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.


so...this and some highschool kids is what gets a team y.darvish, huh...

davies with a 10.00+ ERA after giving up 4 runs in the 1st inning of his 5th start...started the game with 8.80 ERA.  yow.

stay stretched out a.mills...





megill bringing 98-99mph


nico leading off again.  contreras is a big fan..."This guy needs to be in the lineup on a daily basis. He’s a high-energy guy. He takes good at-bats and he’s always looking for ways to win the game. That’s Nico Hoerner.”

bryant is out with a sore right biceps...available off the bench.  this could be a multi-game thing.

Who would've thought that Contreras might vibe with a "high-energy" player?

i straight up don't get why he's not more popular with cubs fans.  bryant/rizzo have their weird co-energy.  baez became a bigger star than both of them (and sold the most merch for years).  contreras has been a steady performer and has stood in all their shadows.

rick wilkins got more love, it seems...well, at least for those 2 seasons wilkins was a thing.

at least people don't hate him.  he just seems like a fan afterthought, though.

I agree. I love Contreras, he's amazing. I think you and I are on a similar page with Willson.

I also feel like he is a bit of a front office afterthought given his frequency in trade rumors. Catchers like him are next to impossible to find or develop.

I think he was too far down the list of star players to catch casual fans and had the catchers defense ding for fans paying more attention. The defense has come up, though, and the stars who used to be ahead of him have all been down a bit.

2 singles and a walk...what a great night of cubs bats.

bryant back (in LF), rizzo leading off, baez still out/sore with hoerner at SS...bote on borrowed time unless he shows something at 2nd while duffy slots in at 3rd.

I like Note, Hoerner, and even Duffy well enough individually. Having them all in the game at the same time, on the other hand... Do I miss Joc Pederson?

huge bote fan, but he's not doing a damn thing with the bat to stay in the lineup once everyone is healthy.

he needs to show something to keep getting starts...especially for a guy who has a good history of coming off the bench cold ready to hit.  that's awesome, yet adding to the slow month to work against him as a starter.

can't say that ross hasn't given him a great amount of chances to prove himself.

hendricks is not having a good year for keeping the ball in the park...


10 HR in 22ip...gave up his 10th in the bottom 4th to the leadoff man...h.ynoa...the pitcher...

he gave up 10 HR last year in 81.1ip




video link/twitter:

even freeman is laughing his ass off about it.  rizzo moves back to 1st and duffy gets to pitch now (first time ever pitching).

rizzo - 0.2ip 0h 1bb 1k

duffy - 0.1ip 0h 0bb 0k

sogard pitched the 8th.

1ip 2h 0bb 0k (1hbp), 0 r/er

I think I may know what's wrong with the Cubs.  Somebody mixed up the hitters and pitchers signs at training facilities.  Cubs hitters have been spending all their time working in the pitch lab. 

they need to hit up whatever lab barry bonds was using.

seriously, though...way too many disapointing bats and k.hendricks is entering into alarmingly concerning territory.

Honestly, Rizzo hitting that easy, no-load 74 mph has me wondering.

Cubs recall Justin Steele from the ATS, DFA Brandon Workman (about time I would say) 

yeah, i could do without seeing workman again until rosters expand.

CRUNCH: Brandon Workman is gone IMO. I don't see him accepting an outright assignment and I doubt that the Cubs would want him taking up a roster slot at AAA even if he was inclined to accept a minor league assignment.  

RHSP Tyson Miller is on the CoViD IL and has been on an Article XIX-C rehab assignment at the ATS, so the Cubs will need to reinstate him back to the 40-man roster and option him to AAA Iowa sometime in the next day or two. 

The Cubs have released RHRP Brandon Workman. He was Designated for Assignment last Thursday. 

So the Cubs are now on the hook for Workman's $1M salary, but it would be offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB contract with another club, or sign a minor league contract with another club and then have his contract selected to an MLB 40-man roster. 

i.happ and d.bote might not make it off the bench for any significant time any time soon...

Thinking Joc can keep his ass on the bench when he's back too

i know hoerner is hitting well, but his 7 walks is what's blowing me away about his current game play.  he wasn't even showing this kind of discipline in spring.  i know hitting 8th so much helps, but walks isn't part of his game.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 17 min 38 sec ago (view)

    i.vargas DFA'd...happ returns.


  • Wrigley Rat 17 hours 52 min ago (view)

    Tyler Suellentrop:
    - 92-95 mph
    - Dominant in the B9th with a 1-2-3 frame, striking out all three batters. FB 93-97 T98


  • 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:

    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...