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Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals preview, Sunday 8/22, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs look to avoid a series sweep and a new franchise record for consecutive home losses.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Sunday notes:

  • LOSSES: As you read earlier this morning, the Cubs have now tied the franchise-record longest home losing streak at 12. Other long Cubs home losing streaks in a single season: 11 in 1902, 10 in 1951 and 1974 and nine in 1970 and 2006.
  • MORE ON THE STREAK: In the Cubs’ current 12-game home losing streak they have been outscored 90-32 and posted a .202 BA (78-for-386) and 7.36 ERA. Yikes.
  • A HOME RUN NOTE: Patrick Wisdom hit his 20th home run Saturday. He has 250 plate appearances. Just five other players in MLB history have hit that many home runs in a full season in 250 or fewer PA. Three of them are AL/NL players: Luke Voit (22 in 234 PA, 2020), Matt Olson (24 in 216 PA, 2017), Gary Sanches (20 in 229 PA, 2016), and two are Negro League players: Josh Gibson (20 in 183 PA, 1937) and Candy Jim Taylor (20 in 244 PA, 1923).
  • GOOD PITCHING, BAD PITCHING: The Cubs are 26-12 when receiving a quality start. The rotation is 26-7 with a 2.07 ERA (55 earned runs in 239⅓ innings) in their 38 quality starts this season, but the starters are 11-44 with a 6.75 ERA (281 earned runs in 374⅔ innings) in the team’s other 87 games.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Royals lineup:

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Carlos Hernandez, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Another interesting streak that could be matched today by an unexpected source: Alec Mills today could become the first Cubs pitcher to make 13 straight starts in a single season with three or fewer earned runs and two or fewer walks since 1919 when Hippo Vaughn did so in 13-consecutive starts from May 3-June 22 of that season.

Mills, of course, was originally drafted by the Royals (22nd round, 2012) and made his MLB debut with them in 2016. He has faced them only once: August 3, 2020 at Wrigley Field, and he threw seven shutout innings. One more just like that today, please.

Statcast

Carlos Hernandez has made 23 appearances (nine starts) for the Royals in 2020 and 2021 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.346 WHIP and 10 HR allowed in 66⅔ innings.

Since joining the Royals rotation to (apparently) stay after the All-Star break, he has made six starts and posted a 3.86 ERA and 1.121 WHIP in 30⅓ innings, including solid outings against the White Sox and Yankees.

He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on their active roster except Austin Romine (1-for-1, a double).

The Cubs don’t usually do well against guys like this, and as you can see below, he throws hard. Good luck, Cubs.

Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Royals site Royals Review. If you do go there to interact with Royals 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.