Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers Preview, Friday 8/26, 7:10 CT: No Longer Wrigley North

What is Geo thinking here? Geovany Soto of the Chicago Cubs reacts after striking out looking against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Miller Park used to be, as many of you know, Wrigley Field North. This isn't just because thousands of Cubs fans went there to see their team play; the Cubs did well there for many years. From 2003-2010 the Cubs went 41-26 in Miller Park (39-26 against the Brewers, and 2-0 against the Astros).

This year, it's a different story. The Brewers are running away with the NL Central -- their 9.5 game lead is the largest of any division leader, and they recently had a 10-game lead, which was the largest in franchise history. They've won five of the six games played between the Cubs and Brewers in Milwaukee, outscoring the Cubs 34-18 in those games. Not only that, but Milwaukee's 47-16 (.746) home record is by far the best in baseball (the Phillies are the only team close at 46-21). If they maintain that .746 percentage, they will win 60 home games. That would make them only the seventh team to do that since the 162-game schedule was adopted in 1961. The all-time record is 65 wins, set by the 1961 Yankees.

That's what the Cubs are up against this weekend. Lotsa luck.

Cubs lineup:

SS Castro, 2B Barney, 3B Ramirez, 1B Baker, C Soto, CF Byrd, LF Soriano, RF Johnson, P Lopez

All righthanded lineup vs. Wolf.

Brewers lineup:

Hart RF, Morgan CF, Braun LF, Fielder 1B, McGehee 3B, Betancourt SS, Hairston 2B, Kottaras C, Wolf P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Rodrigo Lopez
Rodrigo Lopez
Cubs
vs. Randy Wolf
Randy Wolf
Brewers
4-4 W-L 10-8
4.97 ERA 3.45
33 SO 107
16 BB 56
11 HR 16
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Rodrigo Lopez 4-4 20 10 0 0 0 0 63.1 77 40 35 11 16 33 4.97 1.47


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Randy Wolf 10-8 26 26 0 0 0 0 167.0 164 71 64 16 56 107 3.45 1.32

Rodrigo Lopez has not faced the Brewers since August 12, 2010, when he was still with the Diamondbacks. (Avert your eyes if you click on that link.) Lifetime, he has a 4.88 ERA in four starts vs. Milwaukee, with HR allowed to Casey McGehee, Corey Hart and Jerry Hairston Jr. This does not bode well.

Randy Wolf has had quite a number of home runs hit off him by current Cubs -- nine of them, in fact (Geovany Soto, three; Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano, two each; Jeff Baker and Aramis Ramirez, one each). But last time Wolf faced the Cubs June 13 at Miller Park, he threw seven shutout innings. Which do you think is the more likely outcome tonight?

Today's game is on WGN and FSN Wisconsin. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. (But be careful over there.)

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 7:10 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 8:15 pm, 9:15 pm and 10 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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