Cubs @ Cleveland: Series Thread (Games 35 & 36)

The Cubs' winning streak came to an end Sunday despite a 9th inning rally that brought the potential winning run to the plate. The team now stands at 17-17, back to .500 yet again, and firmly in the middle of the NL Central standings. They come into the series now down their starting CF, Happ, and probably his backup, Marisnick. Heyward and Javy are also nursing some nagging aches and pains, lending extra playing time, putting excessive pressure on the Cubs' bench. Meanwhile, the starting rotation may be finding its footing a bit. Hendricks surrendered 6 earned runs on Sunday, but the bulk of it came on weak contact. See below for the pitching matchups in the 2-game series in Cleveland.

Game 35, Tuesday, May 11, 5:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-2, 4.50 ERA)
CLE: RHP Shane Bieber (3-2, 2.98 ERA)

Alzolay has been one of the most consistent Cubs pitchers so far this season. Last time out, he went 5 innings and struck out 7 while allowing 2 earned runs. He's gone at least 5 innings in 4 of his 5 starts and has struck out at least 6 in 4 of his five starts while never allowing more than 4 hits or 2 walks in a start. There's little more the Cubs could ask of the young righty.

Bieber has nearly picked up where he left off in 2020 when he won the AL Cy Young. He has not yet matched that absurd run-suppression. But he's still striking out about 14(!) batters per 9 innings. Most Cubs will be getting their first looks at last the Bieb.

Game 36, Wednesday, May 12, 12:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Zach Davies (2-2, 6.30 ERA)
CLE: LHP Sam Hentges (1-0, 5.00 ERA)

After a disastrous first April, Davies finally strung together two solid starts in the new month. He was yanked from his May 1st outing after only 4 innings pitched despite having allowed only one earned run. On the 7th, however, he pitched 7 shutout innings. It was also his first outing in which he walked only one. Cleveland hitters have been unimpressed with what little they've seen of him. They are 12-33 with a .984 OPS off of him, despite 0 walks in that time.

The Cubs get another day off and then hop over to Detroit for a 3-game set.

This will be the 24-year-old Hentges's first MLB start. He's made 4 appearances in relief this year, compiling 9 innings pitched. Hentges brings mid-90s velocity but his minor-league stats suggest shaky command. The Cubs veterans will need to show some of that selective aggressiveness Ross and others have been preaching since spring training.


OF Jake Marisnick to 10-DAY IL, and Cubs recall LHRP Brad Wieck. 

baez (again) a late scratch because back ouchies.

I get that 40 man rosters are complicated, but now we have 10 GD relievers and 3 bench guys, one of whom is an obviously injured Javy.

I can't wait until they reinstate the 13 pitchers maximum rule.

given that the starters are on pace to pitch around 150 innings this year they might need the zillion relievers.

i'm under the impression that d.ross got a new Fitbit exercise tracker prior to the season and likes to have excuses to walk to the mound for higher step counts.  i'm going with this theory until proved otherwise.

Baseball wants more offense, fans want more action -- limit pitching staffs to 12, ideally transition to 11 over a 3 year period. 

Teams are asking RPs to throw only 45 pitches a week. Think about that.

SPs who throw 175 IP/Yr will be museum pieces in 5 years.

It's not shifts. Oh....and electronic Strike zones as soon as possible. 

this shane bieber guy kinda sucks.  1 run in, bases loaded 0 outs.

i hope 4-5 innings of alzolay and the 5 pen guys after him hold it down.

...hey wow, bases loaded 0 out turns into 0 runs...very cubs.

bryant out of the game for no apparent reason...that...doesn't seem good...

he's "under the weather" according the clubhouse.  that's better than screwed up oblique or similar, at least.

i'd like to point out ross feels more comfortable with j.pederson and k.bryant in CF over j.heyward.

watching heyward not just look human in the OF, but having a bit of a hard time is rough.  he's just not getting to stuff like he used to.

stumbled onto this today...clip from a 2019 ESPN broadcast game with boog, chipper jones, and david ross in the booth...

boog used to call games for ATL, btw...

well that sucked.

2-game sweep, 2 games under .500

Jay Jaffe has a timely argument against the runner on second rule over at fangraphs:

I still don't know why we don't just have ties. Obviously, the Cubs could have dodged most of these situations by simply hitting a little bit during the regulation innings.

it screws up stats.  i know you play for wins/losses, but real money is on the line for players and makes agent/player homework selling their client a bit harder.

it also makes historical comparisons difficult.

the amount of time i've seen a fresh inning starting out...bunt guy to 3rd for an out, IBB, IBB is too high.  what would amount to a leadoff single following that can easily turn into 2 runs (1 earned) with guys on the corner...which usually leads to another IBB.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • crunch 1 hour 5 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 2 hours 32 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 2 hours 50 min ago (view)

    He's uhhh.. not very good at it. Glad he wasn't the hire for the main role.


  • crunch 3 hours 4 min 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 1 hour ago (view)

    t.williams threw a 25 pitch pen thursday


  • crunch 1 day 3 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 6 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 7 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 2 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 3 hours ago (view)

    meanwhile...degrom with 8 Ks through 3 perfect innings.  he's also got a RBI single.


  • crunch 2 days 3 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 3 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 4 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 5 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.