Cubs @ Pirates (Game 57)

The Cubs lost a tight game (and solid performance from Hendricks) last night, but they remain 3.5 ahead of the Cardinals. There are only 4 games left for the offense to build any confidence going into the postseason. They'll have a chance to even the series this afternoon in Pittsburgh.

CHC (32-24): RHP Alec Mills (5-4, 4.14 ERA)
PIT (17-39): RHP Chad Kuhl (1-3, 5.20 ERA)
First pitch 12:35 pm central

Mills matched his season high 7 strikeouts in a loss last time out. He allowed 4 earned runs on six innings pitched, but his stuff and command looked basically the same as it did in his no-hitter from the week before. He's got one more start to continue to produce at a league-average or better rate. He lost to the Pirates on Sep. 3, allowing 4 earned runs in five innings. Bryan Reynolds id 2-3 with a double and homer off of him.

Chad Kuhl's walk rate has inflated vs his career and his ERA has gone along with it. Two rounds ago, he made a disastrous 6-walk and 9-earned run start against the Royals. He followed that up with a loss on four runs, one earned, to the Cardinals in which he walked only two. He did not earn a decision in a 4-inning start against the Cubs on Sep. 1 in which he allowed 4 runs, 3 earned. Heyward is 10-18 with 1 double and 1 homerun off of him. Rizzo is 7-22 with 5 extra-base hits. Javy is 2-17 and Schwarber 3-14, each with 5 strikeouts.


rizzo / contreras(DH) / heyward / schwarber / maybin(CF) / kipnis / baez / caratini / bote

So whatever happened to the don't pitch Mills the day after Hendricks plan?

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. 

3 days left to get psyched for the post season?

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.

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.

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.

In addition, the team is bracing for limited seating capacity for games at Wrigley Field in 2021 in the event fans are allowed to attend games without a vaccine for the coronavirus, the source said. Should fans be allowed to return in limited capacity, the Cubs would prioritize season ticket holders for admission.

The Cubs likely are to follow the model of other teams that have allowed fans to attend games should they get permission. Wrigley’s seating capacity is 41,649, but a significant reduction would continue to affect revenue.

In May, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts told a group of season ticket holders in an online chat that about 70% of the team’s revenue stems from game-day operations, including ticket sales.

The decline in revenue because of COVID-19 cut into the team’s baseball operations department last month — more than two dozen scouts and player development staffers were informed their contracts would not be renewed this fall.

Top pitching prospect Brailyn Marquez is on the Cubs’ 40-man playoff pool.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Marquez, who has struck out 287 in 257 minor-league innings from 2016-19, has yet to pitch above Class A, but a team source said he was dominant at the South Bend, Ind., alternate site.

Other players of note who were included were pitchers Tyler Chatwood and Rowan Wick and infielder Ildemaro Vargas, all of whom are on the injured list.

there's been some heat surrounding b.marquez being added to the playoff pool, if not getting a callup in this last week (not gonna happen at this point, i imagine).

he's gonna shoot up prospect lists this off-season, he should be on top of everyone's Cubs team prospect lists right now.

THe Chicago Cubs announced that they have selected the contract of infielder Patrick Wisdom and veteran Jose Martinez has been optioned. 

Wisdom will be be available tonight and wear No. 59.

The 29-year-old has a .224 average with four homers and 11 RBIs during his MLB career.

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Wisdom in the first round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Saint Mary's College.

To make room on the roster, Manny Rodriguez has been recalled from Double AA and placed on the 45-day IL.

Read more:

Wisdom been in short supply in 2020.  Glad we got some.

Dang, was hoping for a Jose Martinez hit.

we all have...for a few weeks...

it kinda sucks.  shame he may end his career speed bump with the cubs not even getting a hit.  if you're a no-fielding hitter, you kinda need to get the hitting part down, though.  speaking of...check out what vogelbomb is doing in MIL after getting cut loose by SEA.

Even more of a shame when you consider we gave up a decent prospect for him

Cards lose game 1 of DH w Brewers

I goofed wrt Bluejays/Astros. They clinched a WC #2 and 8 seed but Houston has a lock on West div team 2. The Indians will be 7 seed and wild card #1, abd team #3 from the central

Recent comments

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  • Hagsag 6 min 51 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.