Happy birthday to Cubs infielder David Bote, who turns 26 today.
Other notes for Sunday:
- Jason Heyward last night became the first Cub since 1900 to record multiple home runs and multiple steals in the same game. Heyward is just the 14th N.L. player in the last 100 seasons to record multiple steals and homers in the same game (previously done by Ender Inciarte of the Braves, August 17, 2017 at Colorado).
- Cubs catchers Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini have combined for a major league-best .462 average (12-for-26) while behind the plate. Willson and Victor also lead MLB catchers with a .611 OBP, a .923 slugging mark and a 1.534 OPS and their nine RBI are tied for the most by any team’s catchers with the Diamondbacks.
- The Cubs are the sixth team in the Live Ball Era to score 10 runs and collect 10 hits four times in their first eight games. (H/T: ESPN Stats & Info) The Cubs’ 60 runs scored ranks fourth in the majors behind the Mariners (73), Dodgers (72) and D-backs (61) and the team’s 7.50 runs per game ranks second in the majors behind the Mariners (8.00).
- Good walk news: The Cubs rank fourth in the N.L. with 42 walks drawn while Anthony Rizzo ranks tied for sixth with seven walks.
- Bad walk news: Cubs pitching has issued 49 walks in the first eight games, the most in the majors (the Cardinals are second with 46).
Here are today’s particulars.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Zach Davies, RHP
Kyle Hendricks gave up way too many hits (10) in his first 2019 start in just 4⅓ innings. He could have used some help from his defense, as well as some calls from the plate umpire.
But Kyle won’t make excuses and it’s time for him to step up. Last year he posted a 3.91 ERA in four starts vs. the Brewers, with 19 strikeouts in 23 innings. Brewers batters are hitting .225 (40-for-178) against Kyle with four home runs, three of those by Travis Shaw, so there’s the guy to shut down today.
If not for that facial hair, you’d probably think that photo above of Zach Davies was of some random 14-year-old.
Davies, though, is a pretty good pitcher who posted a 2.16 ERA in three starts against the Cubs last year. Current Cubs are hitting .243 (45-for-185) against him, and Kris Bryant is the guy who hits him best (.371, 13-for-35, two doubles, a triple, two home runs). Kyle Schwarber has also homered twice off Davies in 18 career at-bats.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Milwaukee 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.