Cubs vs. Pirates: Series Thread (Games 32-34)
The Cubs pulled off a sweep of the Dodgers, twice walking off in extra innings and raising their record to 15-16. They also climbed aboe Cincinnati and their next opponent, the Pirates, to take 3rd place in the division. Next up, the Pirates may get some say in that matter. They come into Wrigley for a three-game series. This will be the third time these teams have faced off in 2021. They've split the season series at 3-3 so far, but they have not seen each other since April 11. The Cubs will work to build on the momentum from the sweep and stay in the thick of the division. See below for the weekend's matchups.
Game 32, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Zach Davies (1-2, 8.22 ERA)
PIT: RHP Trevor Cahill (1-3, 7.40 ERA)
Davies last pitched on May 1st, when he set his current season best for earned runs allowed in a start (only 1), but also pitched only 4.0 innings. His walk rate remains worryingly inflated, especially for a pitch-to-contact guy. A sudden turnaround, particularly in terms of painting the corners, would be welcome.
Cahill is off to a rough start with the Pirates. The peripherals suggest he's due for better outcomes, however. His strikeout and walk rates are both better than his career averages, and he continues to get ground balls on more than 50% of balls in play. Last time out, the Cardinals knocked him around for 5 earned runs on 7 hits in 5.1 innings. Cubs hitters have seen little of him.
Game 33, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Trevor Williams (2-2, 6.00 ERA)
PIT: RHP Will Crowe (0-1, 4.66 ERA)
The Reds offense chased Trevor Williams from his last start after only 2.2 innings pitched. Before he could flee the scene, he was tagged for 3 homeruns, 6 hits, and 6 earned runs, and he surrendered 4 walks along the way for good measure. His only other bad start on the season was the April 11 loss to the Pirates, in which that offense sprayed 10 hits in only 3.1 innings.
Will Crowe made his MLB debut last season for the Nationals. He went 0-2 in three starts that season while walking almost a batter per inning. Walks have hampered him a nearly as high a rate in the early going of 2021 as well. He made one relief appearance, against the Cubs on April 3, and has made 2 starts. He's allowed 8 walks in 9.2 innings across those 3 appearances. Last time out he lost to the Cardinals, surrendering 3 earned runs in 5 innings of work. Most Cubs will be getting their first looks at him.
Game 34, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 6.07 ERA)
PIT: LHP Tyler Anderson (2-3, 3.24 ERA)
Hendricks pitched all 7 innings of the first half of the double-header against the Dodgers, allowing only one run on a solo homerun. Was it a rebound from a despair inducing start to the season, or was it one more appearance in an up-and-down start to the season? Cubs fans have yet to see Hendricks string together two quality starts in 2021. Adam Frazier has truly pestered Hendricks--he's hitting .478 in 23 at bats with two homeruns.
The Cubs scored 3 earned runs and served a loss to Pirates' lefty, Tyler Anderson, way back on April 3. His season record stands at 2-3, but he's allowed no more than 3 earned runs and has pitched at last 5 innings in every start of 2021. He's been a steady performer for the Pirates so far and is well-positioned to have his best season since 2018, when he went 7-9 with 32 starts with the Rockies. Rizzo is 6 for 15 with a homerun and Bryant is 6 for 14 with three dingers off of Anderson.
Hagsag 34 min 16 sec ago (view)
Sonicwind75 1 hour 16 min ago (view)
Off all the awards and accolades Rizzo earned during his time in Chicago; perhaps the most important is being named the Roberto Clemente Award winner in 2017.
crunch 1 hour 29 min ago (view)
technically correct is the best kind of correct.
also, rizzo's charity work (himself and the time he gives, not just his money) is top notch stuff.
tim815 4 hours 33 min ago (view)
Anything to be noted about Temblador, Venezuela's Pedro Ramirez, who is shredding as the pipelines youngest player?
bradsbeard 6 hours 12 min ago (view)
Arizona Phil, some folks (mostly me!) were wondering if you had any thoughts/info on Luis Devers, who seems to be having a nice ACL season despite being a bit old for the level. Got touched for a HR last night but hadn't given up multiple runs in a start before then and has struck out a healthy number of batters while limiting walks. Many thanks in advance!
Hagsag 11 hours 11 min ago (view)
Rizzo wasn't a cancer, he HAD cancer!
Arizona Phil 14 hours 41 min ago (view)
The Cubs have released AAA Iowa C-INF Tony Wolters so that he can sign a minor league deal with a contending club (if the opportunity presents itself).
Because he was outrighted earlier this season he was not eligible to be traded after 7/30, even though he was on a minor league reserve list and (generally speaking) a player on a minor league reserve list can be traded up until one week prior to the scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season.
Arizona Phil 15 hours 13 min ago (view)
So #11 (Ziehl), #12 (Banks), and #19 (Avitia) were the only three 2021 Cubs draft picks who did not sign.
crunch 18 hours 51 min ago (view)
similar story, similar quotes, different site/author
QuietMan 19 hours 12 min ago (view)
Cubs: Jed Hoyer clarifies comments about extension talks with former core players - Marquee Sports Network
Sorry I'm having trouble posting the link.
@TonyAndracki23 with the story.
Wrigley Rat 20 hours 25 min ago (view)
Second contract player Michael Arias, a former infielder-turned-pitcher, made his Cubs system debut today in relief. 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB for DSL Cubs Blue.
Charlie 1 day 39 min ago (view)
A GM or owner saying a player "didn't want to sign" or "didn't want to negotiate" should always be read as "we didn't want to pay them."
That said, a GM or owner can always show more finesse by saying, "I hope we can have productive talks this offseason" or something along those lines. Seems like Jed is trying to burn those bridges.
crunch 1 day 52 min ago (view)
while not known as a clubhouse cancer, there's more than a few stories about his "leadership qualities" lacking or otherwise being a bit of a jerk at points in time. they're mostly rumor, and none of the rumors are awful...
reminded a bit of this justin wilson/rizzo exchange back in 2018...
videographer 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
/With all the player movement in the last week, I wonder if the Cubs are now 85% compliant for vaccinated players. We know Sogard and Rizzo were not vaccinated and I can assume the players taking their place of the 40 man roster are vaccinated. It will be an interesting story going forward when all trade noise settles down.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Agreed on every point. I think Jed is trying to create "his" team, a fully separate entity than Theo. Probably targeting 2023 or 2024 to return to actual contention.
He absolutely shouldn't have aired that out. He ends up looking like the bad guy. This is a good way to burn those bridges.
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
jed shouldn't have aired things out so blatently, even if true.
"I don't know why guys didn't want to sign. I don't know why guys didn't want to even counteroffer, oftentimes. Every one of these guys would say they wanted to stay in Chicago, 'we wanted to be a Cub,' but then we would sit down and do negotiations, that wasn't how they acted."
...dude, no. keep that to yourself.