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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Thursday 8/23, 7:05 CT

The Cubs begin a seven-game homestand this evening.

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday notes:

  • The three-run inning the Cubs posted Wednesday in the fifth inning snapped a streak of 55 consecutive innings with one or no runs scored dating to the fifth inning, August 15 vs. the Brewers.
  • Daniel Murphy’s RBI single in that inning broke a stretch of 30 at-bats without a hit with RISP for the Cubs, tied for the longest such streak in the majors this season with the Padres. (H/T: STATS Inc.)
  • More on Cole Hamels below, but here’s a fun fact: Hamels is looking to become just the sixth qualifying Cub to go unbeaten in August with a sub-1.00 ERA for the month, and the first since Jake Arrieta in 2015 (6-0, 0.43 ERA). Prior to Arrieta, Mark Prior did it in 2003 (5-0, 0.69). Hamels should have one more start this month after tonight, likely Tuesday against the Mets.
  • The Cubs have homered in a season-high seven straight games dating to August 15 vs. Milwaukee, with 10 homers during this run (seven solo shots, two two-run homers and one three-run shot). The last such Cubs streak of at least eight straight games was an 11-game streak, Sept. 24, 2017-March 31, 2018, and the last such streak in a single season was 10 games, August 16-26, 2016.
  • The Cubs’ .623 home winning percentage (38-23) ranks second in the N.L. behind the Phillies (41-22, .651) and fourth-best in the majors, also behind the Red Sox (45-18, .714) and the Yankees (45-20, .692). The Cubs have played 61 home games to date, tied for the third-fewest in MLB.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Anthony DeSclafani, RHP

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Hamels has been lights-out since he came to the Cubs. Factors include getting out of Globe Life Park, where he (and other Rangers pitchers) were awful this year, and getting back into a pennant race.

Hamels last faced the Reds June 22, 2016, but a lot of those guys aren’t on the Reds now. He threw six innings and allowed one run, which would be just fine with me tonight.

Current Reds are a small sample size 6-for-32 (.188) against Hamels with eight strikeouts and no home runs. That might be a better predictor of tonight’s results, despite the small sample size.

Anthony DeSclafani missed all of last year and part of 2018 with elbow and oblique injuries. He’s thrown pretty well in 13 starts this year, including June 23 at GABP against the Cubs: 6⅓ innings, two runs.

He’s been very good this month: three starts. 0.83 ERA, at least seven innings in all three. He shut down a pretty good hitting Diamondbacks team August 10, with seven shutout innings.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Cincinnati markets).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

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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.

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