Saturday, September 23, 2023
5-Hour Energy

MLB Preview: Milwaukee Brewers (74-58) at Chicago Cubs (70-62)


SUMMARY: Are 214-212 all-time, including 5-4 this season…..went 9-10 last season.

at MIL: Are 110-101 all-time, going 99-94 at American Family Field and 11-7 at County Stadium…..are 2-2 this season…..went 5-4 last season.

at CHI: Have gone 104-111 all-time at Wrigley Field, including 3-2 this season…..went 4-6 last season.

Unfriendly Confines
Including today’s game, the Brewers and Cubs will square off four more times in 2023……Milwaukee currently leads the season series, 5-4.

Don’t Mess With Bill
William Contreras carries a 9-game hitting streak into tonight’s game, batting .371 (13-for-35) with 5 doubles, 2 HR and 10 RBI in that stretch…..over his last 47 games, Contreras is batting .321 (62-for-193) with 6 HR and 38 RBI and ranks among NL leaders in the following categories in this span (since July 2):

Yes, He Canha
Mark Canha is batting .323 (20-for62) with 2 HR and 13 RBI over his last 18 games, including a .394 OBP/.500 SLG/.894 OPS…..he has reached base safely in each of his last 11 games, batting .359 (14-for-39) with 2 HR and 9 RBI during the run.

Because He’s So Smooth
Carlos Santana is on an 8-game hitting streak, batting .355 (11-for-31) with 2 HR and 8 RBI in that stretch.

TODAY’S GAME: Is game 3 of 3-game road trip (1-1) to Wrigley Field to face the Cubs….. following today’s game and an off day Thursday, the team returns to American Family Field for a 3-game series against Philadelphia.

IN THE TRAINER’S ROOM: LHP Aaron Ashby (left labrum), RHP Adrian Houser (right elbow), RHP J.C. Mejía (right shoulder), OF Garrett Mitchell (left shoulder), OF Blake Perkins (left oblique), 1B Darin Ruf (right knee), RHP Julio Teheran (right hip), LHP Justin Wilson (left lat) and OF Jesse Winker (back) are on the injured list…..Ashby, Mitchell, Ruf and Wilson are on the 60-day IL.

SERIES-LY SPEAKING: The Brewers are 23-17-2 in series play.
Game 1: 23-20, Game 2: 24-19, Game 3: 23-17, Game 4: 4-2 Sweep Wins (9): vs. NYM (3g, 4/3-4/5), at SEA (3g, 4/17-4/19), vs. KC (3g, 5/12-5/14), vs. PIT (3g, 6/16-6/18), at CIN (3g, 7/14-7/16), at CWS (3g, 8/11-8/13), at TEX (3g, 8/18-8/20), vs. MIN (2g, 8/22-8/23), vs. SD (3g, 8/25-8/27) Sweep Losses (5): at COL (3g, 5/2-5/4), vs. OAK (3g, 6/9-6/11), at MIN (2g, 6/13-6/14), at ATL (3g, 7/28-7/30), at LAD (3g, 8/15-8/17)

AT HOME: The Brewers are 38-27 at home, going 12-7-2 in series play…..went 46-35 at home last season, going 15-8-4 in series play…..the team is currently on a season-high 6-game home winning streak, its longest since winning 7 straight from 6/25-7/8, 2021.

ON THE ROAD: The Brewers are 36-31 on the road, going 11-10-0 in series play…..went 40-41 on the road last season, going 9-12-5 in series play.

LET’S GO TO THE VIDEO TAPE: The Brewers have made 28 replay challenges this
season, going 12-16…..their last challenge (won) came on 8/29 at Chicago-NL as an out
call at first base (Mark Canha) was overturned.

WOODRUFF AT A GLANCE: Brandon Woodruff, 30, will be making his seventh start of the season and second against the Cubs…..he last started last Friday vs. San Diego
and earned a 7-3 win (6ip, 3h, 1r, 1er, 3bb, 11k, 1hr, 107 pitches)…..the team is 5-1 in his starts…..he has 3 quality starts…..opponents are batting .176 (21-for-119, 7hr)…..he has gone 13-3 with a 2.44 ERA over his last 27 starts dating back to last season (158.2ip, 43er)…..Woodruff was placed on the 15-day injured list on April 11 with right shoulder inflammation, retroactive to April 8…..he was transferred to the 60-day injured list on May 15 and reinstated on August 6…..Woodruff was selected in the 11th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Mississippi State University…..he is under club control through 2024.

