- The Cubs enter tonight’s game with a plus-22 run differential, the third-best in the N.L. behind the Cardinals (+30) and Dodgers (+24).
- Cole Hamels has a 1.61 ERA (16 earned runs in 90⅔ innings) in 13 career starts at Wrigley Field. That’s the lowest ERA for any pitcher with at least a dozen career starts at Wrigley, percentage points ahead of Sal Maglie, who went 8-1 with a 1.61 ERA in 18 games (13 starts, 19 earned runs in 106⅓ innings) there from 1945-58. More on Hamels below.
- Cubs starting pitchers in the team’s last 10 games have posted a 1.39 ERA (10 earned runs in 64⅔ IP), walking 15 and striking out 70 while holding the opponent to a .182 average (41-for-225).
- The Cubs bullpen has posted a 1.58 ERA (seven earned runs in 40 innings) and .624 OPS against in its last 13 games starting April 7, after posting a 9.51 ERA (31 earned runs in 29⅓ innings) and 1.041 OPS against in its first eight games from March 28-April 6.
Here are today’s particulars.
Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Walker Buehler, RHP
Like the rest of the Cubs rotation, Cole Hamels seems to be settling into a groove lately. Last three starts: 21 innings, 13 hits, NO walks, 19 strikeouts, 1.29 ERA. Let’s keep that going!
Current Dodgers are hitting .269 (21-for-78) against Cole with no home runs and 21 strikeouts.
Walker Buehler, the Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2015 (same round the Cubs took Ian Happ) is in his second full big-league season.
Last year he made 24 appearances, 23 of which were starts. The one relief outing? Against the Cubs June 28 at Dodger Stadium, and the Cubs pounded him, five runs in just one inning. Albert Almora Jr. homered off him.
We’d like another one of those, please. Buehler has made four starts this year, two good ones and two bad ones, alternating. If that pattern holds, he’s due for another bad one. (Yes, I know that’s not how it works, but I can hope, right?)
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.