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Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies preview, Thursday 6/7, 1:20 CT

The Cubs go for the series win over the Phillies.

Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s question is: What’s happened to Kris Bryant‘s home-run power?

Since the game after his last home run KB is hitting .313/.382/.400 (25-for-80) with seven doubles, which isn't terrible. But he’s driven in just seven runs in that 18-game stretch, and the home-run drought is concerning. We’re just a bit more than one-third of the way through the 2018 season, so Bryant is still on pace for (about) 23 home runs. That’s a decent total, but it would be the lowest of his career.

Overall, Bryant’s numbers are still excellent: .293/.403/.514, pretty much in line with his career averages. He’s hit 18 doubles, which is tied for second in the National League, and that’s a pace for about 50, which would be by far a career high. Only two Cubs have hit 50 or more doubles in a season since 1936: Derrek Lee (50 in 2005) and Mark Grace (51 in 1995).

So I’m not worried about Bryant... but it would be nice to see him hit a few home runs, and soon.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Phillies lineup:

Tyler Chatwood, RHP vs. Nick Pivetta, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Chatwood’s last start was... well, not so much different from the rest of them this year. Still too many walks (four in 5⅓ innings), but just two runs allowed. Fun fact: Chatwood is tied for the second-fewest homers allowed (three) among all MLB pitchers this year who have thrown at least as many innings as he has (53⅔). Of course, maybe that’s because he’s too busy walking people...

Anyway, you’ll like this. Last year Chatwood faced the Phillies May 24 in Philadelphia. He threw seven shutout innings and allowed just one hit. He did walk four, but we’d certainly take an outing like that today.

Nick Pivetta made 26 starts last year and posted a 6.02 ERA, which is pretty bad. He’s been much better this year, particularly over his last five starts (1.93 ERA, 0.923 WHIP, just one HR allowed in 28 innings).

His only career start vs. the Cubs was August 27, 2017 in Philadelphia. He threw five decent innings, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings. He walked four that day, but has dropped his walk rate this year to a very good 2.5/nine innings.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Phillies site The Good Phight. If you do go there to interact with Phillies 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.