Catching up on Saturday evening’s action:
The Brewers scored three times in the ninth inning off Rockies closer Greg Holland and defeated Colorado 6-3. Milwaukee, in second place, trails the Cubs by two games (three in the loss column). They will play Sunday afternoon at 2:10 p.m. CT.
The Pirates and Cardinals waited out a rain delay of nearly two hours in the second inning. The Pirates took a 6-1 lead into the eighth; two Cardinals homers made it closer, but Pittsburgh held on to win 6-4. St. Louis, now in third place, trails the Cubs by 2½ games. The Pirates are 6½ back.
The Pirates and Cardinals are playing tonight, in the Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Game time is 6 p.m. CT, and that game will be on ESPN.
Here are today’s particulars.
Almora CF, Schwarber LF, Zobrist 2B, Rizzo 1B, Baez SS, Rivera C, La Stella 3B, Jay RF, Hendricks P
Kyle Hendricks vs. Marco Estrada
Kyle Hendricks’ numbers since he returned from the DL are pretty good: 2.00 ERA, 1.407 WHIP, just two home runs in 27 innings (five starts). Kyle’s command still hasn’t quite come back and his velocity is still a bit down from last year. But in his last start, when he threw six shutout innings against the Reds, it did seem to tick up a bit. If he can get it back to last year’s level, his changeup, which is his out pitch, will be much more effective.
Kyle faced the Blue Jays September 10, 2014 in Toronto, but as was the case for Jake Arrieta’s start against them, most of those Jays aren’t on the team anymore. Current Jays are a small-sample-size 3-for-16 against him with one home run (Nori Aoki).
Wow, this is just like an old N.L. Central matchup, even though these two pitchers have never faced each other before.
Marco Estrada pitched for the Brewers for five years and in that time made 16 appearances (nine starts) against the Cubs, so we are pretty familiar with him.
But he’s been gone from the N.L. since 2014 and this year, he’s been pretty bad for the Blue Jays after decent years in 2015 and 2016. Since July 1: 5.61 ERA, 1.569 WHIP. Overall this year he’s allowed 23 home runs in 139⅔ innings, equaling what he gave up last year in 37 more innings.
Hopefully some more Cubs homers fly out of the park today.
Today's game is on WGN.
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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.
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Discuss amongst yourselves.