Know They sCrUBS -- KTE June 30-July 3

The endless question: should it be "Thy" or "Thine"? The villains' strengths and weaknesses all lay here.

Know They sCrUBS -- KTE June 30-July 3

Postby Frayed Knot » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:04 am

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Frayed Knot
Jeff Torborg. Mets Manager, 1992-93

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I searched the internet and came up with this which must have been from TEAM PHOTO DAY
That might be Zobrist on the left but I'm not sure.




So, as you many have heard, the Cubs have been decidedly UN-Scrubby by being the best team in baseball since right out of the gate.
June has seen them stumble just a bit (16-11 including a recent four-game losing streak) to where they’re no longer lapping the field — Texas has actually caught them in winning pct and the Giants are on their heels — but they’re still 51-26 with an absurd +170 run differential (412/242) which is what tends to happen when you allow the fewest runs in the game (30 fewer than Mets) and score the most runs (147 more than NYM!!).
They’re on pace to win 107 games.

And a lot of it starts with their mad genius manager. Yeah there are the dress-up days and other silly shit, but there’s also the Joe Maddon who isn’t afraid to mix and match positions. Star 3B Kris Bryant? yeah, he plays in the OF almost as much as 3rd after the early season injury to blocking fullback Kyle Schwarber. And then there was the extra-inning game Tuesday night in Cincinnati when he used six different left-fielders only two of which were actually OFers: one was the newly called-up and highly-touted catcher; three others were pitchers who swapped in and out Orosco/McDowell-style as the situation dictated. Cubs won with 5 runs in the top of the 15th and no animals were harmed in the process.

C - Miguel Montero wasn’t hitting (130 points off his OPS from last year) so here comes 24 y/o Venezuelan Willson (yes, with two l’s) Contreras who’s merely hitting .333 w/3 HRs in 36 ABs since his call-up last week.

1B - Anthony Rizzo - .284/.407/.576; 19 HRs … nuff said.

2B - Ben Zobrist - the signing of this 35 y/o may burn them eventually, but it hasn’t yet: .299/.409/.470.
On some days, like yesterday’s game for instance, Zobrist is the only starter in the lineup over 26 - although, oddly for a guy who built his rep on his versatility, he might be the least position-switchingest guy on the roster having just a few games in RF this year.

SS - Addison Russell - .235/.326/.377: not yet a polished product, but, hell, he’s still just 22 y/o and good enough already to win the position over the other half-dozen or so SS prospects they’ve had recently.

3B - Kris Bryant - .280/.372/.560, 21 HRs: has started 22 games in LF, almost as many as at 3rd.
Tuesday night he had 3 HRs + 2 2Bs . Yes, in ONE game! That’s a week’s worth of offense for the entire Mets team.

And I don’t even know where to list Javier Baez. He doesn’t have a position yet has had nearly 200 PAs so far while getting multiple starts (not just appearances but starts) at 3B, SS, & 2B and even one at 1B and a couple of fill-ins in LF.

LF - eh, whoever’s available, especially now that Jorge Soler is DL’d in addition to Kyle Schwarber early in the season. Bryant takes his turns out there, as do the newly called-up Contreras, former ROY Chris Couglin, IF’er Javier Baez, Alberto Almora, Matt (Hail) Szczur, a couple guys out of the bullpen, whatever. 8 different players have started there this season, more (maybe the entire roster) have made at least one appearance.

CF - Had been Dexter Fowler who, after fake-signing with Baltimore last winter, suddenly turned around and re-signed with the Cubs for less money than what he had turned down earlier. But what he apparently lacks in business sense he makes up for in playing ability as he was in the midst of a career year as their leadoff guy until being DL’d last week. So, until he gets back, the CF is a mish-mash of whoever’s not playing LF or RF at that particular moment, possibly including the peanut vendor.

RF - FA signing Jason Heyward is seemingly the one move that hasn’t outperformed expectations straight out of the box for them. He’s been better lately but still just .235/.326/.325 on the year. Still gets on base, but still a confounding lack of power (4 HRs tho 3 in June) for a guy 6’5”/240 who also K’s 100x/year. Basically he’s Grandy with less power but better defense.



And then there’s the pitching.
We have the T-2 best ERA in the league, well they have the best and it’s by 1/2 R/G better than us and nearly 1.5/G better than league average



Thursday, 7:10 — John Lackey [7-4; 3.29; 1.04] vs Matz
Man, Lackey has got to be pissing off Boston fans. After signing with them for 6 Gillion Dollars and pretty much being average at best [47-43, 4.46, 1.36] and cranky almost constantly, he winds up first in StL and now in Chicago where he’s gone 20-14 / 2.93 over the last two seasons at ages 36 & 37!
He still strikes me as an asshole. I think it’s his face and the fact that he always seems to be bitching about something: umpires, opponents, teammates, probably global warming too.

Friday, 7:10 — Jason Hammel [7-4; 2.58; 1.08] vs deGrom
Man, Hammel has got to be pissing off Oakland fans. The Cubs dealt Hammel away two years ago at the deadline to get Addison Russell. After sucking for the A’s [2-6 in 12 starts] AND allowing the WC-losing runs to the Royals to boot, the Cubs signed him back that winter where now he’s good again [17-11, 3.35 in 46 starts since returning] and they got Addison Freakin’ Russell out of the deal.

Saturday, 7:15 (FOX) — Jake Arrieta [12-2; 2.10; 1.02] vs Colon
Man, Arrieta has got to be pissing off Baltimore fans. Traded to Chicago in July of 2013 with set-up man Pedro Strop for two guys whose mothers don’t keep their baseball cards (and neither of which is still w/Baltimore), his 5.73 ERA as on Oriole morphed into 2.23 and a CY as a Cub. He’s actually been showing some chinks in the armor lately; walks are up [40 in 103 IP] and (probably not unrelated) runs up high pitch counts which limits him late in games as he’s gone just 5 innings in 4 of his last 7 starts which include his only 2 losses on the year.

Sunday, 1:10 — Jon Lester [9-3; 2.03; 0.97] vs Syndergaard
Lester at least pitched well for Boston & Oakland before jumping to Chicago. Those teams just opted not to give a multiple year deal to a pitcher already past 30 so maybe he’s not pissing off their fans too much.
So far it’s working in the Cubs favor 1-1/2 years into the deal - but that may be a bit like the tale of the guy who jumps off a 100 story building as says, “no problem so far” as he whizzes past the 70th floor.
Lester has that weird problem where he supposedly can’t throw to 1st base but that only applies to teams who actually get on base and then can run … so never mind.

Hector Rondon closes for them and has great stats [1.65 ERA, 0.66 WHiP, 35/3 K/BB ratio] although has blown 3 games in his last six outings.
Travis Wood (L), Trevor Cahill, and Pedro Strop (rhymes with ROPE) are their main set-up guys although several of them also played LF the other night so yaneverknow where you might find these guys.


Somewhere in the back of my mind I have a vague memory of some team called the Mets sweeping a team called the Cubs in four straight. In this memory the weather was starting to turn chilly, the games seemed important, and they even jumped out early on pitchers named Hammel & Arrieta and outlasted a guy named Lester.
But I’m not sure that those teams bear any resemblance to the two who are going to meet this weekend although maybe I can be surprised.
Would that i'twere so simple

Re: Know They sCrUBS -- KTE June 30-July 3

Postby Frayed Knot » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:10 pm

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Frayed Knot
Jeff Torborg. Mets Manager, 1992-93

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Location: Out in Leftfield
Second Series in the Second City -- July 18-20


The scene now shifts to Chicago as we try to run our winning streak vs the baby bears to nine.
Note that both night games are at seven o’clock EDT despite being in the central time zone thanks to the ESPN televising both games (they’re doing all three in fact - maybe they’re not total evil after all).

Cubs started MLB’s 2nd half by winning 2 of 3 against Texas, but were 6-15 going into the AS break which is even worse than it sounds seeing as how four of those six wins came against putrid Cincinnati.
They still have a ridiculous RS/RA ratio (+134) but much of that was built up early and their planet-best W/L record is now merely on a par with the other division leaders (Wash, SF, TEX, CLE, TEX, BAL) and just try to find someone to admit that they were one of those making early season projections of 120+ wins (and there were plenty of them) now that they're on pace for less than 100.




Monday July 18, 7:10 — Matz vs Jon Lester [9-4; 3.01]
I’m sure you’ll recall that we kicked the ever lovin’ shit out of Lester in the four-game series’ finale, an 8 runs on 9 hits in 1-1/3 kind of butt-kicking. And in his one start since then he only lasted 3 innings while giving up 5 runs vs Pitt.

Tuesday July 19, 7:10 — Syndergaard vs Jake Arrieta [12-4; 2.68]
We got to Arrieta for 4 runs on 8 hits over 5.1 in game 3 of the CitiField series two weeks ago as he got out-pitched by Big Sexy. And while the 2.68 ERA is certainly top-notch, it was in the mid-ones only a few weeks ago so the dominant run he had been on since mid-2015 has lost a bunch of its shine.

Wednesday July 20, 2:20 — Colon vs Kyle Hendricks [8-6; 2.41]
Raise you hand if you would have picked Kyle Hendricks as the lowest ERA among those three. Yeah, me neither - but the Mets have scored just three runs off of Hendricks in 3 career starts / 17 innings - one start in each of 2014 & ’15 and one more in the 2015 NLCS


Roster Updates:
They’ll still be without their CF/leadoff hitting Dexter Fowler as they were two weeks back as he's just getting ready to start a rehab assignment.
Also, RP Trevor Cahill (he threw 4 scoreless innings in the CitiField sereis) has been DL’d since the last series as has utility OF Chris Coughlin.
Former Atlanta utility man Tommy La Stella has been called up to fill in; little known fact: La Stella is Italian for ‘The Stella’
Last edited by Frayed Knot on Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
Would that i'twere so simple

Re: Know They sCrUBS -- KTE June 30-July 3

Postby Edgy MD » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:30 am

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Rube Walker — Pitching Coach, 1968–1981

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They still have a "recent four-game losing streak." Heh-heh.
I'll be your patron saint of heartbreak.

Re: Know They sCrUBS -- KTE June 30-July 3

Postby Edgy MD » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:42 am

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Edgy MD
Rube Walker — Pitching Coach, 1968–1981

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Location: Baltimore
Ex-Mets Cubbing for the Cubs

Backup catcher René Rivera was claimed off waivers from the Mets a few weeks ago. He is currently one of five (!!) catchers on the Cubs' active roster.

Former Mets backup catcher Henry Blanco is the Cubs' quality control coach. This will come as little surprise to those of you who remember how under control the Mets' quality was back in 2010.

Staying with the 2010 theme, one of that year's backup outfielders, Jesús Feliciano, manages the Cubs Class A Eugene Emeralds. Or at least he was as of last week.

And that's more or less it!
I'll be your patron saint of heartbreak.


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