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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Wednesday 8/18, 11:35 a.m. CT

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The Cubs... wait for it... go for two in a row!

Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Today's roster move: Here

Wednesday notes:

  • THE SCHWINDY CITY: Frank Schwindel has an extra-base hit in six straight games, the first Cubs right-handed hitter to accomplish that since Aramis Ramirez did so July 16-22, 2011. In 16 games for the Cubs Schwindel is hitting .382/.414/.727 (22-for-55) with seven doubles and four home runs.
  • THE DUFFSTER: Matt Duffy is on a nine-game hitting streak in which he is batting .393/.414/.429 (11-for-28) with five runs scored.
  • HEY, MAYBE HE’S GOOD AFTER ALL: Adam Morgan since the All-Star break: 14 appearances, 0.84 ERA, 0.938 WHIP, 16 strikeouts in 10⅔ innings.
  • THE CLOSE ONES: The Cubs are 17-22 in one-run games thus far and the 39 one-run contests are tied for third-most in the majors with the Mariners and behind the Mets (45) and Braves (40).
  • OVERALL, IT’S STILL NOT GOOD, THOUGH: The Cubs are 2-14 in August and have been outscored 123-59. Since July 26 they are 3-18 and have been outscored 152-78. And since June 13: 15-42, outscored 342-205.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Adrian Sampson, RHP vs. Tyler Mahle, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
USA TODAY NETWORK

Well, this was a surprise. Adrian Sampson was signed to a minor-league deal by the Cubs in May after pitching in Korea in 2020, and he didn’t do well there (25 starts, 5.40 ERA, 1.562 WHIP).

He hasn’t thrown well in Iowa either: 4.96 ERA, 1.531 WHIP in 16 appearances (14 starts). His last start, August 13 vs. Omaha, was pretty good, though: 6⅓ innings, five hits, one run.

He has never faced the Reds or anyone on their roster, so there’s that.

He will become the first Adrian to play for the Cubs since Adrian Cardenas, who hit .183/.269/.283 (11-for-60) in 45 games for the 2012 Cubs. Cardenas’ only MLB claim to fame was that he broke up a potential no-hitter by A.J. Burnett in the eighth inning at Wrigley Field July 31, 2012. In 2013 he wrote this interesting article in the New Yorker about why he quit baseball.

That has nothing to do with Adrian Sampson, but here we are.

Tyler Mahle has made three starts against the Cubs this year. Two of them were good, the other not so much, and those are largely irrelevant because most of the players in those games are gone.

The only current Cubs who have more than a handful of at-bats against Mahle are Ian Happ and Jason Heyward, and combined against him they are 3-for-41 (.073) with 14 strikeouts. No, I am not making that up. One of the hits was a home run (by Heyward).

Repeat after me: Clearly, we are doomed.

Statcast

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

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.