Game One Hundred Two: Cubs (61-40) vs. Mariners (51-49)
- Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester, LHP (10-4, 3.09/1.11/4.00) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma, RHP (11-6, 3.96/1.28/4.41)
Weather permitting … The Cubs’ eight-game homestand continues today with the first of three against the Mariners. Jon Lester takes the hill as the Cubs look for their third win in as many days.
The Cubs and Mariners square off for the first time since June 28-30, 2013. The Cubs won two of three at Safeco Field three years ago. Scott Servais returns to Wrigley as the skipper of the M’s. Servais played for the Cubs from 1995-98. The Mariners make just their second trip ever to Wrigley Field. Lou Piniella’s Cubs took the series from Mariners at Wrigley two games to one in June of 2007.
The Cubs are 7-5 in the 12 games against the Mariners since 2002.
The Cubs are 6-3 this season versus the Junior Circuit in Interleague play and face quite the challenge the next three days against the third place Seattle Mariners.
Joe Maddon needs for the top two pitchers in his rotation to pitch like the No. 1 and No. 2 starters in the rotation of the team with the best record in baseball. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester have not pitched well for a majority of the last month.
Jon Lester starts the opener today and will face right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. Jake Arrieta is scheduled for Saturday afternoon (1:20pm CDT) and will oppose lefty Wade Miley.
The series with the Mariners wraps up Sunday night (7:08pm CDT) in primetime with Kyle Hendricks taking on Felix Hernandez.
Today all starts with Jon Lester …
As is the case with Jake Arrieta and John Lackey, the Cubs need for Jon Lester to put his recent struggles behind him and put together, at the very minimum, a quality start today. Lester has not been good this month. Only one acceptable performance in four starts simply does not cut it.
After completing just four innings his last time out against the Brewers, Lester is 1-1 in his last four starts with a 10.13 ERA and 2.06 WHIP.
At Wrigley Field this season, Lester is 5-2 in nine starts with a 2.18 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. Lester has allowed 16 runs, 15 earned, on 43 hits with 17 walks and 65 strikeouts in 62 innings. And Lester makes the 13th start of his career against the Mariners today.
Jon Lester is 5-4 in 12 career starts against the Mariners with a 3.52 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Lester last faced the M’s in 2014 and was 1-1 in two starts with a 1.29 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.
Mariners Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Robinson Cano: 18-for-75 with six doubles and six walks
- Nelson Cruz: 11-for-28 with two doubles, one triple, three home runs and three walks
- Adam Lind: 3-for-29 with one double and one walk
- Franklin Gutierrez: 5-for-22 with two home runs and one walk
- Kyle Seager: 5-for-16 with one double and two home runs
- Nori Aoki: 5-for-14 with one walk
- Chris Iannetta: 2-for-9 with one home run
- Mike Zunino: 3-for-5 with one walk
- Leonys Martin: 0-for-2
- Luis Sardinas: 1-for-3
- Seth Smith: 0-for-2 with one walk
Hisashi Iwakuma makes his second career start against the Cubs today. Iwakuma has put together three straight quality starts and the Mariners are 5-0 the last five times he’s taken the ball. Iwakuma limited the Blue Jays, in Toronto, to two runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings his last time out.
Iwakuma has given up just seven runs on 21 hits with seven walks and 18 strikeouts in his last 25 2/3 innings (four starts) and he’s 5-4 in 11 starts on the road with a 3.63 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.
Hisashi Iwakuma’s only start against the Cubs came back on June 28, 2013 at Safeco Field. Iwakuma received a no-decision in a game the Mariners won 5-4. The Cubs scored four runs on six hits in eight innings with a lineup that featured Luis Valbuena, Starlin Castro and Nate Schierholtz in the first three spots. Alfonso Soriano batted cleanup, Anthony Rizzo was at first base and the battery to start the game, Dioner Navarro and Travis Wood. Yoervis Medina was the winning pitcher.
Cubs Career Numbers against Hisashi Iwakuma
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-11 with one double and one walk
- Ben Zobrist: 4-for-11 with one double and one walk
- Jason Heyward: 2-for-3
- Tommy La Stella: 1-for-3 with one double
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …