Some more fun facts from Saturday night’s blowout win:
- Anthony Rizzo has become the only left-handed hitter in baseball to hit 30 or more homers each of the last four seasons, and is one of three batters to accomplish that feat overall. The others: Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and Cleveland’s Edwin Encarnacion.
- Via Elias: Rizzo and Tommy La Stella are just the fourth duo in Cubs history to each record at least three hits and two homers in a nine-inning game. The others: Jimmy Ryan and Walt Wilmot, August 25, 1891 vs. Brooklyn; Randy Hundley and Adolfo Phillips, June 11, 1967 vs. the Mets; Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou, August 10, 2002 at Colorado.
The Cubs are 26-14 (.650) since the All-Star break. If they can play .650 ball for the rest of the year, they will win 91 games (and likely, that will be enough for a division title.)
Onward! Here’s hoping for some more home-run fun this afternoon.
Zobrist RF, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, La Stella 2B, Baez SS, Heyward CF, Rivera C, Lackey P
Hernandez 2B, Galvis SS, Williams RF, Hoskins LF, Joseph 1B, Franco 3B, Florimon CF, Rupp C, Pivetta P
Your Phillies Players Weekend uniform cheat sheet for today:
John Lackey vs. Nick Pivetta
John Lackey had a rough outing in his last start; even so, the Cubs won the game and thus have won the last eight times Lackey has started.
He started vs. the Phillies May 4 at Wrigley Field and allowed nine hits and three runs in five innings, including a home run by Maikel Franco. The Cubs won that game, too, though it took 13 innings.
Let’s keep the winning going.
The Cubs catch a bit of a break today. Originally, Aaron Nola, the Phillies’ best starter, was scheduled for this game. But Nola was pushed back to Monday, so the Cubs will instead face Nick Pivetta, whose main claim to fame is that he was the guy the Phillies got from the Nationals in the Jonathan Papelbon trade.
Pivetta had a few decent starts in June and July, but struggled so much in August that he was briefly sent to Triple-A. August numbers: four starts, 13⅔ innings, 2.488 WHIP, 22 (!) earned runs, 14.49 ERA, five home runs allowed.
In fact, Pivetta has served up 21 home runs this year in only 95 innings. He has never faced the Cubs; Rene Rivera, the only Cub who has faced him, is 0-for-3 with a walk against him.
Let’s hope this isn’t a “trap game” and that the Cubs can pound Pivetta the way most big-league hitters have so far. This will be Pivetta’s 20th major-league start.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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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.