The Cubs were able to split their four-game series with the Pirates despite only scoring four runs the entire weekend. Chicago pitched very well, allowing a total of five runs and shutting Pittsburgh out twice. The Brewers and Cardinals beat each other up a little and remain 3 and 3.5 games behind, respectively, in the NL Central. The Cubs now finish the road trip with two games against the lowly Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers are in third place in the AL Central, but are a whopping 21.5 games out of first with a 51-74 record. The offense has struggled mightily, Nick Castellanos standing out as the only real bright spot. His .833 OPS is a full 75 points higher than anyone else active on the team. The pitching has been slightly better, but no starter has an ERA below 4.20.
The Cubs swept the two-game series the teams played at Wrigley in early July and Tigers pitching is not nearly as tough as what the Cubs just faced in Pittsburgh. With the ability to use a DH in an American League park, the Chicago offense should be able to produce more. These are important games to win, but as the Royals and Padres demonstrated, that’s easier said than done. The bats need to wake back up, the sooner the better.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Tuesday, August 21 at 6:10 pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Wednesday, August 22 at 6:10 pm CT on WGN
What to Watch For
- Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester both looked good in their last starts. Lester threw six shutout frames against the Pirates on Thursday and Hendricks gave up four runs to Milwaukee Wednesday. Both are more than capable of handling Detroit’s bats.
- Jason Heyward has seven hits the last five games he’s played, a trend that needs to continue with the offense sputtering.
- The Cubs have not produced a run without the aid of a homer since the 6th inning of Wednesday’s game with the Brewers. That is a pretty remarkable stretch that probably needs to change if the Northsiders want a competent offensive attack.