Game One Hundred Fifty-One: Cubs (95-55) vs. Reds (63-87)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester, LHP (17-4, 2.40/1.01/3.46) vs. Josh Smith, RHP (3-1, 4.97/1.42/5.47)
The Cubs look to make it two in a row over the Reds tonight behind Jon Lester and inch closer to two more goals.
The Cubs are focused on having the best record in the National League first and foremost. After home field advantage is in hand, Joe Maddon really wants to win 100 games this season. Maddon, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have not been part of a team that won 100 games in a season.
The Cubs will face a right-handed reliever tonight they have experience with but one that is making his first start of the season. Bryan Price and the Reds appear to have a bullpen day planned so it is imperative for the Cubs to jump on Josh Smith early and let Lester take care of the rest. The Reds have several relievers with the ability to shut the Cubs down.
Joe Maddon should begin the game with a balanced lineup. With Lester on the hill, Javier Baez is expected at third base and David Ross will be behind the plate.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester delivered another gem his last time out. Lester shut out the Cardinals for eight innings last Wednesday in a 7-0 Cubs win at Busch Stadium. Lester surrendered just three hits with one walk and he struck out eight. Lester has allowed one earned run in his last four starts, and that was a solo homer by Hunter Pence than broke up a no-hitter.
Lester is 3-0 in his last three starts with a 0.38 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. Lester has given up one run on 13 hits with three walks and 19 strikeouts in 24 innings.
In his last 11 starts (Cubs 10-1), Lester is 8-0 with a 1.47 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. And at Wrigley this season, Lester is 8-2 with a 1.91 ERA and 0.91 WHIP (20 runs, 19 earned runs, 58 hits, 24 walks, 89 strikeouts, 89 2/3 innings).
Tonight is Lester’s fourth start of the season against the Reds. Jon Lester is 1-0 in the first three with a 2.18 ERA and 0.82 WHIP.
Reds Numbers against Jon Lester in 2016
- Brandon Phillips: 2-for-9
- Eugenio Suarez: 1-for-8
- Joey Votto: 2-for-9
- Zack Cozart: 2-for-7 with one home run and one walk
- Adam Duvall: 1-for-7 with one walk
- Ramon Cabrera: 0-for-3
- Tyler Holt: 0-for-2
- Ivan DeJesus Jr.: 0-for-1
- Jose Peraza: 1-for-1
Josh Smith is starting his first game of the season tonight after making 29 relief appearances for the Reds this year. Smith completed 3 2/3 innings against the Pirates in his last appearance and allowed one run on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Smith has not pitched more than four innings in the majors in his last 10 games.
Over his last four appearances, Smith is 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. He has allowed three runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. And in his last 14 games, Smith is 2-0 with a 4.88 ERA and 1.37 WHIP.
Josh Smith is facing the Cubs for the third time this season (two runs, three hits, three walks, three strikeouts, four innings) and in his career, Smith is 0-1 in three games, one start, against the Cubs with a 6.00 ERA and 1.89 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Josh Smith
- Javier Baez: 1-for-4 with one walk
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-2 with two walks
- Kris Bryant: 0-for-4
- Chris Coghlan: 0-for-4
- Miguel Montero: 2-for-4 with one double
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-3
- Tommy La Stella: 1-for-2
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-2
- Albert Almora Jr.: 0-for-1
- Willson Contreras: 0-for-1
- Jason Heyward: No official at bat – one walk
- David Ross: 0-for-1
- Addison Russell: 1-for-1 with one home run
- Ben Zobrist: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …