And that's the only mention of the 2016 World Series you'll find in this preview.
Notes for tonight:
- Tyler Chatwood, who enters tonight with a 3.14 ERA, has allowed four or fewer hits in six straight starts, the longest stretch by a Cubs pitcher since Carlos Zambrano went seven straight starts, August 30-October 2, 2010. No Cubs pitcher has had a streak longer than Zambrano since at least 1908.
- Chatwood has allowed just one homer in 43.0 innings, good for a rate of 0.21 HR/9 IP, which ranks second-best in the majors among pitchers with at least five starts (St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez, 0.18 HR/9). So, despite all the walks, Chatwood is pretty good at preventing hits and home runs.
- Speaking of hits and walks... The Cubs lead the National League with a .341 on-base percentage, trailing only the Yankees across all of baseball (.343 OBP).
- Cubs batters have collected at least 10 hits and six walks in each of the last four games, becoming the first team in baseball to accomplish that feat since Joe Maddon’s Rays in May 2008. This marks the first time a Cubs team has had 10+ hits and 6+ walks in four straight games since August 12-15, 1937 (five-straight games).
- Cubs batters drew 30 walks in the four-game series, their most in a four-game series since July 27-30, 2009 vs. Houston (31 walks). That series was also the last time Cubs batters walked at least six times in four straight games prior to this past weekend. The Cubs have not drawn at least six walks in five straight games since September 21-28, 1975 (six straight games). The 1975 Cubs were the team that held the franchise record for walks in a season, 650, until it was broken in 2016, when the Cubs walked 656 times. The 2017 Cubs walked 622 times, making the last two years the only ones in franchise history with 600+ walks by hitters. This year’s Cubs have 172 walks in 44 games, 3.91 per game, a pace for 633.
- The Cubs are 17-8 in their last 25 games against American League opponents at Wrigley Field, including a 6-1 mark in their last seven contests. Overall the Cubs are 30-15 in Interleague play since the start of 2016, including a 14-4 mark in their last 18 games, and 3-2 so far this year.
Here are today’s particulars.
The last time we played at Wrigley Field, we didn't have Michael Brantley in the lineup ... Turns out, he's pretty important.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) May 22, 2018
Michael is riding a 10-game hit streak -- batting .349 with 4 HR and 12 RBI. His .359 average against RHP leads the AL this season.#RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/HNByHjvy5r
Tyler Chatwood, RHP vs. Trevor Bauer, RHP
Tyler Chatwood allowed the Indians four hits and one run in six innings April 24 in Cleveland.
That’s good! Except for the five walks. But, the Cubs won that game, and Chatwood finally seems to have cut down on the walks, issuing just two in his last outing last week in Atlanta.
If he can keep that up, he’s going to have a really good year. Other than his unseemly walk rate, his other peripherals are good. His H/9 and SO/9 rates are the best of his career, and his WHIP is just about at his career level.
Trevor Bauer was equally tough on the Cubs in his start against them, April 25 in Cleveland. He threw 6⅔ innings and allowed just four hits and one run, striking out eight.
Bauer is having by far the best year of his career, with a 2.59 ERA and 1.119 WHIP over nine starts, both career bests, as is his K rate of 10.2. The Cubs will have to be at the top of their game to defeat him tonight.
Today’s game is on WGN. It’s also being carried nationally by ESPN (no blackouts). ESPN announcers: Karl Ravech, Eduardo Pérez and Tim Kurkjian.
Please visit our SB Nation Indians site Let’s Go Tribe. If you do go there to interact with Indians fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.
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.