Lots of Cubs things that happened in August:
- Javier Baez is the first Cub to end August with both 29 homers and 98 RBI since Sammy Sosa entered September 2001 with 52 homers and 135 RBI, and is the first Cubs middle infielder to reach 29 homers and 98 RBI by the end of August since Ernie Banks in 1960, who that year had 37 homers and 105 RBI heading into September. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
- Anthony Rizzo batted .340 in 28 games in August (35-for-103) with seven doubles, seven home runs, a .430 on-base percentage and a .612 slugging percentage, good for a 1.042 OPS.
- Tommy La Stella set a Cubs franchise record Friday evening with his 21st pinch hit of 2018. In the last 20 seasons starting in 1999, La Stella is one of only 10 players to reach 21 pinch hits in a single season.
- Jesse Chavez had a 1.88 ERA (three earned runs in 14⅓ innings) in 12 appearances in August, tied for the fifth lowest ERA of any National League relief pitcher last month with at least 14 innings pitched.
- Cole Hamels went 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA (three earned runs in 39 innings) in six starts with the Cubs in August, the lowest ERA of any qualifying pitcher in baseball and one of only three National Leaguers to go a perfect 4-0 or better.
Here are today’s particulars.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Zach Eflin, RHP
At last, over his last four starts Kyle Hendricks has finally started looking more like the Kyle we’ve been used to over the last three seasons: 2.77 ERA, 1.192 WHIP, only four walks and no home runs allowed in 26 innings. In fact, Kyle’s almost completely stopped allowing the long ball: 16 HR allowed in his first 16 starts this year (92 innings), only four over his last 11 starts (66⅔ innings).
This game is a pitching rematch of the game June 5 at Wrigley Field. That one didn’t go so well for Kyle, as he allowed five runs and a home run in five innings, and Zach Eflin threw 7⅔ solid innings, allowing just one run.
As good as Hendricks has been recently, that’s how bad Eflin has been. Last eight starts for Eflin: 5.53 ERA, 1.488 WHIP, nine home runs allowed in 42⅓ innings. Let’s hope the Cubs can get to him like that tonight.
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.