The Cubs head to Milwaukee to take on the third-place Brewers, who have been leap-frogged by the streaking Cardinals. As tight as the division, it feels like we are already very much in the stretch. They start with the season series tied 3-3. See game-by-game matchups below.
Archive - 2019
CHC (54-47): RHP Tyler Chatwood (4-1, 4.30 ERA)
SF (52-50): RHP Tyler Beede (3-3, 4.70 ERA)
First pitch 2:45pmCDT
Chatwood is a late substitution for an ill Jon Lester. He last pitched on July 14 and last started on June 27. In three starts he's pitched 15 innings and allowed 12 runs, nine earned against the Mets, Atlanta, and Arizona. Currents Giants have a .869 OPS against him in 153 at bats.
CHC (54-46): RHP Yu Darvish (3-4, 4.46 ERA)
SF (51-50): LHP Madison Bumgarner (5-7, 3.65 ERA)
First pitch 8:45pmCDT
Yu Darvish was great in his last start against Cincinnati. He pitched six scoreless innings with two hits, zero walks, and seven strikeouts. It was his second scoreless outing in a row, with the first being a similar performance against the Pirates. Current Giants have seen little of Darvish. Evan Longoria (3-18) is on the IL with a foot injury. Steven Vogt is 7-26, all singles, with no walks. Sandoval, Posey, Pillar, and Crawford are collectively 0-10 with five strikeouts.
CHC (54-45): RHP Alec Mills (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
SF (50-50): RHP Shaun Anderson (3-2, 4.87 ERA)
First pitch 8:45pmCDT
Alec Mills leads the Cubs against the light-hitting Giants in his second start of 2019. He went six innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits and one walk last time around for a no-decision. He's never faced the Giants, and as far as I can find no current Giants have ever faced him. There are no real offensive standouts this season. Buster Posey is not looking very Posey-like at the plate. Pablo Sandoval is back from the brink of retirement and slugging .495.
The Cubs (52-44) take on the Padres (46-50) in a three-game set of matinees at Wrigley. The Padres are a thoroughly mediocre team, but they've played streaky ball since early June and have jumped up and surprised both the Dodgers and the Brewers during that time with three wins against each. The streaks have run both ways, as they've also gone through four losing streaks of at least three games during that period. This will be the first time the Cubs face them in 2019. Since last year, they've added Manny Machado. He's been good for them so far, albeit with a slightly lower than usual batting average for him. But rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. has been the offensive star, offering power, speed, and (thanks to a .430 BABIP) a high average. Hunter Renfroe also seems to be enjoying 2019--he just recently passed his previous single season high in homeruns and now sits at 27. Kirby Yates is enjoying a banner year out of the bullpen, leading the pitching staff in fWAR, striking out 14.36 per 9 innings and generally going untouched by the 2019 homerun boom. See below for game-by-game matchups.
CHC (51-44): RHP Yu Darvish (2-4, 4.72 ERA)
CIN (43-49): RHP Sonny Gray (5-5, 3.42 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Yu Darvish and the Cubs go for the series win in an afternoon finale. Darvish went six scoreless against the Pirates on Friday and remains winless at Wrigley. Derek Dietrich is 4-9 off of him and has tagged him for two homeruns. Jose Iglesias and Nick Senzel are 3-6 and 3-7 respectively.
CHC (50-44): RHP Alec Mills (0-0, -.-- ERA)
CIN (43-48): RHP Anthony DeSclafani (5-4, 4.26 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT
Bad news first: The Cubs dropped the first game of the series in frustrating fashion (no hitting with RISP, fielding errors, bullpen inadequacy) and Willson is going to the IL with a foot injury. In the meantime, the Cubs are sending Mike Montgomery to KC in exchange for Martin Maldonado. Caratini seems likely to get plenty of at bats and the Cubs will have the option to use him more in the pinch if they keep Maldonado around after Contreras's IL stint ends.