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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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 35 min ago (view)

    It really speaks to how hard he is to get to that he continually danced out of danger multiple times without his best stuff until the 7th. Once the 8 and 9 guys were on, he definitely shouldn't have turned the lineup over again. Agreed someone needed to be ready to throw 7th

     

  • Charlie 10 hours 27 min ago (view)

    He was missing badly in the middle of the zone throughout the game. No idea why someone wasn't warmed up to start the 7th.

     

  • crunch 14 hours 7 min ago (view)

    i wasn't initially on board with the extra wildcard team, but the 1-game playoff and having to start the next round almost immediately after burning a top pitcher really made that "extra slot" earn it's keep competitively.

    i don't think i'm going to be won over by a 16-team playoff no matter how it's presented, though.

     

  • Sonicwind75 14 hours 39 min ago (view)

    I triple that motion.  Really liked the 3 in and 2 WCs with a 1 game playoff, best playoff setup of my lifetime.  It reinforces the importantance of 162, winning your division and there is a benefit to get that number 1 seed too. 

     

  • Eric S 17 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Unfortunately scoring one run in playoff games is a continuing trend for this core group of Cubs

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 17 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Hendricks really did a great job today. You could tell he didn't have his best stuff but kept them off the board for 6 innings. Deserved better than the L.

    Normally I'd say this one was on Ross for not seeing that Hendricks was done when the 8 and 9 hitters got on in the 7th but.... one run isn't going to win a lot of games.

     

  • crunch 17 hours 37 min ago (view)

    he also had his first 3-walk game since april 1st, 2019.

     

  • Eric S 17 hours 38 min ago (view)

    Hendricks battled but the Cubs luck ran out in the 7th. 

    Lots of Cubs weak sauce on display this afternoon 

     

  • crunch 18 hours 8 min ago (view)

    ATL wins, bottom 13th.

    HOU advances over MIN.  part of me hopes this sub-.500 team makes it to the world series so more people can push back on this 16-team playoff stuff.  it would be eyerolling if it's 2 sub-.500 teams (MIL/HOU).

     

  • crunch 18 hours 44 min ago (view)

    cubs game suuuuuuuuuuucks.  straight garbage.

    cin/atl is off the hook (scoreless in the 13th).

     

  • crunch 23 hours 42 min ago (view)

    happ / rizzo / bryant / schwarber / contreras / heyward / baez / caratini(DH) / kipnis

    ABC broadcast (all 3 games, W/Th/F)...

    j.osich DFA'd...j.phegley added to be the "3rd/emergency" catcher

    btw, the cubs play all early day games this round.  wtf...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Couldn't agree more. It was fine for this nonsense season, but playing a full 162, what's the point of pushing for 100 wins if 80 gets you in, and there's no real benefit to winning 100, as if you lose the wrong two games, you're gone 

     

  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    There's a lot I hate about this playoff format and I hope we get back to 3-in with 2 teams playing a brutal 1-game playoff format.

    i don't want to watch 162...or 150...games to see 16 out of 30 teams get a shot at winning it all.

    we just watched the cubs drop 3 out of 4 to a team that was 15-38.  dropping a playoff series to a team that had the 5th best record and survived a 1-game sudden death playoff has a bit more legitamacy than a team that didn't even have a .500 record (MIL + HOU this year, btw).

     

  • Charlie 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Yay for playoff games taking place in the middle of a workday? I'll be watching this one well after the fact. Enjoy, to all those watching it live on Wednesday afternoon!

     

  • champsummers 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Gracias!

    And I did not know he was eligible already.  Makes sense..

     

  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    ex-cub and fun baseball dude Jay Johnstone has died.  74 years old (dementia, COVID).