A few notes about the Cubs’ opponent today, as well as the division leader in the N.L. Central.
The Tigers won the last two games they played against the Blue Jays and split their four-game series in Toronto.
For that, I am grateful. Can you imagine if they had lost those two and come into Wrigley with a 13-game losing streak? Then this would be a “trap series,” for sure.
Even while winning Monday afternoon while the Cubs had the day off, the Tigers didn’t look particularly good. They blew two leads and their temporary closer, Joe Jimenez, walked in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth. Toronto’s bullpen gave that run right back in the 10th and Detroit had the win 3-2. Even at that, four not-so-great Jays pitchers struck out 10 Tigers.
They can resume losing today, thankyouverymuch.
And no thanks go to the Twins, who blew a 5-1 lead to the Brewers and lost 6-5 in 10 innings. Fernando Rodney had his fifth (!) blown save for the Twins and the winning run was walked in with the bases loaded by a guy pitching in his second big-league game.
Those two teams meet again in Milwaukee this afternoon at 3:10 p.m. CT.
Here are today’s particulars.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Michael Fulmer, RHP
Kyle Hendricks struggled through an awful June in which he posted a 7.03 ERA and 1.685 WHIP in five starts, this after having an April and May which were both in line with his career norms.
So. A blip? Or an injury? Or something else?
We don’t know yet, but Kyle’s going to go out there and try to get Tigers hitters out this afternoon. Kyle has never faced the Tigers or anyone on their active roster. Maybe that will be an advantage.
Do not be fooled by Michael Fulmer’s middling numbers for the season. He’s been a lot better over his last four starts: 2.93 ERA, 0.976 WHIP, only three (!) walks in 27⅔ innings.
So the Cubs should be looking to put the ball in play against him. He’s allowed 11 home runs this season, though only two in those last four starts.
He has never faced the Cubs, and the only Cub who has faced him is Chris Gimenez, who, oddly enough, is 2-for-4 with a home run, for whatever that very small sample size is worth.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Detroit 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.