LAST SEASON: Woodruff went 13-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 27 starts last season…..he led the team with a career-high 13 wins…..the team went 19-8 in his starts…..he made 15 quality starts…..he held opponents to a .215 batting average with 190 strikeouts in 153.1 innings…..Woodruff missed a month while on the 15-day injured list from 5/30-6/27 with a right ankle sprain and Raynaud’s syndrome affecting his pitching fingers…..he went 8-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 18 starts after coming off the injured list (109.2ip, 29er).

CAREER: Is 44-26 with a 3.16 ERA in 125 games/110 starts (647.1ip, 227er)… in his seventh MLB season, all with the Brewers (2017-23)…..was a 2019 and 2021 All-Star.

CAREER AT AMERICAN FAMILY FIELD: Is 25-9 with a 2.91 ERA in 63 games/56 starts (334.1ip, 108er)… 2-1 with a 1.65 ERA in 3 starts this season (16.1ip, 3er).

CAREER ON THE ROAD: Is 19-17 with a 3.42 ERA in 62 games/54 starts (313ip, 119er)… 1-0 with a 3.57 ERA in 3 starts this season (17.2ip, 7er).

CAREER vs. CUBS: Is 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA in 17 games/15 starts (80.1ip, 28er)…..he had no decision this season on 4/1 at Wrigley Field (6ip, 3h, 1r, 1er, 1bb, 8k, 1hr)… 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 10 career games/8 starts at Wrigley Field (42.2ip, 16er).


Cubs vs. Brewers
The Cubs and Brewers play four series totaling 13 games … the clubs met in Chicago on Opening Weekend, March 30-April 2, with Milwaukee taking two of three games, and split the four-game series in Milwaukee July 3-6 … the Cubs look for their second-straight season victory after losing in 2019 (9- 10) and 2021 (4-15) with a tie (5-5) in 2020.

WHERE THE RUBBER-MATCH MEETS THE ROAD: The Chicago Cubs today play the rubber match of the three-game set against the division-leading Brewers after beating the Brewers 1-0 last night to even the series at one game apiece … Justin Steele spun a gem, tossing a career-high 111 pitches in 6.0 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts, six hits and one walk … in picking up the win, Steele tied his career-high winning streak (6 games) … Ian Happ went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to a season-high seven games and Yan Gomes (2-for-3) snapped his three-game hitless streak … Cody Bellinger tallied the lone RBI of the game. Chicago is 10-1-1 in its last 12 series dating to July 17. The Cubs are 14-8 in their last 22 games and 28-12 in their last 40 games since July 18 … following play on July 20, the Cubs sat 7.0-games out of a wild-card spot and 8.5-games back of the division lead … the club enters today in the second wild card spot (1.0-game ahead of San Francisco) and 4.0-games back of division-leading Milwaukee. The Cubs are in a stretch of 11 games (6-3) against division rivals that started on Aug. 24 at Pittsburgh and concludes with four games at Cincinnati Sept. 1-3, including a double-header on Sept. 1st … Chicago is 25-16 against the N.L. Central this season.

I FEEL LIKE WE’VE DONE THIS BEFORE: Kyle Hendricks has faced the Brewers 32 times in his career, going 10-8 with a 3.51 ERA (71 ER/182.0 IP), the most starts he has made against any club … in fact, no Cubs pitcher has made more starts against Milwaukee than Hendricks. Hendricks’ 32 starts are the second most starts against Milwaukee among active pitchers, trailing only St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright (47 starts).

ONE OR TWO WILL DO: The Cubs are 18-16 (.529) in one-run games this season … after starting the season 2-10 in one-run games since May 28, Chicago is 16-6 in those games since May 29 … the Cubs .727 winning percentage in one-run games since May 29 leads the majors and their 16 wins are third behind the Reds (20) and Brewers (19). With yesterday’s 1-0 victory, Chicago has won multiple 1-0 games in a season for the first time since 2018 (4). 14 of the Cubs’ last 19 games dating to August 8 have been decided by two or fewer runs, including 10-straight games from August 15-25 … 12 of their last 15 wins since August 3 have been by two or fewer runs … the club is 27-29 in two-run games this season.

