The Chicago Cubs (56-72) will look to play spoiler again Saturday afternoon against a Baltimore Orioles team that currently sits 20 games over .500 atop the American League East behind rookie right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who has been nothing short of stellar since his big league call-up earlier this summer.
Hendricks (5-1, 1.48 ERA) posted his sixth consecutive quality start in his last time out, tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the New York Mets. After an impressive July, in which he posted a 2.33 ERA, the right-hander has been near-untouchable in August, going 4-0 with a minuscule 0.92 ERA thanks to his allowing just three earned runs in 29 1/3 innings of work. A strong finish to the month could very well put the rookie in the mix for National League Pitcher of the Month for August.
He will be opposed by former Houston Astros right-hander Bud Norris (11-7, 3.69 ERA). His last start, which came in Chicago against the White Sox, was stellar. He allowed two runs in seven innings and through the first six, he allowed just one lone baserunner.
A bat to keep an eye on for the Cubs in today’s matchup will be third baseman Luis Valbuena, who is in the cleanup spot for Ricky Renteria with Starlin Castro still dealing with a family emergency back home. The left-handed hitting Valbuena has been red-hot of late, going 10-for-24 (.417) over the course of the past week with a pair of homers and 4 RBIs.
This afternoon’s game will be on CSN Chicago and WGN-AM 720 has the radio call. First pitch is set for 1:20 p.m. CT.
Here are today’s starting lineups: