Thanks to the Reds, who defeated the Brewers for the second straight night to keep the Cubs 1½ games in first place. Milwaukee has lost five straight and eight of their last 10. The Cardinals trail by two games and the Reds by 4½.
- Javier Baez recorded his fourth stolen base of the year Fridayu, and second in the past three games. His 10-pitch walk in the second inning was his longest plate appearance since August 1, 2018 at Pittsburgh (10). Also, Javy’s next home run will be the 100th of his career.
- Kris Bryant has an eight-game hitting streak (.414/12-for-29) and has reached base safely in 18 straight games.
- Anthony Rizzo has reached base in 11 straight games (.282/.364/.564, two doubles, three home runs). Rizzo is on pace for 41 homers and 114 RBI this year, both of which would exceed his current career highs (32 homers three times, 109 RBI twice).
- The Cubs have scored 382 runs in 75 games, or 5.09 per game. They are on pace to score 825 runs, which would be the most since 2008 and second-most since 1930.
- The Cubs have walked 294 times in 75 games, or 3.92 per game. They are on pace for 635 walks. The franchise record is 656, set in 2016.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Zack Wheeler, RHP
Someday, Jose Quintana will turn into the dominant pitcher we’ve hoped he would become. Perhaps today is that day.
Q can be maddening. He’ll put together two or three really good outings, then have a clunker. In his last start, he suddenly couldn’t find the strike zone in the first inning, walked in a run, then was solid the rest of the way.
He last faced the Mets May 31, 2018 in New York, throwing six shutout innings. In fact, lifetime vs. the Mets he has a 1.35 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in three starts covering 20 innings. Current Mets are hitting .260 (13-for-50) against him with one home run (Robinson Cano).
Zack Wheeler was supposed to be a star when the Mets acquired him when he was still a prospect. That was eight years ago, and they got him from the Giants for Carlos Beltran.
Injuries have ruined that — he’s made 30+ starts just once in his career, though he’ll probably get there this year as well.
This year, the results have been mixed, and though he generally has gone deep into games (six innings or more in 12 of his 15 starts), he’s occasionally been hit hard. Last seven starts: 4.94 ERA, 1.311 WHIP, 11 (!) home runs in 45 innings. He doesn’t walk many, just nine in those 45 innings.
The last time he faced the Cubs was June 1, 2018 in New York, where he threw six innings and allowed two runs. The only Cub who’s faced him more than a handful of times is Jason Heyward (8-for-24, two doubles, two home runs).
Today’s game is on ABC7 Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Mets 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.