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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  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 13 min 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 16 hours 18 min 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 20 hours 20 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster. 

     

  • crunch 21 hours 43 min 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 22 hours 37 min 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 22 hours 53 min 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 23 hours 31 min 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 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?

     

  • tim815 2 days 4 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 2 days 21 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 2 days 22 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 3 days 19 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 18 min 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 4 days 13 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 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year