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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Sunday 7/8, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for the series win over the Reds.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday notes:

  • Willson Contreras, who was 2-for-4 Friday, has strung together a career high four straight multihit games. He’s the first Cubs catcher to accomplish that since Dioner Navarro did so, August 27-Sept. 4, 2013. The last Cubs catcher with five-straight multi-hit efforts is Tyler Houston, who did so 20 years ago from July 3-11, 1998.
  • Anthony Rizzo has not struck out in his last 41 plate appearances since June 26, the longest active streak in the majors. His HBP Saturday was his 12th of the season. That’s tied for the N.L. lead with Kolten Wong, Brandon Nimmo and Derek Dietrich.
  • Each of the Cubs’ last eight wins since June 26 have been of the come-from-behind variety, something the franchise hasn’t done since May 27-June 3, 2008, when the Cubs also won eight-consecutive games in come-from-behind fashion. (H/T STATS Inc.)
  • The Cubs’ 27 come-from-behind victories this season are second-most in the majors behind only the Phillies (28).
  • Javier Baez is just the fourth player ever to reach 20 doubles, 15 homers, five triples, 60 RBI and 15 stolen bases prior to the All-Star break. The others: Willie Mays in 1960, Carlos Gonzalez in 2013 and Andrew McCutchen in 2014. All of those players made the All-Star team in those seasons.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Luis Castillo, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester has been outstanding this year, though there’s a warning sign: he hasn’t thrown more than five innings in either of his last two starts, which weren’t quite up to the quality of the rest of the season.

He faced the Reds May 18 in Cincinnati and gave them just two hits and one run in six innings, and a repeat of that performance would be just fine this afternoon.

Jon has an 0.83 ERA in his last seven home starts. His 1.49 home ERA this season leads the National League and ranks third in MLB.

Luis Castillo has made two starts against the Cubs this year and posted a 3.38 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in 10⅔ innings.

Since the second of those starts, Castillo has made two more starts in which he’s totaled 10⅔ innings and posted a 4.22 ERA. That’s not great, but it’s better than his full-season numbers and he walked just one in those two starts.

On the other hand, one of those starts (the better one) was against the White Sox, who have a terrible offense. Facing the Cubs at Wrigley might be a more difficult task for Castillo, although in his only start to date there, August 15, 2017, he threw six shutout innings.

In short, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Today’s game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds 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.