Notes before a Thursday night game:
- The Cubs are the only team in the majors this season to have neither a three-game losing streak or three-game winning streak.
- Albert Almora Jr. enters today with a career-high eight-game hitting streak in which he’s hitting .389 (14-for-36) with three doubles, a homer, five RBI and a .991 OPS.
- Kyle Hendricks’ 2.99 career ERA ranks fourth among all active pitchers with at least 100 starts, trailing only Clayton Kershaw (2.37), Jacob deGrom (2.96) and Chris Sale (2.96). Kyle ranks ahead of Madison Bumgarner (3.01), Stephen Strasburg (3.07) and Corey Kluber (3.09). Also, Hendricks’ .642 OPS against is fifth-lowest of any active pitcher with at least 100 starts and third-lowest among right-handed pitchers. Overall he trails only Kershaw (.570), Strasburg (.624), Sale (.626) and deGrom (.635).
- The Cubs lead the N.L. and are second in the majors by averaging 5.76 runs per game (the Yankees lead, 6.17). The team’s .346 on-base percentage leads the N.L. and is third in baseball behind the Yankees (.355) and Athletics (.348), while their .432 slugging percentage also leads the league and is fourth in the majors behind the Yankees (.480), Red Sox (.455) and Athletics (.444).
- We’ve talked about this, here are some more detailed numbers: In the Cubs’ 11 wins, they have batted .324 (136-for-420) and averaged 9.5 runs per game (104 runs), but have hit just .181 (63-for-349) and averaged 1.7 runs per game (17 runs) in 10 losses.
Here are today’s particulars.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Chase Anderson, RHP
Kyle Hendricks hasn’t had a real “Kyle Hendricks game” yet this year. He’s had outings where he’s held the walks down, but those are the two he’s allowed the most runs. He had a good start in his first outing this year, but that game wound up going 17 innings.
His start against the Brewers April 6 at Miller Park wasn’t great: four runs in five innings. It turned out to be the only game the Cubs lost in that series. Travis Shaw and Eric Thames (who’s out with an injury) homered off him that night.
Chase Anderson is off to a pretty good start this year, and that includes a start against the Cubs April 8 at Miller Park (six innings, two runs). The Cubs won that game because Jose Quintana and three relievers combined on a shutout. Ben Zobrist (also out with an injury) homered off Anderson in that game.
Anderson has allowed six home runs in 27⅔ innings, so perhaps that’s a weakness the Cubs can exploit. On the other hand, Hendricks has allowed five home runs in 22 innings, so... hopefully he can keep the ball in the ballpark tonight.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Milwaukee 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.