Notes for Wednesday:
- Tuesday’s loss was just the sixth time this season the Cubs have dropped a game by four or more runs, tied for the second-fewest such defeats in baseball. Only the Red Sox have suffered fewer losses by four or more runs this season (four).
- On the other end of the spectrum, the Cubs have won 19 games by four or more runs this season, tied for second-most in baseball with the Red Sox, trailing only the Astros (20).
- Tuesday, Philadelphia’s Zach Eflin became the first starting pitcher to go more than seven innings against the Cubs this season. In fact, the Cubs had gone 79 straight regular-season games without the opposing starter recording an out in the eighth inning (Gerrit Cole of the Pirates threw eight innings September 6, 2017 in a 1-0 Cubs win).
- The Cubs are one of just seven teams to have allowed the opposing starter to pitch more than seven innings in just one game this season, joining the Indians, Dodgers, Twins, Mets, Phillies and Padres. (H/T: STATS Inc.)
- Anthony Rizzo has reached safely in his last 16 games with a plate appearance since May 18, hitting safely in 15 of those. Also, he is hitting .500 with RISP in his last 22 games (13-for-26, 19 RBI), including 2-for-2 with a go-ahead RBI Saturday. Overall, Rizzo is hitting .351 (20-for-57) in RISP situations this season.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jose Quintana, RHP vs. Aaron Nola, RHP
Jose Quintana has been alternating really good starts with clunkers for more than a month. The bad news is that if this keeps up, tonight will be a clunker.
But let’s be optimistic and say that Q has finally figured things out and will start to put together a run of excellent outings.
His start vs. the Phillies last year, August 25 in Philadelphia, wasn’t good: six runs in five innings. But most of the current Phillies team hasn’t faced him much. The only current Phillie who has more than six career AB against him is Carlos Santana, and Q has handled him well: 8-for-43 (.186).
Let’s hope that applies to the rest of the Phillies tonight as well.
Aaron Nola has been a solid rotation starter for the Phillies for the past three seasons, but this year he’s upped his game and is having the best year of his career, a 2.18 ERA, 0.932 WHIP and 2.62 FIP and has gone at least six innings in 11 of his 12 starts.
His only career start vs. the Cubs was July 26, 2015 at Wrigley Field. That was the day after Cole Hamels’ no-hitter and the Cubs did touch him up for five runs, including a couple of home runs. Only four current Cubs faced him in that game: Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell, so this is someone the Cubs have little familiarity with. Hopefully the scouting reports are good.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago Plus.
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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.