Game Forty-Six: Cubs (31-14) vs. Phillies (26-21)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester, LHP (4-3, 2.60/1.08/3.49) vs. Adam Morgan, LHP (1-2, 5.61/1.40/4.10)
Weather permitting … The Cubs get back to work today and open a 10-game homestand with the first of three against the Phillies. Pete Mackanin has his team playing very good baseball. The Phillies enter play today five games above .500 and in the mix for the NL East crown.
The Phillies are just 1 ½ games behind the Mets for third place in the division despite a negative run differential. The Phillies have allowed 186 runs and scored 155. Philly is finding ways to win games and are a remarkable 14-4 in one-run games this season.
The Cubs will see three pitchers they have very little, if any history against. And the Cubs have really struggled facing pitchers for the first time.
After today’s matchup of lefties Jon Lester and Adam Morgan, Kyle Hendricks will take on Jerad Eickhoff on Saturday afternoon (1:20pm CDT). The series wraps up on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT) with John Lackey opposing Vince Velasquez.
The Cubs struggled mightily with the Phillies last season. The Cubs were 2-5 in the seven games with the Phillies, were swept at Wrigley in a weekend series that included Cole Hamels tossing the first no-hitter against the Cubs in almost 50 years. Lifelong Cubs fans will never forget the day The Streak ended. For too many years that was the only thing the fan base could hang its hat on.
At least with the Phillies dominating the Cubs a year ago, Joe Maddon should not have any problems getting his team to focus on the task at hand this weekend … and that’s to at least win a series at home against the Surprisin’ Phightin’ Phillies.
Today all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester is coming off just a poor outing against the Giants. Lester was visibly frustrated with the homeplate umpire and allowed it to impact his performance. Last Saturday in San Francisco was Lester’s worst start in over a calendar year. The Cubs need for him to get back on track today against the Phillies.
Due to the dud by the Bay, Lester is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 3.86 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Lester has done his job at Wrigley this season and in five starts is 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. If Lester struggles early it could be another rough game for the Cubs at Wrigley against the Phillies.
Jon Lester is 4-0 in six career starts against the Phillies with a 1.76 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. Lester received a no-decision at Wrigley last season in his only start against the Phillies. Lester allowed two runs on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. The Cubs lost the game 5-3.
Phillies Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Carlos Ruiz: 0-for-11 with one walk
- Ryan Howard: 2-for-11 with one home run and one walk
- Peter Bourjos: 3-for-10 with one double
- Freddy Galvis: 3-for-8 with one home run
- Maikel Franco: 0-for-6
- Cesar Hernandez: 1-for-3
- Cameron Rupp: 0-for-3
Adam Morgan is coming off a quality start against the Braves. Morgan gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in six innings. The Phillies were shutout 2-0. Morgan has been inconsistent at best this season. And his numbers are a little skewed due to making two starts against the Braves.
Morgan is 1-0 in two road starts this season with a 3.27 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Over his last four starts, Morgan is 1-2 with a 5.66 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.
Today is Adam Morgan’s second career start against the Cubs. Adam Morgan took the loss last Sept. 11 in Philly after allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings to the Cubs. Morgan makes his first career appearance at Wrigley this afternoon.
Cubs Career Numbers against Adam Morgan
- Javier Baez: 2-for-3
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-3 with one double
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-3
- Jason Heyward: 2-for-3
- Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-2 with one walk
- David Ross: 0-for-2
- Addison Russell: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …