The Rundown: Alzolay Stars Despite Loss, Bryant Suffering from “Sinus Stuff,” A’s Considering Relocation Options, Fans Favor Vaccine Certification for Stadium Entry
“Our day will come…And we’ll have everything.” – Ruby & The Romantics, Our Day Will Come
Adbert Alzolay held his own against reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber and, though the Cleveland pitcher was ripe for a pummeling, the Cubs managed just two runs despite 11 knocks in a 3-2 loss to the Indians. Chicago had numerous chances to jump all over the Cleveland ace, but failed when base hits were needed the most, including the bottom of the 9th when Matt Duffy grounded into a game-ending double play with runners on first and second.
Adbert Alzolay, Painted 94mph Sinker. 🎨🖌️ pic.twitter.com/EDCB9WI1BF
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 11, 2021
- The Good: Alzolay looked brilliant once again. The rookie has ace potential and should be a fixture in the rotation for years to come.
- The Bad: While Leading 1-0 in the 2nd inning, the Cubs loaded the bases with nobody out and failed to plate a run.
- The Ugly: The Cubs left 22 men on base and were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
- The Disappointing: Admit it…you believed Duffy was going to at least send it into extras because the all-purpose infielder has seemed impervious to failure all season.
- Double Take: Yes, that was Eric Sogard who hit a 5th inning home run off of Bieber.
I’m not one for moral victories, but the North Siders played well enough to win this game handily. Despite not having his best stuff, Bieber was able to execute when needed to keep the Cubs off the board, and that’s how you take home hardware each season. Of note, Kris Bryant left the game with an undisclosed illness and I’m sure the team will have an update on his status for the rest of the series sometime today.
By the way, Amy Winehouse recorded a great rendition of the lead song shortly before she passed away in 2011.
Cubs News & Notes
- Despite another quality start from Alzolay, Willson Contreras admitted the 26-year-old hurler gets a little too excited in big situations and tends to hang his breaking balls when doing so.
- Bieber has now fanned at least eight batters in 20 consecutive starts, a major league record he builds on each time he accomplishes that feat.
- The Cubs are hopeful that Bryant and shortstop Javier Báez will be available for tonight’s game. Báez has been hampered by back stiffness, but might have played had it not been so cold in Cleveland last night. Ross categorized Bryant’s troubles as “sinus stuff.”
- Alzolay and some of the Cubs’ other young pitchers might be as big a factor in determining Bryant’s value to the team during a year where trade rumors will undoubtedly persist.
- Andrew Chafin continues to be Chicago’s not-so-accidental cult hero. If anything, he could be the most interesting man in the world.
- Before yesterday’s game, the team announced that outfielder Jake Marisnick was placed on the 10-day IL. Reliever Brad Wieck was recalled to fill the roster spot.
- Kyle Ryan has cleared waivers and will join the team’s triple-A affiliate in Iowa.
Climbing the Ladder
“Slowly I turned…inch-by-inch, step-by-step…” – Moe Howard
- Games Played: 35
- Total Plate Appearances: 1,299
- Total Strikeouts: 344
- Strikeout Rate: 26.4%
- Team Batting Average: .227
Odds & Sods
The Red Sox are among the best teams in baseball right now, something that obviously makes Pedro Martínez one happy individual.
.@alexspeier coming up next @WTIC1080, talking all things @RedSox and baseball. pic.twitter.com/RMpX6WwH5W
— Brian Shactman (@bshactman) May 12, 2021
How About That!
Drew Robinson, who lost his right eye in a suicide attempt, has found peace on the baseball field. The outfielder plays for the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the Giants. He homered last night while playing in his hometown of Las Vegas.
Mets outfielder Patrick Mazeika became the first player to notch two walk-off RBI in his first four career games since plating runners became an official statistic in 1920.
Shortstop Francisco Lindor is among baseball’s 10 biggest disappointments after one month of play.
Dylan Cease is emerging as a top starter for the White Sox, who may have the best rotation in the American League.
The A’s are considering relocation as an option while the city of Oakland continues to be a hindrance to the team’s push for a new stadium.
Nashville would welcome the A’s if they do decide to move and the league approves it.
While it’s a nice thought, Nashville probably isn’t a realistic choice for Major League Baseball.
Nationals all-everything veteran Josh Harrison holds his bat with his hands separated in exaggerated fashion, like Ty Cobb.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
A survey revealed that 57% of MLB fans believe proof of a coronavirus vaccine should be a requirement to attend a sporting event.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi is looking forward to full crowds at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark. The team is lifting attendance restrictions beginning in June.
Tuesday’s Three Stars
- Manny Machado – The Padres third baseman led his team to an 8-1 win with a scorching five RBI. Machado was 2-for-4 with a home run and a triple.
- Robbie Grossman – Detroit’s utility outfielder also had five RBI on the evening, but did it less conventionally. Grossman plated a run with a sacrifice fly, three more with a triple, and another with a walk-off single. Though he didn’t get credit for the ribeye, the veteran also hit into a double play that scored a run. Old-timers everywhere are thinking “That’s how you play the game, son.”
- Lance McCullers, Jr. – The Houston hurler outdueled Shohei Ohtani in leading the Astros to a 5-1 win over the Angels. McCullers allowed just three hits while punching out nine Los Angeles batters in eight innings of work. Ohtani had 10 Ks in his seven-inning outing.
Fire up the rumor mill. The mid-season trade deadline is just 10 weeks away.
If (when?) Trevor Story gets traded, where will he wind up? Here's a look at five potential candidates: https://t.co/bLno49NOpD
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) May 12, 2021
They Said It
- “[Alzolay] is electric. I think he has a really good shot at being a really good major-league starter for a long time.” – Kyle Hendricks
- “I feel my body is getting more into a rhythm now to get deep into the games, too, so today was a good day. Just missing two pitches in 3-2 counts. When you’re in the big leagues and you miss those locations against good hitters, you’re going to get tough results.” – Adbert Alzolay
- “Sometimes the best lessons we learn are moments like that, that don’t work out for us. [Adberto] attacked [César Hernández] with his best pitch and I love that. … Pitch sequencing and calling, all that stuff can always be second-guessed if it doesn’t work out, but I think if he executes a nice slider there, it’s a different story. So, you’ve got to tip your cap sometimes to the other team. Those guys are really good players too.” – David Ross
Wednesday Walk Up Song
I Like it Like That by Chris Kenner and Allen Toussaint – There are few things more enjoyable than watching Alzolay throw that devastating slider.