ICYMI, the Athletics defeated the Cardinals 8-3 late Saturday evening, so the Cubs begin today’s action in first place, half a game ahead of St. Louis.
- Cubs pitchers have struck out at least eight batters and allowed two or fewer walks in six straight games, the club’s longest streak since at least 1908.
- The Cubs are now 18-5 against N.L. Central teams at home this year, including a combined 10-1 record at home vs. the Brewers (4-1) and Cardinals (6-0).
- Javier Baez hit his team-high fourth triple of the season Saturday and leads the team with 39 multi-hit games.
- Rowan Wick since his latest recall from Triple-A: seven appearances, 0.00 ERA, one hit and three walks allowed, nine strikeouts. FWIW, the win he posted Saturday was his first major-league victory.
- Nicholas Castellanos’ double Saturday was his 39th of the season. He continues to lead MLB in that category.
Here are today’s particulars.
Kris Bryant has needed a day off for a while. Today, he gets one.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Adrian Houser, RHP
Yu Darvish, last four starts: 2.25 ERA, 0.750 WHIP, just two walks and 30 strikeouts in 24 innings. This is the Darvish the Cubs thought they were getting last year. Better late than never, right? If he can keep throwing this way, the Cubs have the “ace” they need.
Somewhat surprisingly, Darvish has not faced the Brewers this year — and the two starts he made against them last year were his two best, in which he totaled 12 innings and allowed a total of five hits, three walks, one earned run and 17 strikeouts. All told, current Brewers are hitting .190 (16-for-84) against Darvish with 30 strikeouts.
Maybe he can take over Quintana’s role as Brewer-killer.
Adrian Houser has made seven starts for the Brewers this year in 24 appearances, and he’s returning to the rotation due to several injuries to the Milwaukee rotation.
He’s made three relief appearances against the Cubs this year for a total of 4⅔ innings, with four hits and two runs allowed, the runs scoring May 12 at Wrigley Field on a home run by Kris Bryant.
Per Fangraphs, Houser throws a lot of offspeed stuff, sliders and changeups, but can hit 95 with his fastball. I’d assume that FB velocity would be a bit lower as a starter than it was for him in the bullpe.
Today’s game is on WGN. It’s also on TBS (outside the Cubs and Brewers market territories). TBS announcers: Brian Anderson 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.