Well, here we are: a rubber match against Max Scherzer.
It’s not the position the Cubs hoped to find themselves when this weekend began, but it’s the one they’re in now. Scherzer continues to be one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball and is arguably having his best season EVER. He’s currently maintaining essentially his highest strikeout rate ever and pairing it with his second lowest walk rate ever.
On top of that, he’s found a way to get WAY more soft contact than usual and a ton more infield fly balls. I suppose one thing he does poorly is the utter lack of grounders and close to human levels of hard contact (still better than average) – which has led to a surprisingly high number of homers (17) – but if that’s the *only* bad thing you can find about a guy … woof.
In his last start, Scherzer struck out six Braves and walked just one in 7.0 innings of one-run baseball. The Cubs will have their work cut out for them today.
Fortunately, they’ll also have a *fingers crossed-fingers crossed-fingers crossed* career re-surging Cole Hamels on the mound for his Wrigley Field debut. Hamels has been quite good for the Cubs in his two starts, including, especially, a penchant for adjusting to whatever is or isn’t working for him that day – benefits of veteran experience.
If he can hold it together one more time and the offense decides to wake up, the Cubs might just end today with a series win. We’ll see.
Chicago Cubs (67-49) vs. Washington Nationals (60-57) – Sunday, August 12th at 7:05 CT on ESPN, 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: Cole Hamels (L): 0.82 ERA, 2.52 FIP; 3.67 K/BB
Nationals: Max Scherzer (R): 2.28 ERA, 2.72 FIP; 5.54 K/BB
- Trea Turner, SS
- Juan Soto, LF
- Bryce Harper, RF
- Ryan Zimmermann, 1B
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Mark Reynolds, 3B
- Michael A. Taylor, CF
- Matt Wieters, C
- Max Scherzer, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, 3B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Cole Hamels, P
- Addison Russell, SS