The Cubs still have business to take care of before they can let up a bit waiting for the postseason, and as you know, that's clinching the N.L.'s best record.
The magic number for that is nine, and don't expect much help from the Nationals this weekend, as they are playing the Braves, against whom they are 15-2 this year. So the Cubs will have to take that number down one at a time, it seems. I'd like to see Joe Maddon play most of his regulars until that number gets to zero.
Here are today's particulars.
La Stella 3B, Bryant 1B, Coghlan LF, Contreras C, Almora CF, Baez SS, Szczur RF, Kawasaki 2B, Arrieta P
Villar 3B, Gennett 2B, Braun LF, Carter 1B, Perez RF, Santana CF, Arcia SS, Maldonado C, Davies P
Jake Arrieta has made two starts against the Brewers this year and hasn't thrown six innings in either of them. In fact, in the last one, August 18 at Wrigley Field, he allowed five runs in 5⅔ innings, including homers by Hernan Perez and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. I think we all agree Jake needs to do better than that. Including that start, he has a 4.60 ERA over his last five starts, which includes 17 walks in 31⅓ innings. That's way too many walks. Hopefully he gets back at least some of last year's magic.
Zach Davies was Jake's opponent in that August 18 game and the Cubs hit him hard: 10 hits and seven runs in four innings, including a homer by Kris Bryant. Davies handled the Cubs pretty well in two starts at Miller Park, though: 13 total innings, three earned runs. Davies has a higher ERA on the road this year than at home, but not by much: 4.29 to 3.67. This will be a tough matchup. Davies, though, still looks like he's about 15 years old.
Today's game is on WGN. For affiliate information in the Illinois/Indiana/Iowa Cubs TV market click here.
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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.