Cubs vs. Marlins: Hamels vs. Alcantara (Game 32)

CHC (19-12): LHP Cole Hamels (3-0, 3.19 ERA)
MIA (9-24): RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-3, 4.86 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs polished off their sweep of the Cardinals in dominating fashion and now take on the less imposing last-place Miami Marlins.

Cole Hamels starts off the four-game set. He's shown some frustration over his last two starts, in which his walk total ballooned from 3 to 12 on the season. Even with the recent command issues, he's kept the ground balls coming and the scoring mostly suppressed. He earned a win against the Marlins on April 17 in his best start of the season: 7IP, 8 strikeouts, 0 runs. A long time NL East-er, Martin Prado has a whopping 72 ABs against Hamels and an .819 OPS against.

Sandy Alcantara goes up against the veteran lefty. If he throws enough strikes, his fastball is fearsome. His strikeout to walk ratio has trended the wrong way over his last two starts. The Cubs scored 5 off of him in that Hamels win on April 17, but they struck out seven times in the process. Javy went 2-5 with three strikeouts.

The weather looks pretty spotty for all four days of this series. As of now, it looks like they should get tonight's game in.

Comments

I-Cubs just polished off their 7th straight. Between them, the C-Cubs & I-Cubs have won 14 in a row & neither team has lost this month.

Carl Jr recalled from Iowa and Maples sent down to the I-Cubs. Fingers crossed Edwards keeps firing quality strikes like he’s shown since his demotion. 

Joe cannot put Carl in high leverage moments. And, his terrible in the 8th inning for his career. Looks at the innings splits.

Joe thinks he's a closer. That's crazy. Too many walks and too much pressure for him. 6th guy, maybe 7th. ONLY!!

Cubs will need to make another roster move when Mike Montgomery is reinstated from the IL (presumably) on Wednesday or Thursday.

Unless a pitcher goes on the IL, they could option Mark Zagunis to Iowa and go wiith a nine-man pen (and three-man bench) for a while, option Kyle Ryan or Carl Edwards Jr to Iowa (not likely at this time), DFA Allen Webster (except he's out of options and he will very likely get claimed off waivers if he isn't traded, although he does - NOT - have the right to elect free-agency if he were to somehow get through waivers and get outrighted), or trade Tyler Chatwood (if there are any takers).

Strop, Cishek, and Kintzler aren't going anywhere, and Brad Brach has automatic post-2018 Article XX-B "no trade" rights through June 15th so he can't be traded without his consent, although he could be released. (Brach is also out of minor league options, plus he has Article XIX-A rights so he cannot be outrighted to the minors without his consent). And if he were to waive his "no trade" right, Brach can only be traded for cash and/or player contracts with a maximium aggregate value of $50,000. 

And as things stand right now there does not appear to be a spot for Xavier Cedeno in the Cubs pen once he finishes his Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab stint (the rehab cannot run past 5/17), so he could be traded or released (unlike Brach, Cedeno does not have post-2018 Article XX-B rights so he cannot refuse a trade, but he is out of minor league options, plus he does have Article XIX-A rights so he cannot be outrighted to the minors without his consent). 

Victor Caratini (left hand surgery) begins Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment at South Bend tonight. He had the hand surgery just three weeks ago. 

zobrist(RF)/bryant/rizzo/baez/contreras/heyward(CF)/bote(2nd)/schwarber/ham

playing MIA is still awesome.  what a joke of a team.

rizzo moves into #9 on the cubs all-time HR list, passing former MVP hank sauer.

Had to look it up, wow, didn't realize Aramis Ramirez was on that list.

he played some average as hell 3rd, but he had a great arm and can't complain about much he did with the bat (except for 2010 where he was playing hurt at the plate and in the field).

if he had more going for him with the glove than average-at-best with a few bad years sprinkled in he'd probably have some HOF talk.

Ramirez reminds me in retrospect of Adrian Beltre* in terms of producing at a level not high enough to garner a lot of attention but doing it seemingly forever and with great consistency. He gave the Cubs 7 years, 6 of which were solidly above average. He was also one of my favorite Cubs during that time.

*Obviously his D paled in comparison.

cj returns without any shred of his janky-ass k.jensen mound impersonation.

fastball around 93-95mph with movement...business as usual.

he did tempt fate trying to straighten out a few counts by throwing a few meatballs right down the center in a couple of ABs.  that might not play so well vs a team that's not junior college level tallent like this crap MIA team.

1ip 0h 0bb 0k, weak grounder, shallow popup, shallow popup

"throwing a few meatballs"

I don't recall seeing many balls hit hard off of Edwards. His issue has been wildness associated with stage fright.

