Cubs @ Atlanta: Series Thread (Games 22-25)
The Cubs (10-11) depart Wrigley for warmer climes, sunk below .500 yet again and in 4th place in the NL Central. They'll come into their second series against Atlanta (9-12) with much improved stat lines. The team is now 14th in the majors in runs scored and equally middle-of-the-pack in OBP (14th) and SLG (11th). However, they've scored 44 of their 92 total runs in 3 blowout wins. Most recently, they were shutout by yet another dominating Brandon Woodruff start. Fortunately for the Cubs, Atlanta has similarly struggled offensively, most recently suffering shutout losses on both sides of a double-header to Arizona. Everyone knows both rosters are too good for this offensive ineptitude to continue. This week's question will be, which team is too-gooder? See below for the matchups in the 4-game series.
Game 22, Monday, April 26, 6:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Zach Davies (1-2, 8.80 ERA)
ATL: RHP Charlie Morton (1-1, 3.91 ERA)
Zach Davies only went 4 innings in his last start, allowing 2 earned runs on 2 walks and 5 hits, and it was still one of his better starts of the young season.
Cubs fans haven't seen that much of Charlie Morton since 2016, when he pitched in only 4 games for Philadelphia. I remember him primarily as a sinker-balling Pirate. In 2017, however, he started the second act of his career, and it has involved a lot more strikeouts.
Game 23, Tuesday, April 27, 6:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Trevor Williams (2-1, 4.66 ERA)
ATL: RHP Ian Anderson (1-0, 3.27 ERA)
Williams had another solid start last time, keeping the Cubs in the game long enough for the team to eventually overtake the Mets. He struck out 6 and allowed 2 earned runs in 5 innings pitched. Mets batters had a few hard hit balls off of him and he did not get his usual quota of ground balls, but he walked only one and missed enough bats to stay out of trouble.
Ian Anderson earned his first win in a 6.2 inning performance against the Yankees in which he allowed 0 earned runs. Prior to that, he earned 3 no-decisions while putting up decent starts and solid peripherals. He does struggle to find the strike zone at times, so the Cubs' patience could come into play. He went 3-2 in 6 starts last season, striking out more than 11 per 9 innings in a promising debut season. He sits mid-90s with the fastball but his changeup is his best pitch--he uses it about 30% of the time.
Game 24, Wednesday, April 28, 6:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 5.68 ERA)
ATL: RHP Huascar Ynoa (1-1, 3.68 ERA)
Hendricks earned his first win of the season and went 6 innings against the Mets in his last start. Hopefully, he can stop alternating between very Hendricks starts and absolute trash. The warm, humid weather in Georgia should help his stuff. Marcell Ozuna is the nemesis to highlight in this one: he's hitting .393 with 2 HRs in 28 ABs against Hendricks.
Ynoa had his early-season stats a bit messed up by the Cubs on 4/17. He allowed 6 earned run on 7 hits (3 homeruns) in 4 innings. Since then, he returned to being very hard to hit. Excluding that start against the Cubs, he's allowed 8 hits in 18 innings pitched.
Game 25, Thursday, April 29, 6:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Adbert Alzolay (0-2, 5.40 ERA)
ATL: TBD (possibly RHP Kyle Wright, 0-0, 4.15 ERA, 4.1 innings pitched)
For the second start in a row, Alzolay left an otherwise strong start with runners on base. And for the second start in a row, a lefty reliever allowed those inherited runners to come around to score. He's shown the right combination of promise and inconsistency to continue getting starts and to continue getting pulled if he allows a couple baserunners around mid-game. He has yet to face any team other than the Brewers and is yet to matchup with any starter other than Freddy Peralta. As ATL has not yet announced a starter, it's always possible Peralta will pop-up in Georgia just in time to foil Alzolay again.
Next up: 3 games in Cincinnati.
crunch 17 min 38 sec ago (view)
i.vargas DFA'd...happ returns.
Wrigley Rat 17 hours 52 min ago (view)
- 92-95 mph https://twitter.com/P15Sports/status/1371873329565...
- Dominant in the B9th with a 1-2-3 frame, striking out all three batters. FB 93-97 T98 https://twitter.com/rayteodora1/status/13015758552...
crunch 17 hours 58 min ago (view)
it's really cool how playing vs DET in 2021 counts toward the MLB win/loss totals of a team. it's like using a cheat code.
crunch 22 hours 5 min ago (view)
there has been a ton of fringe signings the past 48 hours by many teams...guys that were not playing organized ball or playing indie ball for the past 1-2+ seasons.
tim815 22 hours 51 min ago (view)
The Cubs have apparently signed Tyler Suellentrop, a pitcher drafted by Seattle in 2018 from Indian River Community College in Florida. He's been assigned to Myrtle Beach. I expect he'll pitch on Friday.
crunch 23 hours 48 min ago (view)
wrigley going 60% capactity may 28th. hopefully we'll be 100% by july/august.
we're getting closer to "normal." i hope we can get things stable for those that can't get a vax, and those that are still refusing or on the fence will cross over and join the rest of functioning society.
as someone who was on strong chemo with a wide open immune system a decade ago, i'm thinking about them and others in similar health conditions.
Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
VIDEO: Zach Davis and Rochest Cruz are (were) probably the two fastest players (sprint-speed on the bases) in the Cubs system (though not Cruz anymore, obviously).
Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
Cubs minor league RHRP Ben Hecht (Cubs 2017 12th round pick - Wichita State) had TJS a couple of days ago.
videographer 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
Rochest Cruz had some success in the DSL a couple of years ago. Too bad he didn't pan out. Carlos Pacheco showed power numbers in the DSL two or three years ago along with a high K rate.
tim815 2 days 13 hours ago (view)
The rush to 70 players.
Arizona Phil 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have released OF Luis Berrelleza, INF Rochest Cruz, LHP Misael Garcia, OF Orlando Guzman, C-1B Brayan Mancilla, RHP Yander Montero, OF Carlos Pacheco, and OF John Rodriguez.
crunch 2 days 16 hours ago (view)
it screws up stats. i know you play for wins/losses, but real money is on the line for players and makes agent/player homework selling their client a bit harder.
it also makes historical comparisons difficult.
the amount of time i've seen a fresh inning starting out...bunt guy to 3rd for an out, IBB, IBB is too high. what would amount to a leadoff single following that can easily turn into 2 runs (1 earned) with guys on the corner...which usually leads to another IBB.
Charlie 2 days 18 hours ago (view)
Jay Jaffe has a timely argument against the runner on second rule over at fangraphs: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-runner-on-second-i...
I still don't know why we don't just have ties. Obviously, the Cubs could have dodged most of these situations by simply hitting a little bit during the regulation innings.
Arizona Phil 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have signed free-agent RHSP Adrian Sampson to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa, and RHP Michael McAvene, LHP Jack Patterson, and OF Donnie Dewees have been placed on the 60-day IL to open up slots for Sampson, Trayce Thompson, and Kyle Ryan on the Cubs minor league 180-man Domestic Reserve List.
crunch 2 days 21 hours ago (view)
well that sucked.
2-game sweep, 2 games under .500
crunch 2 days 21 hours ago (view)
stumbled onto this today...clip from a 2019 ESPN broadcast game with boog, chipper jones, and david ross in the booth...
boog used to call games for ATL, btw...