Cubs vs. Reds: Series Thread (Games 49-51)
The Cubs came up a bit short on their comeback attempt yesterday and had to accept a 2-2 split with the Phillies. They move on to greet the Reds to Wrigley for a 3-game set.
The Cubs matched up with the Reds in mid-May for a tough 1-2 series loss. Every game in that series was decided by 2 runs or fewer. The Cubs will run out an exact repeat of their starters in that series, but Tanner Roark will be the only familiar face on the other side. The Reds are well rested, having played only 5 games and having 3 days off since then. See below for the game-by-game matchups.
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.21 ERA)
CIN: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-2, 4.60 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Hendricks got his fourth win despite allowing four runs in his last start against the Nationals. Three of those runs scored on an Anthony Rendon homerun. The start before that, he beat the Reds in eight innings and allowed only one run while striking out seven. A Joey Votto solo homer accounted for the only damage. Hendricks went 3-4 and drove in two in that game as well. Current Reds have faced Hendricks 191 times, with most of those PAs concentrated among Cincinnati vets. The cumulative OPS against him is only .664. Joey Votto has not been impressed by Hendricks's wily ways, having outdone him to the tune of 11 walks, and 9 hits (3 homeruns) in 21 at bats. As ever, Hendricks can probably aim to handle the rest of the lineup and trust his own batters to collectively outproduce Votto. Dietrich and Suarez always have the potential to sneak up on you and go yard, of course.
Anthony DeSclafani's 2019 has been pretty strongly defined by two of the three true values. He's striking out batters at a much higher rate than he usually does (10 per 9 innings), but he's also allowing 2 homeruns per nine innings. His groundball rate is way down in the early going. The pitch tracking system seems to think he's using his sinker less this year, but that doesn't appear to be working out for him. The Dodgers tagged him for 3 homeruns in 4 innings of work on May 17 and he's had a full week to either forget about it or stew over it. Bryant is 5-15 off of him and Javy is 2-5 with a homerun. Rizzo is 4-24.
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.06 ERA)
CIN: RHP Tyler Mahle (1-5, 3.51 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Darvish has shown signs of improvement in his last few starts. After issuing no walks and striking out 11 Reds in a May 15 no-decision, he went 6 innings against the Phillies in his last start. Things were going swimmingly until a shaky 6th that saw him walk two, give up a stolen base, and allow a run-scoring single and triple. Mixed in their was a potential double-play that twas not. Current Reds have seen little of him, but Derek Dietrich (possibly the Reds' best position player so far?) is 3-6 with a homerun.
Tyler Mahle earned his first win in his last start against the Dodgers, going 6 shutout innings. Despite the record, he seems to have figured something out this year, cutting his walk rate by more than half compared to the last two years while missing more bats. Kyle Schwarber is 3-7 and Javy is 4-8, each with a homerun, against the 24-year-old righty. Other current Cubs have only five hits against him in 43 at bats and have 0 walks.
CHC: LHP Jose Quintana (4-3, 3.30 ERA)
CIN: RHP Tanner Roark (3-3, 3.51 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Hooray, hooray, no Sunday night game!
Quintana pitched 6 scoreless innings allowing two hits and three walks for a no-decision in the Phillies series. He had a stretch of five middling starts before that but he has generally been the Cubs' most dependable starter. Leaving out his early relief appearance and his first clunker of a start, he's gone at least 5 in every start since and has gone 6 or more innings in 6 out of 8 of those starts. Votto is unsurprisingly the Red to watch out for, 8-17 against Quintana.
Tanner Roark has succeeded this year in large part due to his very low HR-per-fly-ball rate. That shouldn't be sustainable, as he's not getting ground balls or weak contact, nor is he suppressing walks. Maybe the Cubs can turn his stats around a bit. He allowed 3 earned runs in 5 innings facing the Cubs when the teams last matched up. Tyler Chatwood is 1-1 off of him and Kyle Hendricks is 2-2 with a pair of runs-batted-in. Kris Bryant's 7-14 pales in comparison.
Have fun, Cubs fans! May we be spared ESPN for months to come!
Expect wet and weird conditions Saturday and Sunday with high potential for delays, weird defensive plays, and windblown homers. Flash floods and thunderstorms are in the forecast starting Friday night. Radar suggests the worst of it should be in the evenings. If that forecast holds true, the wind will be blowing out toward the lake and could be gusting at times.
crunch 2 hours 2 min ago (view)
"Per ESPN.com's Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball's executive council has granted the Rays permission to explore a plan that would allow them to start the season playing home games in Tampa Bay and finish their home schedule in Montreal. "
Jackstraw 3 hours 29 min ago (view)
Chatwood announced as starter for tonight, but since Alzolay was scheduled to go for Iowa today I don't think it's a fluke he was called up. He could piggyback nicely after Chatwood throws 96 pitches in 4 innings with 9 Ks and 5 walks.
Arizona Phil 5 hours 8 min ago (view)
The Cubs could give Alzolay three starts (6/20 vs NYM, 6/25 vs ATL, and 6/30 at CIN), then option him to the minors on 7/1 when (presumably) Craig Kimbrel and Tony Barnette are brought up, then leave Alzolay at Iowa for 14 days through the All-Star Break, and recall him to start the game on 7/15 or 7/16 vs CIN (if Hendricks isn't ready to come off the IL after the ASB).
Arizona Phil 5 hours 20 min ago (view)
The thing about Tim Collins is that because he has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), he must give his consent each time he is optioned or outrighted to the minors, and while he obviously did give his consent when he was optioned to the minors after being signed in March and then again in April and again in May after brief call-ups to MLB, he is no longer willing to do it, and so to get him off the 25-man roster, the Cubs have no choice but to release him (if he isn't traded or claimed off waivers sometime in the next seven days).
George Altman 16 hours 39 min ago (view)
The Adbert Alzolay era begins tomorrow. Collins DFAd
Eric S 17 hours 49 min ago (view)
Ozzie Albies routinely loses his helmet while running the bases - his helmet even has a parody twitter account.
crunch 17 hours 53 min ago (view)
MIL lost, so the cubs are in 1st by a half game.
Arizona Phil 17 hours 55 min ago (view)
The Cubs have released LHRP Brian Duensing.
Duensing was sent outright to AAA Iowa at the end of Spring Training (because he has Article XIX-A rights Duensing had to consent to the assignment), and was placed on the I-Cubs 7-day IL on May 12th.
So the Cubs are on the hook for Duensing's entire $3.5M salary, unless he signs a major league contract with another club (not too likely).
Arizona Phil 18 hours 52 sec ago (view)
The Cubs have signed second-contract FA RHRP Willians Vasquez to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to DSL Cubs #2.
Now 22, W. Vasquez was signed by the Atlanta Braves as an 18-year old J-2 IFA out of Venezuela in 2015, and he spent three seasons in the DSL prior to being released by the Braves this past February.
crunch 19 hours 44 sec ago (view)
lester goes 5.2ip and gives up 3 runs. it wasn't pretty, but it wasn't ugly.
crunch 19 hours 15 min ago (view)
Charlie 19 hours 17 min ago (view)
He loves it almost as much as Javy loves insisting on replays.
crunch 19 hours 31 min ago (view)
...and a flawless throw to nail t.anderson trying to steal 3rd.
crunch 19 hours 43 min ago (view)
is there anyone in baseball who loves to shed their helmet while running as much as almora?
crunch 20 hours 11 min ago (view)
...and a solo HR. all 5 RBIs belong to him after 3 innings.
crunch 20 hours 49 min ago (view)
contreras grand slam!
3rd of his cubs career.