Cubs vs. Marlins (Wild Card Round, Game 1)

The bizarre 2020 regular season has come to an end with the Cubs in first place in the central and four (!) NL Central teams making the sweet-sixteen style postseason. As the three-seed, the Cubs get to take on Marlins. A 3-game series unfolding without a day off will decide which team advances to the next round. Get ready for yet more strangeness from baseball in 2020!

CHC (0-0): RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 2.88 ERA)
MIA (0-0): RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.00 ERA)
First pitch 1:08 pm central (Wed., Sep. 30)

Darvish was undoubtedly the Cubs' best overall starter in the regular season. But he'll go in game 2 on full rest and Hendricks gets to go in game one. Perhaps this can be a reprisal of the role he played on opening day when he pitched an efficient complete game shutout against the Brewers. Hendricks went no less than 7.2 innings in each of his last 4 starts, allowing 5 earned runs and collecting 24 strikeouts (to 2 walks) across those 31.1 innings. Recent trade acquisition Starling Marte has seen the most of Hendricks and is only 6-26 with two doubles.

Sandy Alcantara gets the nod for the Marlins to open the series. He was out-pitched this season by Pablo Lopez, who also made 4 more starts than Alcantara. But Alcantara boosted his peripherals and suppressed runs more effectively in this shortened than in any other season of his young career. It's all pretty tiny sample sizes for the Cubs against Alcantara, but Contreras is 2-3 with 2 walks and Javy is 3-8 with 4 strikeouts. Rizzo is 1-5 with the roster's only homerun against Alcantara.

Comments

Yay for playoff games taking place in the middle of a workday? I'll be watching this one well after the fact. Enjoy, to all those watching it live on Wednesday afternoon!

There's a lot I hate about this playoff format and I hope we get back to 3-in with 2 teams playing a brutal 1-game playoff format.

i don't want to watch 162...or 150...games to see 16 out of 30 teams get a shot at winning it all.

we just watched the cubs drop 3 out of 4 to a team that was 15-38.  dropping a playoff series to a team that had the 5th best record and survived a 1-game sudden death playoff has a bit more legitamacy than a team that didn't even have a .500 record (MIL + HOU this year, btw).

Couldn't agree more. It was fine for this nonsense season, but playing a full 162, what's the point of pushing for 100 wins if 80 gets you in, and there's no real benefit to winning 100, as if you lose the wrong two games, you're gone 

I triple that motion.  Really liked the 3 in and 2 WCs with a 1 game playoff, best playoff setup of my lifetime.  It reinforces the importantance of 162, winning your division and there is a benefit to get that number 1 seed too. 

i wasn't initially on board with the extra wildcard team, but the 1-game playoff and having to start the next round almost immediately after burning a top pitcher really made that "extra slot" earn it's keep competitively.

i don't think i'm going to be won over by a 16-team playoff no matter how it's presented, though.

happ / rizzo / bryant / schwarber / contreras / heyward / baez / caratini(DH) / kipnis

ABC broadcast (all 3 games, W/Th/F)...

j.osich DFA'd...j.phegley added to be the "3rd/emergency" catcher

btw, the cubs play all early day games this round.  wtf...

cubs game suuuuuuuuuuucks.  straight garbage.

cin/atl is off the hook (scoreless in the 13th).

ATL wins, bottom 13th.

HOU advances over MIN.  part of me hopes this sub-.500 team makes it to the world series so more people can push back on this 16-team playoff stuff.  it would be eyerolling if it's 2 sub-.500 teams (MIL/HOU).

Hendricks battled but the Cubs luck ran out in the 7th. 

Lots of Cubs weak sauce on display this afternoon 

he also had his first 3-walk game since april 1st, 2019.

He was missing badly in the middle of the zone throughout the game. No idea why someone wasn't warmed up to start the 7th.

It really speaks to how hard he is to get to that he continually danced out of danger multiple times without his best stuff until the 7th. Once the 8 and 9 guys were on, he definitely shouldn't have turned the lineup over again. Agreed someone needed to be ready to throw 7th

Hendricks really did a great job today. You could tell he didn't have his best stuff but kept them off the board for 6 innings. Deserved better than the L.

Normally I'd say this one was on Ross for not seeing that Hendricks was done when the 8 and 9 hitters got on in the 7th but.... one run isn't going to win a lot of games.

Unfortunately scoring one run in playoff games is a continuing trend for this core group of Cubs

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  • KingKongvsGodzilla 11 hours 20 min ago (view)

    AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!

     

  • crunch 20 hours 50 min ago (view)

    jim hickey new nats pitching coach.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there. 

     

  • tim815 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.

     

  • crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.

    big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.

    too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?

     

  • tim815 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    http://www.milb.com/roster/index.jsp?cid=609&sid=milb

    Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.

    http://www.milb.com/roster/index.jsp?cid=2270&sid=...

     

  • crunch 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    yup, they're gonna try.  starts in about a month.

     

  • Hagsag 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Has it been announced whether there will be a DR winter league this winter?

     

  • tim815 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    That's as good of news as we'll get for awhile.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    TIM: If nothing else, signing a boatload of IFA (35) in the 2019-20 ISP is a pretty good indicator that the Cubs fully intend to run two DSL teams into the forseeable future. 

     

  • tim815 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Of the 11 new guys, I'm leaning on Marino Sandy and Jerry Torres to be the most likely to reach full-season ball or get traded 

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    OF Ian Miller (outrighted to the minors on 9/3) elected free-agency just prior to the 10/15 deadline, and the Cubs have signed RHRP Juan Gamez (who they released on 9/9) to a 2021 minor league contract. 

     

  • bigsky33 4 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Phil, were you watching from outside the stadium?