Well, there was that breaking ball that Harper launched . . .

wtf strop

DUDE...STOP

tie game, 0 outs...3 walks so far...walked in a run to tie the game...nice.

also, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqLxzOWW_M8

wtf ryan

wtf this half inning

And KB homers of course - that Ryan brain cramp paying dividends for the fish

the play was not only right in front of him, he was looking to home before he decided to brainfart and throw it to 1st.  it wasn't even a split second decision play.  if lester was on the mound he could have rolled the ball to home plate and still got an out.

cubs lose.  they earned it.

9th inning was full on cubbery.  Those last two at bats by Javy and Willson just ugly.  Sure Willson got screwed on the first pitch but he let it dictate the rest of the AB.  Javy versus Romo slider was a bad match up. 

yeah, that was vintage stuff...that bad stuff...

That was definitely a cognitive issue for Ryan by which I mean either neurons misfiring or some sort of temporary blindness/agnosia. I felt bad for him in that moment.

That said, the Cubs grounded into 4 DP (could have been 5) and dropped an easy 3rd out at 2nd to lose a game in which they drew 10 BBs and hit 2 HRs. Plenty of WTF to go around.

Oh well, if this is payback for the win against the Cards in the Darvish game I’ll take it. 

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  • crunch 14 hours 3 min ago (view)

    j.girardi did a 2nd interview with PHI on Monday and he's supposedly the favorite for the job.

     

  • bradsbeard 18 hours 52 min ago (view)

    The draft over the ASB and the trade deadline pushed back until August 15th or so would make sense. Otherwise, I don't know how scouting departments are going to handle the draft lead up and the trade deadline running almost simultaneously.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 9 min ago (view)

    One other thing about MLB player development that is very different from NFL, NBA, and NHL player development is that most MLB clubs have upwards of 300 minor league players under contract (not including players on their MLB 40-man roster, the Cubs presently have 301 minor leaguers under contract on nine minor league affiliates).

     

  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 9 min ago (view)

    JUST SAYIN: MLB is the only one of the four major North American professional sports that holds its draft and signs its draft picks during the season.

     

  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    umpire eric cooper has died...complications from knee surgery (blood clot)...52 years old

     

  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    "MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports former player David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada "appear to be the frontrunners" for the Cubs' managerial opening."

    espada's had 2 interviews.  for a guy who's actively at his "other job," having a 2nd interview seems like both sides want to make this work.  SF and PIT are also supposedly interested in espada.

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

     That's a fair description of the benefits of the plan but If I have to choose between "better way" and "owners' greed," I pick the latter.  MLB wants better MiLB facilities, on average, without paying a cent.  They want to deal with the social and legal pressure they are getting for not even paying minor league players minimum wage per real hour worked by having less players.  In addition, the draft is to be moved to late August, so every draftee would lose compensation for the stub year in which they are drafted.  For this reason, I'm not sure your point about col

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Mr. Phil.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Besides reducing the costs that are associated with operating a minor league club, reducing the number of minor league affiliates would allow MLB organizations to increase the salaries of their remainng minor league players (who would be the organization's most-legit prospects) without having to increase the organization's aggregate minor league payroll. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    The discussions on this matter have been quite varried.  There seems to be a lot of pressure connected to this on minor league team owners who haven't upgraded their facilities/park in a while or who lag in quality compared to their competitors.

    It seems like this would not only cause some teams to fold, but some radical redistribution of existing teams/cities into new minor league levels rather than just pruning some teams over others.

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on the discussion to eliminate 42 low minor league teams in 2021? What would this do to the Dominican League? Thanks.

     

  • crunch 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    yanks/astros game 6 was a f'n classic.  wow.

    altuve continues to build his astros legend.

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Thanks for this. I agree they’ll probably take their chances in the Rule 5 if he will resign, though I really wouldn’t mind adding him back to the 40 man. I feel like he has a good chance to be effective out of the bullpen. 

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    I hope Sagara doesn’t end up leaving because of the shakeup. The Athletic did report that his position might be eliminated but that he should be offered another role in the organization somewhere. All I know is Sagara’s name came up frequently in connection with the pitch lab, and he was credited for improvements with Ryan, Wick, and Wieck. Maybe he’ll end up focusing more specifically in that role helping guys tweak things in the lab. 

     

  • JustSayin' 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Does anyone have insight into the new management hires and musical chairs the Cubs announced yesterday?  Craig Breslow might be the only guy out there with extensive MLB experience AND the grey matter to challenge any quant not making sense. His role intrigues me but are they going to give him real responsibility to clear out the deadwood (including the existing minor league coordinator who was never good enough to be the pitchers he's coaching?)  Or, is this a superficial change aimed at keeping ownership off Theo's back? 

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: I think the Cubs want to retain Oscar de la Cruz post-2019, just not on the MLB 40-man roster.