Today is MLB’s annual Jackie Robinson Day, where MLB honors the pioneer African-American player. All the Cubs and Marlins will wear Jackie’s No. 42, which is now retired throughout the major leagues.
Other notes for tonight:
- The Cubs have made it to the middle of April with just one postponement. Last year the Cubs endured five postponements within April alone. A make-up date for yesterday’s snowout has yet to be set, though the only logical choice is Monday, August 26.
- At Sunday’s scheduled game time, 1:20 p.m. CT, Wrigleyville “enjoyed” near whiteout conditions, a 33-degree temperature and 18-degree wind chill. About seven hours later, the Cubs landed in Miami to an 86-degree night, a 68-degree increase in “feels like” temperature.
- On Saturday, the Cubs drew seven walks and are tied for fourth in the N.L. with 63 on the season. Anthony Rizzo’s 10 walks are tied for eighth in the N.L. Ben Zobrist has drawn nine free passes compared to just five strikeouts in 48 plate appearances while Jason Heyward has eight walks and only four strikeouts in 50 plate appearances this season.
- On the flip side, Cubs pitching leads the majors with 67 walks issued, tied with the Cardinals for second most in the majors, one behind the Braves.
- Willson Contreras’ .763 slugging percentage is fourth in the National League while Jason Heyward’s .700 mark ranks fifth. Overall, the Cubs rank third in the N.L. with a .461 team SLG.
- The Cubs also rank third in the N.L. in home runs per game (1.64). The Dodgers lead with a 2.06 average while the Brewers are second (1.69).
- Lastly, the Cubs also rank third in the National League with an .820 team OPS, trailing the Dodgers (.904) and Braves (.830).
Here are today’s particulars.
Please don’t hyperventilate because Kyle Schwarber got a night off.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Trevor Richards, RHP
Well, any time the good Yu Darvish would like to show up would be fine with me.
Progress was made in Darvish’s last start — he didn’t walk anyone. And he set a season high in innings, 5⅓. Baby steps, right?
Still, he has a WHIP that would be the worst in the National League, except he hasn’t thrown enough innings to qualify. Darvish is, apparently, 100 percent healthy, so it’s not that. What is it? If you know, please contact one T. Hottovy, c/o Wrigley Field.
Current members of the Marlins are a small sample size 6-for-35 (.171) against him. The only Marlin who has more than a handful of at-bats against Darvish is Curtis Granderson (1-for-12). So there’s that, anyway.
Trevor Richards made 25 starts for the Marlins last year, none of which were against the Cubs. He put up decent enough numbers for a rookie: 4.42 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 1.385 WHIP, 0.2 bWAR.
His three starts this year have been pretty good. Last time out he allowed one hit — but five walks! — to the Reds. Shades of Tyler Chatwood!
The only Cub he’s ever faced is Daniel Descalso (0-for-1), so that doesn’t tell us much. Here are the types of pitches Richards throws, mostly fastballs, curves and changeups, with average velocity at 90.8.
Seriously, with a good enough scouting report the Cubs should be able to hit this guy.
Today’s game is on WGN.
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.