Cubs vs. Twins: Series Thread (Games 51-53(
With only 10 games remaining, the Cubs (30-20) start this series 5.5 up in the division. The Twins (31-21) roll into Wrigley in second place in the AL central but with a record equally as impressive as the Cubs'. They are still in striking distance of the first place White Sox, whom the Cubs will face in the season's 3 final games. Given their sizeable lead in the division, these last 10 games will likely have lost some drama. However, this is also an important stretch for key offensive players who have floundered most of the season, a bullpen that has only recently found reasonable footing, and a rotation with two consistent performers at the top and some major variables behind them. See below for the weekend's match-ups.
Game 1, Friday, Sep. 18, 7:15 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.29 ERA)
MIN: LHP Rich Hill (2-1, 3.81 ERA)
Hendricks has strung together three strong starts in a row. Last time out he went 7.2 innings against the Brewers and did not earn a decision, allowing 2 earned runs. Current Twins have 22 at-bats against him. Josh Donaldson (2-4), Eddie Rosario (2-3), and Rich Hill (1-2) account for all five of the roster's hits off the righty.
Rich Hill is now 40 and seems to have had about 3 different MLB careers. This will be his 7th start of 2020. He has yet to pitch more than 5 innings in a start and has seen most of his peripherals swing the wrong direction in this season's small sample. His average velocity is also down almost 2 mph compared to last year. Kyle Schwarber (0-6 with two strikeouts) is likely to sit this one out in favor of Cameron Maybin (2-8 off Hill). Bryant and Rizzo are each 2-6 with a homerun off of Hill.
Game 2, Saturday, Sep. 19, 7:15 pm central
CHC: RHP Alec Mills (5-3, 3.93 ERA)
MIN: RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 3.57 ERA)
Alec Mills is fresh off the game of his life and the longest outing of his MLB career. There was nothing particularly unusual about his no-hitter, except for the outcomes and that he didn't miss in the heart of the zone much. Living on the edges of the strike zone has always been his key to success. No current Twins have faced Mills.
Former Yankee Michael Pineda has been limited to only 3 starts so far in 2020. In 2019, his first season with the Twins, he had an ERA of 4.01 and saw his GB% drop to a career low 36.1%. He's always been stingy with the walks, however, and was not overly stricken with the HR bug last season. Only Cameron Maybin (5-17) has seen all that much of Pineda. Bryant (1-2) and Schwarber (1-3) have each homered off of him.
Game 3, Sunday, Sep. 20, 6:08 pm central
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (7-2, 1.86 ERA)
MIN: RHP Jose Berrios (4-3, 4.15 ERA)
Last time out, Yu Darvish failed to earn a decision for the first time in 2020. He allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, in 7 innings while striking out 7 Cleveland hitters. He has worked over Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, and Marwin Gonzalez for 22 strikeouts in 48 at bats. Alex Avila is 3-13 but has also coaxed five walks from Darvish. With two starts left, Cy Young votes are definitely on the line.
The 26-year-old Berrios will face off against the Cubs' ace as well as in his own brother-in-law, Javy Baez. He's had a slightly down season, attributable partly to an inflated walk rate compared to his career average. The righty is using his fastball less and his changeup more than in any prior seasons. He does have his highest K/9 for any season so far to show for it. Jason Kipnis has seen the most of him of any current Cub, but he's only 4-23 with one double. Jason Heyward is 2-3 with the roster's only homerun.
crunch 5 min 36 sec ago (view)
rich hill (aka, dick mountain) takes his 70mph slider to NYM.
crunch 8 min 46 sec ago (view)
sogard DFA'd...duffy up.
sogard got 180 PA, putting up .249/.283/.314
Hagsag 1 hour 5 min ago (view)
I agree crunch.
crunch 2 hours 15 min ago (view)
check out this box score from DSL M's/Yanks yesterday
43 runs, 28 hits, 31 walks, 14 errors (only 1 HR)
crunch 3 hours 53 min ago (view)
the "cleveland indians" are now the "cleveland gaurdians"
they totally blew this. the "cleveland spiders" was the right call.
cubbies.4ever 15 hours 34 min ago (view)
Triandos $2.1 MIL is the 2nd highest non 1st rd pick signing bonuses by Cubs, only Dillon Maples 14th rd $2.5 MIL (no pool limits in 2011) is more. Maples $2.5 MIL is a MLB record (and likely always will be) for anyone drafted below the 3rd rd.
cubbies.4ever 15 hours 47 min ago (view)
2nd Rd - James Triandos signs for $2.1 MIL overslot of $823,600. Leaves the Cubs $5,070 left in bonus pool with 19th and 20th rd unsigned
crunch 16 hours 25 min ago (view)
cards take 3 of 4.
cubs 47-50 and firmly in 4th place.
cubs take on arizona next. they're on a 4 game winning streak, bringing them to 30 wins on the season.
crunch 17 hours 11 min ago (view)
d.maples hits e.sosa in the skull (helmet) with a 95mph fb. he's up and walking, but he got smacked hard. if this was boxing he would have been down for a few 10-counts.
i can't believe they're letting him stay in the game. boog really can't believe it.
crunch 18 hours 24 min ago (view)
...and righty arenado gives him #20
crunch 19 hours 7 min ago (view)
6 pitches in...alzolay gives up a homer.
19 homers, 16 to lefties (#19 was to a lefty, too).
crunch 20 hours 11 min ago (view)
s.alcantara down, t.megill up
Arizona Phil 21 hours 2 min ago (view)
At the halfway point of the 2021 minor league season, here are the Top 10 post-2021 Rule 5 Draft eligibles and Top 3 players eligible to be post-2021 Rule 9 minor league 6YFA who are most-likely to be added to Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster):
RULE 9 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS:
Arizona Phil 23 hours 30 min ago (view)
Although the MLB Trade Deadline means players on MLB Reseve Lists (and MLB 60-day IL) and players who were outrighted off MLB reserve lists after signing a 2021 contract can't be traded after 4 PM (Eastern) on 7/30, players can be claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers through the balance of the MLB season.
Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
DJL: They are not Signed for Future Service.
crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
bryant's hamstring is taking wednesday off