Anthony Rizzo had been riding a hot streak since he was moved to the leadoff spot. That has started to cool a bit, as in his last four games he’s just 2-for-18. Note, this is not a plea to take him out of the leadoff spot in the order; he’s done an excellent job there, and as we know, Rizzo tends to be very streaky. He could easily start another hot streak tonight.
One Cubs hitter who is heating up is Willson Contreras. Since July 1, Willson is hitting .333/.429/.542 (24-for-72) with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 10 walks. Contreras is a lifetime .315/.372/.649 (35-for-111) in August with 10 home runs. Now would be a great time for him to carry the team as he was doing last August until the hamstring injury that put him out for several weeks.
And right now should be the perfect time to do it. Padres starting pitchers have an 8.23 ERA and 1.788 WHIP since the All-Star break, with 10 home runs allowed in 50⅓ innings. Time to pounce on them in the early innings.
Here are today’s particulars.
Mike Montgomery, LHP vs. Robbie Erlin, LHP
Mike Montgomery struggled in his last start, last Friday in St. Louis. He did very well for the first month as a starter, but seems to be running out of gas. Hopefully, the extra day of rest provided by Monday’s off day will help.
Mike’s last start against the Padres was a good one, June 20, 2017 at Wrigley Field. He threw six shutout innings that day, allowing just three hits and two walks. Current Padres are a very small sample size 3-for-23 against him. More of this, please.
Robbie Erlin has mostly been a reliever this year, 27 of his 29 appearances. His two starts were not good: he has a 14.14 ERA and 2.286 WHIP as a starter in 2018, with three HR allowed in seven innings. Yikes, that’s bad.
He threw 2⅔ innings of shutout relief against the Cubs July 14 in San Diego, but whether that translates to being a starter remains to be seen. Also, that game is his only appearance against the Cubs since 2013, so his record vs. current Cubs is pretty small (1-for-9, a double by Anthony Rizzo).
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.