BREAKING THINGS DOWN: Cubs records vs. NL divisions and AL through Sunday:
vs. NL Central: 28-32 (16 games remaining)
vs. NL West: 17-12 (three games remaining)
vs. NL East: 12-19 (three games remaining)
vs. AL Central: 6-12 (two games remaining)
SCHWINDY CITY UPDATE: Frank Schwindel, 13 games since August 22: .389/.431/.759 (21-for-54), 13 runs scored, a triple, six home runs, 14 RBI.
LEADING IT OFF: In 33 games since the trade deadline, Rafael Ortega, Michael Hermosillo, David Bote and Matt Duffy have combined to hit .304 (38-for-125) with six doubles, eight homers, 24 RBI and 12 walks out of the leadoff spot for the Cubs.
IT’S OFF THE BOARD: Frank Schwindel’s home run off the left-field video board Saturday was the first such homer since Willson Contreras and Justin Turner both did it in Game 4 of the 2017 NLCS, October 18, 2017.
Here are today’s particulars.
A Labor Day matinee at Wrigley Field! pic.twitter.com/qSNdpZ96Dl— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 6, 2021
Also of interest for this series (time listed is ET):
Justin Steele, LHP vs. Sonny Gray, RHP
Justin Steele has made four starts since returning to the Cubs. Three of them have been at least decent, and his last one, September 1 vs. the Twins, was excellent: one hit (plus three walks) in five shutout innings. He got into jams, then got out of them.
His start against the Reds August 16 in Cincinnati wasn’t as good: two runs in four innings, with three walks. Jonathan India homered off him. He’ll have to be better this afternoon to give the Cubs a chance to win.
Sonny Gray held the Cubs to five hits and one run in five innings July 2 in Cincinnati, but most of those guys aren’t on the team anymore.
More important could be this: Gray has a 1.00 ERA and 0.556 WHIP over his last three starts covering 18 innings, with 14 strikeouts. Cubs teams generally have had trouble with Gray over his career, so this one will not be easy.
Fun fact: Sonny Gray’s actual given name is... Sonny. (“Sonny Douglas Gray,” per his baseball-reference page.)
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here is a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.
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The 2020 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. Here’s how it works.
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. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads” so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game’s StoryStream as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.