Pregame Notes: Chicago Cubs look to extend win streak vs Reds


After a dramatic come-from-behind victory last night that featured a walk-off RBI single by Arismendy Alcantara in the bottom of the 10th, the first place Chicago Cubs will look not only extend their four-game win streak, but aim to win their second consecutive series.

Despite Jon Lester‘s shaky start against the Cincinnati Reds last night, Cubs’ (4-2) hitters managed to keep their team in the game after trailing by three runs on two separate occasions. Outfielder’s Jorge Soler and Chris Coghlan are coming off huge nights which featured three home runs between the two of them – Soler with two-two run home runs and Coghlan with a solo bomb to right field that nearly landed on Sheffield Ave.

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Taking the mound tonight against a well rounded Reds (4-3) lineup will be a man who dominated them in 2014, Jake Arrieta. Arrieta (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is off to a great start in 2015, carrying his shutout performance that dates back to last season – as he made easy work of the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing just three hits across seven scoreless frames in the 3-0 win.

In case you missed it, editor Jacob Misener took a look at Arrieta’s successful 2014 run which included two no-hit bit against the Reds, limiting them to a .145 average and .203 on-base percentage. You can read his break down on Arrieta’s 2014 season by clicking here.

While fans are still waiting for Anthony Rizzo to come alive, this offense has provided some solid run support for not only this starting rotation, but the bullpen as well. He did manage to put himself on base in key situations, scoring twice both times thanks to Soler, and stood on third base with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th after drawing another walk.

Last night’s performance by Chicago’s relievers limited the Reds to just three hits after skipper Joe Maddon removed Lester from the game.

Starting opposite of Arrieta will be young right-hander Anthony DeSclafani. DeSclafani (0-0, 3.00 ERA) has allowed two earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts in the no-decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates just a week ago. Tonight will be his seventh career start after picking up only five with the Miami Marlins in his rookie campaign last season.

He’ll look to receive some more run support from Todd Frazier, who leads the team in both home runs and RBI.

With the Reds looking to clear some payroll space, they acquired both DeSclafani and Chad Wallach during the Winter Meetings.

Here’s a look at tonight’s lineups for both teams:

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm central time and will be aired live on both CSN and WBBM 780.

Next: Warning - Don't Run On Jorge Soler