Since there’s not a lot of news this afternoon, I thought I’d devote this preview to Brian Duensing, who doesn’t get a lot of attention though he’s been probably the Cubs’ most reliable reliever most of this season. Tony Andracki of CSN Chicago writes:
Based on FanGraphs' WAR, Duensing (0.7) is tied with Mike Montgomery and Koji Uehara as the second-best Cubs reliever behind only Wade Davis (0.9). Hector Rondon (0.5 WAR), Pedro Strop (0.5) and Carl Edwards Jr. (0.4) are further down that list.
Duensing admitted feeling a little unsure of himself when he first joined the Cubs, as he didn't want to be the guy not producing on a team vying for its second straight World Series. He battled a back injury and started the year on the disabled list before posting an 8.10 ERA in seven April games.
But since then, his ERA is at 1.54 with only 32 hits in 41 innings.
He’s been great, as noted, since April, and a bargain signing at $2 million. At 34 he’s probably heading into the tail end of his career, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs bring him back next year.
Here are today’s particulars.
Almora CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist RF, Happ 2B, Schwarber LF, Baez SS, Avila C, Lester P
Peralta LF, Rosales 3B, Pollock CF, Goldschmidt 1B, Martinez RF, Marte SS, Drury 2B, Mathis C, Corbin P
Jon Lester vs. Patrick Corbin
This game is a pitching rematch of the contest August 1 at Wrigley Field. In that game, the Cubs smacked three home runs off Patrick Corbin, including Jon Lester’s first career homer. Anthony Rizzo and Ian Happ also homered off Corbin, who allowed eight runs in three innings.
We’ll take another one just like that, please.
Since then Lester had a pretty good outing vs. the Nationals (6⅔ innings, three runs, seven strikeouts) and Corbin gave up six runs, including a home run, to the Giants. Corbin has been significantly better at home this year (3.14 ERA in 12 starts) than on the road (6.79 ERA in 11 starts), and Lester better at home (3.76 ERA in 14 starts) than on the road (4.25 ERA in 10 starts), though as you see Lester’s splits aren’t as extreme as Corbin’s. Also, Lester in five road starts since June 13: 34 innings, 2.12 ERA, 31 strikeouts, seven innings in four of those five.
Today's game is on WGN. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Phoenix markets).
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