Cubs vs. Mets: Series Thread (Games 74-77)

Willson Contreras resuscitated the Cubs offense last night. They'll try to keep the juices flowing in a 4-game series against the Mets. Said Metropolitans enter town at a disappointing 35-39 mark and 2-5 over their last two series. Their offense is just a tick above average by wRC+ (barely behind the Cubs at the moment) and the pitching staff is 4th worst in the majors by ERA-. First baseman Pete Alonso has been the season's pleasant surprise, mashing 24 homeruns before the midpoint in his debut season. Jacob deGrom and Syndergaard remain good but look far more mortal than past iterations. They lost Yoenis Cespedes to an ankle injury that will prevent him from appearing at all this year. Meanwhile, the Cubs have called up Adbert Alzolay to help out of the bullpen while Hendricks and the training staff navigate his shoulder impingement. See below for daily matchups.


6/20, game 74, 7:05pmCDT
CHC: RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-1, 3.60 ERA)
NYM: RHP Walker Lockett  (0-0, -.-- ERA)

Chatwood was good in his only 2019 start, when he filled in for Jon Lester. He has appeared at times to have mostly harnessed his control out of the bullpen. Alzolay is on track with his turn in the rotation and may be ready to piggy-back if Chatwood looks shaky. Current Mets have gone 15-47 off of him with a .900 OPS. Michael Conforto is 2-9 with 4 walks, but no one else has seen Chatwood more than 6 times (Cano).

Lockett went 0-3 with a 9.60 ERA in four 2018 starts. He's only made five minor league starts in 2019 and the results haven't been especially great. Methinks this one is filler. Schwarber, Rizzo, and Heyward are collectively 6-9 with two homeruns off of him.


6/21, game 75, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.65 ERA)
NYM: LHP Jason Vargas (3-3, 3.74 ERA)

Darvish got served a no-decision despite 7 innings of one-run and ten-K ball against the Dodgers. Since May 15, his ERA has been 4.01, and in June it's 3.44. I encourage your cautious optimism. Cano is 9-25 against him, but the injured Cespedes and Lowrie account for most of the rest of the Mets' ABs against Darvish.

Vargas went four innings allowing three runs, two earned, against the Cards on June 16. He shut out the Giants on the fifth? Don't ask me how. Current Cubs are 3-23 off of him, but Rizzo and Gonzalez (2-15) account for the bulk of that.


6/22, game 76, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Jose Quintana (4-6, 3.87 ERA)
NYM: RHP Zack Wheeler (5-5, 4.94 ERA)

Quintana has a 4.34 ERA going back to May 16. He's looked hittable but not terrible over that time, with his K/9 down all the way to 6.27. He earned a no-decision against the Doddgers last time out, going five and allowing two earned runs. Current Mets are 19-66 off of him, and Cano is 7-19 with a homer.

Wheeler is better than his ERA suggests. That said, his last few starts have been rough; he's allowed 12 earned runs in 17.2 innings this month while seeing a drop in his groundball percentage. Heyward is 8-24 with two homeruns off of him.


6/23, game 77, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (6-2, 2.85 ERA)
NYM: RHP Jacob deGrom (4-6, 3.26 ERA)

Hamels' scoreless streak ended in his last start and he got only a no-decision despite twirling seven innings of one-run ball against the White Sox; Eloy happened. If you're keeping track, that's one earned run in 29 innings pitched this month. Juan Lagares is 11-28 off of him and Adeiny Hecheveria is 12-33. Hamels has held Cano to 9-41.

Jacob deGrom has been almost the same pitcher as he was in 2018 except for a rise in both his HR/9 and his ERA. He went 8.1 against ATL for a win in his last start, allowing two earned runs and striking out 10. CarGo is 4-13 with a homerun off of him, Rizzo is 9-20 with a homerun, and Bryant is 4-11 with two homers. Javy is 1-8 with five strikeouts.

Comments

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / contreras / heyward(CF) / cargo / chatwood / descalso(2nd)

also, i'd like to toss my unsolicited opinion out there that the "digest" version of these game series is just as nice as the individual game threads.

