Cubs @ Atlanta: Series Thread (Games 22-25)
The Cubs (10-11) depart Wrigley for warmer climes, sunk below .500 yet again and in 4th place in the NL Central. They'll come into their second series against Atlanta (9-12) with much improved stat lines. The team is now 14th in the majors in runs scored and equally middle-of-the-pack in OBP (14th) and SLG (11th). However, they've scored 44 of their 92 total runs in 3 blowout wins. Most recently, they were shutout by yet another dominating Brandon Woodruff start. Fortunately for the Cubs, Atlanta has similarly struggled offensively, most recently suffering shutout losses on both sides of a double-header to Arizona. Everyone knows both rosters are too good for this offensive ineptitude to continue. This week's question will be, which team is too-gooder? See below for the matchups in the 4-game series.
Game 22, Monday, April 26, 6:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Zach Davies (1-2, 8.80 ERA)
ATL: RHP Charlie Morton (1-1, 3.91 ERA)
Zach Davies only went 4 innings in his last start, allowing 2 earned runs on 2 walks and 5 hits, and it was still one of his better starts of the young season.
Cubs fans haven't seen that much of Charlie Morton since 2016, when he pitched in only 4 games for Philadelphia. I remember him primarily as a sinker-balling Pirate. In 2017, however, he started the second act of his career, and it has involved a lot more strikeouts.
Game 23, Tuesday, April 27, 6:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Trevor Williams (2-1, 4.66 ERA)
ATL: RHP Ian Anderson (1-0, 3.27 ERA)
Williams had another solid start last time, keeping the Cubs in the game long enough for the team to eventually overtake the Mets. He struck out 6 and allowed 2 earned runs in 5 innings pitched. Mets batters had a few hard hit balls off of him and he did not get his usual quota of ground balls, but he walked only one and missed enough bats to stay out of trouble.
Ian Anderson earned his first win in a 6.2 inning performance against the Yankees in which he allowed 0 earned runs. Prior to that, he earned 3 no-decisions while putting up decent starts and solid peripherals. He does struggle to find the strike zone at times, so the Cubs' patience could come into play. He went 3-2 in 6 starts last season, striking out more than 11 per 9 innings in a promising debut season. He sits mid-90s with the fastball but his changeup is his best pitch--he uses it about 30% of the time.
Game 24, Wednesday, April 28, 6:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-2, 5.68 ERA)
ATL: RHP Huascar Ynoa (1-1, 3.68 ERA)
Hendricks earned his first win of the season and went 6 innings against the Mets in his last start. Hopefully, he can stop alternating between very Hendricks starts and absolute trash. The warm, humid weather in Georgia should help his stuff. Marcell Ozuna is the nemesis to highlight in this one: he's hitting .393 with 2 HRs in 28 ABs against Hendricks.
Ynoa had his early-season stats a bit messed up by the Cubs on 4/17. He allowed 6 earned run on 7 hits (3 homeruns) in 4 innings. Since then, he returned to being very hard to hit. Excluding that start against the Cubs, he's allowed 8 hits in 18 innings pitched.
Game 25, Thursday, April 29, 6:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Adbert Alzolay (0-2, 5.40 ERA)
ATL: TBD (possibly RHP Kyle Wright, 0-0, 4.15 ERA, 4.1 innings pitched)
For the second start in a row, Alzolay left an otherwise strong start with runners on base. And for the second start in a row, a lefty reliever allowed those inherited runners to come around to score. He's shown the right combination of promise and inconsistency to continue getting starts and to continue getting pulled if he allows a couple baserunners around mid-game. He has yet to face any team other than the Brewers and is yet to matchup with any starter other than Freddy Peralta. As ATL has not yet announced a starter, it's always possible Peralta will pop-up in Georgia just in time to foil Alzolay again.
Next up: 3 games in Cincinnati.
crunch 2 hours 1 min 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 3 hours 28 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 3 hours 46 min ago (view)
He's uhhh.. not very good at it. Glad he wasn't the hire for the main role.
crunch 4 hours 10 sec 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 2 hours ago (view)
t.williams threw a 25 pitch pen thursday
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
tonight's game (thursday) is mlb.tv free game, btw.
Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have optioned RHP Robert Stock back to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHP Brad Wieck.
Arizona Phil 1 day 7 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 8 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 8 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 3 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 4 hours ago (view)
meanwhile...degrom with 8 Ks through 3 perfect innings. he's also got a RBI single.
crunch 2 days 4 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 4 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 5 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 6 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.