- THAT’S A WRAP: A win today will give the Cubs a final record of 84-78 for the fifth season since the schedule was expanded to 162 games in 1962. They previously were 84-78 in 1968, when they finished third of 10 teams, 1970 (second of six), 1993 (fourth of seven) and 2019 (third of five). A loss will make the Cubs 83-79, a mark they have had only once before, in 1971 (third of six). In 2009, they were 83-78 (second of six). The Cubs ended the year six games above .500 only once prior to 1962: 80-74 in 1922 (fifth of eight). They never were five above. 2023 will be their 76th season since 1876 with a winning record. They were .500 in 3 seasons and had a losing record in 69. Their average record since 1876 is 76-72-1. Since 1962, it is 77-80; since 2000, 79-79. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- TEAM LEADERS: BA: Cody Bellinger (.307). OBP: Ian Happ (.360). SLG: Bellinger (.525). OPS: Bellinger (.881). Runs: Nico Hoerner (98). Hits: Bellinger (153). Walks: Happ (99). RBI: Bellinger (97). SB: Hoerner (43). Wins: Justin Steele (16). ERA: Steele (3.06). Innings: Steele (173⅔). Starts: Steele (30). Saves: Adbert Alzolay (22). Appearances: Julian Merryweather and Mark Leiter Jr. (69).
- TEAM SPLITS: Home: 45-36. Road: 38-42. Day games: 38-33. Night games: 45-45. Grass fields; 80-70. Turf fields: 3-8. vs. NL East: 11-20. vs. NL Central: 30-21. vs. NL West: 17-16. vs. AL: 25-21. vs. RH starters: 54-56. vs. LH starters: 29-22.
Here are today’s particulars.
The Cubs lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Cubs lineup.
Drew Smyly, LHP vs. Adrian Houser, RHP
This was originally going to be Justin Steele’s start, had the game still meant anything for the Cubs.
But since it doesn’t, Steele will watch from the bench and Drew Smyly, who last started August 22 vs. the Tigers, will go for the Cubs.
Since that August start, Smyly has made 13 relief appearances and posted a 1.53 ERA and 1.245 WHIP, with 25 strikeouts in 17⅔ innings. That’s actually really good! He has held opponents to a .197 BA over that span and allowed just one home run.
Smyly has averaged 22 pitches per appearance over those 13 outings so I wouldn’t expect him to go too long this afternoon.
Adrian Houser spent some time on the injured list with what was termed “right elbow effusion.” He returned to make three starts in September with a 2.81 ERA, and has been limited to about 80 pitches in each, so I’d think that would be it for him this afternoon.
His only start vs. the Cubs this year was July 5, when he allowed one run in five innings.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here.
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The 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, 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.