Tonight, Cubs starter Ryan Dempster squares off against the Milwaukee Brewers (as delightfully previewed by Chris Jelinek), but the Cubs may see their winning streak come to a halt against tonight’s starter, Chris Narveson.
Narveson is your typical ‘crafty lefty’–he has a four-pitch mix that includes a four seam fastball, a slider, a curve, and a change-up, which is clearly his best pitch.
His use of his change-up gives him a reverse-platoon advantage, meaning he is more successful against his right-handed counterparts than lefties. He’s posted a 2.96 K/BB ratio against righties compared to 1.13 K/BB against lefties.
Against right-handed hitters, he goes to his change-up an astounding 40% of the time, and it’s no secret to where he’s trying to throw it:
In addition to Narveson’s excellence against right-handers, the Cubs, whose best players include right-handed hitters such as Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez, Darwin Barney, and Marlon Byrd, are very aggressive against the fastball, making them susceptible to the change-up, and thus one of the worst-hitting teams against the pitch, according to run values.
We’ll see if Narveson’s excellent change-up will bring the Cubs’ winning streak to a halt. The game’s on at 7:10 Central Time.