Cubs @ Reds: Series Thread (Games 121-123)
The Cubs have matched their season high for *checks notes* games lost in a row, at eleven. Next, they get to face the second place Reds, who trail the Brewers by 8 games and are fighting for a Wild Card spot. See below for the matchups in this three-game series.
Game 121, Monday, August 16, 6:10 pm central
CHC: LHP Justin Steele (2-1, 2.95 ERA)
CIN: LHP Wade Miley (9-4, 3.00 ERA)
Steele gets his second start of the season and looks pretty secure in the rotation to the end of the season now that Arrieta has officially departed. He allowed three earned runs to the Brewers in five innings in his first start, striking out only one batter along the way.
Miley allowed five earned runs to Atlanta in five innings last time out. He did not earn a decision when he faced the Cubs on July 26, allowing three earned runs and five walks in 4.1 innings.
Game 122, Tuesday, August 17, 6:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (13-5, 4.15 ERA)
CIN: RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (8-3, 3.95 ERA)
The Brewers absolutely wrecked Hendricks in his last start. They collected eleven hits and nine earned runs off the veteran righty in 4 innings and ended his undefeated streak. The Reds tagged him for five earned runs in 4.1 innings when they saw him near the end of July.
Gutierrez has won four straight going back to a July 27 victory against the Cubs.
Game 123, Wednesday, August 18, 11:35 pm central
CHC: TBD, probably RHP Keegan Thompson (3-2, 2.21 ERA) RHP Adrian Sampson (6-12, 5.71 ERA in 153 innings at the MLB level)
CIN: RHP Tyler Mahle (10-3, 3.58 ERA)
Thompson made one start for the Cubs back on May 4. He last appeared for the MLB club on 7/26 and has since gotten stretched out a bit in the minors. Out of the bullpene he's missed enough bats to succeed, but his command has been inconsistent.
AZ Phil noted below that Adrian Sampson is on schedule to start on Wednesday and would be the likely call-up. He's made 20 MLB starts in his career and 21 additional relief appearances, and he spent 2020 pitching in the KBO. He brings a low 90s fastball and a slider and changeup.
Mahle is coming off seven scoreless innings in Philadelphia. He pitched six scoreless against the premium Cubs experience back on July 28.