- After an awful April, Anthony Rizzo’s May numbers are up to his usual standard: .272/.365/.519 (22-for-81), with five home runs, 12 walks and 23 RBI. The May slash line is almost identical to his previous six years as a Cub (.273/.371/.489). He also has nine RBI in his last eight games and 23 this month, which is second in the N.L. to Eugenio Suarez (26). Rizzo will be just fine.
- Jason Heyward has gone 33 straight plate appearances without a strikeout, the second-longest active streak behind Wilmer Flores (38).
- The Giants have another lefthander going tonight. Kris Bryant leads the majors with a .429 average (18-for-42) and 1.395 OPS against southpaws, and five of his eight homers have come against lefthanded pitchers.
- Speaking of lefthanded starters, the Cubs are 8-4 against LH starters (18-18 against RH starters).
- One year ago, the Cubs were 25-23 and half a game out of first place.
- Happy birthday to Cubs radio play-by-play voice Pat Hughes, who turns 63 today.
Here are today’s particulars.
Tyler Chatwood, RHP vs. Ty Blach, LHP
After a solid outing against the Braves, Tyler Chatwood stunk it up again when he faced the Indians last Tuesday, issuing six walks for the third time this year. It was also the sixth time he’d walked at least five:
Chatwood: most 5-walk starts by a Cubs pitcher in a season since Carlos Zambrano (6) in 2007— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) May 23, 2018
It took Big Z an entire season and 34 starts to do that. Chatwood has done it in nine starts.
Historically, Chatwood has done well against the Giants. In 17 appearances (16 starts) he has a 2.84 ERA and 1.242 WHIP, and a walk rate of 3.3 per nine innings. Similarly, last year in five starts against them: 2.70 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, walk rate 3.9.
Hopefully, that leads to success for him tonight.
Ty Blach is the kind of pitcher who usually ties Cubs hitters in knots, the soft-tossing lefty. In two starts against the Cubs last year, both Giants wins, he threw 14 total innings and allowed five runs. He struck out only five, but kept getting Cubs hitters to mash the ball into the ground. Of the 42 outs he recorded, 21 were on ground balls.
Blach has been kind of middling this year, and in his last three starts he hasn’t gotten out of the fifth inning in any of them, and has a 7.11 ERA and 1.895 WHIP. More just like that, please.
Today’s game is on ESPN.
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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.