Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Wednesday 4/4, 6:10 CT

Man, I'm glad TODAY isn't the home opener, because this afternoon, it is 34 degrees with winds gusting to 30 MPH, and a few snow flurries are flying.

You know, typical Opening Day weather. By Monday it might be in the upper 40's.

Speaking of Opening Day, it was thirteen years ago today that Tuffy Rhodes hit three solo HR in the opener vs. the Mets' Dwight Gooden. The Cubs lost anyway, 12-8, and Rhodes hit only 5 more HR the rest of the year, before going on to play several years in Japan.

Tonight in Cincinnati, it won't be much better than that -- temperatures expected in the lower 40's at game time, dropping into the 30's during the game.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. Bronson Arroyo
B. Arroyo
Reds
15-13 W-L 14-11
4.31 ERA 3.29
160 SO 184
81 BB 64
28 HR 31
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

pitcher stats are 2006 season stats

Here's tonight's lineup, courtesy as usual of Bruce Miles:

Soriano, CF
Jones, RF
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Floyd, LF
Barrett, C
Theriot, 2B
Izturis, SS
Lilly, P

Not thrilled with Jones batting second, but at least Ryan Theriot's getting a start.

Arroyo was just sick against the Cubs last year -- 4-0 in five starts, 1.01 ERA, five walks, 26 strikeouts, and two home runs. He's not likely to hit the HR again, since Glendon Rusch, his victim for both of last year's dingers, isn't on the roster any more.

I figure we owe him one. Or four.

Lilly has faced only four of the Reds before -- Jeff Conine (7-for-20), Alex Gonzalez (5-for-11, 1 HR), Scott Hatteberg (1-for-9), and Brandon Phillips (0-for-2). It's been stated that Lilly might, just might, be a similar pitcher to Arroyo, and having been in the heavy-hitting AL East before, might have success similar to Arroyo's last year in moving to the NL Central. Interesting theory, anyway.

The Cubs will be without Henry Blanco today, as he is in Florida to testify as a witness in the money laundering trial of his agent -- so Michael Barrett is it today for catchers, unless there's an emergency, in which case it's Matt Murton. Hope for no emergencies!

Here's today's MLB.com Mediacenter -- and if you're outside Chicago (or in certain areas within the Chicago area), you'll need this to watch today's game, as it is on CSN+, which is on CLTV in Chicago, but not on all local cable systems.

And, there's always MLB.com Gameday.

If you'd like the Reds fan perspective, check out our SBNation site Red Reporter. Yeah, I know Reds fans hate the Cubs, but JD at Red Reporter is a cool guy, so be nice if you go over there.

Meanwhile, The Employee is on the DL after all. Gee, what a surprise.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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