Pregame Notes: Chicago Cubs resume rivalry with Cincinnati Reds


The Chicago Cubs enter tonight’s series riding the high of a comeback win against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, while the Cincinnati Reds very well could have entered this game 6-0. The Cubs hope to get a better performance out of Jon Lester (0-1, 6.23), who is going on an extra days rest thanks to a postponed game due to rain. The Reds will counter with Mike Leake (0-0, 4.76).

The Cubs (3-2) are over .500 for the first time in two years, and if things go well, hope to stay above for a while. They come off a thriller that saw Dexter Fowler homer with an 0-2 count to give them a one-run lead that they turned into a victory. It will be Lester’s first time facing the Reds, and he has a limited history against Marlon Byrd (2-for-14) and Brayan Pena (7-for-18). 

The Reds (4-2) have let two games slip away due to their bullpen. But against the Cubs over the last three years, they’ve posted a 37-17 record against them. Not helping matters, the Cubs haven’t had much success against Leake. Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo are a combined 5-for 30 against Leake. But Castro is off to a solid start this season, and Rizzo has hit the Reds hard in recent history, batting .349 with eight homers over a 12-game stretch against the Reds.

News and Notes:

  • Byrd will be back in the Reds lineup after having Sunday off, but Devin Mesoraco is once again on the bench as Pena gets the start behind the plate.
  • The Reds had won 19-of-22 at Wrigley Field before getting swept last season from Sept. 15 -17.
  • After being on a pitch count in the opener, it’s not believed that Lester will have one for tonight’s game–or will at least be on a much higher count.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT. Here are the lineups for tonight’s matchup: