Game Eighty-Six: Cubs (46-39) vs. White Sox (40-44)
- Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ABC-7 – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester (4-7, 3.48/1.28/3.31) vs. Chris Sale (7-4, 2.80/0.94/2.31)
Weather permitting … Joe Maddon hands the ball to Jon Lester today as the Cubs look to put Friday’s frustrating loss behind them. And if the Cubs thought Friday afternoon was fun they are in for a real treat today with Chris Sale on the hill.
The Cubs need for Jon Lester to continue the run he began two starts ago. The Cubs have dropped two in a row and, once again, games like today are the reason Lester was signed in the off-season.
With David Ross on the DL and Chris Sale on the mound, will Miguel Montero get a rare start against a southpaw? Or will Maddon have Lester pitch to Taylor Teagarden? Lester and Montero worked very well together five days ago.
The Cubs were blanked for the eighth time this season Friday and runs figure to be at a premium against Chris Sale. The Cubs will have to take advantage of every scoring opportunity they have. As expected the underperforming White Sox stepped up their game Friday in front of the packed house. And the Cubs will have to find a way to cool off the Sox for the next two days.
Today all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester is coming off an excellent start, but a loss to the Cardinals. Lester took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before giving up two unearned runs on two hits. Lester walked two and struck out eight over seven innings. And he was hung with the loss after the Cardinals scored four runs following a rain delay.
Lester has rebounded from a rough June. Over his last two games, Lester is 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. Lester has given up seven hits with three walks and 15 strikeouts in 14 innings.
Jon Lester makes his first start in the Crosstown series but his 14th appearance against the White Sox. Lester is 6-5 in 13 career starts versus the Sox with a 4.38 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Last season, Lester was 2-0 in three starts against the Southsiders with a 1.57 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
White Sox Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Melky Cabrera: 12-for-42 with two doubles, one home run and two walks
- Alexei Ramirez: 8-for-35 with three doubles and two walks
- Gordon Beckham: 3-for-24 with one home run and two walks
- Tyler Flowers: 3-for-15
- Adam Eaton: 4-for-11
- Emilio Bonifacio: 1-for-10 with one walk
- Adam LaRoche: 0-for-8
- Jose Abreu: 3-for-6 with one double and one walk
- Avisail Garcia: 2-for-7
- Carlos Sanchez: 1-for-3 with one double
- Geovany Soto: 1-for-3
Chris Sale is in the middle of an incredible run. Sale is by far the best lefty starter in the American League and if not for Clayton Kershaw, he would hands down be the best southpaw in the game. Sale actually ended a streak of at least 10 strikeouts in eight straight starts with a complete game win over the Blue Jays the last time out. Sale allowed two runs on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts over nine innings to the best offense in the game.
Chris Sale is 4-3 in eight road starts this season with a 3.40 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Outside of The Cell, Sale has allowed 22 runs, 20 earned, on 41 hits with 11 walks and 80 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings.
Today is actually the first time Chris Sale will start a game against the Cubs. Sale has officially pitched just two innings of two games against the Cubs and allowed three hits and no runs with three strikeouts. Sale’s first start against the Cubs on May 28, 2013 was called after two innings. Edwin Jackson and the Cubs were beating Sale and the Sox thanks to a two-run homer from Welington Castillo.
Chris Denorfia (0-for-3), Starlin Castro (0-for-1) and Jonathan Herrera (walk) are the only players on Joe Maddon’s roster with at bats in a regular season game against Chris Sale.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …