|CHICAGO CUBS ( LESTER )|
ARIZONA ( CORBIN )
|vs Left-handed Starters||19-9||+7.8||14-11||6.0||0.278||0.360||0.467||0.827||3.9||0.239||0.303||0.386||0.689|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-3.3||3-2||4.3||0.264||0.322||0.413||0.734||4.6||0.245||0.311||0.406||0.717|
|vs Left-handed Starters||12-14||-0.9||11-14||4.5||0.248||0.306||0.397||0.703||4.7||0.254||0.321||0.423||0.744|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.2||4-2||3.7||0.224||0.294||0.379||0.673||4.9||0.241||0.318||0.388||0.706|
|7/29/2017||HENDRICKS(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GUERRA(R)||2-1||W||-165||10 ev||U||6||11||0||7||11||1|
|7/30/2017||LACKEY(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||DAVIES(R)||4-2||W||100||9.5 ov||U||9||6||0||6||6||0|
|8/7/2017||ARRIETA(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||MOORE(L)||5-3||W||-175||8 ev||P||12||9||1||9||7||0|
|8/8/2017||QUINTANA(L)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||BLACH(L)||3-6||L||-185||7.5 un||O||8||7||1||9||5||2|
|8/9/2017||HENDRICKS(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||BUMGARNER(L)||1-3||L||105||7.5 un||U||6||6||0||9||8||0|
|8/11/2017||LACKEY(R)||@ ARIZONA||WALKER(R)||8-3||W||110||10.5 un||O||11||7||0||5||5||1|
|8/12/2017||LESTER(L)||@ ARIZONA||CORBIN(L)|| |
|8/13/2017||ARRIETA(R)||@ ARIZONA||GODLEY(R)|| |
|8/18/2017|| ||TORONTO|| || |
|8/19/2017|| ||TORONTO|| || |
|7/29/2017||GREINKE(R)||@ ST LOUIS||LEAKE(R)||7-1||W||-115||8 un||P||8||10||1||5||5||0|
|7/30/2017||WALKER(R)||@ ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||2-3||L||115||8.5 ev||U||5||8||0||6||7||1|
|8/1/2017||CORBIN(L)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||LESTER(L)||4-16||L||170||8.5 ov||O||8||10||3||17||5||1|
|8/2/2017||GODLEY(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)||3-0||W||145||8 ov||U||4||6||0||3||4||1|
|8/3/2017||GREINKE(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||QUINTANA(L)||10-8||W||130||8.5 ov||O||13||8||0||11||8||1|
|8/4/2017||BANDA(L)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||BUMGARNER(L)||2-1||W||135||8 ov||U||6||5||0||3||5||0|
|8/5/2017||WALKER(R)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||STRATTON(R)||4-5||L||-140||8.5 un||O||10||13||0||11||7||2|
|8/6/2017||CORBIN(L)||@ SAN FRANCISCO||SAMARDZIJA(R)||3-6||L||-110||8 un||O||6||6||2||8||6||0|
|8/8/2017||GODLEY(R)||LA DODGERS||MAEDA(R)||6-3||W||+110||9 ov||P||8||6||0||9||5||1|
|8/9/2017||GREINKE(R)||LA DODGERS||WOOD(L)||2-3||L||+100||8.5 ov||U||7||6||0||5||6||0|
|8/10/2017||BANDA(L)||LA DODGERS||DARVISH(R)||6-8||L||+155||9 ov||O||10||7||2||9||6||0|
|8/11/2017||WALKER(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||LACKEY(R)||3-8||L||-120||10.5 un||O||5||5||1||11||7||0|
|8/12/2017||CORBIN(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||LESTER(L)|| |
|8/13/2017||GODLEY(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)|| |
|8/16/2017||WALKER(R)||@ HOUSTON||MORTON(R)|| |
|8/17/2017||CORBIN(L)||@ HOUSTON||FIERS(R)|| |
|8/18/2017|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|8/19/2017|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|CHICAGO CUBS: 2016: 103-58, won World Series
Manager: Joe Maddon (third season)
Who's new? OF Jon Jay, RHP Wade Davis, LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Koji Uehara, LHP Brian Duensing, RHP Eddie Butler
Who's gone? OF Dexter Fowler, IF/OF Jorge Soler, LHP Aroldis Chapman, LHP Travis Wood, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Jason Hammel
Projected lineup: LF Kyle Schwarber (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI in two games), 3B Kris Bryant (.292, 39, 102), 1B Anthony Rizzo (.292, 32, 109), 2B Ben Zobrist (.272, 18, 76), SS Addison Russell (.238, 21, 95), RF Jason Heyward (.230, 7, 49, 11 SB), C Willson Contreras (.282, 12, 35), CF Jon Jay (.291, 2, 26 with Padres) or Albert Almora (.277, 3, 14 in 47 games)
