It’s been a while since the Cubs have had their final regular-season games at Wrigley Field.
It’s been so long that the Astros, who were the Cubs’ opponent in those games, were still a National League team. Those were, in fact, the final games the Astros played before they moved to the A.L.
It was October 2012, and both the Astros and Cubs were horrific. After the Astros won the first game of the series, the next two were matchups between 100-loss teams. That hadn’t happened in 50 years, and the previous 100-loss team matchup was also at Wrigley (1962 Cubs and Mets).
Both teams were tearing down and rebuilding. And with the Cubs defending World Series champions and heading back to the postseason and the Astros currently a 99-win team also heading for October baseball, it’s entirely possible the Cubs and Astros could meet in this year’s World Series.
I like this kind of baseball better than the 2012 version, lots better.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jay CF, Zobrist RF, La Stella 2B, Contreras C, Schwarber LF, Happ 3B, Avila 1B, Freeman SS, Quintana P
Ervin CF, Cozart SS, Votto 1B, Suarez 3B, Winker LF, Peraza 2B, Schebler RF, Barnhart C, Stephenson P
Jose Quintana vs. Robert Stephenson
Jose Quintana was magnificent in his last outing, the complete-game shutout of the Brewers last Sunday. I am certainly hoping this is a sign of dominance to come.
Quintana’s only start against the Reds this year wasn’t as good, August 14 at Wrigley Field. He threw a lot of pitches, 105, in just five innings and issued four walks. He did manage to limit the Reds to two runs (one earned).
Q in September: 1.63 ERA, 0.904 WHIP. He’s walked as many in four starts and 27⅔ innings this month as he did in that one August game. Keep up the great work.
Robert Stephenson made two relief appearances back in May covering 2⅔ innings, but has not faced him since joining the Reds rotation in July. In 10 starts and one relief appearance since then, he has a 3.55 ERA and 1.436 WHIP, with 59 strikeouts in 55 innings, which is pretty good and gives him a shot at the Reds rotation in 2018. Walks have been an issue, though: 13 walks in 21 innings in September.
Current Cubs are hitting .316 (12-for-38) against him with one home run (Addison Russell).
Today’s game is on CSN Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Cincinnati markets).
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.