Game One Hundred Forty-Two: Cubs (90-51) vs. Astros (75-67)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 179, 844
- Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston
Jake Arrieta, RHP (16-6, 2.84/1.04/3.41) vs. Mike Fiers, RHP (10-6, 4.29/1.34/4.55)
We Will Never Forget!
The Cubs wrap up the series in Houston tonight with Jake Arrieta on the hill in the rubber game against the Astros. After taking the opener 2-0 behind Jon Lester, the Cubs managed only two hits and lost 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The Cubs are 14-5 versus the Junior Circuit in Interleague play this season with one game left on the schedule. With a win tonight, the Cubs would finish the year 15-5 versus the American League, take the series against the Astros, even the record on the current road trip at 3-3 and inch a little closer to the first goal of the season … a division championship.
Jake Arrieta was pushed back a day and will start his first game in eight days. Arrieta will have to keep the Astros in check while his teammates figure out Mike Fiers. The offense has really struggled over the last week. One big inning could open the floodgates in Houston and carry over to the upcoming series in St. Louis.
Jake Arrieta and Mike Fiers both no-hit the Dodgers last August … Fiers on Aug. 21 in Houston and Arrieta nine days later on Aug. 30 at Dodger Stadium.
Mike Fiers has struggled against right-handers this season. Righties have hit .282/.334/.505 with a .839 OPS, 43 extra basehits (27 doubles, one triple, 15 home runs). Fiers has limited lefties to a .755 OPS, just 23 extra basehits (13 doubles, one triple, nine home runs) and a .275/.317/.438 line. It will be interesting to see if Joe Maddon structures his lineup to take advantage of the splits or not.
Tonight all starts with Jake Arrieta …
Jake Arrieta is coming off a loss to the Giants. Arrieta gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in six innings. Arrieta struggled with his command at times and just could not get on the same page with Willson Contreras.
Arrieta is 4-1 in his last six starts with a 3.17 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Arrieta has allowed 15 runs, 14 earned, on 18 hits in 39 2/3 innings. Arrieta has 29 strikeouts and a concerning 18 walks.
Since the break, Arrieta is a solid 4-2 in nine starts with a 3.17 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.
Jake Arrieta makes his 14th road start of the season tonight. Arrieta is 10-2 with a 2.99 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP outside of Wrigley Field.
Jake Arrieta faces the Astros for the first time in his career tonight.
Colby Rasmus (1-for-4 with one double) and Jake Marisnick (1-for-3) are the only two position players on A.J. Hinch’s active roster that have faced Jake Arrieta in a Major League ballgame.
Mike Fiers totally owned the Cubs while he was pitching with the Brewers. Fiers seemingly had a career day every time he faced the Cubs. The Brewers dealt Fiers to the Astros last summer, along with Carlos Gomez, for Josh Hader, Brett Phillips, Adrian Houser and Domingo Santana. The Brewers made out extremely well, especially with Gomez being Carlos Gomez now with the Rangers.
Mike Fiers has struggled with consistency, the same as he did with the Brewers. One start will be lights out, the next he could be lit up. Fiers gave up two runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings to the Indians his last time out. The Astros won the game 6-2 and are 4-0 the last four times he’s started a game.
Over his last 10 starts, Fiers is 4-3 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. And at Minute Maid Park this season, Fiers is 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 14 starts.
Mike Fiers is 3-1 in five games, four starts, against the Cubs with a 1.71 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. In 26 1/3 innings, Fiers has allowed six runs, five earned, on 16 hits with seven walks and 39 strikeouts. Fiers beat the Cubs last season on May 2 at Wrigley after allowing one run on three hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts in six innings.
Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Fiers
- Anthony Rizzo: 6-for-9 with one double and two home runs
- Chris Coghlan: 1-for-8 with one walk
- Jason Heyward: 0-for-8
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-7 with one walk
- Javier Baez: 1-for-6
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-5 with one double and one walk
- Jorge Soler: 0-for-5 with one walk
- Kris Bryant: 0-for-3
- Munenori Kawasaki: 0-for-2
- Addison Russell: 1-for-2
- Ben Zobrist: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …