- IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STARTERS: Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 1.09 ERA (four earned runs in 33 innings) in the team’s last five games, allowing eight walks, striking out 26 and posting a .178 batting average against (21-for-118) and a .513 opponent OPS.
- AND THE RELIEVERS TOO: The Cubs bullpen in the team’s last 21 games since July 28 has posted a .299 opponent on-base percentage, the best mark of any N.L. bullpen in that span. Further, Cubs relievers in this stretch have produced a 3.42 ERA (26 earned runs in 68⅓ innings) with a .227 opponent batting average and .698 opponent OPS, all the second-best marks of any N.L. bullpen, despite seeing Steve Cishek, Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Kintzler and Pedro Strop spend time on the 10-day injured list.
- NOBODY BEATS THE RIZ: Anthony Rizzo has gone deep in each of his last two games, including his 17th career two-homer game Tuesday night. And, he’s homered in three of his last five games after going 16 games without a homer from July 28-August 14 (53 at-bats).
- WALK THIS WAY: Kyle Schwarber owns a .418 on-base percentage in 17 games in August while batting .273 (12-for-44) with two doubles, four homers, 10 RBI and a 1.009 OPS, thanks in part to 10 walks.
Here are today’s particulars.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Dereck Rodriguez, RHP
Yu Darvish, last seven starts: 2.36 ERA, 0.738 WHIP, two (!) walks and 57 (!) strikeouts in 42 innings.
Now that’s the guy the Cubs paid for last winter.
One of the few mediocre outings in that span was against the Giants July 23 in San Francisco, where he threw six innings and allowed four runs. Even then, he struck out six and threw only 77 pitches.
That start, and seven shutout innings September 13, 2017 are his only career starts vs. the Giants. Current Giants are hitting .208 (16-for-77) against Darvish.
After a good rookie year in 2018, Dereck Rodriguez struggled this year and was demoted to the bullpen and then to Triple-A Sacramento. His last start was very good, seven shutout innings vs. the Diamondbacks August 15. That’s his only outing in the last three weeks.
His only career outing vs. the Cubs was three shutout relief innings in a long extra-inning game July 11, 2018 in San Francisco. Tony Kemp is the only current Cub to have a hit off him; Kemp is 1-for-3 (a double).
Rodriguez is the son of Hall of Famer Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. If you have “cut the cord,” NBC Sports Chicago games can be streamed in the Cubs’ market territory via Fubo. Sign up for Fubo here.
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.