There is rain in the forecast for the Philadelphia area tonight.
Thus you will need to keep this handy:
The return of Kyle Ryan from the bereavement list: Here
- ROAD WARRIORS, PERHAPS? The Cubs tonight look to win consecutive road games for the first time since July 4 at Pittsburgh and July 6 at the White Sox. The Cubs last won consecutive road games on the same trip outside Chicago city limits April 27 to May 1, at Arizona (2-0) and Seattle (2-0) as part of a seven-game winning streak through May 5.
- LIGHT THE WICK: Cubs rookie Rowan Wick on Sunday tossed two scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out four to pick up a hold. He’s the first Cubs rookie to throw at least two shutout innings and allow one or no hits while walking none to earn a hold since Andrew Cashner did so June 9, 2010 in Milwaukee.
- KB, PHILLY BALLPARK HITTER: Kris Bryant has hit safely in every game he has ever played in Citizens Bank Park, 12 games dating to September 11, 2015, and has had at least two hits in six of the 12. Career in CBP: .400/.444/.680 (20-for-50) with five doubles and three home runs.
- ANTHONY RIZZO, HITTER vs. PHILLY: Rizzo has reached base safely in his last 13 games against the Phillies dating to August 25, 2017, posting a .449 average (22-for-49) with three doubles, seven home runs, 20 RBI and a 1.456 OPS in this span.
- A MILESTONE IN SIGHT: Kyle Schwarber enters this series with 99 career home runs in 450 games since making his major league debut June 16, 2015. Schwarber has an opportunity to become the quickest player (by games) to hit his first 100 career homers as a Cub. Currently, that distinction is held by Kyle’s teammate Kris Bryant, who reached 100 career homers in his first 487 career contests. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
Here are today’s particulars.
Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Jason Vargas, LHP
Jose Quintana, you tease, you.
August Quintana: 2.08 ERA, 0.692 WHIP, no walks in 13 innings in two starts.
If only we could believe that’s the real you, instead of the 5.56 ERA and 1.324 WHIP you put up in four July starts.
The good news, perhaps: Q had one of his best starts of the year against the Phillies May 21 at Wrigley Field. He threw six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and three walks. That’d do, tonight. Speaking of night games, Q throws much better in night games (3.35 ERA, five home runs in 53⅔ innings) than day games (4.86 ERA, 10 home runs in 76 innings). Last year at Citizens Bank Park he had a nice outing (six innings, three hits, one run, seven strikeouts) in a night game August 31, 2018. Maybe there’s something to that.
The Phillies’ trade acquiring Jason Vargas for a Double-A infielder hitting .195 is just... weird. Not quite sure why they wanted or needed him, especially after he went off on a Mets beat writer at Wrigley Field.
Vargas has thrown some good games this year. He has a complete-game shutout, one of just 21 such games thrown in the big leagues in 2019. On the other hand, seven starts since July 3: 4.81 ERA, seven home runs in 39⅓ innings.
The Cubs hit him pretty well June 21 at Wrigley Field: four runs in 4⅔ innings.
Seems like the kind of lefthander the Cubs should hit well, especially newcomer Nicholas Castellanos, who has homered twice previously off Vargas.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Phillies market territories).
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.