#Cubs and Lackey face Reds

Kris Bryant was back at third base for Tuesday’s Cubs game against the Reds. Bryant suffered a bruise on his left leg in a collision with teammate Albert Almora Jr. on Monday. John Lackey gets  the start. Here’s the lineup:

Zobrist RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Contreras LF

Russell SS

Heyward CF

Ross C

Lackey P

Baez 2B

10 Comments

I like the Cubs, but I`m also a fan of objectivity and fairness. Corey Seager deserves the start at ss for the NL in the ASG, not Addison Russell. The Dodger is having a much better season statistically.

Since the fans get to vote in the starters, it doesn’t really matter who deserves to start and who doesn’t. Although, I’ve always said that if the game counts, then they should make it as fair and as good as possible. Maybe the fans can still vote players on to the all-star rosters, but the managers get to determine who actually starts the game?

Aloha jhosk, I agree. It is like the year Steve Sax got rookie of the year, I felt it should gave gone to Sandberg. As you know part of the All-Star is a fan/popularity contest. I just hope the NL wins! l like today’s lineup and cannot wait for Fowler’s return so Zobrist can be back at second, time to cement the infield: Bryant-Russell-Zobrist-Rizzo! By the way, my father is closely followong the Marlins because of Ichiro and Mattingly. He was reading how much the younger players watch and observe this 42yr old that plays like he is 19! My father said they are astounded by his work ethic, discipline on and off the field, patience at the plate, steady defense and great base running. I wish when he was on the market, that the Cubs would have considered him because you can see the impact he is having on that team. You take care now! Mahalo!

Yes, k.g. Lou Piniella was just interviewed by Chris Russo on the MLB Network. You`ll recall Lou managed Ichiro in Seattle when the Japanese player first came to the big leagues. He was 27 or 28 by that time, and Lou envisioned the player getting one or two thousand hits during his career here, but certainly not 3,000. Lou highly praised and marveled at Ichiro`s exercise regimen, and promised he looks forward to being present in Cooperstown the day Ichiro will be inducted into the H of F. Earlier in the same broadcast, Eric Byrnes went toe to toe with Russo over the Cubs and their current status and future projections. Russo denigrated our team, especially in light to the recent four game struggles versus the Mets, and Byrnes defended the team. Byrnes pointed out something I liked very much. Recall last season when the Cubs won all seven regular season games with the Mets, but then the tables were turned in the playoffs. Something similar could occur in 2016, only in reverse.

No All Star Votes from me!
Hasn’t been fair since being put in the fans hands.

Aloha jasper, I think you could try as Doug suggested, allow fans to vote but let coaches make the pick ad to starting lineups. I agree though, it becomes a popularity contest instead based on merit. And fans need to realize that there is something at stake here, home field advantage in the WS. But at this point I am way more concerned about the Cubs team and how Maddon and coaches are going to deal with this poor play the past 3wks+ because the season is at stake. The AS game does not interest me as much. Well, at least the starting 4 we should be seeing in regularity will be starting at the AS game! How is that for irony? Sorry for showing some frustration. Go Cubs! Mahalo!

You are absolutely right, jasper. I have not voted in years. Daniel Murphy got hosed this season also.

