Notes for a Sunday:
- The Cubs lead the majors with 506 plate appearances with RISP. But they have not taken much advantage of that. In this series, they are 7-for-46 (.152) with RISP and have left 37 men on base in the three games.
- Through 43 games, the Cubs are two wins better than last year (24 to 22) and have more runs (231 to 217), a higher BA (.258 to .244), higher OBP (.340 to .331), higher SLG (.429 to .413) and a lower team ERA (3.33 to 4.01). Feel better now?
- The Cubs run differential of +67 leads the N.L. (the Braves are second at +64) and is tied for third in the majors with the Yankees, trailing only the Astros (+96) and Red Sox (+70).
- Addison Russell is 22-for-68 (.324) with 12 runs, eight RBI and a .405 OBP in his last 20 games since April 26.
- The Cubs lead the major leagues with nine games scoring in double digits, all wins. But they also have seven wins when scoring three or fewer runs. That’s tied for fourth-most with the Diamondbacks, trailing only the Rockies (9), Nationals (8) and Athletics (8).
Here are today’s particulars.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Tyler Mahle, RHP
Yu Darvish finally looked like the pitcher the Cubs thought they were getting in his last start, before having to leave in the fifth inning due to leg cramps.
The last time he faced the Reds was August 24, 2016 at GABP. It wasn’t that notable a start pitching-wise (six innings, three earned runs), but he did this that night:
That’s Darvish’s only career home run. He’s 1-for-10 as a Cub, a double.
Tyler Mahle held the Cubs to one hit in six innings April 2 (a triple by Javier Baez). Since then his 2018 season has been decidedly less successful: 4.97 ERA, 1.464 WHIP in eight starts. That includes 10 home runs allowed in 41⅔ innings. Hopefully Cubs hitters will be able to take advantage of that, and put that earlier start where it belongs, in the dustbin of history.
Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago.
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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.