2019 Gameday Thread

Cubs @ Cards: Series Thread (Games 55-57)

The Cubs swoop into St. Louis to pick off a few Cardinals this weekend. Kris Bryant and I this weekend!

The Cubs have dropped six out of their last ten games, but they remain atop the NL central and 4.5 games ahead of the Cards. Bryant returned to the lineup on Wednesday as DH, after taking some time off to recover from an outfield collision with Heyward. Javy played the field on Wednesday, but he played 3rd base after DH-ing a few games to rest his injured heel. The Cubs have been on a heck of a homerun streak, but have only occasionally translated that into a win. On Wednesday, Kyle Hendricks's strong performance helped the Cubs take advantage of early homeruns by Schwarber and Bryant.

Cubs @ Astros: Hendricks vs. Miley (Game 53)

CHC (30-23): RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.34 ERA)
HOU (37-19): LHP Wade Miley (5-2, 3.32 ERA)
First pitch 7:10pmCDT

Kyle Hendricks starts and plays the role of stopper in the series finale against the former division rivals. After three dominant starts, Hendricks has gone 1-0 in his last two, allowing 7 earned runs but also striking out 13 in 11.2 innings pitched against the Nationals and the Reds. Only Chirinos and Diaz (currently on the IL) have faced him. Chirinos is 0-2. These replacement Astros have been more than the Cubs could handle in the first two games. So, watch out for Some Dude.

Cubs @ Astros: Lester vs. Martin (Game 53)

CHC (30-22): LHP Jon Lester (3-3, 2.68 ERA)
HOU (36-19): RHP Corbin Martin (1-1, 4.97 ERA)
First pitch 7:10pmCDT

The Cubs mounted a comeback bid yesterday, but it wasn't enough to overcome Hamels' rough start in the series opener. Jon Lester heads to the mound to even things out tonight. He's looked very hittable in his last two starts, allowing nine earned runs on 17 hits (three homers) in 8.1 innings pitched. Michael Brantley is 8-24 off of him with 9 strikeouts. Josh Reddick it 2-10 with 4 whiffs. No other active Astro has more than 3 at bats against him.

Cubs @ Astros: Hamels vs. Cole (Game 52)

CHC (30-21): LHP Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.38 ERA)
HOU (35-19): RHP Gerrit Cole (4-5, 4.11 ERA)
First pitch 1:10pmCDT

The Cubs leave behind the frustrating Reds' series and take their first trip to Houston since 2016. There they will face a tough Astros team that they haven't dueled since their rebuild took full effect.

Cole Hamels will lead the way for the Cubs. He was held to four innings in his last start against the Phillies as he allowed nine hits and two walks, along with six strikeouts. He still escaped his first loss of 2019 thanks to Albert Almora's grand slam and four strong relief innings from Tyler Chatwood. The match-up stats are a bit of a mixed bag. He's held Carlos Correa to 2-21 with 7 strikeouts. George Springer is 4-23 with 7 strikeouts, but he also has 3 homeruns and 7 walks.

Cubs vs. Reds: Series Thread (Games 49-51)

The Cubs came up a bit short on their comeback attempt yesterday and had to accept a 2-2 split with the Phillies. They move on to greet the Reds to Wrigley for a 3-game set.

The Cubs matched up with the Reds in mid-May for a tough 1-2 series loss. Every game in that series was decided by 2 runs or fewer. The Cubs will run out an exact repeat of their starters in that series, but Tanner Roark will be the only familiar face on the other side. The Reds are well rested, having played only 5 games and having 3 days off since then. See below for the game-by-game matchups.

Cubs vs. Phillies: Lester vs. Nola (Game 48)

CHC: LHP Jon Lester (3-2, 2.09 ERA)
PHL: RHP Aaron Nola (4-0, 4.47 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT

The Cubs hitched their wagon to a pair of big homeruns for last night's 8-4 win. Today they send Jon Lester to the hill to lock down a series victory. Lester was thoroughly out-pitched by Strasburg on Saturday when I had the privilege of attending a fairly uneventful Cubs' loss in DC. He got knocked around for 10 hits and 5 runs in 4.1 innings, easily his worst start of the season. As worst starts go, it's the least bad worst start of any Cubs' starter! Hence, he has maintained an ERA just over 2. Current Phillies have seen him for 162 ABs and earned an OPS of .738 during that time. Sean Rodriguez has 55 of those ABs, with 12 hits, 3 of which were homeruns. McCutchen is 7-32 with 2 HRs. Harper is 3-10 with 6 strikeouts.

Cubs vs. Phillies: Quintana vs. Eflin (Game 46)

CHC (27-18): LHP José Quintana (4-3, 3.68 ERA)
PHL (28-19): RHP Zach Eflin (5-4, 2.89 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT

After dropping the series opener in the 10th, the Cubs send José Quintana to the mound against the Phillies' best starter. Quintana has given up 2 or 3 runs in each of his last 5 starts and has seen his strikeout rate drop from the early going. He's been steady but not great during that time. Former Pirates McCutchen and Sean Rodriguez are a collective 9-23 with 1 homerun off of him. Last night's Phillies hero, Hernandez, is 3-7 with a double, a triple, and two walks.