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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Saturday 8/13, 5:40 CT

After a magical Field of Dreams win, the Cubs go for two in a row over the Reds, continuing the series at GABP.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Saturday notes...

  • STRIKEOUT STREAKS: This is courtesy of BCB’s own JohnW53.

Justin Steele and Drew Smyly each had nine strikeouts in their starts Wednesday and Thursday. That made them the first Cubs starters to strike out at least nine batters in back-to-back games in more than six years, since June 5-6, 2016.

In the first of those games, Jake Arrieta fanned 12 in five innings of a 3-2 loss at home to the Diamondbacks. Then Jon Lester whiffed nine in eight shutout innings of a 6-4 win at Philadelphia.

They have not had three starts in a row featuring at least nine strikeouts since Sept. 14-16, 2008. The first game was Carlos Zambrano’s 10-strikeout no-hitter of the Astros. The next day, Ted Lilly struck out nine while allowing Houston one hit in seven innings. Both of those games were played at Milwaukee. The third game was at Wrigley Field, where Ryan Dempster fanned nine in six innings against the Brewers.

  • MORE ON PITCHING: Cubs pitching has posted a 2.57 ERA (56 earned runs in 196⅓ innings) in the team’s last 22 games since July 16. In this stretch Cubs pitchers have walked 64, struck out 186 and held opponents to a batting average of .231 (169-for-733).
  • HE’S HOT: Rowan Wick has made 11 straight scoreless appearances (11⅓ innings, three walks, 15 strikeouts) since July 10, and during that span his season ERA has dropped from 5.30 to 3.94.
  • HE’S ALSO HOT: Nick Madrigal, last six games since August 5: .444/.500/.500 (8-for-18), two walks, only three strikeouts. His season OPS has risen from .510 to .581 over that span.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Reds lineup:

Adrian Sampson, RHP vs. Graham Ashcraft, RHP


Adrian Sampson keeps posting very good starts, one after the other. He’s certainly a competent fifth starter, and could be so even on a playoff contender.

He hasn’t faced the Reds this year and most of the current Reds haven’t faced him much — no one on their active roster has more than five PA against him. Perhaps that will be to his advantage.

Graham Ashcraft has made 14 MLB starts, one of which was against the Cubs June 30 at Wrigley Field, in which he got torched for seven runs in 2⅓ innings, including a grand slam by Patrick Wisdom that reached Waveland.

Oddly, even though he throws hard (97+, see the graphic below), he’s not a big strikeout pitcher — only 5.9 per nine innings. This suggests his fastball is pretty straight and can be hit (eight HR allowed in 80 innings). Since that start against the Cubs: 3.22 ERA, 1.404 WHIP. He’s pitched a bit better at home (3.46 ERA, seven starts) than on the road (4.46 ERA, seven starts).


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

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2022 Game Thread procedure will be like last years, 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.