If you think back to some of the things I wrote over the weekend, you’ll remember that I was in Arizona for a wedding from Thursday to Sunday. Because of that, both my fiancée and I missed Mother’s Day, on Sunday, with our moms.
So we’re taking them out to dinner tonight out in Rosemont, which is is in between the city (where we live) and the suburbs (where they live). Traffic is going to suck and I’ll likely miss most of the Cubs game, but they are both worth it. Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Speaking of the game tonight, the Chicago Cubs are hosting the Cincinnati Reds for the first of ten straight games at Wrigley Field and sixteen straight games overall. Hopefully, this stretch, which figures to present a less difficult strength of schedule, can be the jump start they need.
As I mentioned earlier, the two starters tonight – John Lackey for the Cubs and Bronson Arroyo for the Reds – share a combined 78 years of life, and present one of the older pitching match-ups you’re likely to see all season.
Lackey is, however, coming off his strongest start of the season against the Rockies: 7.0 IP, 4H, 2BB, 10Ks. His 80 game score from that contest is higher than any mark put up by a Cubs’ starter this season (Lester twice recorded Game Scores of 75 this season, and Eddie Butler’s one and only start was a 71).
With that said:
Switching gears, Arroyo (and his leg kick) may have finally made it back to the Majors (for the first time since 2014), but the results have not quite returned just yet. Through seven starts, he’s earned a 5.94 ERA, with a 5.74 FIP. Worse (well, for him), he’s rarely inducing ground balls (34.7%), which has hurt especially bad thanks to a lofty 17.6% HR/FB ratio. He hasn’t walked many batters this year (7.1%), but he hasn’t struck many out either (16.0%).
Of course, all of that comes with an enormous caveat: His best start, by far, of the season came against the Cubs. Yep, a few weeks ago, Arroyo held the Cubs to just two earned runs on three hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts through 6.0 IP. Please, don’t do that again.
Frankly, the Cubs’ offense has not been bombarded with aces this season, so they need to start taking advantage of juicer match-ups when they have the chance. Perhaps, tonight is the night.
Chicago Cubs (18-19) at Cincinnati Reds (19-18) – 7:05 CT on CSN-C, MLBN (out of market), 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 today.
- The Series Preview lives here.
- The Lineup Discussion is here.
Cubs: John Lackey (R): 4.29 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 3.36 xFIP; 4.18 K/BB
Reds: Bronson Arroyo (R): 5.94 ERA, 5.77 FIP, 4.91 xFIP; 2.27 K/BB
Cincinnati Reds Lineup:
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, RF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Willson COntreras, C
- John Lackey, P
- Javy Baez, 2B