Notes for Wednesday...
- ENJOY THE REST WHILE YOU CAN: Tomorrow’s off day is the first of two in a five-day span for the Cubs, who also have next Monday off before starting a stretch of 14 games in 13 days between September 1-13.
- ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Cubs are hitting 42 points higher on the road (.252) than at home (.210), and their .773 road OPS is 62 points higher than their .711 home OPS. Pitching-wise, the Cubs have a 5.77 ERA (50 earned runs in 78 innings) on the road and a 3.86 ERA (75 earned runs in 175 innings) at Wrigley Field.
- J-HEY AWAY: In his last four road games since August 11, Jason Heyward is 7-for-13 (.538) with three doubles, a triple, a homer, six RBI and three runs scored.
- NONE SHALL PASS: Willson Contreras has caught 160 innings without allowing a passed ball thus far this season. That’s the most defensive innings among all major league catchers who have yet to allow a passed ball.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Michael Fulmer, RHP
Jon Lester has made five starts this year.
First three: 17 innings, 1.06 ERA, 0.647 WHIP, .117 opponents BA
Last two: 9⅔ innings, 12.10 ERA, 1.862 WHIP, .391 opponents BA
Well. Lester’s probably not as good as he was early, but I doubt he’s as bad as those last two starts, either.
Jon has faced the Tigers three times since becoming a Cub, and those weren’t any good, either: 12⅔ innings, 9.24 ERA, 2.289 WHIP... I think I’ll stop here. Fortunately, most of the Tigers he faced in those games are gone now.
Jon’s career ERA in Comerica Park in six starts is 5.56... yeah, I better stop here.
Be better, Jon.
Michael Fulmer missed the last two months of 2018 and all of 2019 after Tommy John surgery and his comeback hasn’t been great. He’s made four starts and hasn’t gotten past the third inning in any of them, maxing out at a pitch count of 63. The results — 9.53 ERA, 2.029 WHIP, six home runs in 11⅓ innings — have been lousy, too.
It’s been a tough road back for the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year. His only career start against the Cubs was July 3, 2018 at Wrigley Field; he threw six innings and allowed three runs. The Tigers would probably be thrilled with that from him tonight.
Now that I’ve told you about two struggling pitchers with numbers in the stratosphere, we’ll probably get a 1-0 pitchers’ duel tonight.
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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week/Date) game threads.” It will contain every thread related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.
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.