Well, they did it. The Chicago Cubs have clinched the NL Central and will celebrate that feat after today’s game …
… which features one of the most fun lineups you’ll see all year.
But leading that lineup is veteran right-hander John Lackey. Lackey takes the mound for the third time following a stint on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. His first two times back were pretty good though, as he combined to pitch 11.0 innings, allowing just three earned runs on 5 hits, 4 walks and 9 strikeouts. Hopefully, he continue building back up some strength and ride a hot-streak into the playoffs.
Opposing Lackey and the Cubs today is righty Chase Anderson. Anderson, 28, made his Major League debut
this year in 2014 with the D-Backs, but has pitched with the Brewers this season. He hasn’t quite figured out Major League hitters yet (4.53 ERA through 27 starts) – and he’s got some pretty rough peripherals to boot. For example, his ground ball rate is too low (36.1%), his hr/fb ratio is too high (15.0%), his strikeout rate is too low (18.9%), his walk rate is touch high (8.1%), and he’s benefited from a BABIP (.288) below his career average (.300). So naturally, you can expect him to throw six shutout innings today.
But it doesn’t matter! Because the party is happening, win or lose!
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks:I slept like a baby. I had to rest up for tonight. The #Cubs clinching party will be this afternoon, win or lose
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 16, 2016
First pitch is at 1:20!
Chicago Cubs (93-53) at Milwaukee Brewers (66-81) – 1:20 CT on CSN-C, MLBN, 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 this afternoon.
Cubs: John Lackey (R): 3.35 ERA, 3.72 FIP, 3.75 xFIP; 3.51 K/BB
Brewers: Chase Anderson (R): 4.53 ERA, 5.06 FIP, 4.74 xFIP; 2.32 K/BB
Milwaukee Brewers Lineup:
- Keon Broxton, CF
- Scooter Gennett, 2B
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Chris Carter, 1B
- Hernan Perez, 3B
- Domingo Santana, RF
- Orlando Arcia, SS
- Andrew Susac, C
- Chase Anderson, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Matt Szczur, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jorge Soler, LF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Chris Coghlan, 1B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Tommy La Stella, 3B
- Munenori Kawasaki, 2B
- John Lackey, P