- With Thursday night’s performance, the Cubs bullpen is now on a streak of 17⅔ scoreless innings dating back to Saturday. The bullpen ERA is still over six (6.07), but dropping rapidly!
- After this weekend series against the Angels, the Cubs’ next interleague series will be two games against the Mariners in Seattle, April 30 and May 1. That will make eight of their 20 interleague games among the season’s first 29 scheduled games.
- A brief note on the weather, which looks good for Friday and Saturday: Sunday’s forecast is pretty bad, with rain/snow expected almost all day. Making up a game against a West Coast interleague opponent is problematic, as the Cubs and Angels have few mutual off days, and travel is a factor. What they’ll do if Sunday’s game can’t be played is anyone’s guess at this point.
Weird stat of the day:
Record in games scoring 10+ runs:#Cubs: 3-2— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) April 12, 2019
Rest of MLB: 29-0
Here are today’s particulars.
Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Tyler Skaggs, LHP
Cole Hamels has one good start and one mediocre one for the Cubs so far this year. Last year, despite spending much of the year in the A.L. West, he faced the Angels only once, June 2, 2018 at Anaheim, and that outing was a good one: seven innings, two runs, eight strikeouts. I’d take another one of those today.
Historically, he’s got a lot of experience against current Angels hitters. They are hitting .231 against him (58-for-251) with nine home runs, three of those by Albert Pujols. Of course, Pujols isn’t the hitter he once was.
Hamels pitched particularly well at Wrigley last year, with a 1.55 ERA and 1.008 WHIP in six starts. Let’s hope that continues.
Tyler Skaggs has one good start and one mediocre one this year... hmm, that sounds familiar. He has faced the Cubs just once in his career, back in 2013, and I pass the boxscore along for amusement value only. Only one current Cubs hitter has ever faced him: Anthony Rizzo, 0-for-3 in that 2013 game, so that doesn’t mean much either.
His fourseam fastball is straight as an arrow, has essentially average velo and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers. His curve has an exceptional bite, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ curves and has slight glove-side movement. His change has surprising cut action, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups and is slightly firmer than usual.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Angels market territories).
SB Nation game preview
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The 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.