Notes for a (hopefully) meatloaf Wednesday:
- Mike Montgomery has allowed one or fewer runs while going at least five innings in each of his first three starts this season. He’s the first Cub to do that since Jon Lester last season. Just four Cubs starters since 1908 have done so in each of their first four Cubs starts to a season: Hippo Vaughn in 1919, Greg Maddux in 2006, Rich Harden in 2008 and Jason Hammel in 2016.
- Happy birthday to two Cubs pitchers. Pedro Strop turns 33 today, and Drew Smyly is celebrating his 29th birthday.
- Tuesday night’s loss snapped a seven-game winning streak against the Brewers. Dating back to their final meeting of 2017, the Cubs are 9-2 in their last 11 games against the Brewers and have outscored them 41-15. Cubs pitchers have a 1.18 ERA (13 ER/99⅓ IP) over Milwaukee in that span, including six shutouts (five this season), and have limited the Brewers to a .161 batting average (55-for-342) and a .463 OPS.
- Justin Wilson, in his last six outings since May 30, has struck out 15 of 27 batters faced (56 percent). Since May 1, he has a 0.50 ERA (1 ER/18 IP) in 18 games, having struck out 26, walked 10 and held the opponent to a .133 average (8-for-60).
- Another Strop note: Since joining the Cubs in a trade with Baltimore July 2, 2013, Pedro has thrown 299⅓ innings of relief for the ballclub. Another two-thirds of an inning and Strop will become just the 17th pitcher to reach 300 relief innings for the franchise. Further to that:
Here's an obscure #Cubs career leaderboard...— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 12, 2018
Most games pitched in franchise history without any starts:
329 Pedro Strop
300 Bruce Sutter
296 Héctor Rondón
276 Terry Adams
265 Michael Wuertz
Note, those are different things. Some of the 16 pitchers who have thrown 300+ relief innings for the Cubs have made starts. The five listed in the tweet never started any games for the Cubs. The Cubs’ career leader in relief innings is Don Elston, who threw 659 relief innings for the club between 1953 and 1964.
Here are today’s particulars.
Mike Montgomery, LHP vs. Jhoulys Chacin, RHP
Mike Montgomery has been excellent as a starter this year: three starts, 1.02 ERA, 0.736 WHIP, just one home run in 17⅓ innings.
All we can do is hope that will continue. MiMo has one relief appearance vs. the Brewers this year, April 6 at Miller Park, and he allowed the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, recording an out, then allowing a walk and two singles.
Hopefully the good version of Montgomery shows up today.
Jhoulys Chacin had a decent (2.5 bWAR) year for the Padres in 2017, but they declined to re-sign him and the Brewers picked him up as a free agent.
That’s turned out to be a pretty good signing so far. Chacin has a 3.58 ERA and 1.248 WHIP in 14 starts and is on target to have a similar year to his 2017 season.
His last start against the Cubs was June 20, 2017 at Wrigley Field. He allowed two runs in six innings, including a home run by Anthony Rizzo.
Interestingly, the Cubs starter that night was... Mike Montgomery, who threw six shutout innings. Different team, sure, but hopefully the same result for MiMo.
Today’s game is on WGN.
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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.