Cubs vs. Pirates: Series Threads (Games 135-138)

I didn't get to put up a post and the Cubs won two close games in Minnesota. Does that mean I should continue to not post? We'll never know! Next up, four games against the last-place Pirates. See below for the matchups.

Game 135, Thursday, September 2, 7:05 pm central

CHC: RHP Keegan Thompson (3-3, 3.09 ERA)

PIT: RHP Mitch Keller (4-10, 6.75 ERA)

Thompson has yet to carry his bullpen success into his starts. He went only two inning against the White Sox and allowed four earned runs while striking out only one. He has yet to go more than four innings in an appearance.

Keller went 5.1 innings but got shelled by the Cardinals last time out. It was the third start this season in which he's allowed 7 earned runs.

Game 136, Friday, September 3, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Alec Mills (6-6, 4.32 ERA)

PIT: LHP Steven Brault (0-3, 4.57 ERA)

The Cubs best starting pitcher, Alec Mills, pitched 8.1 shutout innings to earn a win against the White Sox. Absolutely bless his heart.

Lefty Brault has made only five starts this season, all since the beginning of August. Too bad for him the Pirates had given up long before that. The Pirates earned seven earned runs off of him in three innings on August 28.

Game 137, Saturday, September 4, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (14-6, 4.43 ERA)


Alec Mills emulator, Kyle Hendricks, suffered through a start ranking among his bottom three of the season at the end of August. He allowed eight earned runs to the White Sox in 4.2 innings. He was only a few starts removed from a nine-run beating at the hands of the Brewers--August was unkind to his ERA.

The Brewers have not yet announced a starter for the Saturday game.

Game 138, Sunday, September 5, 1:20 pm central

CHC: RHP Zach Davies (6-10, 4.91 ERA)

PIT: RHP Wil Crowe (3-7, 5.46 ERA)

Davies held the Twins to one earned run but was pulled during the fifth for the second start in a row. He allowed *eleven* homeruns in six August starts.

Crowe pitched well enough in his last start, allowing three earned runs in five innings, but did not earn a decision against the Cardinals. He last faced the Cubs on May 26, when he exited after only 1.1 innings having allowed five hits and three earned runs.


i dont think k.thompson is going to get past 4 innings in this one either.

1.2ip 4h 2bb 3k (3r/er)

it wasn't pretty.  d.ross lost patience really quickly.

Keegan has some serious adjustments to make if he wants to be a starter at MLB level. He's definitely been passed by Steele for now.

???? - Hendricks - Alzolay - Mills - Steele/Thompson/???

if they go cheap for 2022 and only add a single sure-thing starter, i hope he's good enough to slot in as the ace.  it won't take the best arm on the market to beat out hendricks, so it's not like that bar is mega-high.

hendricks has a history of good, alzolay and steele both have unrealized upside while showing they're MLB-ready.

mills is mills and that's not bad for an end-rotation guy who is also comfortable doing long relief work.  unless he blows it in september, he's most likely being looked at as a rotation guy.

im bummed cory abbott seems to have played his way out of this discussion for 2022.

A MLB rotation needs more than the one safe bet the Cubs have.

this club is so torn down i have 0 idea how to handicap what this club considers a priority in 2022.

i have no idea if they're going to try to turn any of these young kids they got into trade bait for mlb-ready cheap dudes during the long off-season.  i have no idea what they're planning on spending.

if this club has a road map i haven't seen it.

contreras plays for iowa friday...then evaluation for the next step...

d.ross and j.hoyer have tested positive for COVID...both vax'd, showing little to no symptoms.

This is the Hermosillo Game.

andy green named temp manager...gets tossed in the top 6th.  hell yeah.

trevor megill's glove gets tossed in the top 7th.  hell yeah.

The A's/Cubs game in Mesa was riled a forfeit, not a postponement or cancelation. Seems odd.


Arizona Phil? Any news?

A's closed their entire minor league complex in AZ through the weekend because of a covid outbreak (none thought to be serious).

no idea why it's not postponed/etc...

Sometimes, "I have no idea" is the best answer.



this k.hendricks 5th is a horror show.

a single, 3 walks, and a

bases loaded with 1 out in the 5th and his day is done.

this clown ass manager straight up put t.megill into a bases loaded, 1 out situation after throwing 1.1ip yesterday.

harsh?  yes.  i'm sticking with it, though.

a hit, a wild pitch, and an error throwing the ball away on a pickoff...but he got those 2 outs.

allowed 3 runs to score (all credited to hendricks) but none of them from a homer (6 homers in 15ip coming into this).  good job, guy.


wow, that was fun.

