Cubs vs. Reds (Game 43)
With 18 games remaining, the Cubs are still in 1st place and 2.5 games ahead of their nearest rival, the Cardinals. They welcome the 4th place Reds to Wrigley for a 3-game series before heading out for a brief road trip to Milwaukee. There are 10 games left against the NL central for the Cubs. Cincinnati enters the series a long shot for the division at 5.5 back, but they have the same number of wins as Milwaukee and more than the second-place Cards; they are very much still in the playoff hunt.
CHC (24-18): RHP Alec Mills (1-1, 3.90 ERA)
CIN (18-23): RHP Tyler Mahle (1-1, 3.90 ERA)
First pitch 7:15 pm central
Having entered the 2020 off-season as a likely spot-starter, Alec Mills has been a mainstay of the Cubs rotation throughout the first two-thirds of the season. Now that both Quintana and Chatwood are dealing with injuries, there's no indication of his departure any time soon. He opened the season with two strong starts and has allowed 21 earned runs in 24.2 innings since then. He lost to the Pirates last time around. He's 1-0 against Cincinnati in two starts this year, but he was only able to go three innings in his last start against them.
This will be Mahle's third start of the short season against the Cubs. He's 1-0 in two starts including an 11-strikout game most recently.
Cubster 3 hours 38 min ago (view)
Bluejays locked up a playoff spot. Looks like it's the Astros that are out. They are unlikely to get a "Buffalo" home game if they are the last seed.
Tribune Cub Notes (Friday AM):
Revenue drop leads to layoffs
By Mark Gonzales
The Cubs on Thursday laid off about 60 members of their business department because of declining revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a source told the Tribune.
crunch 18 hours 43 min ago (view)
the scary part of this team-wide slump, and especially this series, is PIT is basically a AAA level talent team that had 15 wins all season coming into the cubs series.
cubs are limping into the post-season. heyward is pretty much the only consistent hitter. well, technically jose martinez has been consistent, too.
blockhead25 19 hours 1 min ago (view)
Hey, anything could happen. They could win 4 2-1 games in a series.
Or lose 8-0, 6-0 in the first round and be done.
Charlie 19 hours 20 min ago (view)
3 days left to get psyched for the post season?
blockhead25 20 hours 15 min ago (view)
This is an impressive level of offensive offense. This week feels like the final week of 2018 when we also had a lousy 4 game series with the Pirates, just without one of the other teams winning the final 8 games to catch us.
QuietMan 22 hours 50 min ago (view)
So whatever happened to the don't pitch Mills the day after Hendricks plan?
crunch 23 hours 4 min ago (view)
rizzo / contreras(DH) / heyward / schwarber / maybin(CF) / kipnis / baez / caratini / bote
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
I agree with all of this. I think KB is traded for a SP. I guess here is my guess at the pitchers:
Bullpen: Mills/ Alzolay, Underwood, Adam, Tepera, Wick, Kimbrel, Ryan, Wieck (Alzolay if he loses the 5th spot battle with Mills is still starter number 6, and likely being groomed to join the rotation either later in the year or 2022)
Charlie 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
Frazier beat him on an inside corner two-seamer (albeit belt high), but the Hayes homer came on an 0-2 meatball. Not very professorial.
crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
hendricks starts the game giving up back to back homers. wtf...
crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
happ / rizzo / contreras / schwarber(DH) / maybin(LF) / heyward / baez / kipnis / bote
George Altman 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
Let's hope so. It would be great next year to NOT have to 'piece together a bullpen'.
Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
DJL: I think that if Lester, Chatwood, Quintana, Jeffress, and Chafin leave via free-agency and do not return or are not replaced by at least one veteran MLB FA SP, the default Cubs 2021 Opening Day pitching staff will be Darvish, Hendricks, Mills (out of options), Alzolay (could be out of options - TBD), and either Rea, T. Miller, Steele, Abbott, Marquez, or D.
Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
I understand that any team can win a three-game series, but if I'm a division winner I'd want to be the #3 seed rather than the #2 seed in both the A. L. and the N. L., because I would rather face the worst second place team (Houston in the A. L. and probably Miami or Philadelphia in N. L.) than the best wild card team (Cleveland in the A. L. and probably Cincinnati or Milwaukee in the N.L.).
Hagsag 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
Maybe, if he makes the roster!
Charlie 2 days 12 hours ago (view)
Jose Martinez is going to hit some big post season homerun, isn't he?