Notes for this afternoon’s game:
- The Cubs are feast or famine so far this year. In their three wins, they’ve scored 26 runs. In the four losses, just five runs. They have a +7 run differential, 31 scored, 24 allowed.
- The Cubs bullpen has thrown 32⅓ innings in the first seven games to begin the season, posting a major league-best 0.84 ERA (three earned runs allowed) and .491 OPS against, the lowest marks of any big league bullpen (the Mets are next closest with a 1.16 ERA and .500 OPS against).
- The last time the Cubs bullpen had a lower ERA through its first seven games with an appearance in a season was 1945, when the bullpen posted an 0.72 ERA through its first seven games with an appearance. That dropped to an 0.65 ERA through its first eight games with an appearance.
- Kris Bryant is hitting .300 (9-for-30) with four runs, three doubles, a homer, five RBI and six walks to begin the season, reaching safely in all seven contests.
Here are today’s particulars.
In case you were wondering:
No Rizzo for #Cubs today. Maddon said may need 2 days because of tightness in lower back— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 7, 2018
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Zach Davies, RHP
Yu Darvish hopes to improve on his not-so-great first Cubs start.
This will be Darvish’s first career start in Miller Park. He has faced the Brewers just once in his career, last August 27 when he was with the Dodgers. He allowed six hits, three walks and three runs in five innings, with seven strikeouts. Hernan Perez homered off him.
We hope for better things today.
Darvish note: since arriving in the majors in 2012, he ranks first among all pitchers in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (11.03), and ranks fourth in both hits allowed per 9.0 innings (7.30) and opponent batting average against (.219).
Zach Davies turned into one of the better starters in the National league last year, posting a 2.9 bWAR season. That included a 3.66 ERA and 1.188 WHIP in five starts (32 innings) against the Cubs. Current Cubs are hitting .269 (45-for-167) against Davies with five home runs, two by Kyle Schwarber. Kris Bryant is 11-for-28 (.393) with two doubles, a triple and a home run off Davies.
Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago. It’s also on FS1 (no blackouts).
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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.