Chicago Cubs Series Preview: Cardinals come to town for a weekend series

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Zach Davies / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Game 2 – Kwang Hyun Kim vs. Zach Davies

Saturday night under the lights. The Cubs will look to cool Kwang Hyun Kim’s jets as he is fresh off a seven-inning gem, allowing zero runs while defeating the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Overall, after going 3-0 in eight appearances last year, Kim has mostly picked up where he left off halfway through 2021.

He is sitting at 3-5 with a 3.39 ERA. On the road, his ERA is 3.51, although his 4.13 FIP suggests he has been slightly fortunate and that number should be a little higher. His arsenal consists of a  fastball at 43 percent, slider 35 percent, cutter 11 percent and changeup 10 percent. According to arch type, I will once again circle Baez on my lineup card and look forward to back-to-back matchups against southpaws for El Mago.

And in this corner, wearing blue, from Puyallup, Washington, standing six feet tall, weighing 180 pounds and hopefully not getting shelled this weekend, Zach Davies. I was eager to see what Davies could bring to the table when we was brought in to replace Yu Darvish in one of the most baffling salary dumps I’ve ever experienced and will most likely always be resentful against.

I digress. It seems Zach Davies is either lights-out or getting chased away after four or five innings. We need the former on Saturday night. I know the All-Star break is coming but it is imperative the bullpen gets the rest it needs and deserves.

Zach is currently sitting at 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA with a home ERA of 4.10 and 22 earned runs in 48 1/3 innings pitched at Wrigley this year. I’m not sure how deep David Ross will let him go as Davies has been a victim of getting hit hard the third time through the order. The numbers do drastically change.

  • First time through the order: 2.48 ERA, 1.84 batting average allowed, .298 SLG%
  • Second time through the order: 3.96 ERA, 2.38 batting average allowed, .385 SLG%
  • Third time through the order: 11.25 ERA, .400 batting average allowed, .618 SLG%

Easy for me to say as a couch manager, but hopefully Davies can mix up his pitches enough and go deep into this one. It would be a fantastic start to take the series after only Saturday.