Cubs vs. Dodgers: Series Thread (Games 29-31)

The Cubs dropped the final game in Cincinnati in dramatic fashion, letting the back-and-forth slugfest fade away with a soft single from Castellanos. It was a more competitive series than many we've seen from the Cubs this year. But it was also costly. They are now 4 games under .500 at 12-16, in last place, and likely down Ian Happ (3-5 with a homer in the game) who had to be taken off the field after a nasty collision with Nico Hoerner in shallow center field. The extent of Happ's injuries have not yet been reported in detail, but it would be shocking if he were right back at it for the next game. Jake Marisnick is the most likely to see playing time in center if Happ is out, but Joc Pederson is eligible to return and the Cubs could get creative in the corner outfield spots if they want to start Heyward in CF.

The 17-12 LA Dodgers roll into Wrigley with a trio of aces ready to kick the Cubs while they are down. LA enters the series third in the NL in runs scored and first in WRC+. They're also third in the NL in ERA. Cubs fans have been hoping to see the team find their footing going back to April 17, when a 13-4 win vs. Atlanta looked like a sign of the offense breaking out. More than two weeks later, the north siders are still trying to get their legs under them, now with some of the toughest competition in the league in their way. See below for nightmare fuel the pitching matchups.


Game 29, Monday, May 3, 6:40 pm central

CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-3, 7.54 ERA)

LAD: RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.16 ERA)

Hendricks continued a frustrating start to the season, having possibly his worst start thus far in a loss to Atlanta. He allowed 7 earned runs for the second time this year, this time going only 3.2 innings. Issuing zero walks would be a silver lining if not for the fact he got hammered to the tune of 11 hits, including three homeruns. He's had two perfectly fine starts this year, which give some hope that his command might return at any time.

Walker Buehler has come into 2021 like he made a resolution not to issue any free passes. He's struck out 31 and walked only 2 in 31.1 innings. In his last start he allowed 5 earned runs while striking out 10 Cinicinnati Reds. Most current Cubs have seen little of Buehler. Tony Wolters is 1 for 17. Kris Bryant is 3 for 6.


Game 30, Tuesday, May 4, 6:40 pm central

CHC: RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-2, 4.71 ERA)

LAD: LHP Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 2.09 ERA)

Adbert Alzolay pitched 6 innings to earn a win against Atlanta's Bryse Wilson on April 29. It was his third solid start in a row. He leaned heavily on his breaking ball, with pitch tracking counting more than 50% of his pitches as sliders. He has a few shapes to that breaking ball though--I'm not convinced a few of those weren't variants of his curve. This will be the Dodgers' first look at Alzolay.

Kershaw had looked to be on the decline from 2017-2019, putting up very good numbers but nothing quite like his peak years. Then in 2020 he pitched like a beast and he has kept up that act so far in 2021. He pitched seven scoreless innings against the Reds in his last start, earning his fourth win on the season and his 179th in his career. Javy (4 for 8), Bryant (2 for 4), Contreras (3 for 7), and Rizzo (4 for 8) have all had some success in limited regular season appearances against the veteran lefty.


Game 31, Wednesday, May 5, 6:40 pm central

CHC: RHP Jake Arrieta (3-3, 4.31 ERA)

LAD: RHP Trevor Bauer (3-1, 2.48 ERA)

After making five straight solid starts, Arrieta turned in a clunker his sixth time out. He allowed three homeruns and seven earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched, bloating his ERA by almost a run and a half. Hopefully, he can get back to competitive if not dominating starts. Max Muncy is 4 for 10 with two homeruns and Corey Seager is 4 for 8 with a single homerun off of Arrieta.

Trevor Bauer cashed in on his Cy Young performance in the shortened 2020 to sign with the NL's foremost behemoth. In the early going, he's nearly picked up where he left off. He's struck out well over a batter per inning while limiting walks and holding opponents to an absurd 14.9% line drive rate. Last time, he went 8 innings deep in a loss to the Brewers in which he allowed two earned runs on only 4 hits and 2 walks. Rizzo is 6 for 14 with 2 homeruns off of Bauer.

Comments

Apparently Joc Pederson is back for the Dodger game tonight. Keegan Thompson to alt site.

leading off, too.

d.ross "the manager" is...interesting.

game cancelled because weather.  boo.

split double-header tuesday.

