Today’s Willson Contreras roster move: Here
Another late roster move:
#Cubs activate Derek Holland in addition to Contreras. Roster at 35.— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) September 3, 2019
- PITCHING, PITCHING, PITCHING: Cubs pitchers have struck out 36 hitters in the team’s last three games, including 10 yesterday vs. the Mariners. The last time Cubs pitchers struck out at least 10 in four straight games was June 24-27 vs. Atlanta.
- FAREWELL, A.L. FRIENDS: The Cubs are 11-8 in interleague play this year; tonight is the last game vs. the American League in the 2019 regular season. The Cubs have had winning records in interleague play each of the last four seasons. Since the start of the 2016 season, the Cubs’ 51-28 (.646) interleague record is the best of any N.L. team vs. the A.L.
- IT’S A RELIEF: The Cubs bullpen has posted a 1.64 ERA (four earned runs in 22 innings) over the last six games, walking five and striking out 23 while holding opponents to a .212 average (18-for-85).
- NICK THE STICK: Nicholas Castellanos finished August with 11 homers. The 11 homers are the most for any Cub in the month of August since Sammy Sosa hit 11 in August 2002.
- HE’S HOT: Anthony Rizzo, last nine games since August 18: .522/.667/.957 (12-for-23) with a double, three home runs, six walks, nine runs and eight RBI.
Here are today’s particulars.
Ben Zobrist and Willson Contreras are back!
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Felix Hernandez, LHP
Since the All-Star break, Jon Lester has been the reverse Kyle Hendricks. What do I mean by that?
Lester at home since break: four starts, 21 innings, 9.42 ERA, 2.045 WHIP
Lester on road since break: five starts, 29 innings, 2.79 ERA, 1.241 WHIP
Once again, if you can explain this to Joe Maddon and Tommy Hottovy, I’m sure they and Jon would like to hear your theory as to why Lester has been a solid starter in road games, a DFA candidate in home games.
Presuming the Cubs do get into the postseason tournament, at least we know: Hendricks starts at home, Lester on the road.
On the road back in May, Lester held the Mariners to one hit in seven innings, with one walk and eight strikeouts. Whether that translates tonight, I honestly don’t know, since among the players Lester faced that day in Seattle, several are on the injured list, one is suspended and another has been traded. The only current Mariner who has faced Jon more than a couple of times is Kyle Seager (5-for-19, two home runs).
The Cubs faced Felix Hernandez April 30 in Seattle and hit him pretty well: eight hits, four runs in six innings. That included a home run by Anthony Rizzo and another by Daniel Descalso (remember him?).
King Felix spent three months on the injured list with lat and shoulder issues and has made two starts since his return. The results have not been great: 4.22 ERA, three home runs allowed in 10⅔ innings.
There are a lot of miles on his arm: 15 years, 2,707⅓ innings. In his rookie year, 2005, one of his teammates was Jamie Moyer, who will turn 57 in a couple months. And yet, Felix is two years younger than Jon Lester.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.
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.