- CH-CH-CH-CH-CHATWOOD: Tyler Chatwood is the first Cubs pitcher since at least 1901 to begin a season with consecutive starts of six innings, one run or fewer allowed and at least eight strikeouts. True fact! More on Chatwood below.
- PITCHING: Through 12 games Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 1.95 ERA (16 earned runs in 74 innings), by far the lowest mark in MLB (Miami is second at 2.22). This is the Cubs’ lowest ERA by its starting pitchers in the season’s first 12 games since 1985, when the rotation posted a 1.94 ERA (had a 1.76 ERA through 13 games). (H/T: Elias)
- MORE PITCHING: The starting rotation’s 45 hits and 16 runs allowed are the fewest surrendered in the team’s first 12 games since 1901, while the rotation’s nine victories are tied for the most (done four times, previously in 1934). (H/T: Ed Hartig)
- EVEN MORE PITCHING: Jeremy Jeffress has held opponents hitless in 18 at-bats spanning six innings thus far. The 18 at-bats are the most among any relievers yet to not allow a hit this season (Detroit’s Buck Farmer is second, holding opponents 0-for-16).
- DON’T MISS THE LATE INNINGS: Including two runs in each of the eighth and ninth innings in Wednesday’s win, the Cubs have now scored 28 runs in the seventh inning or later this season, tied for the most in the majors with the Padres.
Here are today’s particulars.
Tyler Chatwood, RHP vs. Brad Keller, RHP
Tyler Chatwood: For real? This MLB.com article by Andrew Simon examines some of the changes Chatwood has made in his repertoire and approach and hints that maybe, just maybe, he is. He’s always had the talent. Better late than never. I found this instructive;
One reason for Tyler Chatwood's early-season success: this combo.— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) August 5, 2020
His sinkers (orange) fade one way.
His cutters (brown) -- a resurgent pitch this year -- dive the other way. pic.twitter.com/IZb2TKJwpP
In his last 21 games (four starts) since July 4 of last season, Chatwood has posted a 2.18 ERA (11 earned runs in 45⅓ innings) with 15 walks, 58 strikeouts, a .179 opponent batting average (29-for-162) and a .508 opponent OPS.
Chatwood’s only appearance vs. the Royals as a Cub was in garbage time August 8, 2018. It didn’t go well. I suspect tonight will be better.
Brad Keller has not pitched yet this year due to a positive COVID-19 test (noted in this article). His only career start vs. the Cubs came August 7, 2018 in Kansas City; the Cubs scored four runs in six innings off him.
It’s impossible to say what the recovery from COVID-19 will do to Keller’s performance. The article above says he had mild symptoms and has been working out at the Royals’ alternate site.
Today’s game is on Fox-TV (coverage map). Note: If you are a MLB.TV or MLB Extra Innings subscriber outside the Cubs or Royals market territories, you should be able to watch this game via those services. Fox announcers: Joe Davis and A.J. Pierzynski.
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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/Date) 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.