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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds doubleheader preview, Saturday 8/29, 3:10 CT

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Two seven-inning games today!

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s roster move: Here

This afternoon we have a doubleheader NOT caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; instead, the makeup game is as a result of a rainout in Cincinnati July 30.

As with all doubleheaders this year, both of these games will last seven innings, barring extras.

Information about today’s games:

More Saturday notes...

  • IT HAS TO BE YU: Since the start of last season’s second half, Yu Darvish has posted a 2.43 ERA (32 earned runs in 118⅔ innings) in 19 starts with just 13 walks and 162 strikeouts. More on Darvish below.
  • ONE AND DONE: Despite consecutive one-run losses heading into today’s action, the Cubs have posted a .650 winning percentage (13-7) in games decided by three or fewer runs, the third-best mark in the majors behind the Athletics (14-6/.700) and Rays (16-7/.696).
  • J-HEY, ROAD WARRIOR: In his last five road games since August 11, Jason Heyward is 8-for-15 (.533) with three doubles, a triple, two homers, seven RBI and five walks and just two strikeouts, good for a 1.886 OPS.
  • GOOD, BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN: The Cubs scored three ninth-inning runs Wednesday in Detroit and once again plated three in last night’s ninth inning in Cincinnati. The Cubs’ 20 ninth-inning runs this season are second-most in the majors behind the Diamondbacks (21). Cubs hitters have batted a major-league best .350 (28-for-80) with a .404 OBP in the ninth inning this season.
  • SITE NOTE: There won’t be a separate recap of Game 1 before Game 2 starts; instead, I will recap both games Sunday morning. For more on the game thread procedure today, see below.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs Game 1 lineup:

Reds Game 1 lineup:

Game 1: Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Trevor Bauer, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish is a strong contender for the Cy Young Award. While his overall numbers are excellent, his last five starts have been even better: 33 innings, 1.09 ERA, 0.848 WHIP, 39 strikeouts, .191 opponents BA.

He has not faced the Reds this year. Last year vs. the Reds he wasn’t as good: 4.60 ERA in five starts, including seven home runs allowed in 31⅓ innings. Current Reds, though, are hitting just .206 (21-for-102) off Darvish with 34 strikeouts. Let’s hope that continues today.

Trevor Bauer is also a Cy Young candidate. He’s thrown two complete-game shutouts this year, leading the major leagues, although it should be noted both of those were seven-inning CG’s. He’s struck out 49 in 32⅔ innings.

Bauer has not faced the Cubs this year. In his only start vs. the Cubs last year, August 9 at GABP, he threw seven innings and allowed one run, with 11 strikeouts.

This shapes up as a pitchers’ duel. Watch, both pitchers will get knocked out early and this game will be 11-10 or something.

Game 2: Alec Mills, RHP vs. Tejay Antone, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Mills has made five starts this year. Three of them have been good-to-excellent; the other two, let’s not talk about them.

His first start of 2020 was against the Reds July 28 at GABP. That one was excellent — he allowed just two hits and two runs. I’ll sign up for another one of those, please.

Tejay Antone is in his rookie year with the Reds. He’s made five relief appearances and one start. His MLB debut was agains the Cubs July 27 at GABP, where he threw 4⅓ innings, allowed one hit and one run (a home run by Anthony Rizzo) and struck out five.

Antone has an excellent K rate (12.1 per nine innings) and a slightly elevated walk rate (4.4 per nine innings). Perhaps the Cubs can wait him out and draw walks. Per Fangraphs he throws mostly fastballs and sliders, and averages 95+ on the fastball.

Both of today’s games are on Marquee Sports Network. Here is a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. The games will also be on MLB Network outside the Cubs and Reds market territories. MLBN will pick up the Reds broadcast via Fox Sports Ohio.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday for Game 1

MLB.com Gameday for Game 2

Baseball-reference.com game preview for Game 1

Baseball-reference.com game preview for Game 2

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2020 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. The game procedure for today’s doubleheader will be a little bit different, though, see below.

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, and for today’s doubleheader — since it’s a traditional doubleheader with about 40 minutes in between games — overflow threads will post one hour, two hours, three hours and four hours after the first pitch.

Discuss amongst yourselves.