Game Seven: Cubs (5-1) vs. Reds (5-1)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN-TV – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 184, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester (1-0, 1.29/0.57/2.21) vs. Brandon Finnegan (0-0, 3.00/0.67/3.02)
Chicago Cubs Baseball is on the Air from beautiful Wrigley Field. It’s the Cubs and Reds in the first home game of the season.
The Cubs are celebrating 100 years of the team playing at Wrigley Field this season. Tonight is the Cubs 101st opener at Wrigley. Before last season, the Cubs had never played the first game of the season at Wrigley Field under the lights.
Jon Lester takes the ball for the first game of the season at Wrigley for the second straight year.
The Cubs kick-off a six-game homestand tonight with the first of three against the Reds. The Cubs and Reds enter play tonight tied for the top spot in the NL Central. The first homestand of the year concludes Sunday with the finale against the Rockies.
The Cubs were 13-6 in the 19 games versus the Reds last season but outscored them by a total of 12 runs (92-80). Just about every game with the Redlegs was close a year ago. The Reds are one of the teams the Cubs must not take lightly and make sure they win these games. Even with Todd Frazier on the South Side, Aroldis Chapman on the Yankees’ inactive roster and the issues in Cincinnati, Bryan Price still has a good lineup led by Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, plus very good, young arms the Cubs have little, if any, history with.
After tonight’s match-up of Jon Lester and Brandon Finnegan, the Cubs and Reds have a day off on Tuesday. The season resumes on Wednesday night (7:05pm CDT) with John Lackey taking on Alfredo Simon. The first series of the season with the Reds concludes on Thursday night (7:05pm CDT) with Jason Hammel on the hill against Raisel Iglesias.
The Cubs squared off against the Reds in the first opener at what is now Wrigley Field. The Cubs are 9-5 in 14 opening days at Wrigley against the Reds, tonight is the first time the division rivals will faceoff in the Cubs first home game of the season since 1999.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester is coming off a very good start against the Angels. Lester held Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and company to one run over seven innings. Lester gave up four hits and struck out four without walking a batter.
Lester made 20 starts at Wrigley last season. Lester was 7-9 with a 3.60 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Lester allowed 54 runs, 50 earned, on 120 hits with 32 walks and 125 strikeouts in 125 innings. Lester faces a team tonight that will run and run and run on him. The Reds gave him trouble in his first year in the National League. And Lester still put up good numbers against the Redlegs.
Jon Lester made four starts against the Reds last season and was 1-0 with a 3.67 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. Lester allowed 11 runs, all earned, on 23 hits with a walk and 27 strikeouts in 27 innings.
Reds Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Jay Bruce: 2-for-11 with one double
- Brandon Phillips: 5-for-12 with one double
- Joey Votto: 2-for-9 with one double and one triple
- Eugenio Suarez: 1-for-8 with one home run
- Zack Cozart: 1-for-4
- Billy Hamilton: 4-for-5 with one double
- Ivan DeJesus Jr.: 0-for-3
- Adam Duvall: 0-for-3
- Tyler Holt: 1-for-3
The Cubs get their first look at Brandon Finnegan tonight in a regular season game. Finnegan faced the Cubs in a Cactus League game last month.
Brandon Finnegan is an extremely talented lefty the Royals selected in the first round of the 2014 draft and shipped to the Reds in the Johnny Cueto deal.
Finnegan received a no decision in first start of the year. Finnegan allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and struck out nine Phillies over six innings.
Jason Heyward (0-for-1) and John Lackey (0-for-1) are the only two players on Joe Maddon’s active roster that have faced Brandon Finnegan in a regular season ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …