- DON’T WALK: Cubs pitchers did not walk a batter Thursday or Friday. That is the 100th time since 1901 that they had two straight walkless games. The 99th was Monday and Tuesday, before they walked three on Wednesday. Together, they make four of five games without issuing a walk.
The only previous time the Cubs walked none four times in any span of five games was more than 60 years ago, on April 24-28, 1963. They walked none in 2-0 and 3-2 losses to the Mets, walked three in a 5-2 loss to the Phillies, then none in 4-2 and 4-1 wins over the Phillies.
This afternoon, the Cubs can tie their team record of three straight games without a walk. They have done it eight times, but not since September 23-25, 1984.
They walked at least one batter in second games before and after every three-game streak, so they did not have four out of five in any of them. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- THE MAN OF STEELE: Justin Steele has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 14 straight starts dating to July 22, 2022. In addition to being one short of the Cubs franchise record for such things, it’s also tied with Max Fried for the longest active run in MLB. In those starts, Steele has posted a 1.24 ERA (11 earned runs in 80 innings.
- NOT GIVING UP THE LONG BALL: Cubs pitching has allowed 26 home runs so far this year, fewest in the National League and third-fewest in MLB behind the Rays and Mariners. Meanwhile, the team has hit 41 home runs, fourth-most among N.L. teams and tied with the Orioles for ninth-most in MLB.
- AND NOT STRIKING OUT: Even with 15 batter strikeouts Friday, the Cubs’ total of 272 strikeouts is tied for 19th-most in MLB (with the Angels).
Here are today’s particulars.
Drew Smyly, LHP vs. Matt Barnes, RHP
Since a disastrous first start, Drew Smyly has made five more and not allowed more than two runs in any of them (and that only once). That’s a 1.48 ERA and 0.692 WHIP and only four walks in 30⅓ innings.
The last time Smyly faced the Marlins was August 6, 2022 at Wrigley Field and he threw 6⅓ shutout innings against them then, allowing just five hits. Another one just like that, please.
Today's starter for the Marlins is a change. Bryan Hoeing was originally scheduled but scratched about an hour before this preview posted. Don't know the reason. Barnes is a reliever who hasn't started a game since 2015, so this will be a bullpen game for Miami. Barnes threw a scoreless seventh in Friday's game and his max pitch count in any outing this year is 34.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Marlins market territories).
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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.