Happy birthday to Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr., who turns 27 today.
Other Labor Day notes:
- Since finding themselves 29-23 and 4½ games behind the Brewers in the N.L. Central Division after the games of May 30, the Cubs have since gone 52-32 (.619) in their last 84 games, a 100-win pace over 162 games, to make up 9½ games in the standings over the second-place Brewers. The Cubs have played five games better than the third-place St. Louis Cardinals in this span.
- Javier Baez is just the fifth player in major-league history to reach 35 doubles, nine triples, 30 homers, 100 RBI and 20 stolen bases in a single season. The others: Carlos Beltran (2004), Andre Dawson (1983), Hank Aaron (1961) and Chuck Klein (1932).
- Baez is the first player in Cubs franchise history to reach 35 doubles, 30 homers, 100 RBI and 20 stolen bases in the same season.
- On Sunday, Baez played in his 500th big league game, all with the Cubs. Javy has hit the fourth-most home runs in franchise history among all players who began their career with the Cubs in their first 500 games. Kris Bryant hit 102, Ernie Banks hit 100, Billy Williams hit 78 and Javy is at 77 home runs through 500 career games. (H/T: STATS Inc.)
- Cubs starting pitchers have a 2.21 ERA (24 earned runs in 97⅔ innings) in their last 17 games starting August 16 after posting a 5.23 ERA in their 17 starts prior to this stretch
Here are today’s particulars.
This will make four consecutive Cole Hamels starts caught by Victor Caratini. Results over the last three: 0.43 ERA, 1.143 WHIP, one run in 21 innings. Personal catcher, perhaps?
Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Zach Davies, RHP
You all know how outstanding Cole Hamels has been since he came to the Cubs: 4-0, 0.69 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 38 strikeouts in 39 innings, just three earned runs allowed and no home runs.
He’ll have a challenge with the Brewers offense, which ranks second in the N.L. with 183 home runs. Hamels last faced the Brewers September 28, 2016, and many of those players aren’t on the team anymore.
Among current Brewers, Ryan Braun hits him well: 13-for-37 (.351), three home runs. So the usual advice holds: Keep Braun down and you’ve probably won this game.
Zach Davies has spent three months on the disabled list with back problems; this is his first big-league start since May.
He did make two starts against the Cubs before the injury and posted a 2.31 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in 11⅔ innings. Current Cubs are hitting .276 (54-for-196) against Davies with six home runs, two HR each by Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber.
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.