Well, there were starting pitcher questions on both sides of the field today – as well as a sprinkle of rain threatening to delay the start – but it looks like this one will begin on time with Matt Harvey and the *Reds* taking on Alec Mills and the Cubs.
You know Harvey’s story by now, as the former ace and impending free agent made his way to Cincinnati in a bad contract swap earlier this year. But the weird part is the Reds didn’t trade him at the deadline and now won’t be trading him at all. Why not just take whatever you can get? I mean, I’m happy the Brewers didn’t get him, but I do wonder why the Reds wouldn’t just pull the trigger on whatever deal they were offering. Shrug. He’s a Red.
And he’s also coming off back-to-back excellent starts against the Giants (6.1 IP, 4H, 0ER, 1BB, 5Ks) and Diamondbacks (7.0 IP, 5H, 2ER, 1BB, 7Ks). And of course, he’s faced the Cubs twice already this year, handeling them just fine on both occasions:
6/21: 6IP, 5H, 2ER, 1BB, 6Ks
7/07: 5.2 IP, 9H, 2ER, 1BB, 4Ks
At least they seemed to figure him out a lot more in that second go-around. Perhaps the trend can continue today.
Alec Mills is filling in for Mike Montgomery (and, in a way, Tyler Chatwood) today, though I suspect he’ll be headed right back out the door after the start. Mills’ last start was at Triple-A on August 18th and he went 6.0 IP, 3H, 2ER,2BB, 7Ks in that one. If he got anywhere close to that today, it would be a wild success. Fortunately, thanks to Cole Hamels complete game last night, the Cubs bullpen is well-rested.
It would be a shame to waste that rest all today, but it is certainly available. Alright, Cubs, time to guarantee a split and give yourselves a shot at a really pretty weekend.
Chicago Cubs (73-53) vs. Cincinnati Reds (56-72) – Friday, August 24th at 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 today.
Cubs: Alec Mills (R): 4.84 ERA, 4.20 FIP; 2.63 K/BB*
Reds: Matt Harvey (R): 4.91 ERA, 4.77 FIP; 4.50 K/BB
*Triple-A Iowa stats
- Billy Hamilton, CF
- Jose Peraza, SS
- Scooter Gennett, 2B
- Eugenio Suarez, 3B
- Mason Williams, RF
- Phillip Ervin, LF
- Tucker Barnhart, C
- Brandon Dixon, 1B
- Matt Harvey, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Ian Happ, 3B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Alec Mills, P
- Albert Almora Jr., CF