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Chicago Cubs vs. Seattle Mariners preview, Wednesday 5/1, 5:40 CT

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The Cubs go for the sweep of this brief two-game set.

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

SEATTLE — Here is what I would like for this afternoon’s game: A win, with less drama than Tuesday night. I’m pretty sure you’d all be on board with that.

Notes for today:

  • The Cubs have won three straight games. The team is 10-3 in its last 13 games and 12-4 in its last 16. After starting the season 1-6, the Cubs have gone 14-6 to put them at their current 15-12 record, a season-high three games over .500.
  • Since joining the Cubs in 2015, Jon Lester is 5-0 with a 1.36 ERA (five earned runs in 33 innings) in five starts against A.L. West teams. That includes Opening Day this year where he earned the 12-4 win in Texas (two earned runs in six innings). Jon is 10-7 with a 3.58 ERA (48 earned runs in 120⅔ innings) in 20 interleague starts for the Cubs. More on Lester below.
  • In his last 10 games, Anthony Rizzo has nine extra-base hits and batted .342 (13-for-38) with a 1.231 OPS.
  • Kris Bryant, who last night produced exit velocities of 105.4 mph (line out), 105.0 mph (fly out), 110.6 mph (double) and 108.3 mph (line out) to go along with a walk, has reached safely in 11 straight games since April 17, posting a .392 OBP in that span while walking more (eight times) than striking out (six).
  • The Cubs have scored 71 runs with two outs in an inning this year, third most in the majors behind only the Dodgers (75) and Mariners (74). Cubs hitters have a team OPS of .874 with two outs in an inning, tops in the majors. The Dodgers are second (.858).

SITE NOTE: Because of the early-evening (Central time) start of this game and the likelihood that it will end around 9 p.m. CT, the recap of this game will post at 8 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, May 2.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Mariners lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Marco Gonzales, LHP

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester returned from a hamstring injury and threw very well last Thursday against the Dodgers. Overall this year he’s made four starts covering 19 innings, and has a 2.37 ERA, 1.211 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 19 innings.

Jon last faced the Mariners July 29, 2016 at Wrigley Field. No one from that game is currently on the Mariners’ active roster, so that has limited predictive value. Current members of the Mariners are hitting .213 (23-for-108) against Jon with six home runs. Three of those are by Edwin Encarnacion, but overall Encarnacion is only 10-for-47 (.213) against Lester.

Hey, look! Another former Cardinal for the Cubs to face. Hard to believe he’s only 27, seems like he’s been around for quite a while.

Marco Gonzales was traded by St. Louis to the Mariners in 2017 for Tyler O’Neill. He made 29 starts for Seattle last year and posted a 4.00 ERA and 0.9 bWAR.

This year he’s been pretty good, with a 2.80 ERA and 1.200 WHIP in seven starts. He has faced the Cubs only once in his career, August 30, 2014, and I provide this boxscore mainly for amusement value. The only current Cub he’s faced is Javier Baez (0-for-3).

Gonzales has four pitches that he uses interchangeably, mainly relying on offspeed stuff since his fastball isn’t dominant. More on his pitch selections here.

Today’s game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

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.