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Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies preview, Thursday 5/23, 1:20 CT

The Cubs look to take this four-game set from the visitors from Philadelphia.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Thursday notes:

  • Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer off the right field video board in the third inning Wednesday night. It marked the 11th home run off the right field video board since its introduction in 2015, including the third by Rizzo, whose previous homer off the right field video board was also against Philadelphia, June 6, 2018 off today’s starter, Aaron Nola.
  • Kris Bryant is 5-for-8 with two doubles, one walk and four runs scored in his last two games and leads the team with 40 runs scored.
  • Javier Baez’ homer Wednesday night was his first in his last 15 games, since May 4 against the Cardinals.
  • Wednesday’s was the second four-inning relief outing for Tyler Chatwood this season, tying his career high. His outstanding outing lowered his season ERA to 2.86 (nine earned runs in 28⅓ innings). Over his last five appearances: 1.38 ERA, 1.380 WHIP in 13 innings.
  • The Cubs are 5-0 in games following a walkoff win this season, are 10-3 vs. the Phillies at Wrigley Field since 2016, and Wednesday was the second time they hit three homers in a game at Wrigley this year. They have done that eight times on the road.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Phillies lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Aaron Nola, RHP

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester had a clunker in his last outing, and if you’ve been watching Lester long enough, you’ll know that this happens from time to time, even when he’s having an otherwise good season.

Last year, Jon threw six shutout innings against the Phillies September 2 in Philadelphia. Current members of the Phillies are hitting .228 (37-for-162) against Jon with seven home runs, three of them by that pesky Sean Rodriguez.

Aaron Nola, who finished third in N.L. Cy Young voting last year, got absolutely torched in his first five starts this year (6.84 ERA, seven home runs in 25 innings), but he has been much better in the last five (2.30 ERA, 1.427 WHIP, just two home runs in 27⅓ innings), so he’s trending in a positive direction.

Nola was Lester’s opponent in that September 2, 2018 game and he allowed four runs in 5⅔ innings, although he struck out 11 Cubs. No current Cub has more than six career at-bats against Nola, though Anthony Rizzo has homered twice off him (along with three walks).

Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Phillies site The Good Phight. If you do go there to interact with Phillies 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.