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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Friday 8/9, 6:10 CT

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The Cubs go for their second straight over the Reds.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

News item:

Happy 30th birthday, Jason Heyward! (Yes, J-Hey is exactly one day younger than Anthony Rizzo.)

Notes for Friday:

  • PITCHING, PITCHING, PITCHING: Yu Darvish has allowed two or fewer walks in a career-high 10 straight outings dating to June 10. During this 10-start stretch, he’s struck out 71 batters, walked seven, held opponents to a .203 average (45-for-222) and a .634 OPS, and has recorded a 0.87 WHIP. More on Darvish below.
  • THE LEADOFF MAN: Jason Heyward is hitting .310/.351/.549 (44-for-142) in his last 38 games starting June 22.
  • THINGS ARE LOOKING UP: The Cubs have a 16-9 record (.640) since the All-Star break, the third-best record in the N.L. Along with that, the Cubs’ +86 run differential is second in the N.L. only to the Dodgers at +183 … Arizona is third at +76.
  • LOTS OF BACKSTOPS: Thursday, Jonathan Lucroy became the sixth catcher the Cubs have used this year (also Victor Caratini, Willson Contreras, Taylor Davis, Martin Maldonado and Kyle Schwarber). It’s just the third time in the last 47 seasons the team has utilized six backstops before September 1 (the others: 2007 and 2017).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Trevor Bauer, RHP

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish, last five starts: 2.17 ERA, 0.793 WHIP, two (!) walks and 38 strikeouts in 29 innings.

One of those outings was against the Reds, July 17 at Wrigley Field. Darvish threw six shutout innings that afternoon, allowing two hits and no walks, with seven strikeouts. In his only start in Cincinnati this year, May 15, he struck out 11 (again, no walks) in 5⅓ innings.

Career vs. Reds: six starts, 2.92 ERA, 1.162 WHIP. I also want to note that Darvish, who is a really bad hitter (9-for-80 lifetime with 46 strikeouts), hit his only career home run in Cincinnati, August 24, 2016. Yes, there is video evidence!

Trevor Bauer. And here I thought the Cubs wouldn’t see him for a couple more years, as the Cubs won’t play the Indians again until 2021.

But here we are, and now the Cubs likely see him 3-4 times a year facing the Reds. Bauer has faced the Cubs three times in the regular season and has an 0.47 ERA and 1.169 WHIP. Most of the current Cubs have little experience against him — but Nicholas Castellanos has faced him quite a bit: 14-for-50 (.280) with four doubles and a home run.

Bauer was having a decent year for the Tribe, but his last two starts — one with Cleveland, one with Cincinnati — have been bad: nine innings, 16 hits, seven walks, 10 earned runs. The Cleveland start was the one that likely got him traded after he did this [VIDEO].

The Cubs did hit Bauer pretty well in the 2016 World Series (Game 2, Game 5). Kris Bryant’s homer off Bauer in Game 5 was a key part of the comeback from down three games to one.

FWIW, Darvish and Bauer have faced each other three previous times, with Darvish throwing pretty well in all of them: June 6, 2014, August 13, 2014 and June 28, 2017.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

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.