A few notes before tonight’s contest:
- Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 2.54 ERA with a .190 opposing batting average and a 0.91 WHIP in the first 14 games since the All-Star break. The WHIP and opponent’s BA figures lead all major league rotations in the season’s “second half” while the 2.54 ERA is second behind the Nationals (2.50).
- Despite being held to just one run last night, the Cubs are tied for fourth in the majors with 79 runs scored since the All-Star Break, behind the Rockies (88), Padres (83) and Mets (81).
- Javier Baez’ homer Friday night was his 13th of the season, putting him just one short of his career-high 14, done last season. Javy iss hitting .382 (13-for-34) with two doubles, three homers, seven RBI and a 1.123 OPS in his last 10 games.
- Of the 60 games remaining for the Cubs this season, 40 are against teams currently owning a record that is below .500. However, the Cubs are now in a stretch that sees them play teams with winning records in 12 of 15 games through August 13. After August 13, the Cubs will have just nine games left against teams currently over .500.
- The Cubs have 32 games remaining at home and 28 games left on the road. The Cubs have more home games remaining than any other team in the N.L. Central.
Here are today’s particulars.
Zobrist 2B, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Schwarber LF, Happ CF, Heyward RF, Baez SS, Hendricks P
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 29, 2017
Game preview: https://t.co/clwQfuswnR pic.twitter.com/Xhxx7olITD
Sogard 2B, Thames 1B, Braun LF, Shaw 3B, Perez RF, Pina C, Brinson CF, Arcia SS, Guerra P
Kyle Hendricks vs. Junior Guerra
Kyle Hendricks looked a bit rusty in his first start after being activated from the disabled list. He threw a lot of pitches (92), though he didn’t walk anyone. His velocity appeared down a bit, but his changeup worked well enough for five strikeouts. He did allow only one run, but did not complete the fifth inning.
Kyle started against the Brewers April 19 at Wrigley Field and allowed four runs in five innings. He’ll have to be better than that tonight. Hopefully the rust has now been shaken off and he can join the rest of the rotation in having a good second half.
Junior Guerra was a surprisingly good starter for the Brewers last year. This year he’s had some DL time due to a calf strain. He threw pretty well until his last five starts, which have been horrific: 9.00 ERA, 1.857 WHIP, nine (!) home runs in 21 innings.
Hopefully Cubs hitters can keep that skid going. Guerra has not faced the Cubs this year; last year he had two pretty good outings against them (three total runs in 13⅓ innings), but the last one of those starts was more than a calendar year ago.
Today's game is on WGN.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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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.
Discuss amongst yourselves.