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2024 Cubs Road Trip Preview: San Francisco, Milwaukee

4 weeks agoTony Andracki

After a 4-5 homestand, the Cubs head west for a 4-game series in San Francisco, followed by a 3-game set in Milwaukee.

The Cubs will face the Giants less than a week after taking 2 of 3 from San Francisco at Wrigley Field. It will be the Giants’ first home series since the passing of baseball icon Willie Mays, who passed away last week at the age of 93.

The Cubs will then head back to the Midwest to take on the Brewers for the final time at American Family Field this season. The Cubs dropped 2 of 3 earlier this season in Craig Counsell’s first trip back to Milwaukee as the Cubs’ skipper.

Pitching probables

San Francisco

Monday: LHP Justin Steele vs. TBA

Tuesday: RHP Kyle Hendricks vs. TBA

Wednesday: TBA vs. TBA

Thursday: TBA vs. RHP Jordan Hicks

The Cubs would only commit to Steele and Hendricks in the first 2 games of the San Francisco series. Counsell said they will figure out the rest after that.

It could mean Shota Imanaga throwing on Wednesday, which would be a normal 5-day schedule (after he started Friday’s game). But the Cubs have often found ways to give Imanaga at least 5 full days of rest between starts, which is what he was used to from his career in Japan.

Jameson Taillon will likely line up up after Imanaga, but whether that comes Thursday in San Francisco or Friday in Milwaukee is unknown.

With rookies Ben Brown and Jordan Wicks on the injured list, the Cubs don’t have many options to add into the rotation. They could opt to go with a bullpen day if the relief corps is not overly taxed Monday and Tuesday in the first 2 games of the series.

Steele has been on fire lately and looks to regain his title as the Cubs’ ace.

Hendricks, meanwhile, has turned in a stellar month of June after struggling in the first 2 months of the season. He rejoined the Cubs rotation when both Brown and Wicks landed on the IL.

Hendricks is coming off his best start of the season against San Francisco last Wednesday. Last season, against the Giants at AT&T Park, Hendricks no-hit the Giants for 8 innings in his best outing of the season.

The Giants have a rotation completely in flux with a bunch of injuries. Ace Logan Webb just pitched on Sunday so he will not start this series. The only other member of the current rotation, Hicks, is slated for Thursday’s series finale.

Milwaukee

Friday: TBA vs. RHP Carlos Rodriguez

Saturday: TBA vs. RHP Tobias Myers

Sunday: TBA vs. RHP Freddy Peralta

Based on what the Cubs do with their rotation for Wednesday and Thursday, it will affect how they line up their starters for the all-important series in Milwaukee.

Javier Assad – who started Sunday for the Cubs – will likely take the ball for at least 1 of the games against the Brewers and Steele should be available for either Saturday or Sunday.

Quote of the Week

“As for the fans, you always made it clear how you felt. You carried me my entire career but you have taken it to a whole new level and I felt every one of your posts on social media and in person by your comments. You are my friends and now you have carried me through months of chemo and radiation. I’ll never be able to thank you properly.” – Ryne Sandberg delivered a heartfelt message to Cubs fans at his statue dedication ceremony Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Storylines to keep an eye on

— Can the Cubs get back to their winning ways? The only 3-game series they’ve won since mid-May was against the Giants last week at Wrigley. Counsell and his group are 8 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central but they are only 2 games out of the final Wild-Card spot in the NL.

— The bullpen is a major question mark for the Cubs – moreso than at any other point this season. The group has struggled to find consistency all season but now injuries continue to take a toll. Mark Leiter Jr. was just added to the IL Sunday with a forearm injury, leaving the Cubs with almost all of their veteran and most-trusted arms on the shelf. How will Counsell and the Cubs navigate the next couple of weeks until they get some of those key bullpen members back?

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