Aloha jhosk- that’s right, I was trying to go over in my mind since I was at work and no computer in front of me. I was thinking based on merit who would you want as a starting line-up and I felt very confident that Bryant and Rizzo deserved the outside corners for the infield. I really like Russell and he will only get better but you made a good argument for Corey Seager as he as more homers and hits (17hr’s, 100hits) then Addison (9hr’s, 63hits). Now Corey has played in 84games where as Addison is 77 but they both have the same fielding pct of .968 (Corey has 10 errors and Addison 9). But the biggie besides the hits are the ba/slg/ops stats: Corey is .305/.540/.903 compared to Addison’s .238/.392/.728. Those numbers just stand out at you. Next up Daniel Murphy: 14hr’s/56rbi’s/108HITS .347/.579/.966 in 81games, defense 5 errors for a fielding pct of .984. Ben Zobrist 11hr’s/43rbi’s/82hits .296/.473/.877 in 77games, defense 2 errors (4 positions played) for a fielding pct of .993. I really really am happy that the Cubs picked up Zobrist, now he has had to play 4 positions compared with Daniel’s 2. But you make the good argument based on merit/stats one could say Daniel’s offensive numbers more than make up for his additional 3 defensive errors. And in the end, both leagues should put up the best team forward because home field advantage for the WS is at stake. As I said to jasper, I am not as interested in the ASG this year as I am with the current status with this Cubs team. As one friend said to me to “paraphrase” let us call out the elephant in the room, the team is hurting and nowhere near playing up to their level. There are many more teams out there that have “their number” and are not afraid of them. This is the job of the manager and coaches to get them back in alignment, instill confidence in them and have them come together as a team to weather this rough patch. It almost means putting your best 8 out there on a regular basis and let them settle into their main positions now because there is almost half a season left. If you calculate from June 1 til now, the team is 17-16 for a winning pct of .515. Now to put this in perspective at the end of May the team was 35-15 for a winning pct of .700. This last month+ they are just over .500 for an almost .200 point drop. Of course the sample size from April through May is larger but this is just to show you how rough it has been for over a month. They have lost more games from June to present, then they did the previous 2 months combined. This is why I cannot wait for Fowler to come back so that you have an outfield that is anchored by Dexter then Heyward and (Szczur/Contreras/Coghlan). Infield is Bryant-Russell-Zorbist-Rizzo and catchers (Montero/Ross/Contreras if he is still up). They need to keep Heyward down in the batter order til he works his issues out and hopefully Russell will come around too. I think if they keep Baez at this point(I know they said he is not on the trading block but I have learned never to say never) he strikes out so much that he should not be an everyday player but fill in when needed, same for LaStella. I would not be adverse if Baez were sent back down along with Almora to work on their batting, assuming LaStella comes back soon. Of course a lot of this can change depending on who is traded away but it is time to get serious because this rough patch has been a long one and they have to get back to form and have the confidence that they as a team can win in any situation like the 2010 Giants did. Take care now. Mahalo!

Hello Carrie and fans. Back home with my computer and MLB.tv after four days in the hospital following surgery. Fortunately I missed the last three losses in the Mets series. I said early in the season we need middle relief help. I remain optimistic, but the fact is — as so many Cubs fans have noted on this blog — there are other good teams out there (Mets, Nats, Giants), and this isn’t going to be easy.

Aloha Bruce- I hope your procedure went well. Yes, this has been a long rough-patch for the team. What is tough now is that the starting pitching is falling apart. The two pitchers that have been the most reliable the past 3 weeks (put aside is explosion against the Mets) are Lester and Hendricks; Arrieta-command issues lots of pitches before the 5inning, same for Lackey and Hammel. This is not good. Then you have the play, I think the moving around of players all the time can hurt as well as we see with all the pass-balls, errors and so forth. The defense was strong at the beginning of the season not very good now. So I am hoping for the quartet of Bryant-Russell-Zobrist-Rizzo to be set soon and I think that will happen once Fowler is back. They finally moved Heyward down the batting order so I hope he can rebound and move back up. Back the pitching, they may need to trade for Teheran and that may involve one of the Cubs starters going the other way, I think Hammel. They also need big bullpen help as Wood has been great this year but cannot be used all the time. Strop continues to not impress and now has an era at 3.37. I could see the team trading or off-loading Richard-Warren-Grimm-Strop-Peralta to name a few from the bullpen. Hopefully Edwards is here to stay if he can keep up with his current streak. Definitely if big trades are coming soon then you know the other teams will be asking for good talent in return and that may mean Baez-Soler-Szczur are considered for such a deal along with others in the system. Just hope this team can the next 5 games before the All-Star. Because as you mentioned, right now they are not a playoff worth team, other teams at this point: SFGiants, Nats, Mets, LA even the Pirates are 8-2 out of their last ten and the Cubs end the first half in Pitt. So there is a lot of work to be done to get back in shape but I think they can do it but have to take things seriously now as other teams are making adjustments. Again, hope you are feeling better now. Go Cubs. Mahalo!

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