Eight-in-a-row. That’s the Chicago Cubs’ current losing streak against the Los Angeles Dodgers. And while I’d love to say there is a good chance this streak will come to an end tonight, Clayton Kershaw stands in the way of such a victory. You might remember Kershaw from his National League-leading ERA of 1.72. He has an FIP of 2.39, so even with luck factored in, he’s been really really good. His whip is 0.857, WAR is 5.5 and ERA+ is 207. I’m stacking all of these stats together just to show you what a monumental task it would be for the Cubs to beat him tonight. I’m just setting the bar low.
On the Cubs’ side, we’ll see Travis Wood. He’s also been good this year, but is 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA since the All Star Break. In an attempt to make this game interesting, Carrie Muskat shared a wacky stat about a Cubs’ All Star lefty facing another All Star lefty.
The game does mark the first time in 50 seasons that a Cubs left-handed All-Star pitcher squares off against a fellow left-handed All-Star pitcher from that same season, and the first time ever after the All-Star Game took place. In 1964, Cubs lefty Dick Ellsworth twice faced fellow southpaw All-Stars: on May 14, Ellsworth faced off against the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax and endured a 6-4, 10-inning setback at Wrigley Field. On June 23, Ellsworth tossed a complete-game, 2-0 shutout against Philadelphia’s Chris Short, also at Wrigley Field.
You might remember that Sandy Koufax was also the last man to no-hit the Cubs. So be on the lookout for that.
In tonight’s lineup news, we won’t be seeing Anthony Rizzo hit second or third or anywhere else for that matter. He has the night off rather than face Kershaw. The lineup:
T. Wood P
This ought to be something. Game time is 9:10 Central, and you’ll be able to watch on WGN, should you so choose.