The news about the activation of newly-acquired lefthander Derek Holland is being covered here.
The Cubs have won the first game of a road series just three times since April: at Cincinnati May 14, at Washington May 17, and at the White Sox July 6. Overall they have the worst road record in the National League at 19-30 — even worse than the awful Marlins (20-30). This is absolutely mystifying. They’re dominating teams at home, where their 36-18 mark is second-best in the N.L. (Dodgers, 40-14)
So what’s causing this? They’re going to have to figure it out soon, or they’ll be watching the postseason on TV with the rest of us.
- IT’S THE BULLPEN: The Cubs have held a lead in all 13 games in the season’s “second half”. In fact, the Cubs have held a lead in 16 of 19 games this month. So there you have it — it’s the bullpen blowing leads that’s the issue.
- LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN: Joe Maddon enters tonight’s game with 442 regular season wins with the club, equaling Joe McCarthy (1926-30) for the fifth-most wins by a manager in franchise history. Leo Durocher (535 wins, 1966-72) ranks fourth, and Maddon’s .589 winning percentage (442-309) ranks second in franchise history, behind only Frank Chance (768-389, .664, from 1905-12).
- STILL SCORING RUNS: The Cubs have a +66 run differential this year, second-best in the N.L. behind the Dodgers at +165, and are averaging 5.01 runs per game, fifth in the N.L. behind the Rockies (5.43), Dodgers (5.40), Braves (5.26) and Diamondbacks (5.13).
Here are today’s particulars.
Insert “other split squad” joke here.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Chase Anderson, RHP
Jon Lester was supposed to start Wednesday in San Francisco but fell ill and was scratched, so he’s had six days of rest between starts. Presuming he’s 100 percent healthy from the illness, the extra rest can’t hurt.
Jon’s only start vs. the Brewers this year was a good one, May 12 at Wrigley Field. He allowed one unearned run in 6⅔ innings.
This month Jon has a 3.79 ERA in three starts, which is just about what his season’s been like. He’s allowed a lot of hits in those starts (26 in 19 innings), but only three walks. Current Brewers are hitting .312 (39-for-125) against him, but with no home runs.
Chase Anderson was pitching out of the Brewers bullpen when he made his only appearance vs. the Cubs this year, April 5 at Miller Park. He threw three innings that day and allowed one hit, a solo homer by Willson Contreras.
Anderson has been pretty good out of the rotation since he re-joined it in late April, but it should be noted that he has thrown six innings just once in 15 starts this year and is averaging fewer than five innings per start (73 innings total in his starts). So, the Brewers will likely have to cover much of this game with their bullpen.
Current Cubs are hitting .208 (30-for-144) vs. Anderson with seven home runs, three of those by Kris Bryant.
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.