Leading off tonight, we have a roster addition:
#Cubs select contract of LHP Jaime Garcia. Also OF Mark Zagunis recalled but placed on 60 day DL with right shoulder inflammation— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 4, 2018
The move of Mark Zagunis to the 60-day DL makes room for Garcia on the 40-man roster. The active roster now has 33 players (18 pitchers, 15 position players).
Jaime Garcia never did get into a game with Iowa, as the I-Cubs were rained out twice since he was acquired. I would expect Garcia to be used primarily as a LOOGY, as he held LHB to a .188 BA this season with the Blue Jays.
Also, I wanted to say just a few words about Anthony Rizzo, who has been hitting almost otherworldly recently. He got off to a horrendous start this year, but since May 1 has hit .309/.401/.543 with 23 home runs in 405 at-bats. His overall OPS for the season is now .868, pretty close to his career level, and he’s on track for another 30/100 season. Since August 15 he’s been carrying this team, hitting .408/.488/.789 (29-for-71) with six doubles, seven home runs, 12 walks and 16 runs scored.
Also, with one more home run Rizzo will become the ninth Cub with five 25-homer seasons, and just the third lefthanded hitter (Billy Williams, Bill Nicholson).
- The Cubs face lefthander Wade Miley tonight (more on Miley below). They are 19-10 against lefty starting pitchers this year, and the .655 winning percentage is tops among N.L. clubs. The Cubs have put up pretty consistent splits between righthanders and lefthanders this season. Their .262 BA against right-handed pitchers is just three points lower than the .265 average against lefties. And, the Cubs have posted a .339 OBP against righties and a .340 OBP against lefties.
- Cubs starting pitchers have a 2.26 ERA (26 earned runs in 103⅔ innings) in their last 18 games starting August 16 after posting a 5.23 ERA in their 17 starts prior to this stretch.
- Over the last four seasons starting in 2015, the Cubs have put together a 175-91 record after the All-Star Break, 84 games above .500, and the team’s .658 winning percentage is by far the best in baseball. The Indians are a distant second with a .612 mark (161-102) in that span, and the Cardinals are the next closest National League team with a 152-113 record.
- The Cubs will play 15 of their final 27 games against N.L. Central competition, though the two remaining games at Miller Park represent the last road games against divisional foes this season. The Cubs still have 13 games remaining against all four N.L. Central clubs at Wrigley Field.
Here are today’s particulars.
A day off for Daniel Murphy vs. the lefthander Wade Miley.
Mike Montgomery, LHP vs. Wade Miley, LHP
Mike Montgomery spent some time on the DL in August, and came back with a strong outing last Thursday against the Braves. The Cubs had gone briefly to a six-man rotation (including Alec Mills), but it appears for now, at least, they’ve gone back to the five-man, as Montgomery is throwing on four days’ rest.
The results from his last start (eight hits, four runs in 4⅓ innings) weren’t great, but I thought he pitched better than those numbers. Overall he’s got a 3.38 ERA and 1.345 WHIP in 18 starts this year, with just five HR allowed in 78⅓ innings. That’s pretty good.
On June 13 he started against the Brewers and allowed just two hits and a run in six innings. That’s very good. Here’s hoping for another one of those.
Wade Miley has had an injury-filled season. First he suffered a groin injury at the end of spring training; he came back and made two starts before an oblique injury put him out two months.
Since his return in July he’s posted a 2.28 ERA and 1.247 WHIP in nine starts with just three home runs allowed in 51⅓ innings.
The last time he faced the Cubs was July 15, 2017 when he was with the Orioles and Cubs hitters bashed him for nine hits and seven runs in 4⅔ innings, including home runs from Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell.
I’ll take one of those, please.
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.