Sweeping a series on the road isn't easy, but the Cubs have already done it three times this season (against the Nationals, Diamondbacks and Brewers). For comparison's sake, the 97-win 2008 Cubs did it four times.
Still, that's what the Cubs have a chance to do today and they have always played well in Miller Park since it opened in 2001. Including the two wins they had against the Astros there in 2008, the Cubs are now 49-34 in the retractable-roof ballpark.
Even rarer than a road sweep is three straight shutouts, which the Cubs have a chance to do today. Since 1920, a Cubs team has done this only four times -- in 1969, 1971, 1976 and 1992. The 1992 string included this gem by Greg Maddux on July 22 against the Reds. All three of the 1992 blankings were on the road, too -- two in Cincinnati and one in Houston. So it can be done.
I realize little attention may be paid to this game since it's the opening Sunday of the NFL season. In that case, go Bears, and perhaps the Cubs and Bears will win on the same day.
Today's lineup via tweet from Carrie:
#Cubs lineup Sun 9/12 vs #Brewers: 2B DeWitt, SS Castro, RF Fuke, 1B Nady, CF Colvin, C Soto, LF Soriano, 3B Barney, P Coleman
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Casey Coleman||1-1||8||4||0||0||0||0||31.0||35||20||20||3||15||13||5.81||1.61|
|2010 - Yovani Gallardo||11-7||29||27||2||2||0||0||161.0||152||78||68||10||67||175||3.80||1.36|
Casey Coleman made his major league debut against the Brewers in the 18-1 blowout on August 2, when the Brewers called the press box and whined about an error because, you know, 26 hits just wasn't enough for them. Anyway, Coleman got hit pretty hard that day but has pitched better since then. Brewers hitters were 7-for-11 against him that day with a couple of walks.
Yovani Gallardo was the starting pitcher for the Brewers in that August 2 game and gave the Cubs two hits in six innings while striking out 12. He also threw seven shutout innings against the Cubs on June 8 at Miller Park. Current Cubs, though, are hitting .267 (21-for-77) against him with nine doubles and two HR -- so maybe today is the day they finally break through.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Wisconsin. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 6 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 7:15 pm, 8:15 pm and 9 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.