LONDON — First, a site note: Because of the large crowd expected at this game, and the distance between the stadium and where I’m staying in London, I anticipate the recap of this game will be delayed beyond when I’d usually post about a weekend afternoon away game. Figure it’ll take me at least an hour, perhaps more, just to get back. So it could be as much as two hours after game’s end before the recap is up at BCB.
Now, on to the usual game notes for Saturday...
- OUT OF THE COUNTRY: Today’s game will be the Cubs’ 267th outside the United States. Their record in the previous games is 113-153, as follows: 108-144 at Montreal, 1-1 at Tokyo and 4-8 at Toronto. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- NOT WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND: The Cubs are now 30-20 on weekdays (a .600 winning percentage equivalent to a 97-65 record for a full season) and 6-18 on weekends (a .250 winning percentage equivalent to a 41-121 record for a full season). However, that weekend record has improved lately, as the Cubs are 3-3 on weekends in June, after being 3-15 before that. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- HE’S HOT: Mike Tauchman, last 11 games since June 10: .325/.429/.525 (13-for-40), two doubles, two home runs, eight walks, 12 runs scored.
- HE’S NOT: Cody Bellinger, six games since returning from the injured list: .105/.182/.158 (2-for-19), seven strikeouts.
Here are today’s particulars.
Justin Steele, LHP vs. Adam Wainwright. RHP
Justin Steele had a decent, not great, outing vs. the Orioles last Saturday in his return from the injured list, throwing five innings and allowing five hits and two runs, with four strikeouts.
He threw six innings and allowed three runs against the Cardinals May 10 at Wrigley Field, the only game the Cubs won in that three-game set. He’ll probably have to be a little better than that for the Cubs to win.
When the Yankees and Red Sox played in London Stadium in 2019, it was a hitters’ paradise, with 50 runs scored and 10 home runs hit. We’ve been told that they have reconfigured the field to depress offense a bit.
For Adam Wainwright, this will be his 49th career start against the Cubs. That will match Bob Forsch for the second-most starts vs. the Cubs in the divisional play era (since 1969). Topping that list is Steve Carlton (65).
Wainwright has been a very good to excellent pitcher through most of that period. This year, though... not so much. He’s got a 5.56 ERA in eight starts and his K rate is at a career low 4.9 per nine innings. His last four starts have been a bit better than the previous four, but still not very good. As you can see below, his fastball doesn’t have the velocity it once did.
He has not faced the Cubs this year. As you might imagine, some current Cubs have faced him quite a bit. Ian Happ is batting .344 (11-for-32) against Wainwright with three doubles and four home runs. Heck, even Tucker Barnhart has homered twice off Wainwright.
So we’ll see.
Today’s game is on Fox-TV (full national broadcast, no blackouts). Announcers: Joe Davis, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal.
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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.