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Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies preview, Wednesday 9/15, 6:05 CT

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The Cubs go for two in a row over the Phillies.

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Wednesday notes...

  • ROAD WARRIORS: The Cubs are 6-2 in their last eight road games since August 17 after going 5-21 in 26 road contests from June 25-August 16. In his last five road starts dating to July 2, Alec Mills has posted a 2.12 ERA (seven earned runs in 29⅔ innings) with one home run allowed, eight walks and 25 strikeouts. That includes 8⅓ shutout frames in his last start away from the Friendly Confines, August 28 at the White Sox in a 7-0 Cubs victory. More on Millsy below.
  • WORDS OF WISDOM: Patrick Wisdom’s 26 home runs (in 300 AB) this season lead NL rookies and are third among all rookies behind Adolis Garcia (30 HR in 514 AB) and Ryan Mountcastle (28 HR in 467 AB).
  • LOTS AND LOTS OF CUBS: Trayce Thompson last night became the 64th player to appear for the Cubs this season, extending the franchise single-season record, surpassing the 56 used in 2013. 39 players have made their Cubs debut this season — that’s also a single-season franchise mark, surpassing 34 in 2013. Prior to 2013, that record number was 30, set in 1902.
  • HAPP-ENSTANCE: Ian Happ has hit safely in 24 of his last 29 games since August 12, batting .358/.391/.752 (39-for-109) with eight doubles, a triple, 11 homers, 26 RBI and a 1.144 OPS. The BA, SLG and OPS lead all major league switch-hitters in that span. (NOTE: The OPS+SLG doesn’t exactly equal the OPS due to rounding.)

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Phillies lineup:

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Ranger Suarez, LHP

USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Mills, 14 starts since June 20: 3.68 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 1.323 WHIP, just 14 walks in 73⅓ innings.

Overall as a starter this year: 3.86 ERA, 1.298 WHIP in 16 starts.

Career as a starter: 3.97 ERA in 33 starts, compared to a 5.24 ERA in 25 relief appearances.

Maybe the Cubs should have just stopped messing around with Mills and given him a rotation spot.

Mills started against the Phillies July 7 at Wrigley Field and threw five shutout innings before running out of gas in the sixth. That was the game that ended the Cubs’ 11-game losing streak.

The Cubs have currently lost four straight. Perhaps Mills can help end this one, too.

Statcast

Seriously, at some point Ranger Suarez has to wind up on the Rangers.

For now, in 2021 he was lights-out as a reliever for the Phillies (1.12 ERA in 27 relief appearances through the end of July.

Moved to the rotation at the beginning of August, Suarez has also been very good: eight starts, 1.67 ERA, 1.195 WHIP, no home runs in 37⅔ innings.

He threw one scoreless inning in an 8-0 Phillies win over the Cubs July 8 at Wrigley Field. No current Cub has faced him more than once.

Suarez had a 4.66 career ERA in 44 appearances for the Phillies from 2018-20. You’d think he’d come back to Earth at some point.

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 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.