A few notes as we get ready to watch game two of this series.
- The Cubs are 25-14 (.641) since the All-Star break, the second-best record in MLB (Dodgers, 30-7, .811). If they continue at that percentage for the rest of the year they will win 90 games.
- Kyle Schwarber has played four games in Citizens Bank Park and hit four home runs. The other two Cubs to do that: Lee Walls hit four home runs in his first four career games at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1958 and Aramis Ramirez hit five home runs in his first four career games at RFK Stadium spanning the 2005-06 campaigns. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
- One more home run by Ian Happ will break the Cubs franchise record for most players with 20 or more home runs in a season (five). That was set in 1958 and tied in 2004 and 2008.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jay RF, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Avila C, Almora CF, La Stella 2B, Baez SS, Hendricks P
Hernandez 2B, Galvis SS, Williams RF, Hoskins LF, Joseph 1B, Franco 3B, Florimon CF, Alfaro C, Lively P
Your Phillies uniform cheat sheet:
Kyle Hendricks vs. Ben Lively
Since Kyle Hendricks returned from the DL: six starts, 2.45 ERA, 1.394 WHIP in 33 innings. Sure looks a lot like last year, except a few too many walks (11), showing that he hasn’t quite gotten his command back completely. His last outing was much more reminiscent of 2016, with a lot of weak contact.
Hendricks has not faced the Phillies since May 28, 2016, when he threw a five-hit, one-run, seven-strikeout complete game against them. I’d like another one of those, please.
I could make some jokes here about Ben Lively’s last name, but I think I’ll leave those to others, and simply say that he will be making his ninth major-league start tonight. Most of the other eight have been pretty good. His WHIP is a bit high (1.377) and he is a pitch-to-contact guy: only 21 strikeouts in 48⅔ innings. He was the Reds’ fourth-round pick in 2013 and was traded to the Phillies in 2014 for Marlon Byrd. He has obviously never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current roster.
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago.
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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.
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Discuss amongst yourselves.