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busch stadiumThe Cubs can still win this series. And I would be happy about that.

Edwin Jackson gets the start, and, as much as a series win would be pleasing, a great Jackson start would be almost as satisfying (and would go a long way to accomplishing that series win). He really, really struggled with command last time out (the ball was up, and it was knocked around), and no data diving could save that one. It was just bad.

Jackson is opposed by Michael Wacha, the low-ceiling college starting pitcher who suddenly discovered another pitch and a few more MPH or some such thing after the draft in 2012, and rocketed up into the majors as a young stud. Voodoo magic, yo.

The lineup today is kind of a weird one, with a bunch of righties in there against Wacha, and Justin Ruggiano – not Emilio Bonifacio or Junior Lake – playing center field. He’s certainly capable there, so it’s no big deal.

MIKE OLT! is also in the lineup at third after subbing there yesterday. I’d say the shoulder is fine (well, fine enough), and it would be nice to see him have a great day.

Strictly speaking, Wacha has a reverse platoon split (i.e., righties hit better off of him than lefties), so that’s undoubtedly playing into the lineup today, but it’s a virtually nil sample size. In other words, I suspect it’s not like the Cubs are stacking the lineup with righties to try and take advantage of the split so much as seeing today as a convenient opportunity to play some of the righty bats against a righty.

Yadier Molina never takes a day off, man.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (4-7) at St. Louis Cardinals (6-5), 1:15 CT on WGN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Edwin Jackson (6.30 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 5.86 xFIP; 1.13 K/BB)

versus

Michael Wacha (0.71 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 3.37 xFIP; 5.00 K/BB)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Matt Carpenter, 3B

2. Kolten Wong, 2B

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Matt Adams, 1B

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Allen Craig, RF

7. Jhonny Peralta, SS

8. Peter Bourjos, CF

9. Michael Wacha, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B

2. Justin Ruggiano, CF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Junior Lake, LF

7. Mike Olt, 3B

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Edwin Jackson, P

  • BlameHendry

    So we get our wish, swap Schitter for Parker, and Parker is just as bad. Just can’t win… what do we have to do to get a ‘pen like the Pirates or Cards?

    Oh and Super Emilio 64 is coming back to reality.

    At least Olt had a pretty nice day today. And I kind of half-agree with Brett’s tweets about Jackson during the game, as much as I want him off this team. He wasn’t good today, but he wasn’t nearly as bad as he can be, and the ump’s bias was extremely strong today. Jackson was throwing some perfect corner strikes that with any other ump and any other catcher would have been called strikes. So I guess it’s half the ump’s fault, and half Castillo’s fault for not being able to frame pitches.

  • Medicos

    As lousy as the pitching has been, the biggest problem during the Hoystein regime is horrible hitting (RISP):

    2012: 42 one-run games—–15 wins 16X shut out
    27 losses

    2013: 53 one-run games—–20 wins 16X shut out
    33 losses

    2014: 5 one-run games—– 1 win 2X shut out
    4 losses

    Until the Cubs get more RBIs (Alou—ARam—DLee—Sori) there ain’t gonna be many victories on the North Side!!!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Records in 1-run games are not correlated with BAwRiSP. (In fact, they aren’t correlated with much of anything: and a team’s record in 1-run games over any course of time doesn’t predict its record over another stretch of time.)

      As for the Cubs BAwRiSP, well, it hardly looks out of place. The Cubs are 20 for 92 wRiSP and 77 for 305 otherwise. So, the Cubs have all of 3 fewer hits wRiSP than expected. We expect a quarter of all teams to be deviating by this much in the negative. Randomly drop those into Cubs games, and you easily might not even add one victory.

      • mjhurdle

        but…but…but…we need morz clutchiness!!!

      • Cyranojoe

        Is there a stat to indicate the likelihood of one-run games? Because it feels like that’s been the difference in the majority of the Cubs’ games this year (and last year, come to think of it, at least early). Is just run differential the appropriate stat here?

  • Medicos

    DOC—-Obviously a team’s record in 1-run games over the course of time can’t predict its record over another time period because the roster of players is different. But isn’t “what you’re expecting a quarter of all teams to do” based on the stats that the players now on the 2014 roster compiled during previous seasons in MLB???? Not being too much into SABERMETRICS i hope u can explain this to me.

    Do we at least agree that one of the main problems during 2012-2014 has been the inability of the Cubs to score runs???

    • Brocktoon

      If the Cubs go 4-4 with RISP next game, they didn’t become a more clutch team. If they go 0-4 they didn’t become less clutch. It’s variance.

      The Cubs offense has certainly been a big problem the last 3 years, but they’ve been a terrible offense all over.

    • Brocktoon

      The go-to example on record in 1 run games not being an accurate measure of anything is the 2003 Tigers. They went 19-18 in 1-run games, and 24-101 in all others.

      With RISP they put up a .228/.299/.349 line
      With Bases Empty they hit .242/.300/.389

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