Cubs vs. Pirates: Alzolay vs. Williams (Game 85)

CHC (45-39): RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 2.08 ERA)
PIT (39-43): RHP Trevor Williams (2-2, 4.25 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

The Cubs leave behind a contentious Cincinnati series and give us Alzolay's second MLB start as a distraction. The rookie right-hander was inefficient in his first start, allowing four walks to go with four strikeouts in only 4.1 innings of work. Still, the only run scored on a solo homerun by Acuna. Walks were never a big issue for Alzolay in the minors. The Pirates are a touch below average offensively, but they are 13th in the majors in wRC+ vs right-handers. Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds, and Kevin Newman have been especially potent against righties. Cub killer Francisco Cervelli has been held to a .557 OPS against righties--but he's on the IL with a concussion.

Trevor Williams has been pretty decent this year, counteracting a slightly increased BABIP with a significantly decreased walk rate. He most recently lost to Houston, allowing four earned runs in 6.2 innings. Current Cubs have a .770 OPS against him in 94 at bats. Schwarber is 5-15 with two homeruns. Javy is 2-11 with zero strikeouts. Bryant is 2-7 with five walks.

There's rain coming to Pittsburgh this week, but it's not forecast to begin until tomorrow.

Comments

tyler skaggs has died.

rangers/angels cancelled.

he was 27 years old.

Holy shit. That’s awful.

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / heyward / almora / caratini / russell / alzolay

16 pitches in...0 outs...4 PIT runs...

sigh

They say it’s a game of adjustments. Looks like the Pirates have a bit of game plan against Alzolay in his third MLB appearance. 

Pirates are spitting on offspeed and whacking the hell out of his fastballs. 

Seems likely he was tipping the curveball somehow. But the Pirates kept at it against the bullpen.

Javy. Wow

Hoping he declines participating in the home run derby and give the heel an additional break

damn...probably have to send alzolay down after this game just to get a fresh pen arm.

this is turrible.

2.2ip 10h 1bb 3k, 7r/er, 57 pitches

he leaves with 2 on...yow.

Alzolay has a little bit of a home/road split. 

b.brach gets his 1st hit (single) and 1st RBI of his career.

also, the cubs get within 3 runs.  neat-o.

Man, baseball is fickle. KB with a great at bat with the bases loaded, works a 3-1 count ... pops up to second. What could have been. 

Voted for Bell for the all star game. Little surprised neither of his two bombs off of Alzolay ended up in the river - they sure looked that way off the bat 

So Cubs best hitter pops up to second with bases loaded, two outs. Pirates starting pitcher in same situation laces a single to right. That uh, blows

this game is butt.

d.descalso pitching...3rd team he's had a pitching appearance (stl/arz/chc)

He’s just been playing out of position. Descalso is the bullpen help we needed.

Just kidding, can’t hit or pitch.

hey, he sucks at pitching too.

there's still the 8th inning to come for PIT to bat.  neat.

kimbrel is trying to keep this 10 run loss in tact.

...and he gives up a solo HR on his 4th pitch.

...and fraizer's 4th double of the game on his 5th pitch.

...and bell's 3rd homer of the game with his 16th pitch.

help.

send help.

Maybe the bat boy could soak up some pitches?

c.zambrano chicago dogs bio blurb

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D-b-hLKX4AcUtPk.jpg

...looking like a hispanic kenny powers...

The Cubs have reinstated RHSP Kyle Hendricks from the 10-day IL (he's supposed to start tonight), optioned RHSP Adbert Alzolay and RHRP Rowan Wick to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHRP Randy Rosario. 

Alzolay probably won't actually report to Iowa (at least not until after the All-Star break). He'll likely just stay with the Cubs while they are in Pittsburgh, then travel to Cleveland for the Futures Game on Sunday, and then maybe report to Iowa in about ten days. 

