- FOLLOW-UP: Sunday’s 2-0 shutout win, which followed 10-2 and 11-1 losses, marked just the second time in franchise history the team allowed 10 or more runs in consecutive games only to shut out the same opponent in the next game. The other time: July 31-August 1, 1903, the Cubs fell to the Reds by scores of 10-4 and 13-4 before shutting out Cincinnati on August 2, 5-0. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
- THAT LOCKDOWN BULLPEN: Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel have combined to throw 49⅓ consecutive scoreless innings without allowing an earned run. Tepera is riding a 20⅓ scoreless-inning streak dating to May 12, Chafin has thrown 15⅓ consecutive scoreless frames since May 8 and Kimbrel has allowed just one unearned run in his last 13⅔ innings spanning 14 games since May 18.
- STILL ON TOP: The Cubs went into first place May 31, and despite going just 10-10 since then, they have remained either in first place alone or tied every day since.
- NOBODY BEATS THE RIZ: Anthony Rizzo leads all left-handed hitters with a .357 average (20-for-56) against left-handed pitching this season, and his .886 OPS against southpaws ranks sixth in the majors among all lefty hitters.
Here are today’s particulars.
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Eli Morgan, RHP
Kyle Hendricks since the beginning of May: nine starts, 2.79 ERA, 1.121 WHIP, just nine walks in 58 innings. That’s an average of 6.4 innings per start, incidentally; going longer into games is something the Cubs really need from their starters.
Kyle last faced Cleveland in the abbreviated 2020 season, August 12 at Progressive Field. He allowed seven hits and one run in six innings. That’d do, tonight.
Also, the Cubs have won all of Kyle’s last seven starts, so hopefully they keep that streak going.
Eli Morgan was Cleveland’s eighth-round pick in 2017 from Gonzaga. (Comparison point: The Cubs’ pick in that round was Austin Filiere, an infielder from MIT (!), who played two years in the Cubs system, then was out of baseball after 2018.)
Morgan has made two major-league starts and been hit hard in both of them. Currently he sports a 12.79 ERA and 2.368 WHIP and he has served up three home runs in 6⅓ MLB innings against the Blue Jays and Orioles.
He’s obviously never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current Cubs roster. This would seem to be a really good game for the Cubs to get out of their hitting slump.
When Morgan bats tonight it will be his first plate appearance since high school, at least eight years ago. The day the universal DH is announced will be a happy day.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.
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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.