2019 Gameday Thread

Cubs vs. Phillies: Darvish vs. Arrieta (Game 45)

CHC (27-17): RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.14 ERA)
PHL (27-19): RHP Jake Arrieta (4-4, 4.02 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs return to Wrigley and bring a bit of the NL East with them. Darvish's last start was middling in some respects. He went 5.1 and allowed 2 earned runs on five hits against Cincinnati. But he showed his best command of 2019 and it's hard to care about anything else at this point. It's the first time he's walked fewer than 3 batters since April 10, when also allowed four earned runs and struck out only 4. His zone percentage was 47.1% compared to 40.8% on the season, and when he threw the ball out of the zone he got swings 35.2% of the time compared to 27.5% on the season. Today he'll try to establish some consistency. The current Phillies are 10-29 against him with no homeruns. Bryce Harper has never faced him.

Cubs @ Nationals Series Thread (Games 42-44)

The Cubs (25-16) continue their road trip with a swing over to the old District to take on the 4th place (?!) Nationals (18-25).

The Nats are off to a disappointing start. Losing Bryce Harper on the free agent market is only part of the explanation. Trea Turner has been on the IL since early April with a broken finger. Veterans Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Eaton have WRC+'s of 81 and 93 respectively. And the bullpen has put up an MLB worst 6.20 ERA despite being the least exposed bullpen in the majors (only 127.2 IP). In the positives column, their rotation leads the majors in strikeouts per 9 innings and Baseball Reference rates them as leading the league at 4 wins above average. Anthony Rendon also continues to be excellent at all things baseball. Check out the day-by-day matchups below.

Cubs @ Reds: Quintana vs. Castillo (Game 41)

CHC (25-15): LHP José Quintana (4-2, 3.50 ERA)
CIN (19-24): RHP Luis Castillo (4-1, 1.76 ERA)
First pitch 5:40pmCDT

Quintana looks to pick up the Cubs after last night's extra-inning loss. His first start of the year remains his lone disappointing appearance of 2019 to date. Outside of that April 5 loss to Milwaukee, he hasn't allowed more than 3 runs in a start. He's also been effective at keeping the ball on the ground, a healthy strategy for anyone pitching in the Great American Bandbox. Joey Votto is 7-14 in his career against Quintana.

Cubs @ Reds: Darvish vs. Gray (Game 40

CHC (25-14): RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.40 ERA)
CIN (18-24): RHP Sonny Gray (0-4, 4.15 ERA)
First pitch 5:40pmCDT

We're roughly a quarter of the way through this season. The Cubs are in first, Bryant is back on track, Baez and Contreras still look like All-Stars, and Hendricks has found his groove.

Cubs @ Reds: Hendricks vs. Roark (Game 39)

CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 3.19 ERA)
CIN: RHP Tanner Roark (3-1, 3.27 ERA)
First pitch 5:40pmCDT

Hendricks has been fantastic in his last two starts. He followed up his 81-pitch shutout with an eight inning start allowing 1 unearned run. Watch out for Joey Votto, 8-18 against Hendricks but cold to start the year.

Cubs vs. Brewers: Series Thread (Games 36-38)

The Brewers (23-16) come into town hot off a pair of series sweeps and looking to knock the Cubs(22-13) off the NL Central hill. Meanwhile, the Cubs will aim to handle business as well as they did last weekend against the Cards. See below for the matchups in each game.

Cubs vs. Marlins: Darvish vs. Richards (Game 35)

CHC (21-13): RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.79 ERA)
MIA (10-26): Trevor Richards (0-4, 4.10 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT

The Cubs have taken the last two games on walk-off homeruns and Yu Darvish will try for the series win in a Thursday matinee. Last time out, Darvish had his worst outing since his abbreviated first start in Texas. He gave up 5 earned runs and walked 5 in 4 innings against STL but was bailed out by the heroic Taylor Davis grand slam. He has struggled with his command, walking 3 or more batters in all but one start this season. One of his two wins came against the Marlins (and Trevor Richards) on April 15. He struck out 8 in 5.2 innings that day.

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