Cubs @ Pirates (Game 56)
The Cubs clinched a playoff spot despite the loss last night. Clinching the division and sorting out their offense remain on the to-do list, and they've got five games left in which to scratch off those tasks. Two games remain in Pittsburgh and the series stands 1-1.
CHC (32-23): RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 2.93 ERA)
PIT (16-39): RHP Trevor Williams (1-8, 6.70 ERA)
First pitch 6:05 pm central
Kyle Hendricks gets his 12th and likely final start of the 2020 regular season against the last place Pirates. Last time out he went 8 scoreless innings and struck out Twins batters. He allowed one earned run in six innings on his way to a win against the Pirates on Sep. 2. Adam Frazier (8-18 with a homerun) has been more than a pest as has Gregory Polanco (12-31 with two homeruns).
Trevor Williams has had a 2020 to forget. He's won only a single game and been dinged for a 6.70 ERA. He's raised is strikeout rate but he has been hit harder than in any season prior. The Cubs handed him his second loss on July 31; he surrendered 3 runs, 2 earned, and struck out 6 in 4.2 innings. Several Cubs have thrived against Williams. Schwarber is 8-24 with three homeruns, leading the bunch in long balls. Bote is 2-3 with two homeruns and three walks. Javy is, strangely, 5-21 with 0 strikeouts.
Hagsag 5 min 40 sec ago (view)
Phil, we all are so glad you are getting to somehow "view" these games. Stay safe my friend.
Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours 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 1 day 11 hours 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 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster.
crunch 1 day 17 hours 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 1 day 17 hours 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 1 day 18 hours 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 1 day 18 hours 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 2 days 7 hours ago (view)
Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?
tim815 2 days 23 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 3 days 16 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 3 days 17 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 4 days 14 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 19 hours 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 5 days 8 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 5 days 9 hours ago (view)
i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.