By Clark Lorensen
It was Wednesday Night, July 8 and things did not work out for the Cubs on a two strike pitch in the top of the ninth inning vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. I would probably have to remind you about the Cubs ninth inning loss to the Reds on July 8, 2014. While it’s almost welcoming to be upset about a game taking place on July 8, let’s move on to the next series.
The Cubs are currently 43-36 and have that second wild card spot and host a White Sox team that sits on the flip side at 36-42. The south side team enters the weekend cross town series on a four game winning streak, but remain inconsistent at the plate. The Cubs have played good baseball vs. the best in the National League, but have also played some bad.
Let’s talk about the weekend series between two teams that made headlines last off season.
Carlos Rodon (3-2, 1.641 WHIP) vs. Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 1.152 WHIP) Friday 3:05 CSN, WBBM 790
Carlos Rodon was selected one spot ahead of the Cubs Kyle Schwarber in the 2014 amateur draft. Both ball players made it to the show this season. While the Cubs released a teaser trailer of the Schwarber show, the White Sox brought Rodon up without turning back.. The Cubs bats should come alive by the second time through the order. Kyle Hendricks has an opportunity to head into the break on a much needed win streak to get himself out of the (I’m going to say it) “Sophomore Slump.” Here’s the line-up for the opener.
Chris Sale (7-4, 0.944) vs. Jon Lester (4-7, 1.277) Saturday 3:05 ABC 7, WBBM 780
The Cubs have themselves one hell of a challenge facing Chris Sale, but I expect Jon Lester to have a solid game in his second start with Miguel Montero behind the plate. I look forward to hearing Pat & Ron while driving to a wedding (reception) in Wisconsin. Cocktail hour starts at 6, so a pitching duel would help me out. I would rather see the Cubs finally put some runs on the board for their big time free agent. Throw their records out the window here.
Jose Quintana (4-8, 1.171) vs. Jake Arrieta (9-5, 1.047) Sunday 1:20 ABC 7, WBBM 780
Jake Arrieta has won 5 of his last 6 and averages 6.6 innings per start on the season. You have to like his chances against the Sox offense. Jose Quintana’s WHIP will put him on the radar for any team looking to bolster their starting rotation. I wouldn’t say this is a try out for Quintana, but it will be interesting for the Cubs to get a chance to see him.
46-36 at the All-Star break would sure look nice, but I’m happy to see them in the hunt for the Wild Card at the break.