ICYMI, here’s the story about Kris Bryant’s trip to the disabled list.
- The Cubs have lost six consecutive regular season games at Dodger Stadium dating to 2016, their longest skid there since a six-game drought from June 17-Sept. 1, 1991. The Cubs haven’t lost seven in a row at Dodger Stadium since a 10-game streak from May 16, 1965-June 15, 1966.
- Six years ago today, Anthony Rizzo made his Cubs debut vs. the New York Mets, going 2-for-4 with a double and RBI.
- With three weeks to go til the All-Star Break, Javier Baez is only the fifth middle infielder in franchise history to reach 51 RBI prior to the Break (since 1933), joining Ryne Sandberg (57 RBI in 1990, 52 RBI in 1984), Starlin Castro (52 RBI in 2014), Billy Herman (51 RBI in 1936) and Addison Russell (51 RBI in 2016).
- Cubs outfielders have 16 assists thus far, tied for the most in the N.L. with the New York Mets. Kyle Schwarber’s eight outfield assists lead the National League and are tied for the major league lead.
- The Cubs were 16-15 with a +21 run differential through May 6. Since May 7, the Cubs have gone 26-19 with a +59 run differential, outscoring opponents 212-152 during that stretch.
Also, this: If you are concerned about the Cubs’ current losing streak, I call your attention to the last 12 games played by the Washington Nationals, in which they have gone 3-9 and been shut out four times, including the last two by the under-.500 Rays — and those last two games were started by Washington’s two best pitchers, Gio Gonzalez and Max Scherzer. The Nats had five total hits in those last two games.
It happens, even to good teams. The Nats will start winning again. So will the Cubs. Patience.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Ross Stripling, RHP
This game is a pitching rematch of the game six days ago at Wrigley Field. Ross Stripling threw a pretty good game, allowing three runs in six innings. Kyle Schwarber homered off him.
But Jon Lester was outstanding. He threw seven shutout innings, going 119 pitches, and that continued his run of great pitching this year. Last 12 starts for Lester: 1.67 ERA, 0.978 WHIP in 75⅔ innings, which is probably the best run like this for a Cubs starter since Jake Arrieta’s great second half in 2015. Lester, who is averaging more than six innings per start over that 12-start span, is carrying this rotation.
We need that to continue.
Here’s a Fangraphs article from today that says Lester is outperforming his peripherals, and there’s a fair chance that could continue.
Today’s game is on WGN. It’s also on ESPN (outside the Chicago and Los Angeles markets).
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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.