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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers preview, Wednesday 8/15, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for a split of this two-game set.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Wednesday notes:

  • Sunday’s win was the Cubs’ fifth this year when trailing entering the ninth inning. That’s tied for the most such victories in the majors with the Astros, Brewers and Yankees.
  • The Cubs have won their last four one-run games dating to August 3 to return to .500 in one-run contests (17-17) And, the Cubs are 7-1 in their last eight one-run games since July 13 after starting the year 10-16 in those contests.
  • Pedro Strop leads the N.L. with seven saves since the All-Star Break, three shy of Seattle’s Edwin Diaz for the most in the majors. Strop is 1-0 with eight saves in nine chances spanning his last 17 outings since June 27, having posted a 2.30 ERA (four earned runs in 15⅔ innings) in that stretch with four walks and 17 strikeouts.
  • The Cubs still lead the National League in BA, OBP and OPS, and their 68 wins lead the league despite having played the second-fewest games in the N.L.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Brewers lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Junior Guerra, RHP

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

Kyle Hendricks’ second half so far is kind of the mirror image of Jon Lester’s first half.

What do I mean by that? Well, in the first half, Lester’s ERA and W/L record were good, even as his peripherals weren’t. And many expected Lester to regress after the All-Star break; sadly, those people were correct.

Hendricks’ peripherals since the All-Star break have been outstanding. In five starts he has a strikeout rate of 10.2 per nine innings, and a walk rate of 0.95 per nine innings. No, that latter number is not a typo, he’s walked three in 28⅓ innings since the break. Also, after giving up 17 home runs in 110⅓ innings in 19 starts in the first half, he’s allowed just three in those five starts in the second half.

So the peripherals look good, but the 4.45 ERA and 1.271 WHIP in the second half are unsightly.

In two starts vs. the Brewers this year: 3.00 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, which is good, but the second of those starts, April 26 at Wrigley Field, was a gem: seven shutout innings, four hits, no walks, five strikeouts.

I’ll take another one just like that one, please.

Junior Guerra had a rough July, but his August so far has been somewhat better: 14 innings, 3.21 ERA in two starts.

He has made two starts against the Cubs this year and allowed eight hits, four walks and two runs in 12 innings, with 10 strikeouts. So that’s good!

This isn’t, at least not for Cubs hitters: They are hitting .169 (13-for-72) against Guerra with one home run (Kyle Schwarber).

We could be in for a pitchers’ duel today.

Today’s game is on WGN. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Milwaukee markets).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. If you do go there to interact with Brewers 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.