I have by no means seen an exhaustive amount of Adbert Alzolay pitching. But for five innings Monday night, he looked the best that I’ve seen him look. He was pretty dominant. It was easy to see the pitcher he can be. Even when things went sideways in the sixth, there was a single through the shift and a lengthy at bat that ended in a walk. He certainly deserved better Monday night. But hopefully, Alzolay found some things he could learn and grow from in this game and he continues to get better. He is certainly one of the interesting people to watch on this team. There were times when we could see him talking with Willson Contreras and with Jake Arrieta in the dugout during the game. Those are two guys who have seen and done some things that Adbert could stand to learn from. I hope that he is a sponge and he takes it all in.
As for the game? For the third straight game, the pitching staff was rocked in one bad inning. With the underlaying issue of lack of offense, that has led to three straight lopsided losses. Can this offense be this bad? I’ve said it too many times over these last three years. The talent is there, but the execution just isn’t. No team is as bad as they look when things are going poorly. I’m sure this team isn’t completely overmatched even by NL Central teams that figured to comprise the weakest division in baseball on paper.
But, that’s exactly what is going on. Not even a week ago, Al wrote about the surprisingly good pitching staff. Those surprisingly good numbers have given away to some garish-looking ones pretty quickly. That’s the thing about the early season. It isn’t hard to put 50 points on your batting average or add a run to your ERA. Eventually, water finds its level so to speak. Then the numbers get quite a bit more inert.
I do think that the pitching staff is better than a lot of people gave it credit for. That’s even before the front office has time to find the formula for the bullpen. That’s something they’ve done successfully for a number of years now and I believe they’ll do it this year. I also believe that the Cubs possess starting pitching that will keep them in games. Especially with a good defense behind it.
I have to question the offense, though. Obviously, I believe that they’ll be better than they’ve been. They aren’t “worst offense in baseball” bad. But, the problem is that they might be below major league average bad. That definitely saddens me, but for whatever reason, it just stopped working at some point.
With that, we’ll turn our attention to Heroes and Goats. As you’ll recall, the Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA (Win Probability Added) and are not in any way subjective. Many days WPA will not tell the story of what happened, but often it can give at least a glimpse to who rose to the occasion in a high-leverage moment or who didn’t get the job done in that moment. With that, let’s get to the results.
Game 10, April 12: Brewers 6, Cubs 3 (4-6)
- Superhero: Adbert Alzolay (.117). 5⅓ IP (19 batters faced), 3H, 1BB, 3R, 6K (L 0-2)
- Hero: Kris Bryant (.105). 2-4, HR (3), BB, RBI, 2R, 2K
- Sidekick: Joc Pederson (.020). 0-2, 2BB, R, K
- Billy Goat: Andrew Chafin (-.419). ⅓ IP (6 batters faced), 3H, BB, 3R, HBP, WP
- Goat: Anthony Rizzo (-.074). 0-4
- Kid: Jason Heyward (-.068). 0-4, K
WPA Play of the Game: Luis Urias pinch hit against Andrew Chafin after Chafin was summoned with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning. The Cubs were clinging to a 1-0 lead. Urias laced one into the corner and three runs scored. (.307)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Kris Bryant homered with the score tied 0-0 leading off the fourth inning. (.130)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
None of the above
Up Next: Game two of the three game set will happen Tuesday night. The Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound looking to snap a three-game losing streak.