Today’s roster move: Here
- GOOD NEWS: No matter what happens in this game, the Brewers cannot clinch the NL Central today. Their magic number is 3.
- THE FOUR-RUN STREAK: The Cubs have scored four or more runs in a season-high seven straight games since September 11. That’s the first time they have done that since a seven-game stretch, August 2-8, 2019 (49 runs total). If the Cubs can score at least four this afternoon, it would be the first time for the franchise since an eight-game streak June 26 - July 4, 2018 (70 runs total).
- PLAYER OF THE MONTH CANDIDATES: The Cubs have two hitters who might be up for the NL Player of the Month award for September. Ian Happ is hitting .359/.414/.719 (23-for-64) this month with three doubles, a triple and six home runs. Frank Schwindel has been even better: .391/.432/.739 (27-for-69) with three doubles and seven home runs, along with nine multi-hit games.
- SCHWINDY CITY UPDATE: Frank Schwindel enters today with yet another career-high tying eight-game hitting streak, in which he’s batting .389/.421/.722 (14-for-36) with three doubles, three homers and six RBI. It’s his third eight-game hitting streak since he joined the club from Triple-A Iowa on July 30. Schwindel is the first Cub with three hitting streaks of at least eight games in a season since both Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo in 2016.
Here are today’s particulars.
Keegan Thompson, RHP vs. Eric Lauer, LHP
Originally, Adrian Sampson was scheduled to start today, but the Cubs now have a healthy Keegan Thompson they want to have a look at, so Thompson takes the start (presumably, with Sampson ready to take over in the middle innings).
Thompson has not faced the Brewers as a starter. He threw 1x scoreless relief innings against them in two appearances in late June.
I honestly don’t know how this one will go for Thompson. I’d expect him to be limited to maybe 50-55 pitches, or three innings or so. Perhaps he can get through the Brewers lineup once without incident, then Sampson can take over.
Eric Lauer got off to a rough start this year but his last 12 appearances (11 starts) have been excellent: 1.84 ERA, 1.005 WHIP, .192 opponents BA in 63⅓ innings.
He has not faced the Cubs since 2019 and so current Cubs are an extremely small sample size 0-for-9 against him.
This was the one pitching matchup I thought might work out for the Cubs in this series. It still might. Time to bring out the old cliché: “That’s why they play the games.”
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.
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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.