- THE KRAKEN: Craig Kimbrel is tied with Jeff Reardon for 10th all-time with 367 saves. His next save will tie him for ninth all-time with Jonathan Papelbon. Next up after that: Joe Nathan (377).
- RUN DIFFERENTIAL: Even with Friday’s loss by eight runs, the Cubs’ current plus-30 run differential this season (311-281) is the fourth-best differential in the NL behind the Dodgers (+96), Giants (+88) and Padres (+69).
- WORDS OF WISDOM: Patrick Wisdom leads N.L. rookies with nine home runs, one ahead of Jazz Chisholm Jr. Wisdom is hitting .302 (19-for-63) with two doubles, nine home runs, 13 RBI, a .371 OBP, a .762 SLG and a 1.133 OPS this season.
- REVERSE SPLITS: Anthony Rizzo leads all left-handed hitters with a .357 average (20-for-56) against left-handed pitching this season, but he is hitting just .222 (37-for-167) with eight homers and a .769 OPS against righthanders.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jake Arrieta, RHP vs. Pablo Lopez, RHP
Jake Arrieta just hasn’t been the same since his thumb abrasion put him on the injured list at the end of April. He had five good starts before that. Since then? Not so much. Whether that injury is still bothering him or not, he’s going to have to get better for the Cubs to continue to contend.
Jake’s last start against the Marlins, September 10, 2020, doesn’t look much different from many of his bad starts in 2021: 5⅔ innings, five hits, four walks, three runs. Today will have to be better.
Pablo Lopez has been mostly good in 14 starts for the Marlins this year: 3.12 ERA, 1.154 WHIP, 78 strikeouts in 78 innings, a good walk rate (2.4 per nine innings).
He has one career start vs. the Cubs: April 16, 2018 in Miami. He allowed five hits and two runs in five innings.
That’s about all I’ve got on Lopez. These guys are pretty anonymous. Doesn’t mean they aren’t good.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. Chris Myers will join Jim Deshaies in the Marquee booth today to call play-by-play.
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The 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.
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 post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, 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 the overflow thread 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 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.