wrigley right field bleachers

The Chicago Cubs have now won three straight games, after dropping the final two against St. Louis at Wrigley Field.

Let’s see if they can inch their way back up to a nice, long winning streak today, behind their ace, Jake Arrieta.

Arrieta takes the mound after having just finished a nice three-game stretch himself, featuring 20.2 IP, 14Ks, 6BBs, and only 3 ER against the Cardinals, Athletics, and Mariners. More encouragingly, he’s really lowered his walk rate quite a bit in the second half. Consider, before the All-Star break, Arrieta’s walk rate had crawled all the way up to 9.3%. Now, in his five starts since the break, it’s been all the way down to 6.9% (better than average). His strikeouts have dropped a bit during that stretch, too, but given his elite ability to induce weak contact, that should be the better overall deal.

Even though we already touched upon it in the Lineup Discussion, it’s worth bringing back up: Willson Contreras is catching Jake Arrieta today, and that is not insignificant. Contreras had not previously caught Arrieta this season, with the nominal starter Miguel Montero taking all of those games. You’ll still see Montero down the stretch, but it’s quite likely that Joe Maddon is slowly beginning the transition between the two now, so that they’re comfortable with each other by the playoffs. While this was mostly expected in 2017 and beyond, I can’t say I’m not a bit surprised (and thrilled) to see the confidence in Contreras so soon. The options this opens up in October may be huge (especially with how Jorge Soler has been performing).

Opposing Arrieta is righty Zach Davies. Davies has been pretty good, if unspectacular, in his 123.0 innings this season (3.80 ERA), but has faced some pretty pronounced splits, as well. While righties have just a .276 wOBA against Davies, lefties are hitting him a lot harder (.336 wOBA) … which should further prove how significant it was to put Contreras (a righty) in the lineup over Montero (the lefty) on a day when Arrieta was starting. This was a very thoughtful decision, I’m sure. Let’s see if it pays off in the long-run.

First pitch is at 1:20 CT.





Game Info

Chicago Cubs (76-43) at Milwaukee Brewers (52-67) – 1:20 CT on CSN-C, 670 The Score

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun this afternoon.

The Series Preview lives hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R): 2.55 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 3.47 xFIP; 2.87 K/BB

versus

Brewers: Zach Davies (R): 3.80 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 4.03 xFIP; 3.20 K/BB



Milwaukee Brewers Lineup:

  1. Keon Broxton, CF
  2. Orlando Arcia, SS
  3. Jonathan Villar, 3B
  4. Hernan Perez, RF
  5. Chris Carter, 1B
  6. Scooter Gennett, 2B
  7. Jake Elmore, LF
  8. Martin Maldonado, C
  9. Kyle Davies, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Matt Szczur, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist, RF
  5. Addison Russell, SS
  6. Jorge Soler, LF
  7. Willson Contreras, C
  8. Javy Baez, 2B
  9. Jake Arrieta, P

Keep Reading BN ...

« | »