|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 21, 2018
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 26,638
Cubs look for an awakening of bats against Tigers
Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers
- The Cubs split their series with the Pirates despite scoring just one run in each of the four games. All four of their runs came via solo home runs, making them the first team in history to complete a four-game series having scored a single run via a long ball in each game.
- Kyle Schwarber hit two of the Cubs' four home runs against the Pirates, just his third and fourth since competing in this season's Home Run Derby. Since the break, Schwarber is slashing .227/.317/.386.
- After winning just one of four games in Minnesota, the Tigers have dropped to 15-37 since June 19, tied for the fewest wins in MLB. On that date, they were four games back of Cleveland in the AL Central. Two months later, they are 21.5 games back.
- Victor Martinez has five doubles and five RBI in his last six games started. Since the All-Star break, Martinez is hitting .310, one point off his career second-half batting average of .309.
- Since his start against the Tigers (5.0 IP/3 ER/No Decision) on July 3, Kyle Hendricks is 4-1 with a 3.93 ERA and the Cubs are 7-2 in those nine games. Since July 1, Hendricks's ratio of strikeouts to walks (7.57) is second in the National League among hurlers with 40 innings pitched (1st: deGrom -- 8.75).
- The Cubs swept two games from the Tigers in Chicago this summer and haven't played in Detroit since 2015. However, since 2016, the Cubs are 20-9 (.690) in all games, regular and postseason, played in American League ballparks, the best record by any National League team.
- Astros acquire INF Diaz from Blue Jays
- Jansen to undergo heart surgery Nov. 26
- Red Sox re-sign World Series MVP Pearce
- O's name Astros' Elias executive VP, GM
- Phillies promote Young to pitching coach
The Ambassador Bridge connects Detroit to Canada. This week, Detroit becomes to bridge that the Chicago Cubs must pass through between important division games.
The Cubs split six games against National League Central opponents Milwaukee and Pittsburgh last week. They'll make a two-game pit stop in Detroit this week before returning home for four games against last-place Cincinnati.
While trying to hold off Milwaukee and surging St. Louis, first-place Chicago hopes to regains its offensive punch against the pitching-deficient Tigers. The Cubs have scored a single run in each of their last four games and were fortunate to win two of them.
"We have to get our offense straightened out," Cubs manager Joe Maddon told mlb.com. "I can't make any excuses for them either. We just have to get better. But we did pitch. We played great defense. We did a lot of really good things. We just didn't hit the baseball."
Chicago's only runs in the four-game series against the Pirates came on solo homers. It went hitless in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
"You can't be panicked by the fact that we just had four games where we just scored one run," outfielder Kyle Schwarber said to mlb.com. "All teams probably go through the stretch. ... We're ready to have this off-day, get refocused and get ready for this next series."
Facing the battered Tigers' staff could be just what the Cubs need to get their bats going. Detroit's starting rotation has been decimated by injuries and trades. Michael Fulmer and Blaine Hardy are on the disabled list and Mike Fiers was recently traded to Oakland.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was forced to try a "bullpen day" on Sunday, with long reliever Buck Farmer making his first start this year. Detroit lost 5-4 to Minnesota.
The Twins blasted 13 homers in the four-game series. The Tigers scored at least four runs in each game of the series but only won one.
"We have to make better pitches to not give up that many home runs. But also need to cash in better when we get runners on base," Tigers catcher James McCann told the Detroit News.
Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 4.36 ERA) will start for the Tigers on Tuesday. The Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 4.11).
Zimmermann got roughed up in his last start, surrendering six runs and nine hits in five innings to the Chicago White Sox. He has endured similar experiences against the Cubs, mainly during his years with Washington. Zimmermann has a 1-5 record and 4.58 ERA in nine starts against them.
Hendricks has only faced the Tigers once, allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings on July 3 while getting a no-decision. The Cubs took both games of that two-game series.
Hendricks has three wins and a no-decision in his last four starts. He notched a victory on Wednesday despite giving up four runs in six innings to the Brewers.
Pinpoint control has allowed Hendricks to bounce back from a shaky beginning to the season. The Cubs have won seven of his last nine starts and he has walked just seven batters in those outings while getting 53 strikeouts.
Updated August 20, 2018