The Brewers defeated the Pirates Friday evening to take a half-game lead in the N.L. Central, but that’s not the story of that game — the story is that the Brewers blew a five-run lead in the ninth inning before winning in the 10th. It seems that beyond Josh Hader, Milwaukee doesn’t have that many relievers Craig Counsell can trust. That could be important as the season wears on.
Notes for Cubs/Sox:
- THEY HAVE THEIR HITTING SOX ON: Anthony Rizzo’s .436 on-base percentage in 30 games against the White Sox is the second-highest mark of any Cub in the history of the Crosstown Classic (min. 50 plate appearances), trailing only Mark Grace’s .440. And, Willson Contreras’ 1.224 career OPS against the White Sox leads Cubs hitters all-time (min. 50 plate apps.), just ahead of Kyle Schwarber’s 1.073 mark.
- HITTING VS. EVERYONE: Kris Bryant went 4-for-5 with a home run and two doubles on Thursday and is now hitting .373 (28-for-75) with seven doubles, four homers, a .440 OBP and a .627 SLG, good for a 1.067 OPS, in his last 20 games starting June 13.
- WINNING ON THE SOUTH SIDE: Since 2015, the Cubs are 6-4 at the park now known as Guaranteed Rate Field, and won two of three there in 2018.
- TRYING TO EVEN THINGS UP: The Sox lead the all-time series between the two teams 61-59, so winning both of these games would even things up. Despite trailing the series by two games, the Cubs have actually outscored the White Sox overall in the 120 games played to date, 547 runs to 526.
Here are today’s particulars.
Cubs record with Kyle Schwarber leading off: 20-25. Maybe it’s time to try something else. (And yes, I know that Kyle leading off is not the direct cause of that record in those games. But it’s not helping.)
White Sox lineup:
Tonight's #WhiteSox starters!— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 6, 2019
Tonight's game is being broadcast nationally on FOX. Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is the analyst and the Cubs' Len Kasper is the play-by-play announcer. pic.twitter.com/w3mwxk89RK
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Lucas Giolito, RHP
Tonight we have a rematch of the pitching matchup from the game at Wrigley Field June 19. The Cubs jumped all over Lucas Giolito for four runs in the first inning, a grand slam by Willson Contreras, who homered again off Giolito in the third inning. And in the fourth, David Bote also homered against Giolito. It was his worst outing of the season and just the third time in 57 major-league starts up to that date where he allowed three home runs. Since then, Giolito has made two starts and allowed three runs in 10⅔ innings, not completing the sixth inning in either of them.
Jon Lester has also made two starts since facing the Sox, and his numbers posted in those starts were similar to Giolito’s: three runs allowed in 11⅔ innings. He walked only two and struck out 15 in those two outings, which is good. He seems back in a groove. Lester often talks about having the right “feel” when he’s on the mound and he appears to be in that zone now.
Today’s game is on Fox-TV (regional — coverage map). Announcers: Len Kasper and A.J. Pierzynski. Here is a good article from the Sun-Times about A.J.’s broadcasting career and how he’ll approach this game and working with Len (which he’s done once before).
SB Nation game preview
Please visit our SB Nation White Sox site South Side Sox. If you do go there to interact with White Sox 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.