Chicago Cubs News: Five X-factors for team in postseason

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Adbert Alzolay (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Have we been witness to ascension the past couple weeks?

Before every Cubs groupie was clamoring for Brailyn Marquez and anointing him as the savior and second coming, there was Adbert Alzolay. Alzolay had some nasty stuff- a mid 90’s fastball, a nice change, and a good slider. Alzolay represented the first of many Cubs homegrown pitchers who would put an end to the “Cub-developed Pitcher Drought.”

Alzolay debuted last season with a four-inning win in relief, giving up just one hit, one run, and striking out 5. He followed that up with a four-inning tease of a start where he gave up just one run on one hit again. Unfortunately, he threw a clunker against the Pirates and got only one more chance in the second half of 2019.

In 2020, Alzolay wasn’t even called up until about halfway through the season but was then used somewhat regularly every week or both in relief and to start. In his last two appearances, one being a start, all Alzolay did was throw nine innings, while giving up only four hits and two runs. Oh yea, he also struck out 15 while walking four. He developed a different grip for his slider while working out in South Bend and it’s mystifying hitters.

Alzolay overshadowed a bit since the last offseason by the specter of hard-throwing left-handed prospect Marquez showed he was poised to take up a spot in the rotation next season. More importantly, Alzolay also gave Cubs fans a preview of the weapon they would have out of their pen in the postseason.