getting back in. Mahalo!

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