Yu Darvish has made nine straight starts without a decision. If he has another no-decision this afternoon, he will tie the major-league record for such things, which was set by Dick Stigman in 1965 and tied by John D’Acquisto and Randy Lerch in 1977. (This excludes “openers” who have been used as starters the last couple of years.) More on Darvish below.
Also, the Cubs have not won three in a row since they swept the Cardinals at Wrigley Field June 7-9, two weeks ago. About time they started another nice long winning streak.
- Adbert Alzolay became the first Cub reliever to earn a win in his big league debut since Marc Pisciotta, June 30, 1997 vs. the Royals, and the first Cub reliever to pitch at least four innings and earn a win in his big league debut since Ed Hanyzewski, May 12, 1942 vs the Braves.
- Tyler Chatwood has a 1.80 ERA (two earned runs in 10 innings) in two starts this season with the Cubs winning both of those games, and has a 2.35 ERA (six earned runs in 23 innings) in nine outings at Wrigley Field this season (Cubs are 8-1 in those games).
- The Cubs are 15-2 against the Mets at Wrigley Field since 2015, and are 15-1 in their last 16 home night games against the Mets.
- The Cubs’ six-run third inning was the seventh time this year they had scored at least six runs in an inning. That’s tops in MLB this season, and the Cubs had just eight innings all of last year when they scored six or more runs. (Told you the Cubs were doing just fine at scoring runs this year.)
Here are today’s particulars.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Jason Vargas, LHP
It appears to me, at least, that Yu Darvish has turned a corner and is finally becoming the pitcher the Cubs hoped they had when they signed him before the 2018 season.
Last four starts: 2.96 ERA, 0.863 WHIP, 24 strikeouts in 24⅓ innings, .197 opponents BA. Keep that up and it’ll be a successful season for Darvish.
Darvish last faced the Mets August 4, 2017. It was the first start he made for the Dodgers after his trade there from the Rangers. He threw seven shutout innings with 10 strikeouts. That’d do. Unfortunately a lot of the Mets players in that game aren’t on the team anymore. Only Robinson Cano (9-for-25, one HR) has more than a handful of career AB vs. Darvish. Perhaps that will be to his advantage.
Jason Vargas. Seems like he’s been around forever, right? How long has that been? In his rookie year with the Marlins, 2005, one of his teammates was Al Leiter, who has been a baseball broadcaster for 13 years and whose son was just drafted by the Yankees.
Vargas has actually pitched fairly well this year: 3.74 ERA, 1.337 WHIP and 1.1 bWAR. He last faced the Cubs August 29, 2018, a game which a lot of us felt Joe Maddon used as a “throwaway” game after beating the Mets in the first two games of that series. That day, Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward and Javier Baez didn’t start and Vargas shut that “split squad” lineup down with one run in 5⅓ innings.
Current Cubs are 3-for-23 overall against him, a small sample size that means almost nothing.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Mets market territories). 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.