Today's roster move: Here
- CUBS vs. REDS: The Cubs had won the opening game of each of their four previous four-game series at home against the Reds since 1994, when the teams were assigned to the Central Division. The wins came in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2021. After their loss last night, the Cubs are 9-7 in all first games of those series, including 7-3 in the last 10. The Cubs are just 3-12 in second games of the series: 2-4 after a loss and 1-8 after a win. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- HE’S HOT: Yan Gomes, last 14 games since July 17: .404/.444/.681 (19-for-47), six doubles, two triples, a home run, 12 RBI.
- CODY BELLINGER’S JULY: Second in OPS (1.122, just one point behind Freddie Freeman), third in OBP (.432), first in BA (.400), first in SLG (.690), first in hits (40), third in HR (eight), fifth in runs (21), second in RBI (24). We’ll find out soon if that’s enough to be named N.L. Player of the Month. (All rankings above are for N.L. only.)
- MARCUS STROMAN’S JULY: Stroman posted a 9.11 ERA in six starts in July. That is the seventh-worst ERA for any Cubs starter who made at least six starts in any calendar month in franchise history (all pitchers listed made exactly six starts in the month listed). All of the years in which these happened were bad years for the team, except, hopefully, 2023. Read ‘em and weep:
Here are today’s particulars.
I wonder if the Cubs are now going to platoon Mike Tauchman and Seiya Suzuki in right field. As always, we await developments.
Justin Steele, LHP vs. Ben Lively, RHP
Justin Steele has made 19 starts this year. He’s allowed more than three runs twice, and over his last two starts — both vs. the Cardinals — he allowed three runs total in 12⅓ innings.
One of those two bad starts where Steele allowed more than three runs was against the Reds, May 26 at Wrigley Field. It was his shortest outing of the year, he didn’t make it out of the fourth inning, then he left his next start after three with forearm tightness. So maybe that was at work in the start against the Reds.
Hopefully that’s in the past tonight.
Ben Lively has been around for a while, he’s 31 and the Reds are his third MLB team. He pitched in Korea’s KBO league in 2020 and 2021 and in the Reds minors last year.
He’s made two relief appearances and 11 starts for the Reds and has been pretty good overall. He’s a bit susceptible to the long ball — 13 home runs in 67 innings.
I have absolutely no memory of this, but Lively was the Phillies’ starter against the Cubs August 26, 2017 in Philadelphia. Those Cubs blasted him for six runs in five innings in a 17-2 win. Of course those are totally different Cubs, except for Ian Happ, who didn’t face Lively in that game. Only a couple of current Cubs have ever faced him, though Tucker Barnhart has a home run off him.
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.