Today’s roster move (Steve Cishek to IL, Dillon Maples recalled): Here
Notes for Saturday:
- THE PROFESSOR... BOTH OF THEM: Kyle Hendricks has allowed two or fewer walks in a career-high 20 straight starts, the longest single-season streak by a Cubs starter since Greg Maddux concluded the 2005 season with 20 such starts (that streak ran to 28 starts through the 2006 season). The last Cub with at least 21 consecutive starts of two or fewer walks in a single season is Scott Sanderson, who did it in all 24 of his outings in 1984. More on Hendricks below.
- RISPy BUSINESS: Despite going 1-for-10 with RISP Friday night, in 32 games starting July 1, the Cubs have batted .304 (69-for-227) with RISP, the third-best mark in the N.L. in that span, trailing only the Dodgers (.309) and the Pirates (.308).
- GO NICK GO: Nicholas Castellanos has hit safely in all nine games as a Cub, the first player to do that since Bryan LaHair in 2011. The last player to hit safely in each of his first 10 games as a Cub is Vance Law, who did so in his first 16 games with the team in April of 1988.
- YOU LOOK FAMILIAR: New Cubs catcher Jonathan Lucroy has been teammates previously with five current Cubs pitchers: Tyler Chatwood (2017 Rockies), Yu Darvish (2017 Rangers), Cole Hamels (2017 Rangers), Derek Holland (2016 Rangers) and Brandon Kintzler (2010 Brewers).
- IF I COULD WALK THAT WAY: Cubs hitters have drawn 423 walks, fourth-most in the N.L. behind the Dodgers (450), Brewers (437) and Braves (428). Conversely, Cubs pitching has surrendered 365 bases on balls, tied for sixth-fewest in the N.L.
Here are today’s particulars.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Sonny Gray, RHP
Kyle Hendricks, seven starts since returning from the injured list: 2.35 ERA, 0.965 WHIP, .191 opponents batting average. One of those starts was against the Reds, July 15 at Wrigley Field, where he allowed four hits and two runs in six innings. We’ll take another one of those, please.
Hendricks has a much higher season ERA on the road (4.32, 11 starts) than at home (1.98 ERA, 10 starts), but he has not allowed a run in his last two road starts covering 12 innings (against the Brewers and Cardinals).
The one Reds hitter who hits him very well is Joey Votto (10-for-26, two doubles, three home runs). Stop Votto and Kyle should have a good outing.
Sonny Gray has been very good since July 1: six starts, 1.83 ERA, 0.913 WHIP, .184 opponents BA. One of those starts was July 17 at Wrigley Field: Six innings, two hits, two runs. The hits were solo homers by Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.
Current Cubs are a small sample size 21-for-89 (.236) against Gray with three home runs. Hot-hitting Nicholas Castellanos is 3-for-6 with a double and a triple off Gray.
We could be set up for a pitchers’ duel tonight.
Today’s game is on WGN.
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.