wrigley stands crowdI was at yesterday’s series finale against the Pirates, and let me tell you, seeing Addison Russell’s catch right up close was pretty amazing.

I was sitting just behind the Cubs bullpen (well, further back than just behind), so we had a perfect angle on the ball. I don’t think anyone at the park truly expected him to get to it … and we all promptly erupted when he came up with the ball.

Tonight, Mike Montgomery and the Cubs will try to live up to the awesomeness of last night (and another Pirates’ series sweep in general), with the first of a four-game set against the San Francisco Giants. This will be just his third start for the Cubs this season, but the first two went fairly well (9.1 IP, 7H, 4ER, 6BB, 10Ks). If he can limit the walks a bit, but once again go 4-5 innings, I think you’ll have to call that a success (although, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll slowly be capable of lasting longer into outings than he has been, as he continues to build his arm strength back up in the month of September – especially if he winds up joining the rotation in full).

Opposing Montgomery is our old friend and salt-water predator, Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija has struggled this season (on the whole), but has turned in back-to-back impressive starts against the Braves and the Mets. In those two games, Samardzija lasted a combined 14.0 innings, while giving up just two earned runs (1.29 ERA) on ten hits, four walks and thirteen strikeouts. He always has the potential to toss a gem, so be sure not to underestimate him.

Lastly, lefties have hit Samardzija (.336 wOBA) far better than righties this season (.285 wOBA). So hopefully, that bodes well for Jason Heyward, who continues to be hot since his short time off in the third week of August.

First pitch is at 7:05 CT.





Game Info

Chicago Cubs (85-47) at San Francisco Giants (72-60), 7:05 CT on CSN-C+, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Mike Montgomery (L): 2.60 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 3.59 xFIP; 2.62 K/BB

versus

Giants: Jeff Samardzija (R): 4.00 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 4.22 xFIP; 2.84 K/BB



San Francisco Giants Lineup:

1. Denard Span, CF

2. Angel Pagan, LF

3. Buster Posey, C

4. Hunter Pence, RF

5. Brandon Crawford, SS

6. Joe Panik, 2B

7. Eduardo Nunez, 3B

8. Brandon Belt, 1B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Kris Bryant, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Ben Zobrist, 2B

5. Jason Heyward, RF

6. Addison Russell, SS

7. Chris Coghlan, LF

8. David Ross, C

9. Mike Montgomery, P




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