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.


so...this and some highschool kids is what gets a team y.darvish, huh...

davies with a 10.00+ ERA after giving up 4 runs in the 1st inning of his 5th start...started the game with 8.80 ERA.  yow.

stay stretched out a.mills...





megill bringing 98-99mph


nico leading off again.  contreras is a big fan..."This guy needs to be in the lineup on a daily basis. He’s a high-energy guy. He takes good at-bats and he’s always looking for ways to win the game. That’s Nico Hoerner.”

bryant is out with a sore right biceps...available off the bench.  this could be a multi-game thing.

Who would've thought that Contreras might vibe with a "high-energy" player?

i straight up don't get why he's not more popular with cubs fans.  bryant/rizzo have their weird co-energy.  baez became a bigger star than both of them (and sold the most merch for years).  contreras has been a steady performer and has stood in all their shadows.

rick wilkins got more love, it seems...well, at least for those 2 seasons wilkins was a thing.

at least people don't hate him.  he just seems like a fan afterthought, though.

I agree. I love Contreras, he's amazing. I think you and I are on a similar page with Willson.

I also feel like he is a bit of a front office afterthought given his frequency in trade rumors. Catchers like him are next to impossible to find or develop.

I think he was too far down the list of star players to catch casual fans and had the catchers defense ding for fans paying more attention. The defense has come up, though, and the stars who used to be ahead of him have all been down a bit.

2 singles and a walk...what a great night of cubs bats.

bryant back (in LF), rizzo leading off, baez still out/sore with hoerner at SS...bote on borrowed time unless he shows something at 2nd while duffy slots in at 3rd.

I like Note, Hoerner, and even Duffy well enough individually. Having them all in the game at the same time, on the other hand... Do I miss Joc Pederson?

huge bote fan, but he's not doing a damn thing with the bat to stay in the lineup once everyone is healthy.

he needs to show something to keep getting starts...especially for a guy who has a good history of coming off the bench cold ready to hit.  that's awesome, yet adding to the slow month to work against him as a starter.

can't say that ross hasn't given him a great amount of chances to prove himself.

hendricks is not having a good year for keeping the ball in the park...


10 HR in 22ip...gave up his 10th in the bottom 4th to the leadoff man...h.ynoa...the pitcher...

he gave up 10 HR last year in 81.1ip




video link/twitter:

even freeman is laughing his ass off about it.  rizzo moves back to 1st and duffy gets to pitch now (first time ever pitching).

rizzo - 0.2ip 0h 1bb 1k

duffy - 0.1ip 0h 0bb 0k

sogard pitched the 8th.

1ip 2h 0bb 0k (1hbp), 0 r/er

I think I may know what's wrong with the Cubs.  Somebody mixed up the hitters and pitchers signs at training facilities.  Cubs hitters have been spending all their time working in the pitch lab. 

they need to hit up whatever lab barry bonds was using.

seriously, though...way too many disapointing bats and k.hendricks is entering into alarmingly concerning territory.

Honestly, Rizzo hitting that easy, no-load 74 mph has me wondering.

Cubs recall Justin Steele from the ATS, DFA Brandon Workman (about time I would say) 

yeah, i could do without seeing workman again until rosters expand.

CRUNCH: Brandon Workman is gone IMO. I don't see him accepting an outright assignment and I doubt that the Cubs would want him taking up a roster slot at AAA even if he was inclined to accept a minor league assignment.  

RHSP Tyson Miller is on the CoViD IL and has been on an Article XIX-C rehab assignment at the ATS, so the Cubs will need to reinstate him back to the 40-man roster and option him to AAA Iowa sometime in the next day or two. 

The Cubs have released RHRP Brandon Workman. He was Designated for Assignment last Thursday. 

So the Cubs are now on the hook for Workman's $1M salary, but it would be offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB contract with another club, or sign a minor league contract with another club and then have his contract selected to an MLB 40-man roster. 

i.happ and d.bote might not make it off the bench for any significant time any time soon...

Thinking Joc can keep his ass on the bench when he's back too

i know hoerner is hitting well, but his 7 walks is what's blowing me away about his current game play.  he wasn't even showing this kind of discipline in spring.  i know hitting 8th so much helps, but walks isn't part of his game.

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  • 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 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.