ATLANTA — Tuesday notes...
- A WINNING PACE: The Cubs’ low point this season was 10 games below .500, at 26-36, .419 on June 8. Had they maintained that pace for the entire season, today they would be 65-91. Since June 9, the Cubs are 56-38, .596. Had they won at that clip since the start of the season, today they would be 93-63. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- STILL A HOT HITTER: Seiya Suzuki, 23 games in September: .375/.434/.727 (33-for-88) with eight doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 22 RBI and 17 runs scored. He’s a strong candidate for Player of the Month.
- THE ASSAD FILES: Saturday, Javier Assad became the first relief pitcher in the majors this season to throw at least four scoreless innings with no walks, two or fewer hits and six-plus strikeouts. The last Cubs reliever to have such an outing was Marcos Mateo on June 30, 2011. Assad has allowed two or fewer hits and no runs in three of his four outings of at least 4.0 innings this season. The last Cub reliever with three scoreless appearances of 4.0-plus innings and two-or-fewer hits allowed was Ted Abernathy in 1965.
- HAPP-ENINGS: Ian Happ’s 98 walks rank fourth in the majors and are the most by a Cub since Carlos Peña drew 101 walks in 2011 — the last Cub to reach 100 walks in a campaign. Happ has set career highs this year with 82 runs scored, 78 RBI and 14 stolen bases.
Here are today’s particulars.
Justin Steele, LHP vs. Bryce Elder, RHP
Justin Steele has struggled mightily over his last two starts. I don’t think you need the gory details. He’s working on five days’ rest for this start; hopefully, the extra day will help.
Steele faced the Braves August 6 at Wrigley Field and allowed four runs (three earned) in 5⅓ innings, with seven strikeouts.
Bottom line: This is the biggest start of Steele’s career, to date. Here’s hoping he steps up.
Bryce Elder allowed the Cubs seven runs (five earned) in 4⅓ innings August 5 at Wrigley Field. Dansby Swanson and Jeimer Candelario homered in that game.
Elder has also struggled recently, allowing 12 hits, eight runs and three home runs in 8⅔ innings over his last two starts, both against wild card contenders (Phillies and Marlins).
Hopefully, Steele returns to form tonight and Elder... doesn’t.
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 TBS (outside the Cubs and Braves market territories). TBS announcers: Brian Anderson and Jeff Francoeur.
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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.