The Cubs pulled off a sweep of the Dodgers, twice walking off in extra innings and raising their record to 15-16. They also climbed aboe Cincinnati and their next opponent, the Pirates, to take 3rd place in the division. Next up, the Pirates may get some say in that matter. They come into Wrigley for a three-game series. This will be the third time these teams have faced off in 2021. They've split the season series at 3-3 so far, but they have not seen each other since April 11. The Cubs will work to build on the momentum from the sweep and stay in the thick of the division.
2021 Gameday Post
The Cubs (11-14) dodged a sweep in Atlanta by winning the final game, backing Alzolay to his first win of 2021. They'll complete the road trip with a 3-game series against the 4th place Reds (11-13). For now, it's a battle to get out of the NL Central basement. The Reds most recently took 2 out of 3 from the Dodgers, but prior to that they lost 7 in a row. See below for the weekend's matchups.
Game 26, Friday, April 30, 6:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Jake Arrieta (3-2, 2.57 ERA)
CIN: LHP Wade Miley (2-2, 2.45 ERA)
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.
The Cubs (9-9) swept the Mets at home to claw their way back to .500 on the season. The weekend sees them taking on the Brewers (11-7) for the third time in 3 weeks. It's starting to feel like playing a regular pickup game against the neighborhood kids. This time, the Cubs will be down Joc Pederson, but Nico Hoerner will be up to reinforce the infield corps and Adbert Alzolay will be recalled to make the Saturday start. As bad as the first 15-game stretch felt, the Cubs are within a 3-game sweep of taking the division lead from the visiting team. The tide can turn quickly in the early going. See below for the pitching matchups this weekend.
The Cubs (6-9) dropped another series, this time to Atlanta, and now find themselves trailing Pittsburgh and alone in last place in the Central. They did, however, treat us to an offensive explosion in game 2 of that series and got 2-homer games from Bryant, Contreras, and Rizzo in the series. Bryant passed his homer mark from 2020 and is now 0.4 fWAR ahead of his total from that 60-game season, in a quarter of the time. Even so, he's been outhit thusfar by Willson Contreras, who has a .400 OBP. Rizzo's weekend also rocketed his slugging percentage up to .500.
The Cubs (5-7) have dropped 3 series in a row to division opponents. After the Thursday off, they return to home turf to take on the similarly struggling Atlanta crew (5-8).
With Freddie Freeman off to a Rizzo-like start, Ronald Acuna looks like the main hitter to watch out for. The 23-year-old OF is slashing .447/.500/.1000. That’s AVG/OBP/SLG, if you are wondering. He’s already collected 6 homeruns in only 12 games and pitchers are having a heck of a time trying to miss his bat in the early going. Pablo Sandoval (yes--that one) is also enjoying a hot start.
The Chicago Cubs (4-5) make their first trip northward to take on Milwaukee (5-4) for the second time this season. Having dropped 2 out of 3 in Pittsburgh, the Cubs will try to push and elbow their way to middle or front of the NL central pack. Benches cleared-ish in the last Brewers vs Cubs series, so don't be surprised to see some literally pushing and elbowing if Contreras finds himself on the receiving end of a beaning again. See below for matchups.
Game 1, Monday, April 12, 6:40 pm central
CHC: RHP Adbert Alzolay (0-1, 7.20 ERA)