Despite all the Cubs’ troubles, here’s where they rank in the National League entering tonight’s action:
Runs: third (six behind the first-ranking Dodgers)
OPS: third (eight points behind the first-ranking Dodgers)
ERA+: second (one behind the first-ranking Diamondbacks)
Relief ERA: first
That’s still a pretty, pretty good team. For all the injuries and mediocre performances by some, the 2018 Cubs still have the best record in the N.L. and enter Friday with a 99.9 percent chance of making the postseason and a 76.8 percent chance of winning the N.L. Central, per Fangraphs.
I’ll take those odds. Now go out there and beat the Reds tonight.
Here are today’s particulars.
Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Matt Harvey, RHP
Hey, remember this game? It was only three weeks ago. Cole Hamels threw a magnificent eight-hit, one-run complete game against the Reds at Wrigley Field.
Just do it again, Cole!
Seriously, Hamels has saved this rotation since he was acquired. Since that CG he hasn’t been quite as awesome, but still has a 2.70 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in three starts covering 16⅔ innings, with just one home run allowed (the only HR he’s given up as a Cub). Current Reds are hitting .212 (18-for-85) against Hamels with no home runs.
Matt Harvey held the Cubs to five hits and one run in 5⅓ innings August 24 at Wrigley Field. Overall against the Cubs this year: three starts, 2.65 ERA, 1.294 WHIP, no home runs in 17 innings. That’s pretty good.
But in his last three starts, Harvey appears to have run out of gas: 5.63 ERA, 1.563 WHIP, four home runs allowed in 16 innings. Hopefully, that means the Cubs bats will have a good night against him.
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.