Cubs vs. Braves: Alzolay vs. Fried (Game 79)

CHC (43-35): RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 2.25 ERA)
ATL (46-33): LHP Max Fried (8-3, 4.03 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Willson Contreras blew up over a and then the Cubs offense blew up to defeat Atlanta in the series opener. Adbert Alzolay takes the mound for his first MLB start with a win and a standing ovation already under his belt. He gave us a good look at his plus fastball and plus curveball as he pitched four innings in relief of Chatwood. He struck out five Mets and allowed a solo homerun as the only hit. The Atlanta offense has been better vs. righties than lefties.

Max Fried most recently went six innings and allowed two earned runs in a win against the Mets. Righties have been relatively successful off of him this season, posting a .789 OPS. He's lowered his walk rate and has thrown first pitch strikes 64.2% of the time. The only current Cub to have earned a hit off of him is Carlos Gonzalez, as they have collectively gone 1-28. So, they're due.


Machado also carries OBP >.400. If not for DL stint he'd probably lead the PCL in BBs (a category where Happ is tied for 2nd, btw)...

STL loses jordan hicks to TJ sugery.  boo...but hurrah...but mostly boo.

schwarber / bryant(RF) / rizzo / baez / contreras / bote(3rd) / russell / alzolay / almora

DFA alzolay.

aww...alzolay couldn't quite get out 3 in the 5th.  he probably should have been yanked a batter or 2 earlier, though.

4.2ip 1h 4bb 4k, 1r/er

mike montgomery pitching to d.swanson with the bases loaded...okay...

wow...from 3-0 count to 3-2 count, to a close 3rd-to-1st play for out 3.


Would have been a good time to see the MVP version of KB there. Sigh

he did nothing wrong, it's just baseball being baseball, but that was a huge letdown.

i'm just over here waiting on a 9th inning miracle.  i'm not going to bed for an hour or so.  i could use some entertainment.

also, tommy la stella hit his 16th HR on the season for LAA...inside the park.


2ip 0h 1bb 3k


Brad Brach's last five outings: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 10 K

i hate charlie culberson.

cubs lose, brews lose, cards lose

PHIL: Have you had a chance to watch Manuel Espinoza pitch? Any idea on his stuff?

K-DUB: I have seen Manuel Espinoza pitch: mediocre 87-90 MPH FB, plus-CH, solid CV, and outstanding command.  

I have mentioned this before, but Espinoza was signed by the Cubs on the same day and by the same Area Scout in July 2017 as fellow Mexican RHP Florencio Serrano Jr, and like Serrano, Espinoza's contract was investigated by MLB. And also like Serrano, Espinoza missed the entire 2018 season while his contract was being investigated. 

But unlike Serrano, Espinoza's contract was ultimately approved by MLB (Serrano's contract was voided), and so he is making his pro debut a year later than was originally planned. (Serrano ended up signing with the Texas Rangers after his contract with the Cubs was voided and he skipped the AZL and went directly from Rangers EXST to the Northwest League, whereas Espinoza was assigned to the AZL after the conclusion of Cubs EXST).   

Thanks so much, Phil.

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  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Someone to keep an eye on in 2021 is RHRP (ex-1B) Jerrick Suiter. 

    He was selected by the Cubs from the Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft and the Cubs  immediately converted him from a mediocre AA first-baseman to a full-time pitcher, having seen him throw garbage innings in blow-outs for the Pirates AA Altoona affiliate in 2019.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Good to see Roederer and Velasquez  providing some production. From what I've followed they haven't been up to much. Granted this season isn't great for development


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 5 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster. 


  • crunch 21 hours 28 min ago (view)

    "He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable."

    reggie golden flashblacks...if BP was a game he'd be an all-star.


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Unfortunately for the Cubs, all of their Top 10 position-player prospects (M. Amaya, Davis, Hearn, Howard, Made, C. Morel, R. Morel, Quintero, Roederer, and Strumpf -- listed alphabetically) are two or more years away from the big leagues, in most cases more like three or four or even five years away. 


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 37 min ago (view)

    TIM: One of the things people wonder about when they see a young shortstop for the first time is does he have the arm and range necessary to play SS or would his tools maybe be better suited for 2B, 3B or OF. So far at Instructs Kevin Made has shown all of the attributes of a SS, and he is an advanced hitter (for his age) as well. 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 16 min ago (view)

    AZBOBBOP: Ethan Hearn showed off his plus-arm by back-picking a runner off 1st base last week. You don't see catchers with the confidence to attempt pick-offs much out here. 

    He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable. His hitting (contact and barreling) has improved at instructs, and that's one of the things he needed to improve.

    His receiving should improve with experience as well. 


  • azbobbop 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?


  • tim815 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    That Kevin Made is already representing offensively seems, on the 1 to 10 scale with 10 being fantastic news, in the 17 or 18 range.

    Nwogu in the 9 to 11 span.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 21 hours ago (view)

    For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.

    As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:  

    RHP Josh Burgmann 
    RHP Chris Clarke 
    LHP D. J. Herz
    RHP Michael McAvene 


  • Charlie 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.


  • bradsbeard 4 days 2 min ago (view)

    I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump. 


  • crunch 4 days 13 hours ago (view)

    iapoce expected to stay.  i'm surprised.  i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.


  • crunch 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year