#Cubs and Lester go for series win

Jon Lester makes the start Sunday at Miller Park in the Cubs’ series finale against the Brewers. A win on Sunday would give the Cubs three-straight series wins to begin a “second half” of a season for the first time in 80 years (1936).

This will be Lester’s first career start at Miller Park. The only active ML park he hasn’t pitched in is PETCO Park in San Diego.

Here’s the lineup:

La Stella 2B

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist RF

Contreras LF

Heyward CF

Russell SS

Ross C

Lester P

The Cubs have a 2.28 ERA in eight games since the break, best mark in the NL, and second best in MLB to the Yankees.

Dexter Fowler is not in the lineup. He played two straight games coming off the DL, and manager Joe Maddon has said he wants to be careful with the outfielder so he doesn’t aggravate his hamstring.

23 Comments

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Aloha Folks- looks like this could be a long game; was so hopeful when both La Stella and Bryant walked, showed patience then Rizzo grounds into a dp and Zobrist strikes out. Lester walks the first batter and they know he has no move to first, so Villar steals both second and third and scores on a fly-ball. Braun gets an infield hit and steals too. I hate to say it but as the opposing team I would run all day on Jon. He is not out of the 1st yet and has thrown 38 pitches 3hits and 2bb’s. I hope the offense shows up, will need it today. Go Cubs. Mahalo.

And yet another lousy start for a Cubs starter (Hendricks being the lone exception). The Cubs will never enjoy a prolonged win streak for the remainder of the season with such inconsistent starting pitching. And will they ever learn that lead off walks score?! And how does Lester let Braun stroll to second base? Hell, Lester would have better success running right at Braun. Lester could have his shoes stolen from him while wearing them. The Cubs needed a sweep in Milwaukee, and now 2 out of 3 looks unlikely. Lester appears that he won’t make it past the second inning. FRUSTRATING!

Deja vu. Wasted scoring opportunities, which are amplified when the starting pitching is shaky. Let’s lay out this rerun. Bad start, early runs by the opposition, stranded Cubs base runners, silent Cubs bats in the late innings, and the Cubs early bullpen appearance to finally gift wrap the win for the opponents. Anyone else tired of reruns?

Aloha Jason- First let me acknowledge that the Cubs have the lead now! But going back this was about opportunities as you mentioned. The Brewers’ starter stymied the Cubs but they had many chances against him and did not capitalize. Lester I am concerned about because he has had 3 of these “melt-downs,” Giants/Mets/Brewers. This has to be addressed along with him not holding runners on. Silver lining, a 41yr old that came up with the Giants, Nathan did a great job in his return! The offense came alive, let us hope the bp can shut the Brewers down now. Mahalo!

Aloha folks, I am hearing a possible trade of Torres for Chapman. I hope this is not true. Not worth trading the #15 prospect nationwide for a 2mo rental. Just my 2cents. Gritty win today and to come back late in the game is very encouraging. Take care. Mahalo!

Aloha again, quick correction, MLB.com has Torres as #28 best prospect. Still think it is too much for a rental. Mahalo.

Torres for Chapman alone is too much.
Now we are hearing that Soler plus is part of the deal.
Pass on it Theo/Jed

Aloha jasper! I agree not worth it at all! I read Cubs trying to get Chapman to sign extension, still not worth giving up Torres and Soler for a player with baggage. Hang in there. Mahalo!

Good thoughts. And a good win today. Take care too!

Good win, really?
How many bases were stole against Lester? How many runs did Lester give up?

That deal is contingent on Chapman agreeing to a four-year extension by the pitcher with the Cubs, jasper, is my understanding. Would you still be opposed to the deal under those conditions? Did not see today`s game, but six stolen bases tells me the Brewers ran wild. I`ve been saying ever since Lester came to us, and his inability to hold runners was exposed, were I an opposing manager, I`d order everyone to run on Lester until he can prove he and the Cubs can stop it. {He absolutely refuses to throw to bases to hold runners.} I`d also have most batters bunt on him. I`m baffled that most teams do not do either of those things.

Aloha jhosk, all my A’s friends warned me back on 2015 how bad it would be with the stolen bases; they were right. I still do not like this deal if Torres and Soler or others are given. Thinking about both short term and long term. We will see. Take care now. Mahalo!

I won`t miss Soler. I want him included in a deal. We have a bottleneck with outfielders in the system. Am more and more impressed with what I hear about Mark Zagunis, k.g. And wasn`t he originally signed as a catcher? I know he`s principally an outfielder these days, but one would think he could be plugged in at catcher in a pinch. I`ve heard it said Maddon is partial to players who are versatile. (smiling)

Zagunis was indeed signed as a Catcher. Obviously not a very good one, but that bat is awesome as well as the OBP.
No K.g., I would not trade for Chapman even with an extension.
The Organization is deep with middle infielders, but Torres is the best of the bunch.
A closer needs to be added, but a steep price.
Why does the bullpen need to be fixed every year?
I prefer a starter, we have three that are not as good as they look on paper and another way over hyped.

