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Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Angels preview, Thursday 6/8, 8:38 CT

The Cubs look to take one game before they leave Anaheim.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday notes...

  • THE SAME OLD STORY: The Cubs took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning Wednesday night, then gave up a tying run in the bottom half. It was the 15th time this season that the Cubs have taken a lead, then surrendered it in the opposing team’s next turn at bat. They have done it five times on the road and 10 times at home.

The Cubs have taken a lead, then let it slip away, 28 times in 22 distinct games. They ultimately lost 15 of the 22. They have tied the score, never gone ahead, then fallen behind again 12 times in eight games. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)

  • YES, IT’S BEEN THIS BAD: Since the Cubs swept the Athletics in Oakland in April, the A’s have posted an 11-34 record, worst in the American League and MLB overall. Over that same time span the Cubs are only 4½ games better, 15-29.
  • LOTS AND LOTS OF PITCHES: Cubs hitters have seen an MLB-leading 9,611 pitches, despite having played fewer games than 20 other teams, and lead the majors in pitches per plate appearance at 4.12.
  • NICO NOTE: Nico Hoerner has gone 27 straight plate appearances without recording a strikeout, dating to the eighth inning May 31. This is his second such streak of the season - April 14-22 he had a 42 plate appearance streak without striking out. Overall Nico has struck out just 24 times this year, third-fewest among MLB players who have at least as many PA as he does (239).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Angels lineup:

Drew Smyly, LHP vs. Reid Detmers, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Smyly has hit a bit of a snag in what was a really good season. Last three starts: 5.87 ERA, 1.630 WHP, seven walks in 15⅓ innings.

He hasn’t faced the Angels since 2019 when he was with the Rangers, so that’s largely irrelevant. Only one current Angels hitter has faced him more than a handful of times: Mike Trout (5-for-18, .278, three doubles, two home runs). So maybe stop Trout and this will be a good game for Drew.

Reid Detmers had a pretty good 2022 (2.4 bWAR in 25 starts, including a no-hitter against the Rays), but this year... not so much.

His ERA has been under 4.00 once — after his first start, when it was 3.86. He hasn’t gotten out of the sixth inning since April 16, and that’s the only time this year in 10 starts. Warning! Like Blake Snell, Detmers has reverse splits this year — better vs. RHB (.711 OPS) than LHB (.936 OPS). Just for the record.

Detmers has never faced the Cubs and current Cubs are a small sample size 5-for-19 against him. Yan Gomes has homered off him, for whatever that’s worth.


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 Angels market territories).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

Please visit the Angels site Crashing The Pearly Gates. If you do go there to interact with Angels 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 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.