That’s all we asked of the Cubs heading into this weekend, and yet here they are on the doorstep of three consecutive losses at Wrigley Field. Already, they’ve been outscored 17-2 and it’s not like Zach Davies is an easy starter to face, either.
For the season, Davies has a 3.77 ERA, which is about 15% better than average, but a 4.14 FIP that’s a little closer to the curve. He doesn’t do a good job of striking batters out, but that’s okay, because the Cubs will handle that for him (21 Cubbie Ks in the last two games).
To make matters worse, Davies has allowed just FOUR earned runs in his last five starts combined (1.11 ERA)! And during that stretch, batters are hitting .221 AVG, walking at only a 5.4% clip, and are making hard-contact just 24.0% of the time. Oh, and he faced the Dodgers and Nationals during that stretch. Even if the Cubs’ bats weren’t silent right now, he’d be legitimately quite difficult to beat.
On the bright side, Kyle Hendricks has had a nice little stretch here, too, lately. Since July 24 (nine starts, 53.1 IP), he’s earned a 2.36 ERA and walked just 6.4% of the batters he’s faced. Guys seem to be hitting Hendricks a bit better than usual in terms of average (.249), but I think that’s all been pretty flukey.
As a matter of fact, it’s definitely flukey, because that .292 BABIP is way too high for Hendricks (in general), and that goes double considering his 25.6% hard-hit rate against (league average is roughly 32%). I’m cautiously expecting him to have more success today.
Hopefully, the Cubs bats do too.
Chicago Cubs (77-65) at Milwaukee Brewers (74-68) – 1:20 CT on ABC-7, 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: Kyle Hendricks (R): 3.29 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 3.99 xFIP; 2.74 K/BB
Brewers: Zach Davies (R): 3.77 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 4.44 xFIP; 2.26 K/BB
- Eric Thames, 1B
- Neil Walker, 2B
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Travis Shaw, 3B
- Hernan Perez, RF
- Stephen Vogt, C
- Keon Broxton, CF
- Orlando Arcia, SS
- Zach Davies, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jon Jay, CF
- Tommy La Stella, 3B
- Kris Bryant, LF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, 2B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Rene Rivera, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P