The Cubs are 19-4 in August, and you can make a reasonable argument that only one of those losses (the blowout in Colorado last Sunday) wasn't avoidable -- the other three all involved bullpen meltdowns, which hopefully will become a thing of the past when Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop return. Hector could be back soon; Pedro's probably about three weeks away from coming back.
The Cubs need to go 3-2 in the five remaining games in August to match the team's best August ever, 22-6 in 1932. But why stop there? Go 4-1 or 5-0 and make it the best in team history!
One more fun note: the Cubs have scored at least three runs in 24 straight games. That's the longest such run in 20 years, since August 5-31, 1996. The only longer such streak in Cubs history is 39 straight games from July 23-August 31, 1930. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist RF, Russell SS, Soler LF, Contreras C, Baez 2B, Hammel P
Utley 2B, Seager SS, Turner 3B, Gonzalez 1B, Grandal C, Reddick RF, Pederson CF, Toles LF, Urías P
Jason Hammel's great second-half run came to an end Sunday in Denver, when he got roughed up by the Rockies. Not all of it was his fault, as four of the 10 runs off him were unearned. Even with that bad outing, he's still got a 2.18 ERA since the All-Star break. In his one start vs. the Dodgers this year, May 30 at Wrigley Field, he had to leave after two shutout innings due to cramping issues. Those, presumably, have been fixed by his new "potato chip prescription."
Julio Urias made his second big-league start against the Cubs, June 2 at Wrigley Field. They roughed him up for eight hits and six runs in five innings, including three home runs (Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward). I'll take another one of those, please. Urias has been in and out of the rotation since the All-Star break, making two relief appearances and three starts, with mixed results. His last outing, August 21 in Cincinnati, was quite good: six shutout innings, six hits, no walks. But that's the Reds. This is the Cubs.
Today's game is on WGN. For affiliate information in the Illinois/Indiana/Iowa Cubs TV market click here. This game is also being carried nationally on FS1, and will be available in the Los Angeles market.
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The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
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. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.