Notes for Saturday:
- YES, THEY CAN TOO SCORE RUNS: With seven runs in the seventh inning Friday, the Cubs have scored five or more runs in an inning 26 times this season, tied for most in the majors with the Yankees.
- EXTRA! EXTRA!: The Cubs enter tonight’s game with 548 extra-base hits in 2019, tied for the second-most in a single season in franchise history (also done in 1930). The club record for most extra-base hits in a season is 572, set in 2004.
- A K MARK COULD FALL: Cubs pitchers have struck out 1,423 batters in 2019, fourth-most in a season in franchise history and surpassed only by 1,441 strikeouts in 2016, 1,439 in 2017 and 1,431 in 2015.
- WE LOVE YOU, BEN: Ben Zobrist is hitting .297/.392/.406 (19-for-64) with four doubles, a homer, nine walks and seven RBI in 20 games since his return from the restricted list
- ALL HAIL ROBEL: Robel Garcia’s home run Friday night was his fifth in the major leagues. Overall between Double-A Tennessee, Triple-A Iowa and the Cubs this year, Garcia has hit 32 homers with 89 RBI in 408 at-bats, an average of one home run every 12.8 at-bats, while batting .270 (110-for-408) with a .923 OPS.
Here are today’s particulars.
Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Adam Wainwright, RHP
The Cardinals had originally scheduled Adam Wainwright for Sunday’s game and Miles Mikolas was supposed to start tonight.
They moved Wainwright up to today, and are holding Jack Flaherty back for tomorrow in case that game means anything to them in terms of the division title.
These two pitchers matched up June 2 at Busch Stadium. It was one of Cole Hamels’ best starts of the year — seven innings, two hits, one unearned run. But Wainwright was better, throwing eight shutout innings despite issuing seven walks.
Since that game, Hamels has been injured and posted a 4.24 ERA and 1.559 WHIP in 14 starts. Meanwhile, Wainwright, who is about three months younger than Ben Zobrist, has made 18 starts with a 3.74 ERA and 1.406 WHIP in the same time frame. He’s been very good for the Cardinals down the stretch, too — 1.69 ERA, 1.054 WHIP in five September starts.
Tonight will be Wainwright’s 41st (and possibly last) career start against the Cubs. In the divisional play era (since 1969), only four pitchers have made more starts vs. the Cubs: Bob Forsch (49), Phil Niekro (46), Steve Rogers (45) and Tom Seaver (44).
Today’s game is on Fox-TV (regional — coverage map). Fox announcers: Aaron Goldsmith, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal.
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.