Cubs @ Reds: Series Thread (Games 26-28)

The Cubs (11-14) dodged a sweep in Atlanta by winning the final game, backing Alzolay to his first win of 2021. They'll complete the road trip with a 3-game series against the 4th place Reds (11-13). For now, it's a battle to get out of the NL Central basement. The Reds most recently took 2 out of 3 from the Dodgers, but prior to that they lost 7 in a row. See below for the weekend's matchups.

Game 26, Friday, April 30, 6:10 pm central

CHC: RHP Jake Arrieta (3-2, 2.57 ERA)

CIN: LHP Wade Miley (2-2, 2.45 ERA)

Arrieta took a loss against Milwaukee on April 25th through no fault of his own. It was probably his best start so far; he allowed 1 earned run and struck out 8 in 6 innings. Joey Votto is hitting .429 with 2 homeruns off of him in 14 ABs.

Wade Miley is off to a solid start in his second season with the Reds. He still relies on weak contact, but he's restricted the walks in the early going. He's lost his last two starts, allowin 6 earned runs on 3 walks and 10 hits in 11 innings. Bryant's is 6 for 14 off of Miley. Baez and Rizzo are a combined 3 for 24 with no homeruns off the veteran lefty.

Game 27, Saturday, May, 3:10 pm central

CHC: RHP Zach Davies (1-2, 9.47 ERA)

CIN: RHP Luis Castillo (1-2, 6.29 ERA)

Zach Davies's last respectable start was April 4, when he made his first start as a Cub and earned his first win of 2021. He's walked 15 in 19 innings pitched.

Luis Castillo has been off to a rough start this season, having an uncharacteristically difficult time missing bats and surrendering homeruns at a heightened rate in the early going. Notably, his velocity is down a tick or two compared to last year and he's throwing the changeup a little more frequently. He lost to the Cardinals last time out, allowing 4 earned runs and striking out 3 in 5.1 innings pitched. Ian Happ is is 6 for 13 with a homerun off of him and Heyward is 6 for 20 with a pair of dingers.

Game 28, Sunday, May 2, 12:10 pm central

CHC: RHP Trevor Williams (2-2, 4.44 ERA)

CIN: RHP Tyler Mahle (1-1, 1.75 ERA)

Williams's had an encouraging first month of the season. He managed to strike out more than one batter per inning and kept his ERA in the mid-4s while mostly avoiding the longball. If he can deliver more of the same, he'll be outpitching expectations. Reds hitters saw plenty of him when he was Pirate, but no one's numbers really jump off stat sheet. Votto boasts .387 average in 31 ABs, but that came with no homeruns and only 1 RBI.

Tyler Mahle took a big step forward in the shortened 2020 season and has continued with a spectacular April of 2021. Combined across that stretch he's put together 73.1 innings in which he's struck out 96 and had a 2.95 ERA. That's a solid half season of work. No Cub hitters have really thrived against him. Heyward, Rizzo, and Contreras are a combined 7 for 50.


zach davies hates puppies, warm summer days, hugs from his mother, and america.

amir garrett likes to fight.  he also likes to yell things at people.

unless you want to fight you might not want to yell things back at amir garrett.

Still can't tell exactly how it developes. Nice of the network to give us that slow mo of Javy, though.

amir straight up remembers every team he's ever pissed off or has pissed him off doing things that only amir has the capability to determine.  the 2 teams almost fought a couple years ago because baez make mouth-yappy hand signs when amir was running his mouth and he tried to fight then, too.

amir was uber-hyped to K rizzo because he rembers rizzo a couple years ago defending javy during that outburst.  javy came to stick up for rizzo this time after amir was screaming at rizzo after the K.

this is the type of guy you're dealing with here:

people say "never scared" a lot, but this dude lives it.  he's ready to take on everyone.  i would try to not piss him off even if he's ranting because he's a special kind of crazy.

Amir Garrett is very lucky he doesn't get at bats

I guess that's it. Seems silly to take the bait. Instead, why not ice him by asking for long timeouts or just continue to give him the yap yap sign? If he gets that amped up, you could probably goad him into an ejection. Javy coming out of the dugout doesn't accomplish anything.

Why is Pat Hughes teaming up with JD on the Marquee? Interesting but at the same time, odd.

I like this pairing a lot, actually. It's a very chill watch where JD gets to be casually smart and funny without anyone else also trying to be funny.

As bad as this team is, somehow Marquee is worse. How the hell can you miss an attempted steal of home because you're zoomed in on Happ's face? 

they dont control the camera feed or direction on the road.  also, the announce team is local @wrigley no matter where the game is played.

they have screens showing most cameras for the announcers, but they're small view with the broadcast shot being bigger.

they can do custom replay and cut-ins after the fact under their control, so they do have access to the feed...real-time is sketchy, though.

boog is especially having a hard time with this and has expressed it a few times.

i'm just glad they're not making them dress up in suits like this is some 1980s national broadcast game.  that was played out.

