Cubs vs. Marlins (Wild Card Round, Game 2)

The Cubs dropped the first game, scoring their lone run on an Ian Happ homer and letting six shutout innings from Hendricks turn into a 5-1 loss when things fell apart in the 7th. Now, they face elimination in this best of 3 Wild Card Round. They'll send their best starting pitcher and NL Cy Young contender Yu Darvish to keep the Cubs' season alive.

CHC (0-1): RHP Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.01 ERA in the regular season)
MIA (1-0): RHP Sixto Sánchez (3-2, 3.46 ERA in the regular season)
RESCHEDULED: Friday, Oct. 2, time TBD

Darvish was spectacular in the shortened 2020 season, setting a new high fWAR as a Cub despite pitching in only 12 games. In addition to cutting his already low 2019 walk rate nearly in half, he also cut his HR per 9 by about two thirds. Today he makes his most important start yet for the 2020 season. Corey Dickerson (5-13 with 2 doubles and a homerun) and Starling Marte (4-11 with a homer) have enjoyed some success against him while most other Marlins have hardly seen him before.

The 22-year-old Sixto Sánchez reached AA in 2019 and made his MLB debut roughly 6 weeks ago. His overall numbers are fairly solid so far, but his last two starts were his weakest of the season. He went a cumulative 7 innings and allowed 9 runs on 12 hits and 6 walks in those starts. The rookie brings serious heat and a plus changeup that he turns to 27.4% of the time. That changeup feeds into his reverse splits. Righties enjoy a .267/.345/.400 slash line against him (19 innings pitched) compared to lefties at only .232/.270/.261 (20 innings pitched).


Weather looks a *little* spotty for this afternoon. Here's hoping for no interruptions while Darvish is still in the game.

happ / rizzo / contreras(DH) / schwarber / bryant / heyward / baez / bote(2nd) / caratini

s.marte(FLA) has a broken hand from the d.winkler HBP yesterday...he was recently returned after a HBP cut up his ear on a fastball to the skull.   he's not had a fun time lately.

same lineup for friday...


"Game 2 has been rescheduled for Friday afternoon at 2:08 p.m. (ET)/1:08 p.m. (CT) on ABC, unless there is only one game remaining. If Cubs-Marlins is the only game remaining, then first pitch will be at 7:08 p.m. (ET)/6:08 p.m. (CT) on ABC. Should a Game 3 be necessary, then it will be played on Saturday, with timing to be determined."

ESPN1, ESPN2, and ABC are loaded with college football games all day long, morning, noon, and night on Saturday, so if the Cubs win tomorrow and there is a WC game 3 on Saturday, it would probably have to be on TBS, which is running Seinfeld reruns and forgettable movies all day long. 

Forgettable was my favorite movie from 1988. I mean Nat King Cole singing the title track - classic.

sixto out there throwing 100mph

Get the sense that letting him off the hook two straight innings might be a killer for Cubs

part of me thinks the dead cubs bats deserve this possible loss...the other 99% of me isn't ready to quit watching cubs baseball in 2020.

but these bats...i don't get it.

It's very frustrating. They are better than what they've done. They are the inverse of "the whole is better than the sum of its parts"

Theyve gone through hitting coaches, managers, etc. Maybe they just don't gel as well as a group anymore? Whatever that even means?

Wow, this 2 run deficit feels insurmountable. Sad, Just hope I'm wrong. 

So frustrating that Cub pitchers have to pitch with absolutely no margin for error with how shit-tastic the offense is. 

At least the Marlins had the courtesy to jump on the Cubs with two outs in the 7th and not with one out in the 8th. 

Oh, no. 

yes, this.

This is all so very 2018.

I really can't be too upset about this.  Didn't really expect much else.  Would have been fun to care about baseball another week, but this wasn't ever much more than a .500 team.

Cubs/Reds should have a consolation series Europa League style. 

Best of 7 games.  First to score wins the game no matter the inning.

i think all that's left to figure out after that contreras AB is who on the team is going to start 2021 on the suspended list for whatever goes down later in the game.

leadoff double in the 9th...tease or comeback...lot of teasing this season...and last season...

tease it is...

well, it was a mostly fun 2020 overall.

I was thinking how much fun that 13-3 start was - especially compared to how dismal 2019 began and how they really never recovered from it. Glad for that for sure. 

13-3 was fun.  No Hitter was fun.  Didn't find 75% of the season playing .500 baseball that fun.  Didn't find seeing all of the core Chicago hitters barely hit .200 fun.  Bleh season with a deserved ending....but I do like another notch on the historical belt of this team:

5 playoffs in 6 years, 3 NLCS appearances, 3 Division Championships, 1 NL Pennant, 1 World Series Trophy

Now blow it up and start over.

i dont wanna live through another blow up.  it's not like they're all sure-things when they pick their 1st round picks, and getting an arrietta + strop with lots of club control for "meh" level talent is one of those once-in-a-few-eras trades (what an epic cubs trade, though).

that said, i dont expect to see bryant in 2021 and i wouldn't be shocked to see someone else go with him.  contreras has both high trade value and the team no longer needs him to control lester's baserunning game.  i dunno what to think about schwarber's future with the team even with the DH around...the DH slot makes it a lot easier to keep him around.

I'm not ready to grieve for this team, which has been mostly the same since 2015. But I will be surprised if they don't engage in at least a modified rebuild. It's frustrating to see the farm system significantly depleted to support the major league team during a competitive window that has been a disappointment for 4 years running. It will be fascinating to see how they go about rebuilding without a full tear down, especially with significant uncertainty at the league level going into 2021.

I think several of the teams at the Cubs level have shown you don't need to totally blow it up to rebuild. The Yankees didn't. The Red Sox didn't. Basically punting a year or two I can live with. throwing away half a decade or more is something quite different.

watching kintzler celebrate getting the last out at wrigley field to advance the marlins in the playoffs...oof...

he did nothing wrong, but what a difference a year makes...

Offense is still broke.


New rules I kinda liked:

3 batter rule for relief

extra innings - man on 2nd (I'm over the excitement of 15 inning games ending at 1am, ruining the bullpen for a week)

7 inning Double headers - know it impacts stats and stuff but 14 innings seems like enough for 1 day and each game is more exciting.  (can't imagine this will stick though)

DH for NL - I can't believe I'm saying this, but I did not care that pitchers weren't batting.  More offense may not be a bad thing for the NL

Rules I don't like:

60 game season - I'd be perfectly content with 145-152....but no thanks on 60

16 team playoff - Made perfect sense this year and eliminated pretenders like the Cubs, but no thank you on .500 teams making the playoffs

My vote, maybe add 1 more team to playoffs from each league, make WC round 2 of 3 instead of single game, make division series 7 games long...shorten regular season to accomodate

Regarding the bonus runner on 2nd, I agree that I don't miss extra innings beyond about the 11th. But I'd rather they just call it a draw at some point, since that's a better representation of what actually unfolded on the ball field.

I didn't think the Cubs made particularly good use of the DH this season. It's obviously where Schwarber belongs and instead they used it to get Caratini's extremely meh bat into the lineup more often.

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  • Hagsag 1 hour 3 min ago (view)

    Phil, we all are so glad you are getting to somehow "view" these games. Stay safe my friend.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 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 12 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 16 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 18 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 19 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 19 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 8 hours ago (view)

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


  • tim815 3 days 44 min 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 17 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 18 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 15 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 20 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 9 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 10 hours ago (view)

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