Today’s roster move: Here
- The Cubs have not been scoring many runs lately (except for Wednesday’s slugfest!) and Javier Baez’ slump is one of the biggest reasons. Since August 8: .178/.208/.267 (8-for-45) with three doubles. Also, Javy hasn’t homered since August 5, a span of 53 at-bats. He did have two hits Saturday, his team-leading 44th multi-hit game this season.
- Nicholas Castellanos was one of the few Cubs having a decent offensive day Saturday, going 2-for-5. He has 12 multi-hit games in his 22 games with the Cubs, including five of his last six games and his 35 hits this month lead the Cubs.
- Tony Kemp had a great day defensively Saturday, recording eight assists and five putouts. He became the first Cubs second baseman with at least eight assists and five putouts in a single game since Ryne Sandberg (also eight assists and five putouts) did it July 24, 1992 at Houston.
- The Cardinals won Saturday night and put the Cubs 1½ games out of first place. This is the farthest the Cubs have been out of first place since June 2. After that date they won six of their next seven. Here’s hoping a similar run begins this afternoon.
Here are today’s particulars.
Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Stephen Strasburg, RHP
Cole Hamels vs. Stephen Strasburg. What year is this, 2012?
These pitchers matched up five times while Hamels was with the Phillies, and overall in those five games, Hamels threw 35⅓ innings in those five games and posted a 2.03 ERA, which means pretty much nothing, since all of those games were at least four years ago. Just an interesting side note.
More indicative of today might be Hamels’ start vs. the Nats May 17 in Washington, where he allowed two runs in five innings. Hamels has had a bit of a rough time since his return from an oblique injury, though his last outing, Tuesday vs. the Giants, was pretty good.
Current Nats are hitting .239 (51-for-213) against Cole with 43 strikeouts.
Stephen Strasburg has not had a good August: four starts, 5.92 ERA, six home runs in 24x innings. And that includes seven shutout innings vs. the Pirates in his last outing (but, consider, Pirates).
Strasburg threw eight solid innings against the Cubs May 18 in Washington, allowing four hits and two runs.
He has not pitched in Wrigley Field since 2013, interestingly enough. Perhaps that will be his downfall. Current Cubs are hitting .260 (26-for-100) against him with two home runs, one by Jason Heyward, who has been very good against Strasburg in his career (.375, 15-for-40).
Today’s game is on WGN. It’s also on TBS (outside the Nationals market territory — should be available in the Cubs market territory). TBS announcers: Ernie Johnson and Ron Darling.
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.