Today’s weird fun fact:
Odd: all three games where Addison Russell has homered this season, Albert Almora homered as well.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) May 27, 2019
May 15, May 25 and today. #Cubs
- Anthony Rizzo yesterday hit his 15th homer of the season, a two-run shot off Gerrit Cole in the first inning. In doing so he became just the second Cubs left-handed hitter to reach 15 homers prior to June 1, joining Billy Williams, who hit 15 homers entering June 1970. Besides Rizzo and Williams, just four other Cubs have reached 15 home runs prior to June 1: Hank Sauer (16 in 1954), Dave Kingman (15 in 1979), Sammy Sosa (five times, last in 2002 with 19) and Derrek Lee (16 in 2005).
- The Cubs have hit 16 homers in their last six games, hitting at least two in each of those contests. The last time the Cubs recorded multiple homers in six-straight games was during a seven-game run, August 17-23, 2016. And, the team’s 85 home runs rank second in the N.L. behind the Brewers (90) and are tied for fifth in the majors.
- The Cubs feature four players with at least 12 home runs (Rizzo, 15; Javier Baez, 13; Kris Bryant, 12; Willson Contreras, 12), as they join the Mariners as the only MLB teams with four players (Daniel Vogelbach, 15; Jay Bruce, 13; Edwin Encarnacion, 13; Mitch Haniger, 13) with 12 or more homers this season.
- Cole Hamels yesterday threw four innings without recording a strikeout, bringing to close an amazing, decade-plus streak of recording at least one strikeout in 343-consecutive outings, dating to May 31, 2008. According to the Baseball-Reference Play Index, that’s the fifth-longest such streak since 1908, behind Nolan Ryan (382 games), Randy Johnson (351), Javier Vazquez (349) and Dwight Gooden (349).
Here are today’s particulars.
Jason Heyward, back in the lineup. Kris Bryant, out for another day.
The Astros are also banged up, missing Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer. The Astros official Twitter account didn’t send out their lineup before posting time, so you get one from their MLB.com beat writer.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Corbin Martin, RHP
Jon Lester got off to a really good start this year and then... clunk. Last two starts: 9.72 ERA, 2.280 WHIP, three home runs in 8⅓ innings... yikes. Here’s what Jon said about his last outing:
Jon Lester: “Something’s off. Stating the obvious. Something doesn’t feel right. Obviously, the last two starts, the results speak for themselves. I got to figure it out.” pic.twitter.com/N1IqQemNcW— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) May 23, 2019
Hopefully, he’s figured it out. Jon did throw seven shutout innings against the Astros the last time the Cubs were in Houston, September 9, 2016.
Corbin Martin, who was the Astros’ second-round pick in 2017, is making his fourth major-league start. The other three run from “decent” to “bad.” He has yet to throw six innings in a big-league start.
He has obviously never faced the Cubs, nor anyone on their current roster. Fangraphs says Martin relies mostly on his fastball, which he can dial up to 95. Beyond that he throws mostly cutters.
The Cubs often struggle against guys they haven’t seen before. Hopefully they have a good scouting report on Martin.
Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago.
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.