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Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies preview, Thursday 7/8, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs go for two in a row!

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Thursday notes:

  • SOME JAVY NUMBERS: Javier Báez’s 56 RBI thus far rank fourth-most among Cubs middle infielders prior to the All-Star break, surpassed by his own 72 RBI before the 2018 All-Star break and 62 RBI leading into the 2019 ASG, as well as Ryne Sandberg’s 57 RBI heading into the 1990 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field. And, Javy’s 21 homers this season are third-most by a Cubs middle infielder leading up to the All-Star break behind Sandberg’s 24 homers in 1990 and his own 22 homers in 2019.
  • A LONG TIME AGO: Robinson Chirinos’ home run Tuesday evening was his first home run for the organization since he went deep, August 27, 2010, for Triple-A Iowa against the Omaha Royals.
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To former Cubs outfielder Al Spangler, who turns 88 today.
  • THE LONG BALL: Despite not homering in Wednesday’s game, the Cubs still rank third in the NL with 113 home runs on the season, behind the Giants (126) and Braves (117).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Phillies lineup:

Adbert Alzolay, RHP vs. Zach Eflin, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Adbert Alzolay had a solid outing last Saturday against the Reds, three runs in seven innings. Most times, that will result in your team winning, but...

Moving on.

Alzolay has never faced the Phillies and the only Phillie who’s ever faced him is Brad Miller (0-for-2). Perhaps that will be to his advantage tonight.

Zach Eflin intersperses good starts with bad ones; overall this year has been decidedly mediocre for him. One thing he has done well is not issue walks — only 13 in 96 innings, just 1.2 per nine innings. So the Cubs will have to look to put the ball in play tonight.

Eflin’s last start against the Cubs was May 21, 2019 at Wrigley Field and he allowed just one run in six innings.

So, this one could be a low-scoring affair.

Statcast
Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on ESPN (outside the Cubs and Phillies market territories).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Phillies site The Good Phight. If you do go there to interact with Phillies 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.