Game One Hundred One: Cubs (60-40) vs. White Sox (50-51)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 185, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
John Lackey, RHP (7-7, 3.79/1.10/3.87) vs. Chris Sale, LHP (14-3, 3.18/1.00/3.70)
Weather permitting … The Cubs and White Sox wrap up the 2016 Crosstown Cup Series tonight. The Cubs can split the four-game series against the Sox with a win in the last matchup of the year with the Southsiders.
It will be up to John Lackey to step up and shutout the Sox. The Cubs must capitalize on every scoring opportunity they have against Chris Sale tonight. And those opportunities are likely to be few and far between.
The Sox have already activated Chris Sale. The Sox ‘suspended’ him for five days after he was sent home last Saturday for insubordination. Sale acted like a small child when he did not get his way and cut up the team’s throwback jerseys in the clubhouse. To no surprise, the Sox suspended him just long enough not to miss his turn in the rotation against the Cubs.
Bottom line is Chris Sale is one of the top pitchers in the game and he will be at his best tonight against the Cubs. Sale will look to change his narrative and it will be up to Joe Maddon’s team to get into the Sox pen as soon as possible.
Tonight all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey must start pitching better and that turn around must start tonight against the Sox. Lackey has not put the Cubs in a position to win a game in well over a month. And while the stats say otherwise, his last outing in Milwaukee was anything but a quality start.
Lackey completed six innings against the Brewers in a game the Cubs lost 6-1. Lackey gave up three runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Lackey left the game with the Cubs trailing 3-1.
Lackey is 0-3 in his last four starts with a 5.88 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.
At Wrigley this season, Lackey is 4-4 in nine starts with a 2.84 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
John Lackey makes the 17th start of his career against the White Sox tonight. Lackey is 3-7 in 16 starts with a 3.73 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.
White Sox Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Melky Cabrera: 13-for-40 with four doubles, one home run and three walks
- Justin Morneau: 9-for-37 with one double, one home run and three walks
- Todd Frazier: 3-for-20 with one home run and two walks
- Dioner Navarro: 2-for-19 with one double
- Jose Abreu: 0-for-4
- Adam Eaton: 2-for-4
- Avisail Garcia: 1-for-2 with one walk
- J.B. Shuck: 1-for-3
Chris Sale will be on a mission tonight to prove exactly how good he is and to try to put the focus back on his pitching. Sale is without a doubt one of the best pitchers in the game. And with Clayton Kershaw on the DL, it is not a stretch to say he’s the best pitcher in baseball right now.
When Sale is at the top of his game, like he will be tonight, he can shut down the best lineups. Sale knows facing the Cubs is like pitching in the postseason for him at this point in his career.
The last time Sale was on the mound he completed eight scoreless innings against the Mariners and allowed just one hit with three walks. Sale struck out six in what has been his only game since the break.
Chris Sale is 1-1 in his last three starts with a 5.40 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. And outside of the Cell this season, Sale is 7-1 in 10 starts with a 2.08 ERA and 0.91 WHIP.
Chris Sale makes just his third career start against the Cubs tonight. Sale is 2-0 in four games, two starts, versus the Cubs with a 0.56 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. In 16 innings, the Cubs have managed 10 hits, one run and three walks while striking out 28 times.
Cubs Career Numbers against Chris Sale
- Ben Zobrist: 6-for-11 with one double
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-7
- Anthony Rizzo: 2-for-5 with one walk
- Kris Bryant: 0-for-6 (six strikeouts)
- Addison Russell: 1-for-6
- Miguel Montero: 0-for-4
- Jason Heyward: 0-for-2 with one walk
- David Ross: 0-for-1 with two walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …