- GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME: With their come-from-behind win last night, the Cubs are 78-67, a .538 winning percentage. After 145 games a year ago, they were 62-83, .428. Their improvement of 110 points is the fourth biggest among MLB teams and second biggest in the National League, based on 145 games a year ago and as many games as each team has played this year. The Rangers (79-64) have improved by 118 points; the Reds (74-71), by 117; and the Orioles (91-52) by 112. The Marlins (74-70), at 107 points, are the only other team in triple digits. The Nationals (65-79) are up by 99. Four teams have tumbled by at least 100 points: the Yankees (71-72), by 103; the White Sox (55-88), by 125; the Cardinals (563-81), by 148; and the Mets (65-78), by 166. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: The Cubs improved to 37-33 on the road with Monday’s win. With 11 road games left, the Cubs must win four to have a winning road record. The last time the Cubs had a winning road record in a full 162-game season was 2018 (44-37).
- DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET: The Cubs have played 16 one-run games since August 1, the most in the majors ahead of the Nationals (14), Mariners (13) and Brewers (13). The Cubs are 9-7 in those 16 one-run games and 20-20 overall on the season after starting 2-10 in one-run affairs.
- ALL YOU NEED IS GLOVE: According to Fangraphs, Dansby Swanson leads major league shortstops with 17 defensive runs saved this season.
Here are today’s particulars.
Javier Assad, RHP vs. Chris Flexen, RHP
Javier Assad’s last outing wasn’t quite as good as the previous two, but it was decent enough. The Cubs were reasonably close in that game until the bullpen entered.
Assad faced the Rockies September 18, 2022 at Wrigley Field and got roughed up in a short outing. He allowed a home run to a guy who’s not on the Rockies now (Connor Joe) and is clearly a better pitcher now than he was then.
Just remember: Coors Field. Keep the ball down.
Chris Flexen had a very good year for the Mariners in 2021 and a decent 2022.
This year he’s just been bad. So bad for the Mariners (7.71 ERA in 17 games) that the Mets took on his contract just because they wanted to trade for Trevor Gott. They released him three days later and the Rockies signed him.
He’s been “better” in Colorado than in Seattle and “better” is in quotes because he has posted a 6.98 ERA and 1.603 WHIP in eight starts and allowed 12 (!) home runs in 38⅔ innings and yikes, that is just awful.
Impossibly, he has somehow pitched better in four Coors Field starts (5.91 ERA) than in four road starts for the Rockies (8.31 ERA). Note, again, neither of those numbers is actually good. Seven of the 12 homers he’s allowed as a Rockie have been in Coors Field in 21⅔ innings.
This should be a good day for Cubs hitters.
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 — also see the note at the top of this preview.
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.