K.B. in a 4-way tie for the MLB lead in HRs after yesterday's game. Rain day question: What kind of package do we think the Cubs could realistically get for him at the deadline if he's still looking like an MVP contender at that point? (Obviously, there's still time for the Cubs to rebound and for MIL to blow their division lead.)

my entire cubs trade handicapping world is still shook by the trading of a starter locked up multiple years on the cheap for a slew of 18-20 year olds and a "replacement" middle rotation guy that has a 88mph fastball.

coming off a season where they were a first place club they traded for years away, not next year...

we shooting to be competitive in 2025 or we doing something else over here?

I'm assuming K.B., Kimbrel, Arrieta, and anyone else on a one-year contract who isn't injured or terrible will be sold by the deadline. In the most optimistic scenario, the front office turns around and tries to extend Rizzo and another member of the 2016 core in order to bridge competitive windows with a little nostalgia. So I would assume you trade K.B. for the best overall package, but preferably with at least one good pitching prospect who is at most a year away from MLB. I am, however, extremely bad at both predicting and evaluating trades.

i hope we're trading for 2022 (possible lockout/strike stuff aside) no matter who gets traded.

i wouldn't be shocked to see arrieta kept for 2022 if he can at least put up middle-rotation performance.

I think the entire team is able to be had, except Happ, Hoerner, Bote, Alzolay, Steele, Maples, Megill, and maybe Mills.

Was looking for a comp and closest I could find was Manny Machado going to Dodgers as a rental in 2018.  Orioles got one legit prospect, Yusniel Diaz, who was a top 50-100 prospect; along with some lotto tickets.

But like Crunch mention, after Darvish trade who knows.  Hopefully with fans in the stands and capacities increasing that the Cubs can act like a major market team and either eat some of Bryant's and Kimbrel's contracts or take back a bad contract in order to improve the quality of the return. 

Exactly... if the directive is get the best prospects, that's a whole different thing than if the directive is get the year end payroll as low as possible 

Which better prospect package did Jed Hoyer refuse?

Hoyer's goals were likely (get under a specified number) and (prioritize 2023 ans beyond over 2021 and 2022).

I'm speaking more about the potential mindsets at the trade deadline.

As for Darvish, I don't have insider info as to what was on offer but I find it hard to believe that if the Cubs had been willing to pay more money on the deal, the quality of prospect wouldn't have risen.

Also, if the offer they accepted WAS the actual best offer, the answer from Jed should have been "no." That's only in a vacuum where ownership wasn't desperate to shed salary, of course.

Odd thing is Cubs didn't really save that much money this year once you consider the money they are paying Davies, the money thrown in to San Diego to pay Darvish and the fact Cubs had to pay more $ to downgrade the back up catcher spot. 

jed had to beg for the loot to sign joc pederson as "extra" payroll.  it was supposed to be worse than it is on the loot.

still seems "wtf" to blow that darvish trade on a garbage bag full of kids who are all 3+ years away as a minimum for a team that's going to be mostly intact in 2021.  the only major loss to FA was j.jeffress...who ended up signing a minor league deal.

evidently the team fell apart on the day off...

arrieta to the 10d IL (right thumb), hoerner to the 10d IL (left forearm), winkler to the 10d IL (right triceps), and happ is day-to-day with a rib injury.

wtf...

i.vargas, k.ryan, and k.thompson up.

Whatever happened to Jake Arrieta (right thumb abrasion) must have happened at the airport or sometime after the road trip, because his IL assignment was backdated only to yesterday (5/3) when it otherwise could have been backdated to 5/1 (the day after he last pitched in a game). 

yeah, it's weird because "supposedly" a cut on his thumb is why he pitched like crap last time out...or that's the story they're going with.  you'd think they'd want to date it back further.

beyond that, it seems like all or most of these injuries would have been known pre-game yesterday.

My mistake. Arrieta pinch-hit in Sunday's game, so that's why it could be backdated only to yesterday. 

ding.  also, let's hope everyone can make it through the next 10 days without piling on more to the IL.

Raining in Chicago, 90 min before 1st game time.

Beautiful day in Des Moines for the long-awaited "lid-lifter" on the next season of I-Cub baseball! 

Good to see the Professor back at school today. 

Anyone able to watch this one? Did he look in better command overall?

i got home just in time for his last inning where he gave up a homer.

the box score sure as hell looked good.

Command much better, velocity still down a bit. Had hitters off balance all day. Only time he really looked shaky was the HR followed by a hard single in the 7th, and a HBP and a walk in like the 2nd I think. He cruised. 

nice.

also, i noticed in the boxscore baez got his 2nd walk on the season today...vs f'n kershaw...alright, then.

That sounds promising. Thanks, bradsbeard!

