- NOT WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: The Cubs are 9-12 in games decided by one run and 3-10 in games decided by two. That combined 12-22 is a winning percentage of .353. Over a full season, it would result in a record of 57-105. The Cubs’ percentage is the lowest of any NL team and second lowest overall, ahead only of the Rangers, at .343 (12-23). The Nationals are at .364 (16-28); the Padres, at .366 (15-26); and the Royals, at .368 (14-24). All other teams are at .415 or higher.
Five teams are above .600: the Marlins (.714, 30-12), Orioles (.632, 24-14), Reds (.627, 32-19), Braves (.622, 23-14) and Pirates (.606, 20-13). The Tigers are next, at .579 (22-16). The Reds (31), Marlins (30) and Guardians (28) have the most wins in close games. Nobody else has more than 24.
The Cubs’ 12 wins are tied with the Rangers for the fewest. The Royals are next, with 14. The Reds (32) and Marlins (30) have the most. The Nationals (28) and Padres (26) are 1-2 in losses. The Cubs’ 22 are tied for 11th most, with the White Sox.
(Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- THE BELLI FILES: Cody Bellinger is on a 12-game hitting streak, which matches his career high, last done in 2019. He’s one game short of equaling the longest by any Cub this year (Christopher Morel, 13 games from May 9-24). Over the 12 games Bellinger is batting .467/.479/.600 (21-for-45) with three doubles, a home run (hit Thursday, his first since April 30) and 10 runs scored. Thursday’s four-hit game was the sixth time in Bellinger’s career he had at least that many hits in a game. He had a five-hit game earlier this year, April 17 vs. the A’s.
- KEEPING THOSE ERAs DOWN: The Cubs are the only team in the major leagues this year to have three starting pitchers (minimum eight starts) with ERAs below 3.00 (Justin Steele, 2.56, Kyle Hendricks, 2.64 and Marcus Stroman, 2.96).
- CAN’T MAKE IT THERE: As noted in the series preview, the Cubs have never defeated the Yankees in either version of Yankee Stadium, going 0-12 overall (0-8 in the regular season, 0-4 in the World Series). In the original Yankee Stadium, only one other team did this — the Rockies, who were 0-3 there, but the Rockies have won three games in the new Yankee Stadium. In the current Yankee Stadium, one other team has failed to win a game — the Cardinals, who are 0-3 there. But the Cardinals won games in the original Yankee Stadium in the 1926, 1942 and 1964 World Series. Thus the Cubs are the only team to never defeat the Yankees in New York. Hopefully that changes this weekend.
Here are today’s particulars.
Also of interest for this game and series. Hopefully they’ll be better than the crew in Milwaukee.
Jameson Taillon, RHP vs. Carlos Rodón, RHP
Last time Jameson Taillon started, Sunday vs. the Guardians, I said, “I got nothin’” and then proceeded to write some things.
I’ve still got nothin’. Be better, Jameson.
Well, wait, again, I do have some other stuff. Taillon pitched for the Yankees, as you know, in 2021 and 2022. He has faced them just once, more than six years ago, April 22, 2017 when he was with the Pirates. And guess what? His line that day was pretty much what we’ve seen all year from Jameson in 2023: 5⅓ innings, five hits, three walks, four runs, all earned.
Okay, wait, there’s just one more thing. As has been pointed out by some commenters here, the Yankees are a very righthanded hitting team (except for Anthony Rizzo). Taillon’s splits vs. RHB are a bit better than his career norms (.679 OPS this year, .693 lifetime). He’s just getting crushed by LHB this season (1.049 OPS, 11 HR in 133 AB). Perhaps facing mostly righthanded batters can help Taillon in this game.
Carlos Rodón signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Yankees last offseason after a really good year with the Giants in which he posted 5.4 bWAR, led MLB in FIP and strikeouts per nine innings, and finished sixth in Cy Young voting.
Then he got hurt — first a forearm strain and then some back issues, and he has not pitched in an MLB game this year. He’s allowed one run and struck out 17 in 10⅓ innings in three rehab starts, but those were against High-A and Double-A hitters, so who knows?
What I do know is that Rodón made the Cubs look silly in two starts last year, posting a 1.46 ERA and striking out 21 in 12⅓ innings, though his Giants only won one of the two games. Current Cubs are batting .127 (9-for-71) against Rodón with 28 strikeouts, though the only Cub who has faced him more than five times is Yan Gomes (3-for-17, three walks, a home run).
This appears to be one of the most one-sided pitching matchups for any Cubs game this year. Clearly, we are doomed.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here.
Please visit our SB Nation Yankees site Pinstripe Alley. If you do go there to interact with Yankees 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.