Morning Cubs Roundup: Cubs games have essentially become scripted
today at 8:52 am
Last Game: Cubs 4, Pirates 3
Up Next: Brault vs Lester, 1:20, Marquee
The story remains the same.
Act 1: Cubs offense sets the stage by building an early lead.
Act 2: Cubs starting pitcher toys with opposing lineup. Tension builds as audience worries how long the starter can hold up, knowing danger is lurking under the bleachers in the form of the Cubs bullpen.
Cubs offense adds insurance runs. Help has arrived. Maybe everything will be okay?
Act 3: You thought you were watching a simple suspense film, but the story takes a turn towards horror. Those insurance runs were simply red shirts. The Cubs bullpen is as brutal as any torture porn villain, as murderous as any classic killer in a slasher franchise, as they methodically dismember the hopes of all Cubs fans. Eventually the odds turn against the teaam. Yet, in the end… a lone survivor, the offense truly did do just enough, a one run margin remains standing.
The evil has been vanquished. For now. But it never goes far, just returns to the recesses below the bleachers, awaiting the opportunity to return. Like any good horror franchise, the stage for the sequel is set. The next time the Cubs build a lead heading into the late innings the villain will return, worse than before.
Tyler Chatwood was simply phenomenal in this one. I know the Pirates lineup isn’t exactly stacked right now, but Chatwood cut through them with ease, just as he did the Brewers in his first outing. Not only has his stuff been electric but Chatwood has displayed control of it. No, not just control, but actual, legitimate command.
I can admit I never thought I would see the day. Chatwood under control is effective. Chatwood with command? Nasty. And that is what we are witnessing right now.
The Cubs blew a few chances with runners in scoring position, but delivered with the long ball. The difference between this year (so far) and last has been the versatility of the offense. They’ve gotten big hits or executed fundamentally the last few days, which they failed to do with regularity the last few years.
They can still fall back on the long ball though.
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
UPDATE (9:10 AM): Cubs are calling up lefty Justin Steele, according to Patrick Mooney. No word yet on corresponding roster move to make room for him. Steele, 25, has battled injury and inconsistency throughout his career, but he has Major League stuff. In short outings Steele sits 93-94 but has been known to hit 95-97, has a slider, a solid curve and change. A starter throughout his time in the Minors, his big league future is most likely as a power lefty reliever. He’s got decent control, but has failed to develop consistent command to this point, so the extra velo out of the pen fits him best. In a way he is a lefty version of Duane Underwood Jr.
The Cubs signed a lefty out of Indy ball to a Minor League deal:
Hasn’t pitched in Bigs since 2017. Was mostly a sinker/slider lefty reliever for Jays in 16-17.
Wonder if his arsenal has changed.
At 6’5″ I imagine addition of 4S and/or curve may have given him new life. https://t.co/IENyF8dr11
— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst) August 1, 2020
High leverage: Ryan?, Wick?
Shaky, but trending in right direction: Ryan?, Wick?, Jeffress, Tepera, Sadler, Brothers?, Underwood Jr.?
There’s hope, but not earning it: Brothers?, Underwood Jr. (?), Norwood
We gotta pitch somebody: Winkler, Rea
Need a 3(5?)+ run cushion: Kimbrel
Morning Cubs Roundup