Cubs Game Notes For Friday @ Cincinnati
* The Cubs outscored the Reds, 22-6, while sweeping three games from Cincinnati last week. Chicago has won six in a row in the series and is 19-6 versus Cincinnati in 25 games since September 2014.
* Although the Cubs lost their finale at St. Louis on Wednesday, 5-3, they still took two of three games in the series. At 11-4, Chicago is off to its best start through 15 games since 1985 (also 11-4). It’s just the fifth time since 1933 that the Cubs have opened with at least 11 victories in their first 15 games.
* After losing six of their previous seven games, the Reds are coming off two consecutive one-run victories. In fact, each of Cincinnati’s last four wins have come by a single run, and their five one-run wins overall are tied for the most in baseball (Oakland).
* Going back to last June 21, Jake Arrieta has recorded 23 consecutive quality starts (6.0 or more innings and three or fewer earned runs). It’s the longest such stretch since Bob Gibson reeled off a 26-start streak between 1967 and 1968. Arrieta is 19-1 with a 0.91 ERA over his remarkable run.
* Through three starts, Brandon Finnegan has been the toughest National League pitcher to hit (minimum 1.0 inning per team game), as he’s surrendered a puny .129 batting average. The southpaw has been particularly effective against right-handers, permitting just five hits in 50 at-bats (.100).
* After going 4-for-4 on Tuesday for just the second time in his career, Brandon Phillips went 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs on Wednesday. With 812 career runs for Cincinnati, Phillips is three behind Edd Roush (815) for eleventh most in team history, and four behind Joe Morgan (816) for tenth most.