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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers preview, Saturday 9/30, 6:10 CT

“Must-win”? Yes, if the Cubs still hope for postseason play.

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday notes...

  • ADDING UP THE LOSSES: The Cubs’ current stretch of 6-14 is their eighth with that record this season. Five of the previous seven were overlapping spans between April 26-30 and May 16-21. The two others were overlaps of May 6-28 and May 7-29. The Cubs had 14 such stretches last year and 12 in 2021. They had a total of just three between 2015 and 2020: two in 2016 and one in 2019. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • HAPP-ENSTANCE: Ian Happ, last 14 games since September 13: .316/.375/.594 (17-for-53) with four doubles, four home runs, 11 RBI and nine runs scored.
  • SEIYA UPDATE: Seiya Suzuki, month of September: 27 games, .375/.436/.702 (39-for-104) with nine doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 26 RBI and 17 runs scored.
  • SMY-LING: Drew Smyly as a reliever in 2023: 18 appearances, 28⅔ innings, 2.51 ERA, 1.221 WHIP, 22 strikeouts. Smyly will be back in 2024 (he has a player option for $9 million) and a multi-inning relief role might work well for him.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Brewers lineup:

Jordan Wicks, LHP vs. Eric Lauer, LHP

Tennessee Smokies
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Wicks is lefthanded. The Brewers are 21-25 against LH starters this year, though overall they hit lefties a bit better (.709 OPS) than righties (.695 OPS).

Wicks has had a solid MLB debut. In six starts he has a 3.00 ERA and 1.121 WHIP and that’s already good for 0.9 bWAR — that hints at potentially a 4.5-5.0 bWAR season, which would be really good!

This will be Wicks’ first career game against the Brewers, so... maybe there’s a good game ahead for the Cubs.

Eric Lauer has had a weird 2023 season. He made eight starts for the Brewers in April and May, including April 2 vs. the Cubs at Wrigley Field, and it did not go well. He was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement. He went on a rehab assignment in June and that didn’t go well either. Lauer then sat for a month and the Brewers optioned him to Triple-A, where he made 10 starts with a 4.15 ERA and 1.564 WHIP.

More on all of that here. This will be Lauer’s first MLB appearance since May 20.

Patrick Wisdom homered off Lauer in that April 2 game.

Statcast
Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

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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.