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  • crunch 1 hour 54 min ago (view)

    nice.  i love seeing the undrafted who still try to make a career get a shot.

    it seems he's somewhat recently hit 97mph on his fastball which helped attract some interest.

    https://uspbl.com/max-bain-signs-with-chicago-cubs/

    good luck to the dude.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 4 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released eight players from their Dominican Academy: RHRP Donato Auguste, RHRP Marco Encarnacion, RHRP Rodrigo Garcia, RHRP Francisco Gracia, LHRP Anderson Parra, RHRP Willians Vasquez, 1B Jeinser Brete, and OF Kevin Miranda.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 23 min ago (view)

    Rex Brothers has one minor league option left and Article XX-D status (so he can elect free-agency if outrighted) if he were to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2020. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 31 min ago (view)

    RHSP Max Bain (contract acquired by Cubs from Utica Unicorns of USPBL last week) minor league UPC has not yet been filed with MLB. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 37 min ago (view)

    The Josh Phegley, Bryan Brickhouse, Rex Brothers, Juan Gamez, and Caleb Simpson minor league contracts have been filed with MLB, but the Tyler Olson and Jason Adam contracts are still pending.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 49 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed LHRP Rex Brothers (ex COL, ex-ATL), RHRP Bryan Brickhouse, RHRP Juan Gamez (pitched in Mexican League in 2019), and RHRP Caleb Simpson to minor l;eague contracts, and Brothers is the only one of the four likely receive an NRI to Cubs MLB Spring Training. 

     

  • crunch 20 hours 34 min ago (view)

    ummm...nevermind...

    ""There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of," Arenado said. "You can quote that." Arenado added, "You ask what I thought of Jeff’s quotes and I say I don’t care what people say around there. There is a lot of disrespect."

    The third baseman didn't want to elaborate on what he felt was disrespectful, but clearing the relationship between Arenado and the front office needs to be repaired."

     

  • crunch 21 hours 52 min ago (view)

    some good news...or bad news depending on how you feel about it...for the k.bryant trade market...

    "Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich on Monday indicated that Nolan Arenado will not be dealt prior to spring training and trade talks involving the third baseman are off for now."

    now MLB and crew need to decide whether bryant has an extra year of club control or not...still waiting...

    rangers, braves, and nats are supposedly looking at 3rd base upgrades.  cards are, too, but bryant to the cards would be a mutiny level trade decision.

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    "Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Marlins, Cubs, Rangers, and Brewers are "believed to be among the teams with some interest" in free agent reliever Pedro Strop.

    Nicholson-Smith on Sunday that Strop had three offers in-hand (two from NL clubs and one from an AL club) and will likely make his decision soon."

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    meanwhile "bitpartisan" lawmakers are working as hard as they can to make sure many labor/pay protection laws applicable to other workers don't apply to minor league teams for many years now by coding it into law or attempting to...

    some of these same people are now crying foul over MLB team owner's plan to get rid of dozens of minor league teams for restructuring in order to save $$ by billionaire team owners.

    "hey, we're doing this favor for you at the expense of workers.  remember this!" - lawmakers

    "oh, we will." - MLB team owners

     

  • Charlie 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Fair pay for minor leaguers and international free agents would soften the blow of nickel and diming the MLB payroll for sure. It won't happen until the players union represents minor league interests, of course, unless an outside law suit forces the minimum wage issue.

     

  • crunch 2 days 25 min ago (view)

    without fail, at the end of every minor league spring training period (which is extremely poorly paid, not at all for the most part) there comes some retirements that seem to be a bit "early" in their development when players slog through weeks of low/no pay only to find out they're being assigned to a low level that barely pays them.  it's a real morale crasher after going through weeks of poverty that breaks some guys.  that's no way to run things...

     

  • JustSayin' 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    So true.  The minors these days is an odd mix of the few who get big bonuses with Hispanic guys for whom $1,200/month might be good money and college guys being partly subsidized by middle or upper-middle class families.  You don't hear much about minor league economics when the discussion turns to lower participation by black players but I believe it's a big factor.  If you need to use sports to get ahead, would you rather have your "internship" involve a free college education, or $6,000 a year?  

     

  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    there are more than a few minor league players that have to "retire" from minor league ball in order to start making real money in the real world for their real lives while those from more wealthy families get to follow their dreams a bit longer.

    that's a real shame.

     

  • JustSayin' 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Theo got a good question at the conference on minor league salaries and went on record that they are unfair.  That was followed by "keep your ear to the ground" or some similar cliche.  I find this interesting.  Fan dissatisfaction this offseason is maily focused on ownership being cheap but you have to admit there is a (slim?) chance that the baseball moves we want to see are not currently possible.  It's hard to say the same about MiLB salaries.  Those don't even factor in the luxury tax.  You could raise every player in the system to middle class for the cos

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    As part of the 2019-2020 Cubs offseason dumpster diving extravaganza, I wonder if they will kick the tires on Zack Cozart. Can handle 2B SS 3B and isn't far removed from being a great defender and at least decent hitter. 2 years of injury is a concern, but he'd receive only ML minimum.