Cubs vs. Marlins: Series Thread (Games 70-72)
The Cubs escaped a rough series in New York with their first-place standing intact. For a change of pace, they'll take on the last place Marlins next. Don't let Miami's record fool you, though. The fish are not far behind the Cubs according to many offensive metrics, grade out slightly ahead in pitching, and are probably better defensively. Wins and losses are the final measure, of course, and the Cubs will have three chances to take home a "W" in this series. See below for the pitching matchups.
Game 70, Friday, June 18, 7:05 pm central
CHC: RHP Zach Davies (4-3, 4.01 ERA)
MIA: RHP Cody Poteet (2-2, 3.75 ERA) TBD, possibly RHP Zach Thompson (1-1, 2.25 ERA)
Davies has been good going back to the beginning of May and has made two consecutive quality, scoreless starts. Last time out he set a season high for strikeouts with six Ks against the Cardinals.
The Marlins announced Cody Poteet's return from the IL a few hours prior to the game. He hit the IL on June 4 with an MCL strain. He's made five starts in his first MLB season and gotten pretty solid results so far. His minor league numbers suggest he is a pitch-to-contact type, although he is getting almost eight strikeouts per nine innings so far at the major league level. He has a plus changeup to go with a slider, curve, and a 93-ish MPH fastball. He went 2.2 in his last start, allowing three earned runs on four walks and a homerun. The Cubs will be getting their first look on him.
The 27-year-old Thompson has made two starts for the Marlins in 2021. On June 12, he pitched five innings and allowed no earned runs to Atlanta. In the minors, he showed a plus slider and inconsistent command. He's worked mosty out of the bullpen since 2017. Everyone would be getting a first look at him, and Ross may choose to go for the platoon advantage against the 6'7" right-hander.
Game 71, Saturday, June 19, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Jake Arrieta (5-7, 5.14 ERA)
MIA: RHP Pablo López (2-4, 3.12 ERA)
Arrieta has had to struggle through many of his recent starts for a variety of reasons: a hand injury, food poisoning, poor command, and shaky defense. In his last start, he worked five innings but also allowed four earned runs and took the loss to the Cardinals, walking more batters than he struck out. One postiive for him lately is that he has improved his groundball rate, but he could certainly stand to provoke more soft contact.
López has so far improved on a breakout 2020 performance that saw him improve both his strikeout rate and ground ball percentage compare to his debut and sophomore seasons. In his last start, he struggled to follow up a 8-inning victory and was only able to go three innings while allowing four earned runs. He has reverse splits in 2021, but previously in his career lefties fared much better against him.
Game 72, Sunday, June 20, 1:20 pm central
CHC: RHP Alec Mills (2-1, 6.11 ERA)
MIA: TBD, possibly LHP Trevor Rogers (7-3, 1.98 ERA)
Mills took a loss in his second start of the season on June 15, going 4.1 innings as a sub and allowing five earned runs despite six strikeouts. In his previous start, way back on April 13, he went four innings and allowed two earned runs. No Marlins batters have faced him at the MLB level--it's not hard to imagine that he might be able to keep some of these hitters off balance with his pitch mix.
Rogers labored through seven starts in his debut season with Miami, but he's taken a significant step forward in 2021. He's leaning a bit more heavily on his plus changeup and mixing in a middling slider with better results. He's also cut his walk rate by about a third, and his homeruns per fly ball are way down. He significantly underperformed his peripherals in 2020 and is outperforming them in 2021--but even if he finds his mean, he's looking like a decent MLB starter so far. He really hasn't had a bad start in 2021 so far. He's pitched at least five innings in all but his first start of the season and has allowed two or fewer earned runs in all but one start--when he allowed three earned runs. This will be his first time facing the Cubs.
tim815 36 min 8 sec ago (view)
Actually, Nick Castellanos and his opt out.
crunch 1 hour 23 min ago (view)
hendricks wins #13...11 in a row.
dude leads MLB in wins...and also hits given up.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 9 min ago (view)
I think we're going to get very experimental over these last two months in the high leverage spots. Only caveat is they may want to see if Wick can handle the 9th once he's back.
That, I'm pretty sure Ryan would have been my last guess to close out a game. Either him or Megill.
crunch 2 hours 12 min ago (view)
javy swings on 3-0 pitch, outside, fouls off.
javy strikes out, foul tip low and outside.
crunch 2 hours 15 min ago (view)
baez coming into the bottom 9th, down by 1, man on 1st.
standing O. NY loves him so far. part of the crowd is chanting "javy" and others "baez"...they'll figure it out in a few games.
crunch 2 hours 22 min ago (view)
k.ryan coming in for the save, but j.jewell is in the pen warming up...don't think anyone is officially "closer"
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 24 min ago (view)
If we're looking to tank next year I think it would be wise to keep Brothers, Morgan, and Ryan. Toss em in high leverage spots, too.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 25 min ago (view)
I'd guess it's him too. If we wanted boring it would be Winkler.
Hopefully Ross gives the ball to MANROD.
crunch 2 hours 34 min ago (view)
wasn't ugly, but it was nothing masterful...heuer goes 1ip 0h 0bb 0k only giving up an unearned run on a sac fly. he may get the 9th because he barely worked the 8th (9 pitches).
crunch 2 hours 42 min ago (view)
rex brothers sucks. here comes heuer with the bases loaded and 0 outs.
Eric S 3 hours 8 min ago (view)
Still trails Rizzo by 1 HR for a New York franchise
Eric S 3 hours 9 min ago (view)
JHey with a bouncer thru the right side gets a two out rbi - his first rbi since July 16. Happ with another true outcome nite: 3 Ks and a walk
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 16 min ago (view)
I'd guess Rivas at first. More contact, more low power.
Wisdom at 3B!
crunch 3 hours 17 min ago (view)
i imagine they'll go with hoerner/madrigal (aka, "hoes mad" for the disrespectful youth out there) at SS/2nd.
that's a lot of contact without power, though. this team needs to go buy/trade for some power.
crunch 3 hours 21 min ago (view)
javy hits hit 1st NYM homer
Charlie 3 hours 53 min ago (view)
I could see the Cubs signing a free agent 1B or Ss, an ok starting pitcher, and doing a half-competitive (i.e. finish in third place) phase while waiting for some of these prospects to arrive. Wouldn't be shocked if they get Rizzo back. It will take more than one season to build a real pitching staff, but I think ownership won't be willing to fully tank in the meantime.