Vintage Hendricks. 71% pitches were strikes. Late movement. Repeat, rinse, repeat.

Charlie - Here's a link to a fine - and free - recap of Hendricks outing:

https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2021/05/05/hey-i-recognize-this-guy-kyle-hendricks-had-a-very-good-game/

That is a solid recap--thank you!

keegan thompson gets game 2...wolters catching

pederson leading off

a.garrett suspended 7 games for being a dick.

That's a bit of a headscratcher, considering Tepera got only 3 games for admitting he threw behind Woodruff on purpose.

it's also harsh considering javy only got a fine for jumping out the dugout to confront him.  it'll probably be reduced to 3-5 or something.

thompson's got some good movement on his stuff (not extrodinary).

his mid-90s fastball looks effortless.  he's got a cutter he can bring 90+.

"Go get 'em, kid.  We've got three of the best guys on our roster out there behind you, and the other guy on the bump, well, his Cy Young should come with an asterisk."

It's the opening night for MiLB, I knew SB was now A+ ball, and of course I get confused the first time I look at the GameDay for SB just now.

That's going to take the full season to get used too.

damn this is a good game.

bauer keeps coming close to screwing up badly and gets out of it.  cubs have a 1 run lead and it seems like it should be a few more.

thompson looked great since an "average at best" 1st inning.

kimbrel blew the save, giving up a solo homer, but this isn't a case of "kimbrel sucking"...he looked good.

still...boo.

hol up...we really bringing maples into a game where a guy starts on 2nd with 0 out?

alright...we're living dangerously.

hey, look...runner scores on a wild pitch.

sigh.

...and a solo HR to follow it up.  that's neat-o.

TIED!

wow.  baez.

i wish i didn't have to crash and get up early.  hate missing the rest of this.  wow.

If you predicted the Cubs take both sides of the doubleheader vs Kershaw and Bauer, I hope you put some money on it.

RHP Kohl Stewart was recalled from AAA Iowa as the "27th man" for Game # 2 of the doubleheader but he did not pitch in the game.

The 27th man is only available for both games if the doubleheader was scheduled as the resuilt of a postponed game from a previous series, so since the doubleheader resulted from the first game of the current series being postponed, the 27th man was only available for the second game.  

Even though he was recalled as the "27th man" on Tuesday, the Cubs could keep Stewart on the 26-man Active List roster and place a player on the IL or option somebody else (like Keegan Thompson) to Iowa on Wednesday instead, or they can just option Stewart back to AAA. 

If Stewart is optioned, the 10-day recall clock does not apply, since he was a "27th man."  

Since Jake Arrieta won't be ready to pitch in four or five days, I hope they keep Keegan up there. I'd say he deserves to start one more game for them until Jake comes back.

j.means throws a no-hitter for the O's...first since jim palmer in 1969.

also, this is the 3rd no-hitter on the year that would have been a perfect game if not for a sole "mistake" (2x hbp (rondon/musgrove) + dropped 3rd strike (means)).

pedro strop has elected to become a FA.  aww.  can't blame him, though.

good luck and thanks for the 2 game reunion, i guess.

it would be nice if ross would let a pitcher throw 100+ pitches...or even 90+...

it would also be nice for the dude replacing the starter to not put 3 on base with 0 out...

Alzolay got over 90 last outing.

I prefer him being healthy to racing to a specific marker because reasons.

Rizzo gets the interview, but that's Matt Duffy's game. Did not see that coming after the Contreras DP and the Javy non-DP.

Matt Duffy and Jake Marisnick have been everything we possibly could have hoped for.  They've been a large part of the offense slowly starting to perform.

 Also, I know Wolters doesn't hit much, but he kept that inning going for Anthony. Wolters' at bats have been far superior to those of Romine. Romine can stay on the injured list.

a.pujols getting released by ANA...

he's useless, he's been useless for years, but there goes a legend.

Yep... HOF for sure. I sort of hoped that he would hold it together enough to hit 700 HR. 

The cubs have had some stinker contracts recently, but at least we never spent > $1/4 billion on a replacement level RHB 1B. 

i like jason heyward, the person...i'm not a fan of jason heyward, the player with the 184m contract.

the past 2-3 years with the decline of the D isn't helping.

AP ends career with 57 HR vs. CHC in ~800 PA. 2nd most HR vs any team other than Astros, but that was only 5 more HR in 450 more PA's.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 5 min ago (view)

    jdrnym: That's correct.

    Under the new rules, the 38-man AAA reserve list is now only used beginning on the date reserve lists are filed in November and extending up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. Then after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, everybody goes back into the off-season 190-man Domestic Reserve List hopper. 