2 innings, 2 multiple-runners-on-0-outs innings, 1 run.

i remember this chatwood.  also, i think all 39 of his pitches have been 95-97mph fastballs.

alzolay up in the pen in the 4th...with chatwood still pitching because whatever or something.

contreras takes a high 90s bouncer off the dirt to the groin.  he's in a whole lot of discomfort, but he's staying in the game.

chatwood, the gift that keeps on giving.

adbert time in the 4th!

popup to bryant foul near the dugout for his 1st out.

curveball looks good.  changeup is ordinary, but not awful.  fastball has movement at 93-95mph.  command looks good, repeatable.  control looks spotty.

he's also sporting a juan cruz style blue glove.

cubs fans love to fall in love with a new, young pitcher and the fans seem quite smitten at the ballpark tonight.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Much as we like to fall in love with a new young pitcher, it's been difficult the last few years, unless you include Hendricks. I felt no urge to send valentines to Zastryzny, Beeler, Underwood, Jokisch, Tseng.

Alzolay looks great, though. I hope there's a couple more like him.

Not a pitcher, but I think the Cub brass gets kudos for bringing Bote along, too. He would have been overlooked in most organizations.

alzolay fever is in full effect.  he put in 4 stellar innings until he stumbled in the 5th (leadoff homer + a 4 pitch walk following) and got removed.

4ip 1h 2bb 5k, 1r/er

huge ovation walking off.  len even stated "we'll let the croud take you to break," indicating he was going to let the ovation lead us to commercial rather than commentary by the announce crew.

there's no way chatwood is getting a start over alzolay next go around.  it seems montgomery might be getting hendricks's slot while he misses a few starts (hopefully a very few).

if anyone needs more alzolay to tide you over for a few days, here's a nice tommy birch/des moines article from a few weeks ago:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/baseball/iowa-cubs/2019/…

also, cubs win and brews are about to lose.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

i wouldn't object to it...it's not like chatwood is going to be available over the next 3+ games out of the pen anyway.

i just think the fandom is willing alzolay to the starting slot.  they really like him and he put in a performance to match.  maddon's good about player attitude management when it comes to playing roles, though...he'll figure things out.

The opener was a lot of fun! Chatwood's night was understandably overshadowed by Alzolay's debut. Alzolay looked overpowering at times and shows a lot of promise with his pitch mix, pace, and command. Chatwood, however, was solid, and his transformation from the hopeless case of 2018 to being a useful swingman with some control issues in 2019 is really encouraging to me. I personally feel a lot of sympathy for guys like Chatwood and Edwards who go through these bouts of wildness, as if they have somehow forgotten how to do this thing that they've been doing their whole lives--and are then exposed on a massive stage.

Maybe next time they could piggy-back Chatwood and Alzolay in the reverse order. Or maybe they could piggy-back Montgomery and Chatwood in a sixth-man rotation spot.

Also, I was happy to see them face a minor-league pitcher they've barely seen and actually get some hits.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

i gotta disagree with chatwood being solid...

2 singles in a row to start the 1st

HBP, chatwood throwing error, and walk to start the 2nd

single and homer to start the 3rd

groundout, single, and single to start the 4th

that said, it was nice to see most of the action vs him being ground balls rather than towering blasts.  he's got that going for him.

[ ]

In reply to by Eric S

Chatwood FB was sitting 97-98 in the 1st inning and it was 94-96 (T-98) in his 4th inning as well, so he definitely has some life on his FB. He still has trouble commanding his CV and SL and he's going to walk guys, but then he gets a lot of ground balls and GIDP. And despite being a disappointment and being placed into a somewhat vague utility pitcher role, he doesn't complain and gives it his best shot. I have no problem with Chatwood (other than being overpaid for what he does, which isn't his fault). 

montgomery working relief today...alright.

also, and this may be a bit of a hot take, i think brad brach might not be very good at doing baseball.

OAK sudden phenom frankie montas earns an 80 game ban for PEDs.

he's accepting the ban.  evidently he tested for ostarine and there's no f'n way you accidently run up on that particular PED.  it's not available anywhere except the underground.

