A few run-scoring notes before tonight’s contest:
- Including last night’s 17-3 win, the Cubs have scored 15 or more runs four times in August. The last time any Cubs team scored 15+ runs four times in a calendar month was June 1930. Those are the only two such calendar months in Cubs history since 1900 — and there’s still one game left this month.
- The Cubs lead the majors with 185 runs scored in August (the Twins are second with 172), and the 185 runs are the most by a Cubs team in August since the 1930 squad scored 216 runs.
- The Cubs scored seven runs in last evening’s fifth inning, their second seven-run inning in the last five games (also seventh inning at Philadelphia, August 26). Overall this year, it marked the 16th time the Cubs have scored at least five runs in an inning, fourth-most in the N.L. behind Washington (23), Colorado (19) and Arizona (18).
The Cubs’ 29-15 record since the All-Star break is a .659 winning percentage. If the Cubs maintain that percentage for their remaining 30 games, they’ll win 20 of them and finish 92-70.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jay LF, Zobrist 2B, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Almora CF, Baez SS, Happ RF, Rivera C, Hendricks P
A mostly RH lineup vs. Braves lefty Sean Newcomb.
Inciarte CF, Phillips 2B, Freeman 1B, Kemp LF, Markakis RF, Suzuki C, Albies 3B, Swanson SS, Newcomb P
Kyle Hendricks vs. Sean Newcomb
Kyle Hendricks had his best outing of the year in his last start vs. the Phillies (seven innings, two runs, eight strikeouts, no walks) and since his return from the DL has a 2.48 ERA and 1.300 WHIP in seven starts (40 innings). Those numbers aren’t too far off what he did last year, and his velocity has been ticking upward, seems like he might be peaking at exactly the right time.
Kyle hasn’t faced the Braves this year and his only appearance against them last year was a weird little two-inning relief appearance (the only relief outing of his big-league career) in that rainout makeup game played at Wrigley July 7, when Kyle was briefly relegated to the bullpen just before the All-Star break in 2016. Current Braves are hitting .212 (14-for-66) against Kyle with one home run (Matt Kemp).
The Cubs faced Sean Newcomb July 18 in Atlanta and hit him pretty well: eight hits, three walks and five runs in 5⅓ innings. That included home runs by Javier Baez and Willson Contreras.
Since then Newcomb has a 3.86 ERA in seven starts, but he has also walked 27 hitters in 37⅓ innings in those seven outings, and made it past the fifth inning in only three of them. The walks mean that perhaps the patient-hitting Cubs can wait him out for good pitches to hit.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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