A big Cubs thank-you to Buster Posey, whose grand slam in the 10th inning gave the Giants a 10-7 win over the Brewers Friday night. That increased the Cubs’ lead in the N.L. Central to 1½ games. The Cardinals and Reds also lost Friday, so the Cubs picked up a game on all the other teams in the division.
- This is the fourth straight year the Cubs have won their first game after the All-Star break. Here are some other results going forward in previous years. 2018: Won four in a row. 2017: Won six in a row. 2016: Won five out of seven.
- The Cubs’ 30-16 home record is second in the N.L. Only the Dodgers are better (37-12). The Cubs are also second to the Dodgers (2.61) in home ERA (3.26)
- Anthony Rizzo has reached base in 12 consecutive games.
- In 23 games since June 13, Kris Bryant is hitting .376/.454/.659 (32-for-85) with nine doubles and five home runs.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Jordan Lyles, RHP
Jon Lester often talks about “feel” and how, when he loses the “feel” for the ball, his pitching suffers. We’ve seen that in several clunkers from him this year.
He seems to have it back in his last three starts: 2.00 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, 16 strikeouts in 18 innings, only one home run allowed.
His only start vs. the Pirates this year was the home opener April 8, which he left after two shutout innings after suffering a leg injury running the bases. Current Pirates are hitting .252 vs. Jon (54-for-211) with five home runs.
The Cubs pounded Jordan Lyles July 4 at PNC Park, 11 hits and seven runs in four innings, including home runs by Kris Bryant, Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras. That was Lyles’ last start before the break, so he’ll be going on seven days’ rest.
Over Lyles’ last six starts (which includes some missed time with a hamstring injury): 8.16 ERA, 1.709 WHIP, seven home runs in 28⅔ innings.
Let’s keep him going in the wrong direction.
Today’s game is on WGN.
SB Nation game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Pirates site Bucs Dugout. If you do go there to interact with Pirates fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.
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.