Rotation: LH Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA), RH Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10), RH Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13), RH John Lackey (11-8, 3.35), LH Brett Anderson (1-2, 11.91 in four games with Dodgers) or LH Mike Montgomery (4-5, 2.52 with Mariners and Cubs) or RH Eddie Butler (2-5, 7.17 with Rockies) or LH Rob Zastryzny (1-0, 1.13 ERA in eight games) or RH Alec Mills (0-0, 13.50 in three games with Royals)
Key relievers: RH Wade Davis (2-1, 1.87, 27/30 SV with Royals), RH Pedro Strop (2-2, 2.85), RH Hector Rondon (2-3, 3.53, 18/23 SV), RH Koji Uehara (2-3, 3.45, 7/9 SV with Red Sox), RH Carl Edwards Jr. (0-1, 3.75), RH Justin Grimm (2-1, 4.10), LH Brian Duensing (1-0, 4.05 with Royals)
Hot spots: Fifth Starter. Of all the candidates vying to replace Hammel, who signed with Kansas City as a free agent, most have plenty of upside but didn't log many innings last year. That includes Anderson, who had one productive season and one unproductive season for the Dodgers. Keep an eye on southpaw Montgomery, who tossed two shutouts as a starter for the Mariners in 2015, came to the Cubs last year in a midseason trade, then was effective as a reliever. Last time he was on the mound, he recorded the save in Game 7 of the World Series.
Outlook: There hasn't been a back-to-back champion this century. For opponents of the Cubs, that might be the most tangible nugget of hope. Most of the key players return from a powerhouse team that played historically good defense, got no fewer than 165 innings from each of its top five starters, and featured a deep lineup led by NL MVP Kris Bryant. In the bullpen, two-time All-Star Davis is capable of replacing closer Chapman if he's healthy. Among the Cubs' regular position players, only Zobrist and new center fielder Jay are over 30 ' everyone else is either entering or in the midst of his prime. This is a strong outlook.
|ARIZONA: 2016: 69-93, fourth place
Manager: Torey Lovullo (first season)
Who's new? C Chris Iannetta, C Jeff Mathis, IF/OF Daniel Descalso, RHP Taijuan Walker, RHP Fernando Rodney, RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, RHP Kevin Jepsen, RHP Tyler Jones
Who's gone? Manager Chip Hale, SS Jean Segura, IF/OF Phil Gosselin, OF Peter O'Brien, C Welington Castillo, C Tuffy Gosewich, OF Rickie Weeks Jr., RHP Daniel Hudson, LHP Edwin Escobar
Projected lineup: CF A.J. Pollock (.244, 2 HR, 4 RBI in 12 games), 3B Jake Lamb (.249, 9, 29), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.297, 24, 95, 32 SB), RF David Peralta (.251, .4, 15), LF Yasmany Tomas (.272, 31, 83), 2B Brandon Drury (.282, 16, 53), SS Chris Owings (.277, 5, 49, 21 SB), C Chris Iannetta (.210, 7, 24 with Mariners) or Jeff Mathis (.238, 2, 15 with Marlins)
Rotation: RH Zack Greinke (13-7, 4.37 ERA), RH Taijuan Walker (8-11, 4.22), LH Robbie Ray (8-15, 4.90), LH Patrick Corbin (5-13, 5.15), RH Shelby Miller (3-12, 6.15)
Key relievers: RH Fernando Rodney (2-4, 3.44, 25/28 SV with Padres and Marlins), RH Jake Barrett (1-2, 3.49), RH Randall Delgado (5-2, 4.44), LH Andrew Chafin (0-1, 6.75), RH Kevin Jepsen (2-6, 5.98, 7/11 SV with Twins and Rays), RH Tom Wilhelmsen (2-4, 6.80 with Rangers and Mariners)
Hot spots: Rotation and catcher. The Diamondbacks' rotation was atrocious in 2016, ranking 29th in MLB in ERA. But hey, maybe it wasn't all their fault. In his first year as general manager, Mike Hazen installed a 'pitching strategist' (Dan Haren) and three new catchers (former Angels Iannetta, Mathis and Hank Conger). Meanwhile, nine of the 10 pitchers who started a game for the Diamondbacks last year remain in the organization. It's a bold experiment in how to fix a pitching staff. Iannetta and Mathis can frame all the borderline pitches they want. At some point, the onus will fall on Greinke, Ray, Miller, Corbin and newcomer Walker to perform to their potential.