Aloha jhosk- As much as I was for Soler, I totally understand him being traded. I just think this trade of Torres for Chapman is silly. I know we have been frustrated this year especially since June that the clutch hitting is severely down (RISP stat) and Maddon is putting his better hitters at the top of the order instead of in the clean-up part of the lineup. The starting pitching seems fatigued except for Hendricks and maybe Arrieta is coming back around. Nathan showed how one can get into a jam and get out of it, that was amazing. I still hope Montgomery works out well too but I was not happy to see Blackburn traded. Hoyer has worked hard to bring in good young talent at all levels of the organization and now it is being sent off for some interesting trades. As I said, I hope Montgomery works out but did they have to give up Blackburn too, Vogelbach straight up, ok. My father is amazed as well, he thinks the Yankees have an even better player than Torres, that is Mateo but could see Cashman trade for folks and flip them to get better. He does believe the Yankees should change out their 3rd baseman and 1st baseman, get rid of A-Rod/Tex even Beltran but the problem is Carlos is their “best” hitter right now. But as you would say “I digressed.” If everything was going great for the Cubs, meaning strong starting pitching and quality starts from all 5 up until now, no major valleys/issues if the defense were great and consistent, the hitting good and getting better, very few injuries so that it did not wreak havoc with the roster and the only thing was the closer postion, maybe they try to work something out for a “rental” but the reality is there are a lot more areas that need serious improvement/work in order for this team to not only get to the playoffs but compete in them. As some said about the Pirates a few years ago, they arrived a little early. Well, maybe the Cubs arrived a little early last year. I would love for this year to be it but it may not be and I would rather see the FO do things like the Giants that plan for years of great ball not just going after one year (remember the 2014 A’s? I think the Shark/Hammel trade was a good one for them but Cespedes for Lester, no). Heyman on MLB.Com says this Chapman trade is 9-10 and done deal. I would love to wake up in the morning and learn that it did not go through. Well, we will know soon enough. Take care now. Mahalo!

Aloha jasper, for as good as the FO has been, no one is perfect (eg: Edwin Jackson deal). One can say jury is still out on Heyward deal, has not been great yet. But with the money tie up by Heyward/Lester/Montero/Zobrist and I believe Soler too, I agree with you. Please do not give away Torres for Chapman, extension or not. I threw something out there somewhat controversial earlier in the week, offer Baez/Soler and other pieces for Miller. Because I can see Addison getting stronger at the plate and his defense is great and will get better. So out of him/Baez/Torres I thought Baez because the team could cover days with LaStella and Kawasaki/Coghlan. Funny reading all the Yankees blogs how they are hoping beyond hope that the Cubs go along with this as they not only see it as a huge windfall but believe that Chapman will not sign the extension and will re-sign with the Yankees in the off-season. Again, this is not a trade I would go through with and agree with you as well on getting another starter. Let Bosio see if with Nathan and Montgomery in the mix with Edwards too, can they strengthen the bp enough along with Wood/Strope/Rondon and possibly using starters from time to time to help out. I would guess if they try out the six man rotation, it could work. I guess we will know by tomorrow. Take care now. Mahalo.

I don`t think either of you are going to like this. Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Cubs are likely to give up four players for Chapman: Torres, Warren, and two others unnamed currently.

Have heard only thing holding up the deal is co-owner Hal Steinbrenner signing off on. GM Brian Chapman is ready to pull the trigger. Shows you little has changed in Yankeeland since George expired. The owners still have the hammer. The FO does not have the freedom and latitude that one sees with the Cubs and many other organizations.

Make that Brian Cashman.

Aloha jasper and jhosk, Heyman said it has happened for a rental of 2-3mos, about 30innings or so of work Torres, McKinney, Warren and single A player traded. So out of 2 two trades Montgomery/Chapman the FO gave away Vogelbach/Blackburn/Torres/McKinney/Warren/A player. One Yankee commentator could not believe what the Cubs gave up and thought it better if Schwarber (a future DH in his opinion) was traded for 2.5yrs of service for Miller. Well, I guess only time will tell. Mahalo.

Aloha jhosk, the more I read the more I do not like this trade. Now McKinney’s name has come up too. I would be excited if I were a Yankee’s fan; not much given away to get Chapman and quite a haul trading him for last two months of the season. I hope this does not go through but I suspect there is too much pride on the line. Take care now. Mahalo.

I do not like it either, given he`s a rental. Gave up far too much.

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