For those of you who were hoping to see Mike Trout in this series, it’s not going to happen:
Mike Trout has been ruled out for the Los Angeles Angels’ weekend series against the Chicago Cubs after he strained his right groin during the team’s last homestand.
Unfortunate, as the Angels don’t come to Wrigley often in the current schedule configuration, but injuries happen. From that article link, it doesn’t seem as if Trout will miss too much time.
- Cole Hamels’ eight-inning, one-run performance Friday lowered his Wrigley Field ERA to 1.606 in 13 career starts there. That’s now the lowest of anyone in MLB history, surpassing Sal Maglie, whose career ERA at Wrigley was 1.61 in 18 appearances (13 starts).
- The Cubs are 2-2 in interleague play so far this year. Since the start of 2015, the Cubs are 52-32 (.619) in interleague play, the top mark among all N.L. clubs and third in the majors behind Boston (60-23/.723) and Houston (55-25/.688).
- ICYMI, the Cubs ran a nice tribute video for Tommy La Stella on the video board at Wrigley before Friday’s game:
Cubs pay tribute to Tommy La Stella. pic.twitter.com/mTTzxjjNIM— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 12, 2019
Here are today’s particulars.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Chris Stratton, RHP
Kyle Hendricks has made two starts this year and given up an alarmingly large number of hits... 18 in 8⅓ innings. He’s also issued more walks than usual, four in those 8⅓ innings, for a ridiculously high 2.640 WHIP.
That’s simply got to change. Hendricks has had lower velocity than usual so far this year, and that’s fairly normal for him. He’s also had trouble in the first inning again, as he did last year: 9.00 ERA in the first inning, 3.82 in all other innings (small sample size, of course).
Here’s an article that goes into detail on what Kyle is trying to do to eliminate those first-inning issues:
“Just trying to change something up routine-wise — trying to get myself in a better mindset going into that first inning,” Hendricks said. “That seems to be where I’m making my bad pitches. Maybe try and change something up in my pregame. That way I can go out with an aggressive mindset making pitches right out of the gate and not just getting loose.”
Hope it works. Kyle has never faced the Angels, and current Angels are hitting .190 (11-for-58) against him.
I thought Chris Stratton looked familiar, then I realized he’d been with the Giants until... two days before Opening Day, when the Angels traded for him. He’s made two starts for LAA this year and not finished the fifth inning in either of them.
Last year, he started against the Cubs May 26 at Wrigley Field and allowed three runs in five innings, two of them on homers by Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez. More of that would work for me today. That game is Stratton’s only career appearance against the Cubs.
Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago.
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.