CIN scored 3 runs in the top 1st vs MIL...hopefully that lead holds up

CIN has under-the-radar good pitching.  it's the bats that's the problem for most of the season so far.

w.buehler K'd 16 and walked 0 for LAD tonight in a complete game...gave up 2 solo HRs and a single.  killer performance even with the 2 HR given up.

From the interwebs, the plan is:

Kimbrel pitches again today for back-to-back day appearances, have Sunday and Monday off, see how he feels and go from there

Alzolay starts Tuesday against the Braves

Chatwood starts Thursday against the Braves

See how it goes, may stay in six man rotation during 17 game stretch to try keep rotation fresh 

schwarber / bryant / baez / contreras / heyward / almora / caratini(1st) / Q / russell(2nd)

Two strike bunt attempt, Schwarbs?  Right after a dude threw his bat away in disgust only to see the ball carry over the wall? Okay then

Today’s game is a trip back in time to honor Strawberry‘s rookie homerun record being broken. Mets are steamrolling the Cubs like Gooden and Strawberry routinely did back in the day

"Q doesn't have it, let's pull him." - like, everyone

"nah.  let's give him lots of innings." - like, maddon

Good time to pull both Javy and KB from the game. 

Down 9-0 in the 7th? [actually 5th - wishful thinking on my part!] This is a perfect time to play Descalso, pitch Brach etc

i rarely bail on a game even when it's awful, but i'm done with this one unless the occasional check of the boxscore says it's worth watching again.

What an awful day for Caratini, among others

Well, Caratini redeems his day, a little bit, with a ten pitch, 1-2-3 ninth, surrenduring three less homers than Q. 

MIL wins, STL wins.

cubs in 1st by 0.5 games over MIL...STL in 3rd by 1 game.

so like..."everybody in" or whatever sells tshirts these days.

Righty reliever Tony Barnette activated and Rowan Wick optioned to Iowa. Barnette has been pitching well of late in AAA. 

Busy day for ex-Cub pitchers: Mariners call-up Matt Carasiti (ST NRI released by Cubs earlier this month), A's call-up ex-Cub Brian Schlitter (hasn't pitched in MLB since 2015), and Marlins outright ex-Cub Dan Straily (acquired along with Addison Russell and Billy McKinney from OAK in the Samardzija/Hammel trade in 2014, and then traded to HOU with Luis Valbuena for Dexter Fowler in 2015). 

Caratini‘s regression to the mean weekend continues. Sigh

Thankfully Hamels comes through with a two out rbi single

Seems to me the Cubs/Jedstein would lean to acquiring an impact outfield bat vs infielder, all things being equal. A healthy and productive Zobrist would be nice as well. 

Cubs doing a nice job of elevating Alonzo’s player of the week candidacy. Freddie Freeman having a week/month too. 

El Mago with the three run shot to right field!!!

Nice job by Hamels - 7 innning quality start and kept the game close. 

Back to back three hit games by JHey also encouraging 

cubs win, brews win, STL plays tonight.

night game vs ATL tomorrow.  STL+MIL off day.

btw, the next 3 games vs ATL will be wrigley night games.

Any guess who will be leaving when Kimbrel arrives? It’s got to be Brach unless they drop Barnett’s.

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

BTW, I believe the Cubs really do need to shake-up the bench. If it's done internally, maybe Donnie Dewees replaces Cargo, Trent Giambrone or Robel Garcia replaces Descalso, and Dixon Machado replaces Russell. If that doesn't work, then look to make a trade for a bat who can hit off the bench even if he can't play defense. (Is Tommy LaStella available?)  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

AZ Phil - Dixon Machado have the defensive chops to play major league caliber defense and not give me indegestion when he’s on the field? At the very least Russell provides that when at short 

Also: Who would be on your radar as far as attainable trade targets that could provide a boost to the offense in either the outfield/infield (aside from 3 AM)?

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

+++++++++++
 
36 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (four slots are open)  

Last updated 12-2-2022
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 20
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Mark Leiter Jr
Ethan Roberts 
Manuel Rodriguez
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Keegan Thompson
Erich Uelmen 
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

CATCHERS: 3 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes
P. J. Higgins 

INFIELDERS: 7
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
* Alfonso Rivas
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 6
Kevin Alcantara 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez

++++++++++++++++++++++

Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents