There’s a disturbing pattern emerging from Cubs vs. Diamondbacks games at Wrigley Field over the last four seasons.
2015: Cubs sweep D-backs
2016: Cubs take two of three from D-backs
2017: Cubs take one of three from D-backs
2018: Cubs have lost the first two to D-backs
(A reminder before you tell me I’m wrong: Those are the results only from Cubs/D-backs games at Wrigley, not overall, since 2015. Overall the Cubs still have a winning mark at Wrigley vs. Arizona since 2015, 6-5.)
This isn’t going well. Not so far this year, anyway. Fortunately, there’s still today and tomorrow to get this right. It might not matter, but here are the two teams’ records in day games vs. night games this year:
Cubs: 31-19 in day games, 27-23 in night games
D-backs: 16-18 in day games, 40-28 in night games
If that’s a predictor, perhaps the next two days will go better for the Cubs.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Robbie Ray, LHP
Let’s just forget about Jon Lester’s last start and focus on the fact that he was having a solid season before that one.
His last start against the D-backs was August 12, 2017 in Phoenix, where he threw six innings, allowed three earned runs and struck out nine. Something like that would work pretty well today.
Current members of the D-backs are hitting .325 (26-for-80) against Jon. In particular, Paul Goldschmidt (5-for-9, a home run) and Steven Souza Jr. (3-for-5, a home run) should be watched today. Small sample sizes, of course.
Robbie Ray had a really good 2017. This year? Not so much. He missed several weeks with an oblique strain, and since coming back... 5.88 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, seven home runs in 26 innings. That’s not good.
Ray hasn’t faced the Cubs since April 8, 2016 in Phoenix. He threw six innings that day, allowing two runs. No current Cub has more than six career AB against him. Thus, we don’t have much to draw any conclusions on. Even after the loss Monday, the Cubs are 17-7 against LH starters this year, so there’s that, anyway.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.
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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.