Cubs vs. Pirates: Alzolay vs. Williams (Game 85)
CHC (45-39): RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 2.08 ERA)
PIT (39-43): RHP Trevor Williams (2-2, 4.25 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT
The Cubs leave behind a contentious Cincinnati series and give us Alzolay's second MLB start as a distraction. The rookie right-hander was inefficient in his first start, allowing four walks to go with four strikeouts in only 4.1 innings of work. Still, the only run scored on a solo homerun by Acuna. Walks were never a big issue for Alzolay in the minors. The Pirates are a touch below average offensively, but they are 13th in the majors in wRC+ vs right-handers. Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds, and Kevin Newman have been especially potent against righties. Cub killer Francisco Cervelli has been held to a .557 OPS against righties--but he's on the IL with a concussion.
Trevor Williams has been pretty decent this year, counteracting a slightly increased BABIP with a significantly decreased walk rate. He most recently lost to Houston, allowing four earned runs in 6.2 innings. Current Cubs have a .770 OPS against him in 94 at bats. Schwarber is 5-15 with two homeruns. Javy is 2-11 with zero strikeouts. Bryant is 2-7 with five walks.
There's rain coming to Pittsburgh this week, but it's not forecast to begin until tomorrow.
Cubster 3 hours 17 min ago (view)
Bluejays locked up a playoff spot. Looks like it's the Astros that are out. They are unlikely to get a "Buffalo" home game if they are the last seed.
Tribune Cub Notes (Friday AM):
Revenue drop leads to layoffs
By Mark Gonzales
The Cubs on Thursday laid off about 60 members of their business department because of declining revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a source told the Tribune.
crunch 18 hours 22 min ago (view)
the scary part of this team-wide slump, and especially this series, is PIT is basically a AAA level talent team that had 15 wins all season coming into the cubs series.
cubs are limping into the post-season. heyward is pretty much the only consistent hitter. well, technically jose martinez has been consistent, too.
blockhead25 18 hours 40 min ago (view)
Hey, anything could happen. They could win 4 2-1 games in a series.
Or lose 8-0, 6-0 in the first round and be done.
Charlie 18 hours 59 min ago (view)
3 days left to get psyched for the post season?
blockhead25 19 hours 54 min ago (view)
This is an impressive level of offensive offense. This week feels like the final week of 2018 when we also had a lousy 4 game series with the Pirates, just without one of the other teams winning the final 8 games to catch us.
QuietMan 22 hours 29 min ago (view)
So whatever happened to the don't pitch Mills the day after Hendricks plan?
crunch 22 hours 43 min ago (view)
rizzo / contreras(DH) / heyward / schwarber / maybin(CF) / kipnis / baez / caratini / bote
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
I agree with all of this. I think KB is traded for a SP. I guess here is my guess at the pitchers:
Bullpen: Mills/ Alzolay, Underwood, Adam, Tepera, Wick, Kimbrel, Ryan, Wieck (Alzolay if he loses the 5th spot battle with Mills is still starter number 6, and likely being groomed to join the rotation either later in the year or 2022)
Charlie 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
Frazier beat him on an inside corner two-seamer (albeit belt high), but the Hayes homer came on an 0-2 meatball. Not very professorial.
crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
hendricks starts the game giving up back to back homers. wtf...
crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
happ / rizzo / contreras / schwarber(DH) / maybin(LF) / heyward / baez / kipnis / bote
George Altman 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Let's hope so. It would be great next year to NOT have to 'piece together a bullpen'.
Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
DJL: I think that if Lester, Chatwood, Quintana, Jeffress, and Chafin leave via free-agency and do not return or are not replaced by at least one veteran MLB FA SP, the default Cubs 2021 Opening Day pitching staff will be Darvish, Hendricks, Mills (out of options), Alzolay (could be out of options - TBD), and either Rea, T. Miller, Steele, Abbott, Marquez, or D.
Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
I understand that any team can win a three-game series, but if I'm a division winner I'd want to be the #3 seed rather than the #2 seed in both the A. L. and the N. L., because I would rather face the worst second place team (Houston in the A. L. and probably Miami or Philadelphia in N. L.) than the best wild card team (Cleveland in the A. L. and probably Cincinnati or Milwaukee in the N.L.).
Hagsag 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
Maybe, if he makes the roster!
Charlie 2 days 11 hours ago (view)
Jose Martinez is going to hit some big post season homerun, isn't he?