The Chicago Cubs can finish August at .500 with a win against the Toronto Blue Jays tonight. They could’ve finished the month over .500 for the first time since May 2021, if not for two consecutive bullpen meltdowns. I guess that’s what happens when you trade away your most valuable bullpen arms. But, I digress.
When Luke Farrell was called up to start on August 24, it was certainly more than a little surprising. It felt like either Hayden Wesneski or Caleb Kilian would be called up instead. In that start, Farrell lasted 4.1 innings and only allowed one run. In his following start, he lasted just 2.2 innings while allowing two runs.
Farrell hasn’t been particularly bad, but it feels like he won’t likely last beyond the 3rd or 4th inning tonight. That’s not going to bode well for the Cubs’ chances, given that their bullpen is already stretched thin. And, with the exception of Jeremiah Estrada who was lights out in his pro debut last night, none of those arms have been very consistent lately even when they’ve been rested.
The Cubs have the fifth-highest bullpen ERA (5.18) since the trade deadline. Since August 14, their bullpen ERA is 6.17, and in this series alone it’s an atrocious 8.64. So, of course, now that I’ve typed that the bullpen will dominate tonight.
Zach McKinstry will lead off tonight playing second, Seiya Suzuki is in right, Franmil Reyes is DH, Ian Happ is in left, and Nico Hoerner is at short. Rafael Ortega is in center, Yan Gomes is catching, Alfonso Rivas is at first, and Christopher Morel is at third.
First pitch tonight is scheduled for 6:07pm CT from Toronto, Ontario.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 31, 2022