Outlook: It wasn't long ago that Arizona spent $206 million to coax Greinke to defect from the Dodgers. Now the Diamondbacks feel like a team on the brink of a complete rebuild. Even without Jean Segura, who led the National League in hits, the lineup will score enough to keep Arizona competitive. But what to make of the pitching staff? The rotation beyond Greinke could be anywhere from awesome to abysmal. The ninth inning belongs to 39-year-old Rodney and, if he fails, a who's-who list of failed former closers: Wilhelmsen, Jepsen or J.J. Hoover. The farm system is in poor shape. If things get worse before they get better, Greinke could be the first player traded.
|D-backs' running game key against Lester, Cubs|
PHOENIX -- Arizona manager Torey Lovullo knows all about the pitcher his Diamondbacks will Saturday.
He's also more than aware that getting his team's running game going might be the key to beating Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester.
After all, the two worked together closely during Lovullo's time as bench coach -- and running game coordinator -- for the Boston Red Sox, which began in 2013. Lester's biggest weakness is his hesitation to throw to first base to keep a runner close, so Lovullo worked with him to minimize opposing teams' running games.
"(We talked about) what he was comfortable doing, how he wanted to hold runners, what runners he wanted to pay attention to and what runners he didn't care about," Lovullo said. "He could control runners based on his speed to the plate and, other times, he was going to throw over, and he did."
Only now, Lester rarely if ever throws over. He's not likely to Saturday, either, as Lester (8-6, 3.97 ERA) goes against Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin (8-11, 4.76 ERA) in the second game of a three-game series between teams that potentially could meet in the postseason.
The Cubs rode homers by Kyle Schwarber and Alex Avila in the sixth inning, a three-run eighth inning and John Lester's ability to pitch out of early trouble to an 8-3 win on Friday night, their 17th in their last 26 games. Arizona has dropped three straight and five of six.
But while Lester simply can't find it in himself to make a pickoff throw to first, it's not dramatically impacting his ability to win games. Despite allowing 44 stolen bases in 2015, the most ever by a left-hander, he responded with the best season of his career in 2016 by going 19-5 as the Cubs won the World Series last season. He also cut down the number of stolen bases against him to 28.
He is tied for fourth in the NL in stolen bases allowed this season, yet those 13 steals represent a dramatic reduction from only two seasons ago.
Lovullo thinks working with now-retired catcher David Ross, first in Boston and later in Chicago, helped Lester cut down on the number of steals against him. Ross was Lester's designated catcher with both teams.
"He probably needed someone to take him to the next level; and understands the stuff he had and what he was working with on a daily basis," Lovullo said. "David Ross steps up and guides things in a very positive direction, and Jon Lester needed that at that point in his career. And you can see what he can do now."
Still, Lester faces a couple of potentially worrisome challenges Saturday.
First, Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras is out for an estimated four to six weeks with a right hamstring strain, meaning either rookie Victor Caratini -- who has all of 11 major league games of experience -- or Alex Avila, who is a veteran but has only five games with Cubs, will catch him. As of Friday, manager Joe Maddon still hadn't decided which would work with Lester.
Second, the Diamondbacks possess one of baseball's most dangerous running games. ranking fifth in the majors with 77 stolen bases.
Knowing Lovullo as he does, Lester understands the Diamondbacks likely will be more than aggressive in sending runners.
To combat that, Maddon said, the answer is simple: "Don't let them on first base."
"I don't like pitchers to lose focus to the plate (worrying about who's on base)," Maddon said. "You've got to keep the right guys -- or the wrong guys -- off first base to control it."
All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt leads Arizona with 16 steals, and center fielder A.K. Pollock, usually the No. 2 hitter, has 15 steals. Goldschmidt is 5-for-8 (.625) with one homer and four RBIs in his career against Lester and he has four homers in his last two games against Chicago, including a solo shot Friday. Pollock is 5-for-12 (.417) against Lester. The newly acquired J.D. Martinez is 0-for-4 against him.
Lester has won each of his last three decisions, but didn't figure in the decision in either of his last two starts. He allowed three runs in both, in 6 2/3 innings against the Washington Nationals on Aug. 6 and in four innings Aug. 1 in what became a 16-4 win over Arizona at Wrigley Field -- a game in which he hit his first career home run and recorded his 2,000th career strikeout.
Corbin allowed no more than two earned runs during four successive starts from July 9-26, but was roughed up for 10 earned runs over nine innings in his last two starts -- losses of 6-3 to the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 6 and to the Cubs on Aug. 1.
Corbin is 3-1 with a 5.73 ERA in four career starts against Arizona, giving up 14 earned runs in 22 innings, but hasn't faced any current Cubs batter more than six times.
Lester is 2-0 with a 4.94 ERA in five career starts against Arizona. He hasn't pitched in Chase Field since giving up two runs over seven innings on May 22, 2015.
|Last Updated: 1/18/2018 11:18:04 PM EST|