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Cincinnati0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 270
Chi Cubs1 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 x 560
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  W: Y. Darvish (3-4)   L: S. Gray (5-6)   S: C. Kimbrel (4)
11:20 AM PT12:20 PM MT1:20 PM CT2:20 PM ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 AM MST1:20 PM EST1:50 PM VEN22:20 UAE1:20 PM CT, July 17, 2019
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 37,260

Cubs' Darvish aims to beat Reds, end winless streak

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs

  1. The Reds are 6-3 against the Cubs this year, winning each of the first three series. They're averaging 5.2 runs and batting .304 against Chicago, compared to 4.4 runs and a .244 average against all other teams.
  2. Joey Votto is batting .447 against the Cubs this season, and went 7-for-13 with four runs in a three-game series at Wrigley Field in May. Votto's .437 career OBP at Wrigley ranks fourth among those with at least 300 plate appearances there since 1920.
  3. Monday's scheduled starter Luis Castillo has allowed one earned run or less in five of his last seven starts, which includes tossing seven innings of one-run ball in a 6-0 loss to the Cubs on June 29. His 11 starts allowing one earned run or less are already the most by a Reds pitcher since 2014, when Alfredo Simon also had 11 and Johnny Cueto had 15.
  4. Kyle Hendricks opposes Castillo, and is 4-0 with 1.90 ERA in eight career home starts against the Reds. The last Cubs pitcher to have a sub-2.00 ERA over an eight-start span against Cincinnati at Wrigley Field was Bob Rush, who had a 1.56 ERA between 1950-53.
  5. Kris Bryant has a .343/.439/.571 slash line with five doubles and six runs against the Reds this season. Since his 2015 rookie season, Bryant's 23 doubles against the Reds are the most by any player while his 54 runs are second behind Anthony Rizzo's 62.
  6. Javier Baez has a .395/.439/.842 slash line with runners in scoring position and two outs for a 1.281 OPS, fourth in MLB among 233 players with at least 25 plate appearances. He had a .809 OPS with runners in scoring position and two outs last season to rank 123rd among batting qualifiers.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/15/2019 thru 7/17/2019

Yu Darvish will try to pick up his first victory in nearly three months when the Chicago Cubs host the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Darvish (2-4, 4.72 ERA) has not earned a win since April 27. He followed that outing with 10 straight no-decisions, which marked a franchise record, before taking a loss June 26 and then drawing two more no-decisions.

Despite his lack of victories, Darvish has impressed Cubs manager Joe Maddon. The right-hander asked to start the first game after the All-Star break and delivered with six scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"He was really wanting to do this," Maddon told reporters after Darvish's most recent outing Friday afternoon. "He is really getting very comfortable in his Chicago Cubs skin. He is just a different cat, and the way he gets ready is different. He is so much more comfortable than he was at any time last year."

The Cubs also are feeling more comfortable after a dramatic 4-3 win Tuesday night to even the series at one victory apiece. The game went to 10 innings before Kyle Schwarber lifted a walk-off homer into the basket atop the left field wall.

It was Schwarber's 21st homer of the season and his third in as many games.

Reds right-hander Sonny Gray (5-5, 3.42 ERA) will try to cool down Schwarber and the rest of the talented Chicago lineup. Gray has notched three consecutive quality starts and has given up only one run over his past 15 innings.

The 29-year-old Vanderbilt product is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs.

The Reds have a powerful offense, as well, with Eugenio Suarez (23 homers) and Yasiel Puig (22) leading the way. Suarez has homered in back-to-back games, with both of his blasts coming in the top of the first inning.

The jovial slugger dedicated his latest home run to Fox Sports Ohio play-by-play man Jim Day on Tuesday night.

"Hey Jim Day, listen, that was for you," Suarez said after grabbing a microphone from a Fox Sports Ohio reporter who was stationed near the dugout. "I just want to make your day, Jim Day. I hope you like that one. That was for you and the Cincinnati Reds fans."

Suarez has hit 12 homers on the road and 11 at home.

Darvish has been vulnerable to the long ball this season, serving up 20 homers in 19 starts. However, his teammates are confident that he can build upon his impressive start following the All-Star break.

"He looked like he was in total control," Kris Bryant told reporters after Darvish's most recent performance. "He knew what pitches he wanted to throw and was very deliberate. He was making all of his pitches. We are going to see a lot of that in the second half."

In five career starts against the Reds, Darvish is 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 17, 2019

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