Pre-Gamin': Cubs at Giants (2:45 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Cubs at Giants (2:45 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Pre-Gamin'

After Mike Montgomery’s ridiculously hot start as a member of the rotation, he has slowed down a bit here lately. In each of his last three starts (a combined 16.0 IP), he’s allowed at least three earned runs and two walks.

Indeed, over those three starts he’s got a 5.63 ERA and a 4.82 FIP, thanks to a tiny 17.6% strikeout rate and much more mediocre 9.5% walk rate. But perhaps the most troubling trend he’s faced has been the fall-off in ground balls and an increase in hard contact. During his first five starts with the Cubs this season, Montgomery carried an elite 58.1% ground ball rate and a better-than-average 32.2% hard-hit rate. Over his last three starts, however, the ground ball rate falls to a well-below average 35.3% while his hard-hit rate goes above average (36.5%).

He didn’t have huge strikeout numbers before either, but he was able to convincingly and sustainably succeed thanks to no walks, tons of balls on the ground, and no weak contact. Without those three pillars, the floor might continue to fall out from under him (the good news is that now that I’ve said all this, you can pretty much book him for a complete game shutout (or did I just jinx that, too?)).

Starting opposite Montgomery is our old friend from the NL Central, Johnny Cueto. Cueto, 32, has made just one start since hitting the DL back at the end of April, and it was a rough one against the Cardinals: 5.0 IP, 10H, 5ER, 2BB, 2Ks. Hopefully, the Cubs are able to get to him just as easily.

It’s worth point out, however, that before he was injured, Cueto was straight killing it. Through his first five starts, he had a 0.84 ERA (2.75 FIP), a tiny 5.1% walk rate, and a ridiculous amount of soft contact (28.1%). If he’s anywhere close to that guy, the Cubs offense – which is already fairly quiet lately – could be in for some trouble.

But, hey, Kris Bryant is back, Anthony Rizzo has returned to the lineup, and the Cubs are going for yet another series win. Things could be worse. Let’s go get ’em, Cubs.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (52-37) at San Francisco Giants (48-46) – 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.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Mike Montgomery (L): 3.68 ERA, 4.08 FIP; 1.96 K/BB

versus

Giants: Johnny Cueto (L): 1.95 ERA, 3.55 FIP; 3.50 K/BB

San Francisco Giants:

  1. Chase d’Arnaud, 3B
  2. Brandon Belt, 1B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, RF
  4. Buster Posey, C
  5. Brandon Crawford, SS
  6. Gorkys Hernandez, LF
  7. Steven Duggar, CF
  8. Alen Hanson, 2B
  9. Johnny Cueto, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Ben Zobrist, RF
  2. Jason Heyward, CF
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Javy Baez, 2B
  6. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  7. Addison Russell, SS
  8. Victor Caratini, C
  9. Mike Montgomery, P

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.