Fun fact (well, fun for Cubs fans, anyway): Since the Reds were at Wrigley at the end of May, they have lost 10 of their last 16 road games, including two of three vs. the Rockies in Denver over the weekend. The Reds scored 28 runs in that series and still only won once.
- Robel Garcia has posted an .889 slugging percentage in his first seven career games, thanks in part to two doubles, a triple and two homers. Per baseball-reference.com, that’s the fourth-highest slugging mark in any Cub’s first seven career games in a single season since 1908, trailing only: Frank Ernaga (1.417 SLG in 1957), Jorge Soler (1.000 SLG in 2014) and Willson Contreras (.941 SLG in 2016).
- With Jason Heyward’s 15th home run Sunday, the Cubs have a major league-best six players with at least 15 homers. In addition to J-Hey: Contreras, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber.
- Heyward in 16 games since June 22: .383/.422/.750 (23-for-60) with five doubles, a triple, five home runs, 14 RBI and 12 runs. He’s also had three three-hit games in that stretch.
- Rizzo is on a six-game hitting streak during which he’s hit .435/.500/.609 (10-for-23) with two doubles, a triple and six runs. Rizzo is a noted streak hitter, so hopefully this keeps going.
- Baez has a nine-game hitting streak during which he’s hit .333/.333/.571 (14-for-42) with four doubles and two home runs.
- One year ago today, Brandon Morrow threw his last major-league pitch — last pitch in any game, in fact, one inning of scoreless relief against the Padres, posting his 22nd save. He’s been throwing on flat ground, but there’s no timetable for him for a rehab assignment or return.
Here are today’s particulars.
Willson Contreras still resting a sore foot.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Luis Castillo, RHP
Kyle Hendricks’ start vs. the White Sox July 7, his first start since coming off the injured list, was a bit shaky. You might expect that after a long layoff resting a minor shoulder issue without a rehab assignment.
Now Kyle’s had seven more days of rest and hopefully will be in top-notch shape for this start against the Reds. He threw six innings and allowed three runs (with nine strikeouts) against the Reds May 24 at Wrigley Field, his only outing against them this year.
I feel it’s important to point out that Kyle has been much better at home (seven starts, 1.65 ERA, 0.878 WHIP) this year than on the road (nine starts, 5.44 ERA, 1.489 WHIP). Why this is happening is a bit of a mystery. Last year his numbers were almost identical at home and away. But since this is the way it’s been this year, I’d look for him to have a good outing tonight.
Hendricks’ home ERA is second-best in MLB. Only Hyun-Jin Ryu (0.85) is better.
Luis Castillo is having an excellent year and made the N.L. All-Star team. In his last start he threw seven one-hit innings (with nine strikeouts) against the Brewers, and this year against the Cubs he has posted a 2.19 ERA and 0.730 WHIP in two starts.
Like Hendricks, Castillo has been better in his home part (1.69 ERA, 0.875 WHIP in 10 starts) than on the road (3.21 ERA, 1.405 WHIP in eight starts). He’s been more prone to the long ball away from Cincinnati — seven HR in 42 innings, compared to two HR in 64 innings at GABP. He has a 4.05 lifetime ERA in four Wrigley starts.
This one won’t be easy.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.
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.