A full article coming shortly on this news:
Cubs activate Pedro Strop and place Brandon Kintzler on the injured list.— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) August 6, 2019
Other notes for Tuesday:
- The Cubs pitching staff has tossed exactly 1,000 innings this season. Starters have accounted for 631⅔ innings, the fourth-highest total in the N.L., while the bullpen has picked up the remaining 368⅓ innings, the third-fewest in the N.L.
- Nicholas Castellanos has hit safely in all five games he’s played in as a Cub: .400/.429/.700 (8-for-20) with three doubles and a home run. The three doubles give him 40 total on the year, which leads MLB. It’s his second career 40-double season (46, last year).
- Javier Baez marked the fifth anniversary of his MLB debut last night with a two-homer game, It was the sixth multi-homer game of his career and ninth by a Cub in 2019.
- The four home runs hit by the Cubs last night mark the sixth time they have had that many HR in a game this year.
- Kyle Schwarber has reached base in all five games this month and is hitting .500/.688/.900 (5-for-10) in those games with a double, a home run and five walks.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Brett Anderson, RHP
This is a fascinating matchup of two pitchers who had brief, (mostly) unsuccessful tenures with the team they’re facing tonight.
Jon Lester made 11 pretty good starts for the A’s in 2014 after being traded there from the Red Sox, but then had a well-publicized meltdown in the 2014 Wild Card Game in which the Royals stole seven bases off him. (He’s gotten better at throwing out runners as a Cub.)
Jon had a pretty good July (2.77 ERA) before getting hit hard in his first August start (last Thursday against the Cardinals).
Jon has pitched much better in home games (11 starts, 2.95 ERA) than on the road (10 starts, 4.81 ERA). Like his teammate Kyle Hendricks, he threw a very good game against the A’s three years ago in Oakland, but most of those A’s are no longer on the team.
Three current A’s have more than a couple of PA vs. Jon: Khris Davis (3-for-11), Stephen Piscotty (3-for-19, one home run) and Marcus Semien (2-for-10).
When Brett Anderson was a Cub in 2017, he made six starts before going out with back problems. Three of those starts were decent, the other three were awful, and he wound up being released at the end of July. It never seemed like he really wanted to be a Cub.
The Blue Jays picked him up, he made seven mediocre starts for them and then they let him go and he signed with Oakland as a free agent.
He’s been... decent for them. He’s having a 1.9 bWAR season, perfectly fine for the fifth starter he is. His K rate is very low — just 4.5 per nine innings. That is, by a significant margin, the lowest K rate of any of the 74 qualified starters in MLB this year (Zach Davies is next-lowest at 5.7). He’s been hit pretty hard in his last three starts: 5.90 ERA, four home runs in 17⅔ innings.
So the Cubs should be able to put the ball in play against him.
He last faced the Cubs in 2014, so that’s largely irrelevant. Current Cubs are an extremely small sample size 5-for-18 against him. He seems like the kind of lefthander the Cubs should be able to mash.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago Plus. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Athletics 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.