Over the Cubs' last nine games, the bullpen has posted a 1.14 ERA (four earned runs in 31⅔ innings) with 12 walks and 38 strikeouts. They have held opposing hitters to a .159 BA and are on a 14-inning scoreless streak.
Overall the Cubs pen has a 2.82 ERA (23 earned runs, 73⅓ innings), which leads the National League. The bullpen's .185 BA against also leads the N.L.
Now if the team can only get the starters to come close to this performance, they could run off a long winning streak.
The Cubs will also be looking to break this trend:
The Red Sox are 21-3 (.875) in day games at Fenway Park since 5/14/16, including 5-0 in 2017. They host the Cubs today at 4:05 p.m.— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) April 29, 2017
Here are today’s particulars.
Schwarber DH, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Heyward RF, Russell SS, Montero C, Almora CF, Jay LF
Red Sox lineup:
Bogaerts SS, Benintendi LF, Betts RF, Ramirez DH, Moreland 1B, Pedroia 2B, Bradley CF, Vazquez C, Hernandez 3B
John Lackey vs. Steven Wright
John Lackey pitched three and a half seasons in Boston and was part of the Red Sox' 2013 World Series championship team.
That's all history now, of course. This year Lackey has thrown six innings in all four of his starts, but has had first-inning trouble (13.50 ERA in the first inning, 2.70 ERA in all other innings). So... it would seem that keeping him out of early trouble would give the Cubs a good chance of winning. Only two current members of the Red Sox have anything more than a handful of career AB vs. Lackey: Mitch Moreland (4-for-15) and his old teammate Dustin Pedroia (6-for-16).
Steven Wright throws a knuckleball, as you learned earlier today from Sara Sanchez. It's been six years since any Cubs team has faced a knuckleballer, and Wright has never faced anyone on the current Cubs roster.
Based on Sara's article, the warm, breezy weather expected this afternoon is not good for knuckleballers. Hopefully that's good news for Cubs hitters.
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. It’s also on FS1 (no blackouts).
Please visit our SB Nation Red Sox site Over The Monster. If you do go there to interact with Red Sox 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 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. 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.
Get tickets to Cubs games from our partner Stubhub here.
Discuss amongst yourselves.