Notes for tonight:
- Anthony Rizzo has a 13-game hitting streak (longest active streak in the N.L.) in which he’s batting .486/.548/.714 (17-for-35) with five doubles and a home run.
- Rizzo is the only player in MLB with multiple 13-game hitting streaks this season. He is the first Cub to record multiple hitting streaks of 13 or more games within the same season since 1997, when both Mark Grace (16-gamer and 15-gamer) and Lance Johnson (a pair of 13-gamers) did it.
- The Cubs are above .500 through 100 games for five seasons in a row for the first time since 1969-73, also a five-year run. And, the Cubs are in first place at their 100-game mark for the fourth year in a row, a franchise record. Prior to this year, the Cubs had last been in first place at the 100-game mark in back-to-back seasons in 2008-09. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
- Javier Baez is hitting .310 (22-for-71) in 15 games this month with five doubles, four homers, 11 RBI and an .859 OPS. He has homered in two of his last four games and his 24 homers this season lead all big league middle infielders while his 67 RBI are most in the N.L.
- The Cubs have hit 157 home runs in 100 games, a pace for 254, which would break the franchise record of 235 set in 2004. The 157 HR rank third in the N.L., and the pitching staff has allowed 124 homers — fourth fewest in the N.L.
Here are today’s particulars.
Giants' lineup vs. Cubs:— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) July 23, 2019
The Giants official Twitter account has been really late with their lineup the last two days; Maria Guardado is their MLB.com beat writer.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Madison Bumgarner, LHP
Well now, this is an interesting matchup, two veteran pitchers who have had much MLB success with some recent struggles.
Yu Darvish has, though, started to show signs of the dominance he had with the Rangers. He’s thrown 12 straight scoreless innings over his last two starts, with just four hits and one walk allowed and 15 strikeouts. More of this, please. And it would help if Yu could go seven innings, too, to take some pressure off the bullpen.
Current Giants are hitting .185 (10-for-54) against Darvish. Most of those at-bats are by Evan Longoria (3-for-18) and Steven Vogt (7-for-26).
Madison Bumgarner missed a lot of 2017 and 2018 with injuries. He’s still a very good MLB pitcher, but he is no longer the Madison Bumgarner who dominated the postseason for the Giants from 2010-14.
His last five starts, though, have been excellent: 1.55 ERA, 0.966 WHIP, 34 strikeouts in 29 innings.
Bumgarner has not faced the Cubs since August 9, 2017. He threw seven innings and allowed one run that afternoon. Current Cubs are hitting .172 (15-for-87) against him with two home runs (Jason Heyward, Albert Almora Jr.) FWIW, Bumgarner has been markedly worse this year in night games (14 starts, 4.14 ERA, 1.293 WHIP) than day games (seven starts, 2.74 ERA, 0.978 WHIP). That seems counterintuitive, but maybe it’s a good thing to face him in a night game.
Also, MadBum looks sad in that photo.
Today’s game is on ABC7 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.