I picked a great weekend to be in Chicago. I'm especially glad that I managed to stay awake and not leave the park before the end of yesterday's game. 

It beat the last time I was at Wrigley (September 2019), when the Cubs were shut out in both games.

can we DFA z.davies just for the hell of it?

i mean, nothing 2021 matters, we might as well make z.davies not matter.

Z. Davies is a key cog in the Cubs late-season push for the #5 draft pick in the 2022 draft.

I remind myself of that when another part of me would rather not see him ever again in a Cubs uniform.

Or, he could still be in the uniform.  Just not ever pitch.

And start which pitcher, instead?

matt duffy hasn't had a wrigley homer this season.

he's got 2 today.  one is a grand slam.  first career grand slam.  first career multi-homer game.


3rd inning lasted 41 minutes.

2x grand slams (PIT/CHC) and a bunch of other b/s.

terrible teams doing great things.

holy shi....mat gamel...he showed up with his glove today.

contreras got robbed on a big time diving catch by gamel that would have tied the game and even the fans were "damn, that's dope" about the catch.

That was an insane catch - should easily be on SportsCenter later tonight

schwindel grand slam!

3 grand slams today, 2 for the cubs.

386 happy feet into the basket for the grand slam. Crazy game

playing PIT has been one of the cubs bright spots this season.

Unlike most of Schwindel's other homers, that one did not come on a homerun swing--I was hoping for a bloop hit off the bat.

AZ Phil or others - Anyone know why we released Matteo Bocchi yesterday? His numbers at SB were great (even though he just turned 25). I was hoping he'd stay in the rotation or pitch piggy-back at AA next year. I'm hoping he had an offer to play overseas or that Italy was calling him back home.

My guess is to make room (against the overall 180 player org limit) for Jordan Wicks, who made his pro debut tonight.

W-RAT: The Cubs released both 1B-3B Ryan Reynolds and RHP Matteo Bocchi over the past couple of days, but it wasn't because they needed their slots on the 180-man Domestic Reserve List. At present, there are 170 players on the DRL (ten slots are open), and even if you add the five draft picks who have yet to play in a game and thus do not yet need to be added to the DRL, that's still only 175 players.  

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  • crunch 2 hours 46 min ago (view)

    m.rodriguez to 10d IL, a.morgan returns.


  • Jackstraw 12 hours 51 min ago (view)

    I like that the team was absolutely committed to not losing back-to-back games on a walk-off passed ball.


  • Eric S 23 hours 13 min ago (view)

    And the funny thing is Rucker was the only Cubs pitcher tonight to post 0 runs allowed in the box score. You know things are really out of hand when Ross gives the okay for a Maples appearance.


  • George Altman 1 day 26 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil,

    Is there a reason Preciado hasn't been in an ACL game in about a month?


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    i'd like the 2021 version of whatever d.ross is smoking bringing m.rucker into a bases loaded, 2 run lead in the 4th situation.

    dude saw the situation and said "gimmie that guy with the 8.44era 1.59whip" as the first pen option to protect a lead.

    rucker has been in 13 games and given up runs in 8 of them.


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    hendricks last 7 starts...

    9er, 1er, 4er, 8er, 6er, 1er, 7er

    3.68era - 1.29whip 4.81era - 1.35whip


  • Cubster 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Hendricks becomes hammered?

    Do we miss the 2021 version of Jake Arrieta?


  • Eric S 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Rivas in the outfield is a no go


  • Eric S 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Thanks for posting the video. He seems a little hesitant on the base paths. Crazy thing is he's clearly out-pitched the Cubs staff ace since joining the Cards - WTH has happened to the Professor?


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    cubs get a 7 run lead in the 3rd...tie game in the 4th.


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    "Please Hammer Don't Hurt Em" - some dude in 1990

    "Okay." - JD Hammer 2021


  • Cubster 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Hammer hammered?


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    bit of an odd pause/delay in the middle of the video for some reason.  there was a better cut video of his baserunning out there, but it seems to have been removed from Twitter.

    long story short, he's as timid about baserunning as he is about throwing a baseball anywhere but to a catcher off of a mound.  we saw a little of that with the cubs, but not piling up a bunch in a single inning.


  • Eric S 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    I searched the internets and struck out finding video of Big Jon's baserunning exploits 


  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    i highly suggest seeking out a highlight reel of his baserunning tonight.


  • Eric S 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    Looks like after tonight, Jon Lester will need just one more win to reach 200 career wins - notwithstanding it helps the Redbirds, hope he gets it this year.