The Cubs won again yesterday, bring their overall record up to a season-high 14 games over .500.
You’d think that, what with all the winning lately, they’d have built a bigger divisional lead by now, but, well, nope. The Brewers are still just 3.5 games behind the Cubs. We’ll shake ’em soon enough.
Today, Jon Lester returns to the mound after missing a couple of starts with what was ultimately called lat tightness and shoulder fatigue. Given that he’s thrown over 200 innings/season in each of the past five seasons (plus eight of his past nine) and deep into the playoffs in each of the past two years, I think we can forgive getting blown up by the Reds and missing a couple of starts here in September.
Dude’s earned it and then some. He’ll pitch to Rene Rivera today, as Alex Avila gets the day off.
Starting opposite Lester is the 23-year-old righty, Lucas Sims. Sims has made just six MLB starts this season, but he seems to be getting better. Two starts ago, he threw six scoreless innings against the Mariners, allowing just three hits and two walks. And in his last start (against the Phillies) he may have allowed 4 earned runs, but he also went 6.1 IP, striking out seven and walking just one. Is he beatable? Yeah, sure. But is he capable of shutting down a Major League lineup? Definitely.
A win today would give the Cubs six in a row (tying a season high) and push them to 15 games over .500 (setting a new season high). Let’s see if they can do it.
Chicago Cubs (74-60) at Atlanta Braves (59-74) – 1:20 CT on CSN, 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: Jon Lester (L): 4.37 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 3.64 xFIP; 3.37 K/BB
Braves: Lucas Sims (R): 4.41 ERA, 4.86 FIP, 5.21 xFIP; 2.44 K/BB
- Ender Inciarte, CF
- Ozzie Albies, 2B
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Matt Kemp, LF
- Nick Markakis, RF
- Kurt Suzuki, C
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Rio Ruiz, 3B
- Lucas Sims, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jon Jay, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Rene Rivera, C
- Jon Lester, P