Notes for today:
- Tonight’s game concludes a stretch of 16 straight without a day off, and also caps a run of 26 games in 27 days that began May 3. The team is 14-11 in the 16-game span.
- The Cubs have hit 21 homers in their last seven games, hitting at least two in each of those contests. The last time before this that they had multiple homers in seven straight games was August 17-23, 2016 and tonight look to tie the franchise record of eight consecutive games with multiple home runs, done nearly 58 years ago from June 25-July 2, 1961. The major-league record for this is nine games. It’s been done five times, most recently by the 2016 Cardinals.
- The Cubs have 49 home runs this month, the most in any calendar month in franchise history, surpassing August 2004 and August 2017 (48 homers), with two games to go in the month. Also, they have hit 90 home runs this season, a pace for 275. The franchise record is 235, set in 2004.
- The Cubs are 1-4 with a 7.84 ERA (36 earned runs in 41⅓ innings) in five games in the state of Texas this year, including the season-opening three-game set at the Rangers and the first two of the three game series in Houston. In the Cubs’ 48 other games, they are 29-19 with a 3.61 ERA (176 earned runs in 439⅓ innings). Fortunately, after today they will not play any more regular-season games in Texas for at least three years.
Here are today’s particulars.
Kris Bryant returns, at DH, with Javier Baez playing third base tonight. I like this lineup.
Or, “Astros.” Once again, you get Houston’s MLB.com beat writer tweet because the team didn’t send one out prior to this preview posting.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Wade Miley, LHP
After a really good run of three starts, Kyle Hendricks’ last two outings haven’t been quite as good, though he did strike out nine Reds in six innings last Friday.
Kyle has never faced the Astros and just one player on the current Houston roster (Robinson Chirinos) has ever faced him. This could work to Kyle’s advantage, as his pitching style is quite unusual in modern baseball. Let’s hope so.
Wade Miley made two starts against the Cubs last year and posted a 2.45 ERA and 0.909 WHIP in 11 total innings. He hasn’t been quite as dominant for the Astros this year, though most of his starts can be characterized as “good” and he has gone six innings in seven of his 11 outings. He’s been really good at MMP (2.15 ERA in five starts) this year.
Current Cubs are hitting just .214 (18-for-84) against Miley with two home runs (Addison Russell and Albert Almora Jr.) Kris Bryant is 5-for-11 against him, so maybe this is a good day for KB to return.
Clearly, we are doomed.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on ESPN — no blackouts. ESPN announcers tonight: Jon Sciambi and David Ross with Jeff Passan reporting.
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.