Not really a big fan of Boog just because he's so dry but I've nothing but good things to say about JD. Honestly I'm much more interested in listening to him in the background than watching the Cubs play mediocre baseball.

Williams pulls the difficult but not impossible Three-Quarters Hendricks in the 3rd.  Only thing that kept him from attempting a Full Hendricks was getting taken out.

nico hoerner is good at doing hits.

HBP a run in.

2 RBI single to follow it up.

2021 cubs pitching, everyone.

really impressed with the cubs "Pitching Lab"

it's a great replacement for actually investing in already developed talent.  great job, guys.

Game three is one of those games where I spend a few minutes looking up park factors and where G.A.B. sits on the list lately. Nice weather in Cincinnati today.

this is a great and terrible game.

Oh, goddamnit.

still trying to figure out how happ got his face cut up...even after 3x replays

Looked like nico's right hand got him in the face (and his knee got him in the ribs/torso area). Scary play for both guys, and just when Happ started to look good at the plate again.

interesting having wolters sub at 2nd while moving hoerner to LF...

wolters in the OF must be nightmare fuel or something.  he is a former IF'r and all, so it's not extrodinary to ask wolters to play there...but hoerner is obviously a well above average defensive middle IF'r who got shoved into LF.

well that was anti-climatic...


Bad, but great, but bad game.  I really don't like the runner on 2nd in extras rule.

been watching a ton of games because, of course.

oddity about these reduced capacity games and crowd noise...  because there's only 20-30+% capacity at most parks, when "The Wave" starts to go through the parks that indulge this activity it makes the park sound 100% full.

also, if you've not watched a SD/LA game yet you're missing out.  playoff atmosphere from the first pitch and it's gonna be crazy when they're 100% capacity.

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  • crunch 41 min 56 sec ago (view)

    he -really- needs to cue into this is a cubs broadcast and not a national/neutral broadcast.

    dude...don't get excited about marlins 3-run homers.


  • crunch 2 hours 8 min ago (view)

    lot of people wanted him when len left.  he's got a long game calling history, but not too much for baseball.  he did host "baseball tonight" for ESPN for a quite a while, so the game isn't a mystery to him.

    i find him a bit boring/dry.  some people like that he has that oldschool "announcer voice" thing going on.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 27 min ago (view)

    He's uhhh.. not very good at it. Glad he wasn't the hire for the main role.


  • crunch 2 hours 40 min ago (view)

    wow...chris myers calling the cubs game for some reason (boog out for the MIA series).

    he is a marquee talent, but he's not been used to call a game as far as i know.

    also, zach davies looks like a kid in pajamas in those dark blue "wrigleyville" uniforms.


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    t.williams threw a 25 pitch pen thursday


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    tonight's game (thursday) is free game, btw.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have optioned RHP Robert Stock back to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHP Brad Wieck. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHSP Mike Hauschild (ex-TOR) from Lexington (Atlantic League) and he has been asigned to AAA Iowa. 

    The Cubs are clearly beating the bushes of indepenent league baseball. Hauschild is the sixth player acquired by the Cubs from independent league teams in the last month (Jose Almonte, Tyler Ladendorf, Tim Susnara, Matt Warkentin, and Jarod Wright are the other five). 


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    (c) hendricks gives up at least 60 homers in the regular season

    seriously, though...wisdom has "slowed down" the past 10 days or so, but he still managed a couple homers.  he's got a damn good shot at 20+ even if bote+duffy come back to steal a little time from him.


  • Charlie 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    This Mets series is going poorly, so... off-topic question. Which of these outcomes do you currently think is more likely in 2021: (a) Javy hits at least 40 homeruns in the regular season, (b) Patrick Wisdom hits at least 20 homeruns in the regular season.


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    wow...and he's done for the night.  that's not good...well, for mets fans.

    "right shoulder soreness"


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    meanwhile...degrom with 8 Ks through 3 perfect innings.  he's also got a RBI single.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    and d.smith gets HBP.

    this is high end next level strategy.  you beat degrom by injuring everyone until they have to forfeit the game.  moneyballs.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    ow...villar got nailed in the ear and the back of the head by a throw from lobaton on a stolen base.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: You are absolutely right.

    Granted there are existing rules prohibiting pitchers from using foreign substances, but you don't change enforcement protocols suddenly in the middle of the season. Pitchers should be given an opportunity to make adjustments during the course of Spring Training before any new enforcement policy is implememted.

    This can and should be addressed in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not now. 


  • Charlie 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    That was definitely my position prior to this year. But I am starting to buy into the claim that almost all pitchers are using something, even if it is rosin and sunscreen in many cases.