Notes for Wednesday:
- KEEPING THE RUNS DOWN AT HOME: Jon Lester enters tonight’s outing with a 2.45 ERA (10 earned runs in 36⅔ innings) in seven Wrigley Field starts, walking six and striking out 38. That home ERA is sixth in the N.L. (minimum seven games started), just behind Cole Hamels’ 2.38 ERA at Wrigley Field this season.
- BACK TO MVP FORM: Kris Bryant last night was 3-for-4 and recorded his sixth three-hit game of the season, tied for the team lead with Javier Baez. It was KB’ss second three-hit effort in his last five games, a stretch in which he is 8-for- 17 (.471) with two solo home runs. Also, Bryant on Friday hit his 122nd home run, tying Jody Davis for 18th on the franchise’s all-time home run list. Baez is just two homers short of becoming the 23rd player in club history to reach 100 homers.
- NORTH SIDE vs. SOUTH SIDE: Anthony Rizzo’s .442 on-base percentage in 29 career games against the White Sox is the highest mark of any Cub in the history of the crosstown series (minimum 50 PA). Kyle Schwarber’s 1.059 career OPS against the White Sox leads Cubs hitters all-time.
- MORE SCHWARBS: Kyle belted his fourth leadoff homer Tuesday night and has a .571 slugging percentage and an .885 OPS in 30 games out of the leadoff spot this season. Among N.L. leadoff hitters, he ranks third in slugging and fourth in OPS (minimum 100 PA).
Here are today’s particulars.
White Sox lineup:
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Lucas Giolito, RHP
Maybe look at his start vs. the Sox last year? Nope, mediocre, but the Cubs did win the game.
Jon does have a history of rebounding from bad outings. Current Sox players are a small sample size 16-for-67 (.239) against him with 22 strikeouts, so there’s that.
The transformation of Lucas Giolito has been amazing. He was literally the worst starting pitcher in the major leagues in 2018, -1.3 bWAR, led the majors in earned runs (118) and would have led in walks (90) if not for Tyler Chatwood, and Giolito threw 70 more innings than Chatwood.
This year, Giolito has been among the top starters in baseball and especially over his last eight starts, in which he has posted a 0.94 ERA and 0.750 WHIP, with 65 strikeouts in 57⅓ innings. This was the guy the Sox hoped they were getting when they sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals for him after the 2016 season.
The Cubs hit him pretty well last year, though, as he posted a 5.84 ERA and 1.541 WHIP in two starts. Current Cubs are a small sample size 6-for-41 (.146) against him, though one of those hits was a home run by Javier Baez.
Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago. It’s also on NBC Sports Chicago with the White Sox announcers. If you have “cut the cord,” NBC Sports Chicago games can be streamed in the Cubs’ market territory via Fubo. Sign up for Fubo here.
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.