MONTHLY MATTERS: Entering today’s game, Chicago is 17-9 in August after finishing 15-11 in July, 14-11 in June, 10-18 in May and opening the year with a 14-13 record March/April … below is a look at the numbers by month. The last time the Cubs had at least 17 wins in a month was May 2021 (19-8), which was also the last time the team was at least eight games over .500 in a month … Chicago has not had 17 wins in August since 2018 (18-10). In August, José Cuas leads Cubs pitchers (min. 5 G) in ERA (0.75, 1 ER/12.0 IP) and Steele leads the club in wins (4) and innings pitched (34.1) … Cody Bellinger paces Chicago in RBI (30) and total bases (55) while Seiya Suzuki leads in batting average (.333), OBP (.378), slugging percentage (.667) and OPS (1.045) since August 1.

Starting Pitcher – #28 RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-7, 3.80)
Last Time Out
Kyle suffered the loss Aug. 25 in Pittsburgh … allowed two runs in the first inning, then tossed 4.2 scoreless innings to end his outing … has allowed a first-inning run in three-straight starts … has walked one batter or fewer in 12-straight starts since June 29 and in 15 of his 18 starts in 2023 … has allowed three runs or fewer in four-straight starts and two or fewer in three of those four outings (3.13 ERA).

Date Opp. Result IP H R ER BB SO PC-S Left
8/25 @PIT L, 1-2 5.2 6 2 2 1 4 94-63 0-2, 2 on
2023 Splits and Season Notes
Home 2-4 4.84 9 9 48.1 56 28 26 8 33
Road 3-3 2.89 9 9 56.0 45 23 18 10 35
AVG vs. LHB: .239 (49-for-205) / AVG vs. RHB: .257 (52-for-202)

Kyle will make his 19th start of the 2023 campaign, his 10th at Wrigley Field … has posted a 4.84 ERA (26 ER/48.1 IP) in nine starts at Wrigley Field, compared to 2.89 ERA (18 ER/56.0 IP) on the road this season … ranks in MLB’s 98th percentile in average exit velocity allowed and 96th percentile in walk percentage and chase rate … has made quality starts in five of his last eight outings … is scheduled to make his 33rd career start vs. Milwaukee, his most vs. any opponent (10-8, 3.51) … is 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA (36 ER/94.1 IP) in 16 starts vs. the Brewers at Wrigley Field … has held opponents to a .167 average (34-for-203) with 51 strikeouts against his changeup. Has walked two or fewer in each of his last 11 starts dating to June 29 … that includes five outings with no walks issued. July 25, made his 12th career start vs. the White Sox, the second-most by a Cubs pitcher trailing Carlos Zambrano (13). Walked one batter in five starts from June 29-July 19 (29.1 IP), his fewest in a five-game span in his career. Started July 9 at New York (A.L.) and July 14 vs. Boston, becoming the first Cubs pitcher since Carlos Zambrano (July 8-13, 2007) to start back-to-back team games. Posted a 1.95 ERA (7 ER/32.1 IP) in five starts from June 10-July 4, allowing three runs or fewer in all five outings … his 1.95 ERA was the fourth-lowest in the majors during that span (min. 5 GS). June 10 in San Francisco, carried a no-hit bid into the eighth … the 7.2 inning nohit bid was the second-longest of his career (Sept. 12, 2016 at St. Louis, 8.0 IP). Became the 12th pitcher in Cubs history to pitch for the Cubs in at least 10 season (last Kerry Wood). Made his season debut May 25 vs. Mets (3 ER/4.1 IP), his first major league start since July 5, 2022. Made five rehab starts with Triple-A Iowa, going 2-1 with a 5.75 ERA (13 ER/20.1 IP) … allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last three rehab starts, posting a 1.69 ERA (3 ER/16.0 IP) during those outings. Began the season on the 15-day injured list, as he rehabbed from a capsular tear in his right shoulder that he suffered in July 2022.

Troy Wins

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