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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Sunday 6/24, 12:10 CT

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The Cubs need a win to avoid being swept.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

ICYMI:

All best wishes to Tyler Chatwood and his wife on their upcoming arrival.

Now, how about some positive things about the Cubs leading into today’s game?

  • Despite recent offensive struggles, the Cubs still rank second in the N.L. at 4.77 runs per game.
  • Despite recent pitching struggles, the Cubs still rank second in the N.L. at 3.65 runs allowed per game.
  • At 42-32 with 353 runs scored and 270 allowed, the Cubs are four games behind their Pythagorean win projection of 46-28.
  • The Cubs still top the N.L. in OBP at .339 and are second in OPS at .753, the latter just one point behind the league-leading Braves.
  • The Cubs are four games better than they were after 74 games a year ago, 42-32 to 38-36. And, they still trail the Brewers by just two games in the N.L. Central, and only one in the loss column.

Feel better now?

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Mike Montgomery, LHP vs. Sal Romano, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

This was to have been Tyler Chatwood’s start, except as noted above, he’s gone to join his wife to await the birth of their first child. Best guess re: Chatwood is that he returns and starts Thursday in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Mike Montgomery gets the call to try to stop the Cubs’ three-game losing streak. MiMo has been just outstanding since joining the rotation May 28: five starts, 1.21 ERA, 0.843 WHIP in 29⅔ innings, so he’s averaging almost six innings per start.

He has a pair of relief appearances against the Reds this year, two scoreless innings, seven batters faced, six retired, one hit allowed. Current Reds are hitting .220 (18-for-82) against him with two home runs (Adam Duvall, Scooter Gennett).

The Cubs need Montgomery to be an old-fashioned “stopper” this afternoon. That term used to apply to a starter who could step up and stop losing streaks. Go get ‘em, Mike.

Sal Romano’s last two starts have been very good: 15 total innings, eight hits and five walks allowed, but just one total run against the Royals and Tigers.

Remember that, Royals & Tigers. Five previous starts against better-hitting teams: 10.72 ERA, 2.118 (!) WHIP, five home runs allowed in 22⅔ innings.

One of those starts was against the Cubs, the second game of the doubleheader May 19, and the Cubs pounded him for six hits, six walks and seven runs in five innings, including a home run by Ian Happ.

More of that, please.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds 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.