A curiosity over the six games played so far, and individual pitcher wins don’t mean much these days, but Cubs starters have all six of the decisions so far (wins for Kyle Hendricks, Tyler Chatwood, Jon Lester and Alec Mills, losses for Hendricks and Yu Darvish). Last year in the first six games, Cubs starting pitchers had just two decisions (a win for Lester, a loss for Darvish).
As far as I can tell, the last time this happened for the Cubs was 1999, when the starter got the decision in the first eight games (Steve Trachsel, Kevin Tapani, Jon Lieber, Scott Sanders, Brad Woodall, Trachsel, Tapani, Lieber). The Cubs were 3-5 after those eight games, so this year’s already better.
Another note: Cubs batters were hit twice Wednesday and have been hit by a pitch 11 times in the first six games, by far the most in the majors (the Mets are second with eight) and the most by any major league club in its first six games since 1900 (thanks to Elias). Anthony Rizzo leads all hitters with five hit by pitches so far. No one else in MLB has more than two.
There’s a pretty good chance of rain tonight in Cincinnati, so keep this handy:
Keep in mind a couple of things having to do with the weather forecast. First, with MLB’s new suspended-game rule for this year, if the teams start and rain interrupts, they can suspend the game at any time, not just after the fifth inning. Second, the Cubs do have another trip to Cincinnati next month (August 28-30), so there’s a possible incentive to postpone this game if the rain gets too problematic.
Honestly, given the way that radar looks, I don’t see how they play this game. But we shall see.
Here are today’s particulars.
Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Luis Castillo, RHP
Yu Darvish had a rough outing last Saturday against the Brewers, though he didn’t walk anyone and struck out five in four innings. His main issue in throwing 73 pitches in those four innings was a lot of early hits and foul balls — he threw 46 pitches in the first two innings alone.
That wasn’t the case during Darvish’s great run last summer. In 10 starts from July 2 through September 9, he threw 880 pitches to 232 hitters, an average of just 3.79 per hitter. That’s one reason he walked just four and struck out 79 of those 232 batters.
Get back to that and Yu will be just fine. Current Reds are 29-for-132 against Yu with six home runs, two of those by Aristides Aquino.
Luis Castillo turned himself into one of the better starters in the National League last year, getting an All-Star selection. He made four starts against the Cubs last year and posted a 3.24 ERA and 1.080 WHIP, with 30 strikeouts in 25 innings. He’s made one start already in 2020. Last Saturday he allowed one run to the Tigers in six innings, with 11 strikeouts. Like last night, this one’s not going to be easy.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here is a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.
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The 2020 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.