Game Eighty-Nine: Cubs (53-35) vs. Rangers (54-36)
- 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
Kyle Hendricks, RHP (7-6, 2.55/1.03/3.46) vs. Martin Perez, LHP (7-5, 3.85/1.42/4.88)
Weather permitting … The Cubs return to the field this afternoon and begin a six-game homestand with the first of three with the Texas Rangers. The Cubs face an American League team for only the second time this season but will see a lot of the Junior Circuit in the coming month. The Cubs started the year with two wins over the Angels in Anaheim.
The Rangers are considered the best team in the American League. Texas enters play today with the most wins in the American League and 5 ½ games ahead of the Astros in the AL West. The Giants (57-33) are the only team in baseball with more wins than Jeff Banister’s team as the ‘second half’ begins.
Kyle Hendricks takes on the organization that selected him in the eighth round of the 2011 draft. The Cubs acquired Hendricks from the Rangers along with Christian Villanueva for Ryan Dempster almost four years ago (July 31, 2012).
Hendricks is taking on lefty Martin Perez and based on the splits, Joe Maddon should run out a right-handed heavy lineup. Left-handers have a .539 OPS with only five extra basehits (four doubles, one home run) and a .167/.283/.256 line against Perez this season. Right-handers have a .789 OPS with 26 extra basehits (16 doubles, 10 home runs) and a .291/.355/.433 line.
After today’s matchup of Hendricks and Perez, the Cubs will get their first look at Yu Darvish. Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Darvish in his return from the DL on Saturday afternoon (1:20pm CDT). The series with the Rangers wraps up Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT) with John Lackey taking on Cole Hamels. The last time Hamels pitched at Wrigley in July did not work out too well for the Cubs.
Today all starts with Kyle Hendricks …
Kyle Hendricks last start came 11 days ago on the Fourth of July at Wrigley against the Reds. Hendricks picked up the win after allowing one unearned run on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Hendricks pitched two scoreless innings in relief in the makeup game with the Braves his last time out. Hendricks walked one and struck out one in a game the Cubs dropped 4-3 in extra innings.
Kyle Hendricks is 5-1 in nine games, eight starts, at Wrigley this season with a 1.67 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. And he faces the organization that drafted him for the first time in a regular season game.
Ian Desmond (2-for-5 with one double and one home run) is the only player on Jeff Banister’s active roster that has faced Kyle Hendricks in a Major League game that counts.
The Cubs get their first look at lefty Martin Perez this afternoon. Perez is coming off a rough start in Boston but for the most part, he’s been really good for the Rangers this season.
The Red Sox scored 11 runs, seven earned, on nine hits against Perez in four innings. Perez walked two and struck out only one. Perez is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 7.36 ERA and 1.73 WHIP (13 runs, nine earned, on 14 hits with five walks and five strikeouts in 11 innings). And on the road this season, the lefty is 1-4 in nine starts with a 5.23 ERA and 1.54 WHIP.
Martin Perez faces the Cubs for the first time in a regular season game and Ben Zobrist (1-for-5) is the only player on Joe Maddon’s roster that has faced the southpaw in a regular season game.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …