The weather is lousy in Chicago today, if you’re there you already know this. At posting time the game was still scheduled to start on time.
Thus we proceed with Friday notes:
- BIRTHDAY GREETINGS: Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel turns 33 today.
- SOME KB NOTES: Kris Bryant has a nine-game hitting streak in which he is batting .378/.439/.486 (14-for-37) with a double and a home run. This year KB has seen time at third base (15 games, 14 starts), but has also been spotted in left field (14 games, 11 starts), right field (12 games, 11 starts), center field (8 games, 5 starts) and first base (6 games, 4 starts).
- ADBERT! Today’s starter, Adbert Alzolay, has not surrendered a walk in his last 84 batters faced, spanning 22⅓ innings, since issuing a free pass to Justin Turner in the first inning on May 5 vs. the Dodgers. More on Adbert below.
- WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY? Dating to April 17, Cubs hitters lead the majors with a .777 OPS and 5.33 runs per game in 36 contests (192 runs scored). During that span the team also leads the NL and is second in the majors with a .339 on‐base percentage
Here are today’s particulars.
(Time noted above is Eastern)
Adbert Alzolay, RHP vs. Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP
Adbert Alzolay had the longest, and arguably the best, start of his career last Saturday against the Cardinals. Yadier Molina homered late and Adbert had a tough 2-1 loss.
Over his last five starts: 3.72 ERA, 0.828 WHIP, 28 strikeouts and only two (!) walks in 29 innings. He’s been really solid and that walk rate is terrific.
Alzolay had two outings vs. the Reds last year covering 4⅔ innings. He allowed three runs. I don’t think you can read a lot into those, he seems a far different, more confident pitcher now.
Vladimir Gutierrez, signed by the Reds out of Cuba in 2016, is making his MLB debut this afternoon. This year he has posted a 2.65 ERA and 0.945 WHIP in three starts at Triple-A Louisville, with 21 strikeouts in 17 innings. He served an 80-game suspension last year for using stanozolol.
Here’s a scouting report on him. Beyond that I don’t know much. Cubs hitters often struggle against guys like this. Hope things go better today.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Reds market territories).
Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.
The 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.
You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.