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.

Comments

tyler skaggs has died.

rangers/angels cancelled.

he was 27 years old.

Holy shit. That’s awful.

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / heyward / almora / caratini / russell / alzolay

16 pitches in...0 outs...4 PIT runs...

sigh

They say it’s a game of adjustments. Looks like the Pirates have a bit of game plan against Alzolay in his third MLB appearance. 

Pirates are spitting on offspeed and whacking the hell out of his fastballs. 

Seems likely he was tipping the curveball somehow. But the Pirates kept at it against the bullpen.

Javy. Wow

Hoping he declines participating in the home run derby and give the heel an additional break

damn...probably have to send alzolay down after this game just to get a fresh pen arm.

this is turrible.

2.2ip 10h 1bb 3k, 7r/er, 57 pitches

he leaves with 2 on...yow.

Alzolay has a little bit of a home/road split. 

b.brach gets his 1st hit (single) and 1st RBI of his career.

also, the cubs get within 3 runs.  neat-o.

Man, baseball is fickle. KB with a great at bat with the bases loaded, works a 3-1 count ... pops up to second. What could have been. 

Voted for Bell for the all star game. Little surprised neither of his two bombs off of Alzolay ended up in the river - they sure looked that way off the bat 

So Cubs best hitter pops up to second with bases loaded, two outs. Pirates starting pitcher in same situation laces a single to right. That uh, blows

this game is butt.

d.descalso pitching...3rd team he's had a pitching appearance (stl/arz/chc)

He’s just been playing out of position. Descalso is the bullpen help we needed.

Just kidding, can’t hit or pitch.

hey, he sucks at pitching too.

there's still the 8th inning to come for PIT to bat.  neat.

kimbrel is trying to keep this 10 run loss in tact.

...and he gives up a solo HR on his 4th pitch.

...and fraizer's 4th double of the game on his 5th pitch.

...and bell's 3rd homer of the game with his 16th pitch.

help.

send help.

Maybe the bat boy could soak up some pitches?

c.zambrano chicago dogs bio blurb

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D-b-hLKX4AcUtPk.jpg

...looking like a hispanic kenny powers...

The Cubs have reinstated RHSP Kyle Hendricks from the 10-day IL (he's supposed to start tonight), optioned RHSP Adbert Alzolay and RHRP Rowan Wick to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHRP Randy Rosario. 

Alzolay probably won't actually report to Iowa (at least not until after the All-Star break). He'll likely just stay with the Cubs while they are in Pittsburgh, then travel to Cleveland for the Futures Game on Sunday, and then maybe report to Iowa in about ten days. 

Recent comments

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 28 min 16 sec ago (view)

    Dan Winkler and Jharel Cotton wasn't enough for you? Tough crowd.

     

  • Hagsag 14 hours 20 min ago (view)

    I think we all are ready for some action.

     

  • crunch 14 hours 55 min ago (view)

    winter meetings start tomorrow...guys got into town friday/today.

    the cubs are supposedly looking to tap the trade market for their major moves.  this is the place where it gets done or seeds get planted.

    also, the modern day HOF class will be announced.  marvin miller will most likely get in.  lou whitaker and ted simmons should have some heat, too.

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    semi-interesting winter league note...

    trey mcnutt (yes, that guy) is having a hell of a winter league in mexico (one of the less talented winter leagues) so far as a closer.  15.2ip 8h 4bb 24k, 0.57 era.

    giants signed him to a minor league deal a couple weeks ago.  he never went anywhere.  he's been consistently playing ball in the minors and indie league ball since he was last a noteworthy player.  last season he played in the OAK minor league system.  30 years old now...

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal. Wasn't his 2020 club only supposed to be on the hook for league minimum?

     

  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    when he got to the mets he suddenly learned how to throw with control (small sample size etc).  last year was not a fun bullpen year...

     

  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 

     

  • Sonicwind75 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:

    https://twitter.com/mlbastian/status/1202973097223237632

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.