THE FRIENDLY CONFINES: The Cubs yesterday earned their second-straight win over Milwaukee as Cole Hamels tossed 5.0-scoreless innings,
Albert Almora Jr. went 3-for3 with a game-winning solo homer and Craig Kimbrel locked down his ninth save.
Chicago has won 10 of its last 12 home games since June 27, and is 21-9 in its last 30 home contests since May 25 …
The club is 38-18 (.679) at Wrigley Field this season, the second-best home mark in the N.L. (Dodgers, 42-15/.737) and fourth in the majors.
Cubs pitching has posted a 3.29 ERA (188 ER/514.0 IP) at Wrigley Field, the second-lowest home ERA in baseball, trailing only the Dodgers (2.56).
Yu Darvish today makes his first start of August …
in July, he recorded 36 strikeouts and just two walks in five outings, becoming just the second Cub to walk two or fewer and strike out at least 36 in a calendar month, joining Rick Sutcliffe, who walked two and struck out 49 in five outings in September of 1984.
Yu has allowed two or fewer walks in a career-high nine-straight starts since June 10 … his 9.00 SO/BB ratio during that span ranks third in the majors, trailing only Seattle’s Mike Leake (14.67) and the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler (10.57).
Yu’s .217 opponent’s batting average ranks third in the N.L., trailing only Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo (.192) and Washington’s Max Scherzer (.215)
Rowan Wick yesterday earned his first-career win,
striking out two batters in a scoreless seventh inning … since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa, July 22, the righty has allowed just one hit and no runs in seven outings (6.0 IP) … he became the first Canadian-born Cub to earn a win since Rob Zastryzny last season.
Kyle Ryan yesterday struck out Christian Yelich
to lead off the eighth inning, continuing his success against left-handed batters … since June 6, lefties are 4-for-31 (.129) with no extra-base hits and one walk against Ryan … the southpaw has a 1.21 ERA (3 ER/22.1 IP) during this stretch (24 appearances).
The Central Division:
The Cubs today play the final game of a nine-game stretch against N.L. Central foes – six games against Milwaukee (3-2) and three games against St. Louis (1-2) – through August 4 and a run of 16 of 22 games against divisional foes through August 18.
The Cubs will play 31 of their final 52 games, or 60 percent, against N.L. Central clubs … the Cubs are 24-21 thus far within the division, a .533 winning percentage … the Cubs are 18-5 vs. N.L. Central foes at home,including a 10-1 combined mark vs. Milwaukee (4-1) and St. Louis (6-0) … the Cubs, however, are 6-16 against N.L. Central foes on the road.
MLB: Cubs Game Notes