Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

att park san francisco giantsAlthough the Cubs didn’t keep the blowout in place last night such that the key members of the bullpen could get a rest, the Cubs did get the win. And it was a big one.

The bats will try to do it again tonight – maybe 16 runs this time, just to be safe – behind Kyle Hendricks, whom you may recall is working out some mechanical kinks before our very eyes. It looked to me like he was slightly better at the bottom of the zone last time out, but not quite where he was last year or during his really nice stretch in May and June of this year.

That offense, by the way, will be a little wonky tonight, with Dexter Fowler getting a breather. Kyle Schwarber slides into the leadoff spot, where his game-opening at bat against Jake Peavy will be must-see TV. Starlin Castro gets another start, this time at second base, as Addison Russell is back.

The Giants lose Brandon Crawford to an oblique issue (sounds short-term), so he’s out of the lineup. Peavy, by the way, has been split-neutral this year, which probably contributed to this being the night off for Dexter Fowler in favor of righty Chris Denorfia, and Castro getting another shot instead of Tommy La Stella.

If Castro has another good night – don’t focus on results, focus on the approach and the contact – he’ll almost certainly start again tomorrow against lefty Madison Bumgarner and then on Friday against lefty Clayton Kershaw. There’s a chance he could come out of this stretch with a starting job back. All due love to La Stella, but Castro re-emerging as Castro for the final month of the season is the best possible outcome here.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (73-51) at San Francisco Giants (66-59), 9:15 CT on CSN, ESPN, and They just lowered the price on it to $9.99 for the rest of the year, by the way.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Kyle Hendricks (4.03 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 3.40 xFIP; 3.81 K/BB)


Jake Peavy (4.35 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 4.45 xFIP; 2.71 K/BB)

San Francisco Giants Lineup

1. Nori Aoki, LF

2. Matt Duffy, 3B

3. Brandon Belt, 1B

4. Buster Posey, C

5. Marlon Byrd, RF

6. Gregor Blanco, CF

7. Kelby Tomlinson, 2B

8. Ehire Adrianza, SS

9. Jake Peavy, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Kyle Schwarber, LF

2. Starlin Castro, 2B

3. Chris Coghlan, RF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Kris Bryant, 3B

6. Miguel Montero, C

7. Chris Denorfia, CF

8. Kyle Hendricks, P

9. Addison Russell, SS

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