     

  • jdrnym 7 hours 14 min ago (view)

    Phil, can you settle a Twitter discussion? A team can only select players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft until its 38-man Triple-A reserve list is full, correct? Don't believe this changed with the latest Major League Rules that introduced the Domestic Reserve List and eliminated individual level reserve lists during the offseason.

     

  • crunch 11 hours 25 min ago (view)

    "Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reports that Carlos Correa's agent has been contacted by the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and Braves.

    It's not clear when the contact took place or what level of interest each club has."

    ...with the yanks and dodgers both with piles of cash and a bit of need, i wouldn't get too stoked...but at least there seems to be some interest in what his market is.

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 46 min ago (view)

    Stroman's salary escalators apply to 2024, so if Stroman reaches 160 IP in either 2022 or 2023 (but not both) it adds $2M to his 2024 salary, and if he reaches 160 IP in both 2022 and 2023 it would add $4M to his to 2024 salary.

    So he gets $25M in both 2022 and 2023 (that's locked-in), and then either $21M, $23M , or $25M in 2024, depending upon whether he reaches his salary escalators in 2022 and/or 2023. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 51 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: I should also mention that the Cubs cannot outright David Bote while he is injured or rehabbing from an injury, except during a window starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the day that off-season reserve lists must be filed (normaly 11/20, but it was 11/19 in 2021 because 11/20 fell on a Saturday, and it will be 11/18 in 2022 because 11/20 will fall on a Sunday). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 7 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: The Cubs can outright David Bote (if he is not claimed off waivers) once the transaction freeze is lifted. That's not a problem. 

    If he is outrighted and then elects free-agency, he would forfeit what remains of his contract - AS LONG AS - the contract is not fully guaranteed. 

    If the contract is fully guaranteed he would likely elect free-agency and the Cubs would be on the hook for what remains of his salary, offset by the MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB deal with another club.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 23 min ago (view)

    kristin call has been named GM of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.  she's been the assistant/associate GM for a few years and was formally a marketing director for the team.

    she's been involved in baseball for a living for 16+ years.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Hey Phil - Could David Bote be outrighted at any point before the start of the season (obviously not now while players are being locked out). I wonder because if someone claimed him, oh well. If he elected free agency, wouldn't that void his contract? These are the thoughts going through my head as I look to open up another 40-man spot, and Bote will be out until at least May.

    I've read your 40-man tag for him, but I'm not quite smart enough to figure this out! :) Thanks!

     

  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Chicago Cubs that includes an opt out after the second season, sources tell ESPN. He’ll make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024. It includes $2M escalators for 160 IP in ‘22 and ‘23.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have re-signed RHRP Jonathan Holder and C-INF P.J. Higgins to 2022 minor league contracts, presumably with an NRI to MLB Spring Training. 

    They will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible, if and when there is a Rule 5 Draft. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Owners' stooge Bobby Manfred coming out swinging at the players with his statement about the owners instituting a lockout.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    The Cubs re-signed OF Michael Hermosillo to a 2022 Major League contract just prior to the midnight Wednesday MLB transaction freeze. 

    Hermosillo was non-tendered on Tuesday because he was a Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Player, and if he had remained on the 40 the Cubs would not have been able to outright him to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB opening Day. 

     

  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    we shouldn't, especially with how much payroll room for 2024+ this top-costing-for-fans team with a heavily monitized ballpark in a major media market has.

    backloaded contracts aren't exactly groundbreaking new things...neither are cheap-ass owners.  i don't expect them to compete every year, but i expect them to try after a punt season where they traded away the core.  NYY, NYM, LAD, LAA, BOS, etc. don't seem to have trouble doing this even if it means throwing a bit of money around...

     

  • Sonicwind75 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Stroman, a pleasant surprise.  Good to know we aren't completely punting until 2025.

     

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: Clint Frazier's 2022 base salary is only $1.5M and he has a minor league option available, so I think it's more likely than not that he opens 2022 at AAA. 

    On the other hand, Harold Ramirez is out of minor league options, and it is unknown at this point what he will get in 2022 as a "super two." 

     

  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    until clint fraizer came on board i wouldn't have counted bryant out.

    OF is kinda crowded right now, though there's no stars in the mix.  fraizer - happ - ortega - heyward - h.ramirez leading the group...  even if he split time between OF/3rd with wisdom that just makes it more crowded, plus the team allegedly wants hoerner to prepare to be used as a super-utility guy.