It rained pretty hard early Friday morning in Chicago and storms are expected this evening, but this afternoon looks dry and good for baseball.
- Anthony Rizzo had a season-high four hits Thursday, tying his career high. He leads the team with 13 homers, including nine homers in his last 20 games, and also leads in RBI with 37. He’s on a five-game hitting streak (.476/.542/1.000, 10-for-21) with seven runs scored and eight RBI.
- Javier Baez recorded his 30th extra-base hit of the season Thursday, a double. Javy is the first Cub with at least 30 extra-base hits in the team’s first 48 games since Mark Grace in 1995. I should note here that Javy still looked like he was moving around slowly on that injured heel Thursday and seems like he could use another day off.
- Kyle Schwarber, last nine games: .273/.381/.636 (9-for-30) with a double, a triple, three home runs, seven walks and nine runs scored.
- Albert Almora Jr., last 18 games (15 starts): .308/.328/.585 (20-for-65) with six doubles, four home runs, 12 RBI and 13 runs scored.
Here are today’s particulars.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Anthony DeSclafani, RHP
Kyle Hendricks had one of his best outings of the year 10 days ago in Cincinnati: eight innings, three hits, one run, one walk, seven strikeouts. The only run was a solo homer by Joey Votto.
He followed that up with a clunker in Washington. At this point I want to note Hendricks’ home/road splits for 2019:
Home: four starts, 29 innings, 0.62 ERA, 0.724 WHIP, no home runs
Road: five starts, 27 innings, 6.00 ERA, 1.662 WHIP, five home runs
And that road ERA and WHIP is down from earlier this year. I don’t know why Kyle has these extreme splits, but it should bode well for this afternoon. Also:
Day games: four starts, 25 innings, 2.16 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, one home run
Night games: five starts, 31 innings, 4.06 ERA, 1.323 WHIP, four home runs
Conclusion: Start Hendricks only in day games at Wrigley Field and he’ll win the Cy Young Award. (Yes, I know you can’t do that. Still, those splits are pretty weird.)
Anthony DeSclafani was throwing pretty well this year and then, oh, no, his last three starts: 7.07 ERA, 1.429 WHIP, five home runs in 14 innings.
He last faced the Cubs August 23, 2018 at Wrigley, and Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez homered off him in that game. Overall current Cubs are hitting .247 (24-for-97) against DeSclafani with three home runs (also Willson Contreras).
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Reds 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.