#Cubs and Hendricks face Marlins

Kyle Hendricks will start Monday night when the Cubs open a three-game series against the Marlins. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Baez 2B

Russell SS

Heyward RF

Contreras C

Szczur LF

Hendricks P

*The Cubs went 12-14 in July, the first sub .500 month since September 2014 (12-13). Here are the leaders for July:

RBI: Addison Russell 22; Anthony Rizzo 21

Home runs: Rizzo 5; Bryant and Russell 4 each

Batting average: Javier Baez .325; Bryant .309; Rizzo .282

Wins: Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks, 3 each

ERA: Hendricks 1.07

Innings pitched: John Lackey 32; Jake Arrieta 31.1; Hammel 27

Strikeouts: Lackey 30; Arrieta 28; Hammel 27

The Cubs did lead the NL in walks (96) and the .332 on-base percentage ranked second in the NL.


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Great game by Hendricks. Still concerned about the number of LOB, but overall, not a bad offensive performance. Time to put more daylight between the Cubs and the Cards.

Aloha Jason, yes the RISP was 2-10. I think between Bryant and Baez they left 12 on base. I am not sure if I would put Baez in the clean up spot. I wish 2-3-4 could be Zobrist-Bryant-Rizzo but it is up to who is playing on a particular day. Take care now. Mahalo.

Leaving men on base with this team is going to happen. I just like the fact they are getting on base.
Every time I see a post like this, I think of Dusty Baker. Remember Dusty’s famous, walks just clog up the bases line?
Now if you look at the OBP of every Cub, you will understand why guys will be left on base.

Having now caught Chapman, and a Hendricks complete game, I think it is time to start trusting Contreras with the bulk of the catching duties. He is demonstrating that he can be trusted back there. The arm the blocking abilities, the athleticism, and now calling a complete game shutout all spell the demotion to pinch hitter for Montero.

Am impressed with Willson`s foot speed. Recall that catch he made in foul territory down the left field line Sunday. Most catchers-by-trade would not have reached that ball. Also Sunday he struck a ball to short late in game which normally would have led to a double play, but beat the throw to first. It kept the inning alive enabling the Cubs to eventually score later in that inning, if memory serves. This guy is athletic.

Willson is definitely the Catcher of this team. Well stated jhosk.
It is and has been time for him to claim that position as his own. Trouble is, we have a few spoiled Starters. Lester needs to take the lead here and realize next year, Contreras will be his Catcher.
Lackey, you need to stop throwing at other hitters when you get angry, you need to stop getting on team mates for errors or other miscues, most of all you need to work with Contreras, he will be your Catcher next year.
Arietta, pitch to the kid, what happens when Montero gets hurt and you have to pitch to him, but you haven’t worked together that much? It could be a playoff game.
High priced SP need to get over yourselves, Hendricks/Contreras complete game shutout.

Those are excellent points too, jasper. I want to go on record as expressing my disappointment the Cubs did not acquire another starter before the deadline. We must need one, as why would the manager choose to send a starter to the mound Sunday who has not appeared in a major league game in more than four years? It is a prudent strategy to want to give the starters an extra day`s rest going forward, and we need a sixth starter to provide that. Am I wrong?

jhosk, I understand the need for another starter, yet I read two articles today where Jed Hoyer explains why a trade was not made for a Starter:
He simply states other team demands were way to high.
I know you have heard the term used in the past: Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. That may be the case here.
I think the Cubs may have gave up to much for Montgomery, I know they gave up too much for Chapman. The pitcher Castillo they gave up for Joe Smith, he came from the DBacks in the Campana trade.

Aloha Mat, jasper and jhosk- I have to agree that Contreras is the future backstop, he looked really poised yesterday. I know his framing will get better but his quickness and arm strength are there. I too believe that the FO gave up too much for Montgomery. I almost wish they did not make that trade and had tried a better package for Miller if the Yankees would not take, then you rework it and offer for Chapman but less because he is a rental. Now, they have less to work with to try and trade for a stater which means they would have to trade a current player like the Giants had too with Duffy in order to get Moore. Time will tell if these trades of Montgomery and Chapman are successes or bust. I hope for the best. Mahalo!

Let`s give Montgomery more time. It`s a tiny sample size we`ve seen. He may just need time to become acclimated to his new surroundings, and generally `settle in` and find his `comfort zone.` His history suggests he can be effective, especially versus left-handed batters. He could be that specialist you want in a playoff game to retire guys like Harper, Murphy, or Belt in critical situations.

Aloha jhosk, good points about Montgomery, I think they could have gotten him for just Vogelbach or someone else. You also mentioned surroundings. Seattle is a mild climate compared to Chicago, especially during the summer months. I hope he has the endurance because it is not easy to play 81 games at home then got to other division rivals like the Cardinals/Reds/Pirates. If he can come around, he could be what Jeremy A, was to the Giants. Tonight is a big game, let us hope our starter can keep his composure and pitch lights out! Mahalo!

Think about this guys:
Bryant batting 2nd through 4th all year long, played 103 games, having a very good year in all areas, OBP, AVG and power, 2nd on the team with 68 RBI’s.
Russell 100 games, hitting around .240, with a decent OBP, and power. His position in the order, mostly 7th, 8th. Recently batting 5th and doing much better.
The big shocker, Russell has 65 RBI’s, only 3 behind Bryant.

Yes, jasper. That is something we`ve just seemed to take notice of recently. Addison is obviously making his knocks count, and his average with RISP must be on the high side. His defense has been exemplary, especially of late. Baez`s arm is something to behold. Nailing that runner at third yesterday, and his throw to complete a double play at another point in the contest, stand out.

Aloha jasper, yes on Russell! My father years ago wanted the Yankees to trade the A’s for him. He was very impressed with his batting skills at such a young age. This was partly why I floated the idea of keeping Addy but being bold as the Giants recently were with Duffy and offer the Yankees Baez/Soler or if Vogelbach were still in the fold for Miller who is controlled past this season. Also, Miller like Mariano before him has no problem throwing a two inning save. Chapman has said he does not like a four out save, plus he will cost dearly in the FA market, more than Miller. Back to Russell, his average may not be there yet but he is more patient than Baez at the plate, look at bb’s. His clutch hitting is at the top for the team and moves runners up insteat of hitting into dp’s on a regular basis. I also feel that the infield plays best with Kris-Addy-Ben-Anthony. I wish Maddon could set some areas of the line-up. Today is a great test against an elite pitcher. Take care. Mahalo!

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