SEATTLE — These teams don’t play often, and they have little in common. There’s just one former Mariner on the current Cubs active roster: Steve Cishek. (Mike Montgomery, of course, was acquired by the Cubs from the Mariners, but he’s not currently on the active roster.)
For the Mariners, there’s just one former Cub on their active roster: reliever Zac Rosscup. Of course, there’s the famed Daniel Vogelbach, player of 10,000 trade rumors here at BCB (and who was sent to Seattle in the Montgomery deal). He’s finally hitting like some thought he would, having by far his best season in his brief big-league career. I wish him well, though I hope he doesn’t hit much in this series.
For anyone at the game tonight or tomorrow, check the BCB Twitter feed for my seat location.
- This series is the Cubs’ third interleague series of the season. Previously, they lost two of three at the Rangers to begin 2019 and split a rain-shortened two-game set vs. the Angels at Wrigley, April 12-13. Since the start of 2015, the Cubs are 52-33 (.612) 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). The Astros will be the Cubs’ next interleague opponent, in Houston May 27-28-29.
- With a 14-12 record entering tonight, the Cubs are assured of a winning March/April for the fifth straight year. The last time the Cubs had a winning March/April in at least five straight seasons was during a six-year run from 1921-26.
- Tonight will be the Cubs’ 10th consecutive road game in which the ballpark features a retractable roof. It started with three games at Miller Park in Milwaukee (April 5-7) followed by three games at Marlins Park in Miami (April 15-17) and the three at Chase Field this past weekend. The streak will end at 11 tomorrow as the Cubs’ next road series is at Cincinnati.
- The Cubs have scored 68 runs with two outs in an inning this season, tied for third most in the majors with Milwaukee, behind only the Dodgers (73) and Mariners (72). And, Cubs hitters have a team OPS of .866 with two outs in an inning, tops in the majors … the Dodgers are second (.861).
Here are today’s particulars.
Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Felix Hernandez, RHP
What year is this, 2014?
Cole Hamels is in his 14th MLB season and Felix Hernandez is in his 15th. These two have matched up three previous times, twice in 2016 and once in 2017 while Hamels was with the Rangers. (In fact, check out who relieved King Felix in this game vs. Hamels.)
Neither pitcher is what he once was, though Hamels has been quite good since he came to the Cubs last August: 17 starts, 2.59 ERA, 1.068 WHIP in 107⅔ innings.
This year, Hamels had a rough first start but since then: four starts, 2.05 ERA, 0.835 WHIP, 26 strikeouts in 26⅓ innings. Current members of the Mariners are hitting .263 (36-for-137) against him with seven home runs.
Felix Hernandez hasn’t really been “King Felix” since 2014, but he has made five starts this year, four of which can be described as decent-to-good. His last time out, April 24, he threw seven innings vs. the Padres and allowed three hits and one run, striking out eight.
He was the starter July 31, 2016 at Wrigley Field against the Cubs in that famous game that Jon Lester eventually won with a walkoff bunt. That’s the only time he’s started against the Cubs since 2010. The only Cub who has more than a handful of at-bats against him is Ben Zobrist (6-for-39, 12 strikeouts).
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. If you have “cut the cord,” NBC Sports Chicago games can be streamed in the Cubs’ market territory via Fubo. Sign up for Fubo here.
SB Nation game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Mariners site Lookout Landing. If you do go there to interact with Mariners fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.
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.