Notes for Tuesday:
- SCHWARBOMBS: Kyle Schwarber hit his 37th home run Monday night. He’s got an outside shot at 40 (he’s hit five in his last 13 games). The last Cub to hit 40 home runs in a season was Derrek Lee, who had 46 in 2005. Kris Bryant has come closest since then with 39 in his 2016 MVP season.
- WILLSON! Willson Contreras is batting .355/.412/.806 (11-for-31) with two doubles, four home runs and eight runs scored in eight games since returning from the injured list.
- J-HEY! Jason Heyward has a five-game hitting streak and in his last nine games is hitting .444/.559/.926 (12-for-27) with four doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI, seven walks and 12 runs scored.
- THIS TEAM IS ON FIRE: The Cubs’ last 13 wins have all been by at least a three-run margin, and their last four wins by at least a six-run margin. They have scored 11 first-inning runs in their last four games, and have 15 home runs over those four games. And the 55 runs scored over the last four games are the most by the Cubs in a four-game span since June 3-6, 1930 at Boston and Brooklyn, when the team scored 56 runs. Since 1960, just two clubs have plated more than 55 runs in a four-game span: the 2000 Seattle Mariners (58 runs, April 14-18) and the 2007 Yankees (56 runs, July 21-24). (H/T Elias)
- WHAT A RELIEF: During the current five-game winning streak, Cubs relievers have a 1.21 ERA (three earned runs in 22⅓ innings).
Here are today’s particulars.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Sonny Gray, RHP
This is the best pitching matchup of this series. Both these pitchers are on tremendous hot streaks.
Yu Darvish, last 11 starts: 2.44 ERA, 0.784 WHIP, six (!) walks and 93 (!) strikeouts in 66⅓ innings.
Sonny Gray, last 14 starts: 1.75 ERA, 0.925 WHIP, 105 strikeouts in 87⅔ innings.
This could be one of the best pitching matchups during September’s playoff races.
Gray threw six shutout innings against the Cubs August 10 in Cincinnati.
Sounds like we’re set up for a pitchers’ duel. Watch, it’ll wind up as one of those crazy 14-13 games.
Today’s game is on WCIU-TV, CW-26. Note: This is a change from original schedules. This was originally supposed to be an ABC7 Chicago game, but it got bumped for the season finale of ABC’s “Bachelor In Paradise.” This should not affect you if you are watching outside the Chicago metro area. This game is also on ESPN, a full national broadcast which should be available in the Cubs and Reds market territories. ESPN announcers: Karl Ravech, David Ross and Tim Kurkjian.
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.