Later this afternoon, the Cubs have a shot at doing two things they’ve not yet done this season.
First, they can win seven games in a row (their previous high was a six-gamer back in July). And second, they can move up to 16 games over .500 (their previous high is, well, 15 games over, and it’s happening right now). And, who knows, with a little bit of luck, they may even be able to improve their first-place lead to 5+ games in the NL Central. Wouldn’t that be something?
Oh, and I just noticed this, too:
2015 Chicago Cubs on Sep. 3rd: 75-57 (Final Record: 97-65)
2017 Chicago Cubs on Sep. 3rd: 75-60 (Final Record: ?)
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) September 3, 2017
So, obviously the 2015 Cubs went on a pretty fantastic run throughout the month of September and into the first week of October, but maybe these Cubs can do the same thing.
If they’re going to, they’ll need another strong start from Mike Montgomery today, who has actually been fairly dominant since joining the rotation for a couple starts at the end of August (Combined: 13.0 IP, 10H, 1ER, 1BB, 8Ks). And on top of that, he’s gotten a TON of ground balls (64.9%) and has essentially allowed no hard contact (18.4%) relative to the league average (31.9%).
Starting opposite Montgomery and the Cubs, is Max Fried, the prospect drafted immediately after Albert Almora and four spots before Addison Russell in the 2012 draft. Fried, 23, is a rookie southpaw making his the first Major League start of his career against a potent second-half Cubs offense. I … don’t envy him.
Hopefully, when he retells this story in 30 years, he’ll say something like, Yeah, my first career start was a really memorable one. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, Wrigley Field is an amazing stadium, and, uh, the Cubs set a new all-time single-game scoring record. I’ll never forget it.
Chicago Cubs (75-60) at Atlanta Braves (59-75) – 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 today.
Cubs: Mike Montgomery (L): 3.29 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 4.28 xFIP; 1.85 K/BB
Braves: Max Fried (R): 5.40 ERA, 7.04 FIP, 6.16 xFIP; 0.67 K/BB
- Ender Inciarte, CF
- Ozzie Albies, 2B
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Matt Kemp, LF
- Nick Markakis, RF
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Rio Ruiz, 3B
- David Freitas, C
- Max Fried, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Ian Happ, LF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Rene Rivera, C
- Mike Montgomery, P