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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Saturday 7/3, 3:10 CT

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Once again, the Cubs will try to break a long losing streak.

Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Saturday notes:

  • UNPACKING SOON: The current three-city 10-game trip is the Cubs’ longest of the season. Once it’s completed tomorrow, the team will begin a stretch of 14 home games in 21 contests from July 5, past the All-Star break through July 29
  • J-HEY UPDATE: Jason Heyward in his last 12 games since June 17 has hit .344/.447/.531 (11-for-32) with five runs scored, three doubles, a home run, six walks and a .978 OPS.
  • WORDS OF WISDOM: MLB yesterday named Patrick Wisdom N.L. Rookie of the Month for June after he produced a .950 OPS with eight home runs and 16 RBI. Wisdom has hit 11 homers on the season, becoming the first Cubs rookie to reach 11 long balls prior to July 1 since Geovany Soto hit 13 homers entering July 1 of the 2008 campaign en route to NL Rookie of the Year honors that season.
  • THE SHERIFF: Andrew Chafin has thrown 20 shutout innings in his last 21 outings since May 8. Further, in his last 27 games since April 26 he has produced a 0.35 ERA (one earned run in 26 innings) with seven walks, 19 strikeouts, a .120 average against (10-for-83) and a .333 opponent OPS.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Adbert Alzolay, RHP vs. Tyler Mahle, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Adbert Alzolay had a lousy outing against the Dodgers last Sunday in his first appearance since returning from the injured list with a blister issue.

So instead I’m going to tell you about what was probably Adbert’s best outing of the year, May 28 against the Reds at Wrigley Field. In that game, Alzolay allowed five hits and three walks in 5⅔ innings, but kept the Reds off the board. The Cubs won the game 1-0, and the way the offense has been going, they might have to do that this afternoon.

I keep thinking Adbert is THISCLOSE to breaking through and becoming a dominant pitcher for the Cubs. Perhaps that can begin today.

On May 30 at Wrigley Field, Tyler Mahle shut out the Cubs for five innings, allowing only one hit.

On May 2 in Cincinnati, the Cubs torched Tyler Mahle for nine hits and six runs in five innings, including three home runs (two by Kris Bryant, one by Anthony Rizzo).

Which Mahle do the Cubs get today? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I will tell you that since that May 30 start, Mahle had a mediocre June: 4.34 ERA in five starts. He’s also pitched much worse at home (six starts, 6.75 ERA, eight HR in 30⅔ innings) than on the road (10 starts, 2.01 ERA, three HR in 53⅔ innings). So maybe this moribund Cubs offense can wake up against him.

Statcast
Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. Chris Myers will join Jim Deshaies for today’s broadcast.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

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 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.