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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  • Wrigley Rat 23 min 54 sec ago (view)

    C/1B Alberto Mineo (25) has re-signed with the Cubs organization according to: https://www.mister-baseball.com/alberto-mineo-mino...

     

  • bradsbeard 2 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Happ has been an above average hitter every season he's been in the majors, and he killed it in his brief return from the minors last year (with better contact and lower K rates to boot). Aside from an extended period with the lower K rates, what else are you not seeing?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Bote, for the moment, is adequate. Very unsold on the 2 LH hitting 2B options.

    I have never seen it for Happ. I'd love for him to prove me wrong but I dont see it happening.

     

  • crunch 3 hours 12 min ago (view)

    someone else may have noticed or written something about a possible issue with lefties last year (aside from the obvious disappointing numbers), but i didn't see anything that made him look lost vs them.

    myself, i'm not expecting the hard time vs lefties to keep happening (though i can't point to why 2019 wasn't good for him and i may be missing something).  also, how well he handled righties has me a bit pumped about his future.

     

  • bradsbeard 3 hours 29 min ago (view)

    I think it was likely just a small sample size luxuation against LHP last year. His splits were essentially swapped from 2018 to 2019. For his career he's been a little above average against both sides, or essentially no significant split. I'd expect him to hit LHP better than RHP going forward though. 

     

  • Eric S 3 hours 40 min ago (view)

    I'd like to see Bote not get owned by lefties. Not sure what it is about his stroke that's hurting him - struggles against offspeed in general?

     

  • crunch 4 hours 13 min ago (view)

    huge bote fan over here, and i think he's one of the best longterm investments the cubs have gambled on.  cubs have control over him through 2026 if they exercise both his options (both 7.6m).

    i'd like to see him penciled in as the main regular at 2nd, but overall i just wanna see him play more than he was late last year when he was red hot.  if bryant flames out with the glove at 3rd (clock is ticking on that) we might see bote at 3rd a bit.

     

  • Eric S 4 hours 20 min ago (view)

    Hopefully KB has worked on his base sliding technique - believe he jacked his knee up last year because of some rough "landings" on the basepaths. He definitely should shine in the role - and provided KB is not traded - Cubs can only go up from their leadoff hitter ranking from last year. 

     

  • Charlie 4 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Bote was a little better than league average with the bat last year and Happ has never been worse than league average with the bat over a full season in the majors. Not too bad at the end of your lineup (though neither is helping out too much on defense). Heyward could end up the #8 if things break OK for Bote and Happ at the plate.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 22 min ago (view)

    That would be a hell of a 1-5. The problem comes from 6-8 being a combination of Heyward, Bote/ Kipnis/ Descalso, and Happ/ Almora.

     

  • crunch 9 hours 18 min ago (view)

    that should be good for 175Ks, 30 homers, 30 doubles, 60-70 RBI...

    wonder who the #2 they're looking at...hopefully rizzo and not heyward.

    bryant/rizzo/baez/schwarber/contreras would be a hell of a 1-5.

     

  • Rob Richardson 11 hours 18 min ago (view)

    Per Bruce Levine, Kris Bryant will be leading off for the Cubs.

     

  • crunch 11 hours 53 min ago (view)

    "Kris Bryant expects to remain with the Cubs in 2020 after a sit-down with team president Theo Epstein.

    "Everything went great," Bryant told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It was the best meeting I had with a superior. He just gave me insight as to what kind of happened in the offseason." The star third baseman did later add that Epstein gave him no assurances that he will be kept in the loop if further trade talks were to arise, before stating, "I’m a Chicago Cub.""

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 30 min ago (view)

    That would be so devious!

     

  • tim815 13 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Owners might not want to spend the extra coin. Which would be about like a dime to us.

    Nice on the Cubs for upping MiLB pay.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    AZPHIL, has there been official word as to whether the 26-man roster has been extended down to the minor league levels that previously had 25-man rosters? Can't really think of a reason why that shouldn't be the case...