That win last night was just what we needed, wasn’t it?
I wasn’t able to watch all of it – prior responsibilities beckoned – but I did catch the final few innings on the radio, and heard ‘Go Cubs, Go’ live from the stadium, as I made my way into my apartment (clearly I live
too close to Wrigley Field).
Like their last series (against the Cardinals), the Cubs took game one last night against the Reds, and now have two shots at winning the series – which would be their first in a while. Opportunity #1 comes tonight at 7:05 with Kyle Hendricks on the mound.
As we discussed earlier today (via Theo Epstein), Hendricks has actually been on quite a nice roll lately. In his past four starts aone, he’s allowed two (or fewer) earned runs, induced ground balls at a near-50% rate, and has struck out batters at a 22.6% clip. Some issues persist (like his 9.7% walk rate and 85.9% strand rate during that stretch), but by-and-large things have been better.
Opposing Hendricks and the Cubs, is the Reds offseason free-agent acquisition (and former Chicago Cub) Scott Feldman. Over the winter, the Reds gave Feldman a one-year/$2.3 million deal, which, sure, it isn’t equestrian money, but that’s still a really nice contract. And so far, it’s mostly paid off.
Through eight starts (47.2 IP), Feldman has earned a 3.59 ERA (4.10 FIP) and has already been worth 0.7 WAR. If you consider a single win above replacement to be worth roughly $8 million, Feldman has already been worth twice his contract (before the performance bonuses kick in, I suppose, but still). And plus, if the Reds find themselves out of it at the trade deadline, they’ll totally be able to trade him for four years of someone like Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop (I kid, I kid).
Okay, things have been rocky lately, but a win tonight would constitute two in a row and series win – something the Cubs haven’t done in exactly two weeks. Let’s.Go.
Chicago Cubs (19-19) at Cincinnati Reds (19-19) – 7:05 CT on WGN, 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.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (R): 3.40 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 3.97 xFIP; 2.13 K/BB
Reds: Scott Feldman (R): 3.59 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 4.19 xFIP; 2.00 K/BB
Cincinnati Reds Lineup:
- Billy Hamilton, CF
- Zack Cozart, SS
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Adam Duvall, LF
- Eugenio Suarez, 3B
- Scott Schebler, RF
- Jose Peraza, 2B
- Tucker Barnhart, C
- Scott Feldman, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Miguel Montero, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P
- Jon Jay, RF