Taylor Davis optioned back to AAA Iowa. Cubs have three catchers (Contreras, Caratini, Lucroy) on roster, which is trimmed to 34 players.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 5, 2019
This game was originally scheduled at 7:10 CT. I’m not sure exactly when the Brewers moved the time up an hour to 6:10, but it’s pretty obvious why: So that people going to this game can at least catch the second half of the NFL opener between the Bears and Packers.
I know which game I’ll be watching. (Hint: This one.)
The Cubs gained a half game on the Cardinals when St. Louis lost Wednesday night, then lost it back when St. Louis beat the Giants Thursday afternoon. So, the Cubs’ deficit in the N.L. Central remains at three games entering this weekend set.
- YOU LOOK FAMILIAR, PART 1: Jose Quintana is the only pitcher in MLB to face an opponent as many as 14 times in the span since he was acquired by the Cubs at the 2017 All-Star break, and no other pitcher has made more than nine starts vs. Milwaukee in this time frame (Kyle Hendricks and Jack Flaherty). Q has a 3.02 ERA (28 earned runs in 83⅓ innings) in his first 14 starts vs. the Brewers with the Cubs. More on Q below.
- YOU LOOK FAMILIAR, PART 2: 20 of the final 24 games are against N.L. Central opponents, including 11 of those against the Brewers (four on the road, starting tonight) and Cardinals (four at home, three on the road). The Cubs are currently in the sixth game of a stretch in which they play seven of nine games against Milwaukee. The only Cubs games left not against divisional opponents are the four games at San Diego next week.
- EVERYONE DIGS THE LONG BALL: Willson Contreras returned from the injured list on Tuesday and homered, his 20th of the season, making him the fifth Cub to reach 20 homers with the team this season, joining Kyle Schwarber (33), Javier Báez (29), Kris Bryant (26) and Anthony Rizzo (25). That’s tied for the second-most in baseball with the Astros, Athletics, Padres and Yankees, and surpassed only by the Twins and their eight players who have reached 20 homers.
- HISTORY-MAKING: Kyle Schwarber also homered Tuesday, his 33rd. Bill Nicholson (33 in 1944) and Billy Williams (33+ homers four times) are the only other Cubs lefthanded hitters to have that many homers in a season. Williams holds the franchise record for homers by a lefthanded hitter, 42 in 1970.
- WHAT A RELIEF: Cubs relievers have posted a 1.80 ERA (five earned runs in 25 innings) over the last seven games, walking five and striking out 27 while holding opponents to a .219 average (21-for-96).
Here are today’s particulars.
Also, for reference:
Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Chase Anderson, RHP
Because these teams met last weekend, and both played two games this week with Wednesday off, the first two games of this series will feature pitching rematches (and the third will see the Cubs facing the same guy they did last Sunday).
So, here’s a rematch of last Friday’s game at Wrigley Field. Jose Quintana threw 5⅔ shutout innings, not allowing a run but having to be lifted with two out in the sixth at 104 pitches.
Meanwhile, the Cubs teed off on Chase Anderson, with seven hits and five runs off him in four innings. That included a pair of homers by Nicholas Castellanos, who is 4-for-13 with a double and a home run at Miller Park in his career.
Basically, I’d like more Cubs offense and pitching just like that. The Cubs won the Friday game at Wrigley 7-1.
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Brewers market territories).
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.