I’d argue that the Cubs’ current woes started on their final day in Pittsburgh last week, so this isn’t a matter of exacting revenge on the team that sent the Cubs into a spiral. It’s just trying to beat up on a bad team that happened to recently make the Cubs look bad.
Or something like that.
We’re Going Streaking
About that spiral. The Cubs just lost three of four in St. Louis after losing two of three to these Brewers. Throw in the loss in Pittsburgh and it’s an ugly 2-6 stretch for the Cubs. They’re still a game over .500 at 14-13, though.
The Brewers managed to split their four-game set with the Dodgers after taking two of three from the Cubs, so you could rightly say that they’re on a bit of an upswing. Hopefully the Cubs reverse that course. At 9-20, the Brewers still have the worst record in baseball.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, May 8 at 7:10 CT on CSN.
- Saturday, May 9 at 6:10 CT on CSN.
- Sunday, May 10 at 1:10 CT on WGN-9.
And, if you’re not in the blackout region, you can always watch on MLB.tv.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.
Starters: Jason Hammel (3.73 ERA, 3.36 FIP; 13.50 K/BB), Travis Wood (4.40 ERA, 3.73 FIP; 3.88 K/BB), Kyle Hendricks (5.61 ERA, 4.15 FIP; 3.33 K/BB)
Lineup (obviously there’s been a lot of shuffling on the order lately:
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Chris Coghlan, LF
- Jorge Soler, RF
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Miguel Montero/David Ross/Welington Castillo, C
- Addison Russell, 2B
Starters: Jimmy Nelson (4.03 ERA, 3.28 FIP; 2.18 K/BB), Kyle Lohse (7.01 ERA, 6.05 FIP; 2.88 K/BB), Matt Garza (4.58 ERA, 5.43 FIP; 1.50 K/BB)
- Carlos Gomez, CF
- Jean Segura, SS
- Ryan Braun, RF
- Adam Lind, 1B
- Aramis Ramirez, 3B
- Scooter Gennett, 2B
- Khris Davis, LF
- Martin Maldonado, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Each of the Cubs’ three starters in this series might be coming off his worst start of the year. Fortunately for today’s starter, Jason Hammel, his worst start really wasn’t all that bad. It came over the weekend against these Brewers.
Addison Russell is riding a 10-game hitting streak, and has his line up to .264/.291/.491.
It’s been a bad week for Dexter Fowler, who is hitting just .111/.172/.111 since last Friday’s game against the Brewers. The K rate isn’t up and the BABIP is just .158, though. So … eh.
The guy I’m more worried about is Starlin Castro, who, as Michael wrote recently, is just beating the ball into the ground with reckless abandon. Castro’s 64.8% groundball rate, far higher than his career norm, is third highest in baseball. His 28.6% soft contact rate is fourth highest.
The Brewers will have Scooter Gennett back for this series, so they’ll be at full-strength minus Jonathan Lucroy.
Martin Maldonado, Lucroy’s replacement, is hitting just .164/.220/.218. Of course, his only two-hit game on the year came against the Cubs, so whatever.
Ryan Braun is hitting just .229/.288/.385 on the year, but he’s definitely heating up. Over his past 9 games, his line is a more Braun-like .235/.316/.588
Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse have been awfully bad so far this year, and here’s hoping the Cubs prolong their discomfort. Garza’s been walking too many guys and Lohse has been giving up dingers.