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 20 min 23 sec ago (view)
Phil, I hope you get to see this group. What a bunch of middle infielders!
Arizona Phil 4 hours 19 min ago (view)
The top four DSL Cubs position player prospects (SS Cristian Hernandez, C Moises Ballesteros, INF Pedro Ramirez, and OF Frank Hernandez) have been added to the Cubs AZIL roster (see updated roster in post above).
Arizona Phil 22 hours 36 min ago (view)
Dillon Maples does not have the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 9 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series if he is not added back to the 40 in the meantime.
crunch 22 hours 49 min ago (view)
p.wisdom is the new cubs all-time rookie HR leader.
Arizona Phil 1 day 6 min ago (view)
The Cubs will very likely be splitting the AZIL position players into two 14-man squads (like they did last year), with each squad playng in every other-game, and with the other squad having a Camp Day instructional work-out on a back-field when that squad is not playing in a game. There will also be five combined Camp Days during the course of the four weeks for all players from both squads.
Arizona Phil 1 day 29 min ago (view)
DJL: No. Signing a 2022 minor league successor contract would only matter with regard to a player in the Arizona Fall League, because the AFL schedule goes past the date when minor leaguers are declared free-agents.
AZ Instructs ends on October 16th, which is about two or three weeks before minor league free-agency, so the three guys at Cubs Instructs who are eligible to be free-agehts after the World Series (Dakota Chalmers. Nicholas Padilla, and Eury Ramos) do not need to sign successor contracts in order to play in AZIL games.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
Sorry to hear about your dad, Charlie. I lost my father almost 2 years ago now, some of my fondest childhood memories are going to Wrigley with him.
All the best wishes to you, sir.
First.Pitch.120 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
If you had Bote in the '11-'12- '13 Cubs draft dead pool, then you are a winner!
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Dakota Chalmers... interesting. He's scheduled to be a MILB FA, correct? Would this be a good sign he has signed a successor deal?
Cubster 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Maples dfa. Double Martini too. Hoerner and Thompson back and Keegan to start today. Hoerner bats 5th.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
it's never a good time to be in the hospital, but things are extra complicated right now.
hope everything goes well for everyone.
Charlie 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Listening to this in a hospital room because we are blacked out on MLB.tv. I don't know which surprises me more, that the Cubs haven't beaten the Brewers since April or that the Cubs beat the Brewers in April.
crunch 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
m.rodriguez to 10d IL, a.morgan returns.
Jackstraw 3 days 6 hours ago (view)
I like that the team was absolutely committed to not losing back-to-back games on a walk-off passed ball.
Eric S 3 days 17 hours ago (view)
And the funny thing is Rucker was the only Cubs pitcher tonight to post 0 runs allowed in the box score. You know things are really out of hand when Ross gives the okay for a Maples appearance.
George Altman 3 days 18 hours ago (view)
Is there a reason Preciado hasn't been in an ACL game in about a month?