Notes for Wednesday:
- STREAKING (THE WRONG WAY): The current seven-game losing streak is the Cubs’ longest since a seven-game skid September 5-12, 2014. The last time any Cubs team lost eight in a row was July 31-August 8, 2012.
- LESTER’S DAY: Jon Lester’s 894 strikeouts with the Cubs are fourth most by a lefthander in franchise history. With six tonight he’d get to 900. Just 17 pitchers have reached 900 strikeouts with the Cubs. Bill Hands ranks 17th in franchise history with exactly 900 strikeouts. More on Jon below.
- ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER: The Cubs have played 46 one-run games this season, tied for seventh-most in the majors. Their .413 winning percentage (19-27) in those contests are 26th in the majors and 14th in the N.L.
- DOUBLING HIS PLEASURE: Nicholas Castellanos remains at 58 doubles for the season. It is just the 10th time since 1871 that a player has reached 58 doubles in a campaign and the first time since 2000 when Todd Helton had 59. 59 or more doubles have been recorded just nine times in a season — prior to Helton, it was done in 1936 by Joe Medwick (64) and Charlie Gehringer (60), which is the last time anyone hit 60.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Dario Agrazal, RHP
Once upon a time, there was a time when Jon Lester used to dominate the Pirates. Like, in his first three starts against them this year: a combined 14⅔ innings, 1.84 ERA, 13 strikeouts.
Then there was his not-so-great outing against them September 13 at Wrigley Field, where he allowed seven runs (four earned) in five innings. The Cubs won that game by scoring a bazillion runs off the Pirates pitching staff.
Maybe they can do that again tonight. This will be Jon’s last start of the year. It will be his worst season since 2012.
Dario Agrazal, a native of Panama, is making his 15th big-league appearance tonight (14th start). His last five starts have been pretty bad: 6.94 ERA, 1.714 WHIP, four home runs in 23⅓ innings.
He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the Cubs’ active roster.
He’ll probably throw a three-hit shutout.
Today’s game is on WGN.
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.