Here are all the notes about the streak we hope ends tonight:
- The Cubs have been limited to exactly one run in each of their last five games, with each run scoring by way of a solo homer. That’s the first time that’s been done by any team in major league history.
- The Cubs have matched a franchise record by scoring one run or fewer in five straight games. It’s the first time they have done that since May 19-23, 2009 (H/T Elias), and the ninth time in franchise history. Seven of the eight previous times, the team went 0-5. They went 2-3 (same as the current streak) from August 27-September 1, 1934.
- Dating back to August 15, all of the last six runs scored by the Cubs have come via the solo home run (Albert Almora Jr.’s home run in the seventh inning last Wednesday vs. the Brewers is the other one). The homers in six straight games matches a season high, also accomplished July 26-August 1.
- The Cubs have lost at least three games in a five-game span despite allowing three runs or fewer in all five games for the first time since going 2-3 in a similar stretch from September 23-27, 2011.
Enough of this, right? Here are some other notes for tonight:
- The Cubs have gone 13 straight games facing righthanded starters, and they’ll break that streak facing Francisco Liriano tonight. The Cubs are 18-9 vs. LH starters, the best such record in the National League.
- They’ll resume that stretch vs. RH starters Thursday against the Reds; Cincinnati is scheduled to throw four righthanders against the Cubs this weekend at Wrigley Field.
Here are today’s particulars.
Not too much pressure, right, Daniel? Leadoff spot in his first game as a Cub. It’s just the second time he’s hit leadoff this year.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Francisco Liriano, LHP
After some rough outings from mid-July through mid-August, Jon Lester turned in one of his best starts of 2018 in his last outing in Pittsburgh.
He faced the Tigers twice in 2015 as a Cub and got knocked around both times (15.43 ERA and three home runs in seven innings), but a lot of those Tigers aren’t on the team anymore. The current Tigers who have faced him have done well, in a small sample size: 18-for-39 (.462) with four home runs, three of them by Nicholas Castellanos.
Hopefully, Jon does better against them tonight.
Francisco Liriano started against the Cubs July 4 at Wrigley Field and turned in a surprisingly decent start: six innings, three runs. Of course, he also gave up two home runs (David Bote, Willson Contreras) and issued five walks.
Since that start Liriano has been just... bad. He’s posted a 6.85 ERA and 2.070 (!) WHIP in seven appearances (six starts), issued 17 walks in 23⅔ innings and served up five home runs.
And this time he won’t be facing a Cubs lineup that has a pitcher batting. Maybe this is the night the Cubs offense finally breaks out.
Today’s game is on WGN.
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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.