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Chicago Cubs vs. Toronto Blue Jays preview, Sunday 8/13, 12:37 CT

The Cubs go for the series sweep!

Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Sunday notes...

  • STREAKING: The Cubs are 35-20 since their 26-36 start. They last won 35 of 55 games in 2019, from April 8-June 9. They also were 35-20 or better in at least one span each year, 2015-18, and in 2008, 2003, 2001 Their most wins in 55 games during those years: 39: 2016, 38: 2015, 37: 2008, 36: 2018, 35: 2001, 2003 and 2017. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • STARTING: This season, the Cubs have utilized nine different starters, tied for fourth fewest in the majors. Only the Blue Jays (7), Nationals (7) and Orioles (8) have used fewer starting pitchers. The Cubs have four pitchers who have made at least 20 starts this season: Drew Smyly, Justin Steele, Marcus Stroman and Jameson Taillon. That’s tied for the league lead.
  • SUZUKI: Seiya Suzuki, six games in August: .350/.381/.800 (7-for-20), a double, a triple, two home runs, five RBI, five runs scored.
  • SAVES: Adbert Alzolay earned his 12th straight save Saturday. His 15 saves this season lead the team and the 12 straight converted save opportunities are the most by a Cub since Craig Kimbrel converted 16 consecutive save chances May 18-July 25, 2021. Since July 5, Alzolay’s 12 saves lead the majors.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Blue Jays lineup:

Jameson Taillon, RHP vs. Hyun Jin Ryu, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Jameson Taillon, last six starts: 2.17 ERA, 1.018 WHIP, 37⅓ innings, which means he’s averaging more than six innings per start over that span. This is the guy the Cubs thought they were getting when they signed him, and it appears to coincide with a time when Taillon went back to what made him successful instead of listening to changes the Cubs wanted to make. There’s a lesson there, I think.

Taillon faced the Jays six (!) times last year, which was once in each series the teams faced each other. With the balanced schedule that can’t happen now.

Anyway, they were good starts, too: 2.62 ERA, 1.049 WHIP, only three HR in 34⅓ innings — pretty close to what he’s done over those last six outings this year. He also has a 1.98 ERA in five career starts in Toronto.

Go get ‘em, Jamo.

Hyun Jin Ryu missed most of last year and the beginning of this year with Tommy John surgery. He’s made just two starts since returning and has thrown a total of nine innings, throwing 80 pitches the first time, 54 in his last outing, so he might still be on a pitch limit.

Ryu’s last good years were 2019 and 2020, so it might take him a while to return to form.

His last start against the Cubs was June 16, 2019 and I pass that link along for amusement value. Not only are exactly zero of the 18 Cubs who played in that game still on the team, of those 18, nine are no longer in the major leagues at all and one more (David Bote) is toiling in Triple-A. Only three current Cubs (Jeimer Candelario, Dansby Swanson, Yan Gomes) have ever faced him and they are a small sample size 2-for-14.

In short, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, although these Cubs do hit LHP well.


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Mets market territories).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Blue Jays site Bluebird Banter. If you do go there to interact with Jays 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.