Notes for Wednesday:
- Kyle Schwarber homered Tuesday and has five homers in his last 12 games dating to May 23. He’s homered three times in his last six home contests since May 20.
- The Cubs are averaging 5.22 runs per game this season, third in the N.L. behind the Dodgers (5.45) and the Rockies (5.42).
- The Cubs’ 3.00 home ERA (93 earned runs in 279 innings) is second-lowest in the majors behind the Dodgers (2.74). Also, the Cubs have allowed 26 home runs at Wrigley Field, the second-fewest allowed by any team at their home park (Red Sox, 24).
- Cubs starting pitchers have gone seven innings in each of the last three games: Cole Hamels allowed one unearned run in seven innings Sunday in St. Louis and Jon Lester allowed one run in seven innings Monday prior to Kyle Hendricks going seven innings Tuesday. It’s the second time this season in which Cubs starters have gone seven innings in three consecutive games (April 16-19, three straight scoreless seven-inning outings from Jose Quintana, Hamels and Hendricks).
Here are today’s particulars.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. German Marquez, RHP
Yu Darvish has allowed three or fewer runs in four of his last five starts. That’s progress! Even that fifth start, where he allowed six runs in seven innings to the Reds, wasn’t bad — he had good velocity in the late innings of that game and threw seven full innings for the first time as a Cub.
Further, over those five starts he has 36 strikeouts in 28⅓ innings (12.1 strikeouts per nine innings), 14 walks (4.4 per nine innings) and only three home runs allowed.
I think Darvish is ready to break out and have an outstanding rest of the season.
He has faced the Rockies three times in his career, twice last year with the Cubs and once in 2017 with the Dodgers, and seriously you do not want to look up the boxscores. It’s been bad. On the other hand, current Rockies are hitting just .214 (12-for-56) with three home runs and 25 strikeouts vs. Darvish. Small sample size, to be sure.
German Marquez is having a very good year. He came within one batter of throwing a no-hitter against the Giants in April, finishing with a one-hit CG shutout. Since then he’s had a few clunkers, but nothing awful, and he has an excellent walk rate (1.8 per nine innings).
The last time he started against the Cubs, April 22, 2018 in Denver, Cubs batters hit him pretty good: eight hits and six runs in 3⅓ innings. That included a home run by Javier Baez. Current Cubs are hitting a small sample size .275 (14-for-51) against him.
Today’s game is on WGN. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Rockies 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.