This radar does not look encouraging as of posting time, so keep it handy this evening:
A few more notes for tonight’s game:
- The last time the Cubs were in Cleveland for regular-season games was June 17-18, 2015, a series in which Kyle Schwarber recorded his first career hit (a triple) and Kris Bryant belted his first career grand slam in a 17-0 win on June 17.
- Tonight is the Cubs’ first interleague game of 2018. Last year, the Cubs went 12-8 against the American League, their second straight winning mark in interleague play (15-5 in 2016). After tomorrow, the Cubs won’t visit an A.L. park until after the All-Star break (August 6-8 at Kansas City). The first interleague series at Wrigley Field is May 11-13 (White Sox).
- Schwarber handled DH duties in eight of the 10 A.L. road games for the Cubs in 2017, hitting .281 (9-for-32) with a double, a triple, four homers and eight RBI in that role.
- All time, Cubs designated hitters have batted .272 (180-for-661) with 25 doubles, five triples, 32 homers and 117 RBI in 166 games.
- The Cubs lead the National League with a 5.79 runs per game average. That ranks third for most runs per game in the majors. The Cubs also lead the N.L. with a .349 on-base percentage, a .425 slugging percentage and a .774 OPS.
Here are today’s particulars.
Kris Bryant gets tonight off, presumably just an extra day of rest after he got hit in the head Sunday.
Tyler Chatwood, RHP vs. Josh Tomlin, RHP
Tyler Chatwood has made three starts this year. His biggest issue has been walks: 14 of them in 15⅔ innings. That’s... not good. In his last start, against the Cardinals last Tuesday, he allowed just one hit... but walked seven. Ouch.
Prior to this year, Chatwood’s walk rate was 4.2 per nine innings, which isn’t great, but it isn’t awful, either. It’s better than the 8.0 rate he has had this year. Fix that and he should be fine.
Chatwood had a one-inning relief appearance against the Indians last year and retired all three batters he faced, three pretty good hitters: Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez). Otherwise he hasn’t faced them since 2011, when he was a rookie with the Angels. Yonder Alonso is a small sample size 2-for-3 against him with a home run.
Josh Tomlin has pretty frightening numbers (8.00 ERA, 2.111 WHIP, 9.74 FIP) in two starts and one relief appearance this year. He’s thrown only nine total innings in those three games.
He’s never faced the Cubs in a regular-season game and no one on the current active roster has ever faced him in a regular-season game. He started twice against the Cubs in the 2016 World Series, Game 3 and Game 6. He threw 4⅔ shutout innings in Game 3, but the Cubs blasted him in Game 6, scoring six runs in less than three innings, including a home run by Kris Bryant.
More of the latter, please.
Today’s game is on WGN. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Cleveland markets).
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The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. 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.
Discuss amongst yourselves.