Look at it this way.
If the Cubs can win this game, they will be three games ahead of the Brewers with 19 remaining. That’s a pretty good position to be in, though by no means a “safe” lead. A win would also mean three games ticked off the schedule this weekend and only one game of the lead lost. If the Pirates can take their Sunday game vs. the Cardinals, St. Louis will also remain three games back — and the Cubs still have seven games left against them.
Lastly, the Cardinals and Brewers will end this season playing each other in St. Louis. A sweep seems unlikely. Perhaps they will help knock each other out of the race.
Now: Just win, please.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jay CF, La Stella 3B, Bryant LF, Rizzo 1B, Happ 2B, Baez SS, Heyward RF, Rivera C, Hendricks P
Thames 1B, Walker 2B, Braun LF, Shaw 3B, Perez RF, Vogt C, Broxton CF, Arcia SS, Davies P
Kyle Hendricks vs. Zach Davies
Since returning from the DL, Kyle Hendricks has made nine starts and posted a 2.36 ERA and 1.219 WHIP in 53⅓ innings. Those numbers are very, very close to what he did most of last year. Even better, according to these numbers from Brooks Baseball, Hendricks is ramping up his velocity and even touched 90 during his start last Tuesday.
He has faced the Brewers once this year, April 7 at Miller Park, and allowed four runs in six innings, including a pair of homers. But it’s clear that Hendricks is a better pitcher now than he was in April. Current Brewers are hitting .193 (22-for-114) against Kyle, and he’s even been able to handle Ryan Braun (4-for-17).
Zach Davies, last 10 starts: 1.76 ERA, 1.080 WHIP, only one home run allowed in 66⅔ innings.
That’s really good! Interestingly, that home run was hit by Victor Caratini July 30 in Miller Park, Caratini’s first major-league homer. The Cubs scored three runs in seven innings off Davies that afternoon.
Looking for another one of those old-fashioned pitchers’ duels today.
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago.
MLB.com Gameday (classic mode) (Note: Going forward, I am going to link to the “classic” Gameday here because MLB.com broke the links I used to use to get to their “new” Gameday. If you click on this link, you can then click on “New Gameday” at the bottom of the page to get to the updated version. Note that the “classic” Gameday won’t load until just before game time.)
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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.