I wish I could tell you I were headed to Wrigley Field tonight for the first ever regular season, Friday-night game at the ballpark, but … I’m not.
Luis will be there, though! So if you see him, make sure you say hi, and tell him how you just followed @TheTenYardLine on Twitter and liked them on Facebook because you know the Bears first game is coming up this Sunday and you don’t want to look like a schmuck around your footbally-inclined friends.
Tonight, the Cubs are hosting the Brewers in – what’s gotta be – the most important series of the year so far (though I suspect all of their remaining series against the Brewers and Cardinals could carry that moniker).
If the Cubs manage to win two or more of these three games, well, you can just about kiss the Brewers goodbye. And to be honest, even if the Brewers manage to take two out of three themselves, that’s not really the end of the world for the Cubs, who’d still have a 4.o game lead over them in the Central. Indeed, absent a Brewers sweep, the Cubs should be fine come Monday – the LONG awaited day off.
But like we discussed in the series preview earlier, the Cubs don’t have great pitching matchups this weekend. Tonight’s Brewers starter, Jimmy Nelson, has been especially good this year, and has one some of the best peripherals in baseball.
And he’s been good lately, too:
In his last start, Jimmy Nelson went 7 scoreless IP against the Nationals, allowing just 3 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 11 batters.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) September 8, 2017
BUT in all fairness, John Lackey was pretty great his last time out too: 7.0 IP, 3H, 0ER, 0BB, 5Ks. Of course, his start came against a less potent Braves offense, and also after two starts in which he allowed a combined 10 earned runs in 10 innings.
Like most of the Cubs starters before him, Lackey needs to get the dang ball on the ground more often because he’s allowing too much hard contact to get by with a fly ball rate around 40%.
Let’s see if he and the Cubs can get it done.
Chicago Cubs (77-63) at Milwaukee Brewers (72-68) – 7:05 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: John Lackey (R): 4.74 ERA, 5.31 FIP, 4.56 xFIP; 2.91 K/BB
Brewers: Jimmy Nelson (R): 3.59 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 3.14 xFIP; 4.17 K/BB
- Hernan Perez, 2B
- Neil Walker, 1B
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Travis Shaw, 3B
- Domingo Santana, RF
- Stephen Vogt, C
- Keon Broxton, CF
- Orlando Arcia, SS
- Jimmy Nelson, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jon Jay, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Alex Avila, C
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- John Lackey, P