Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Thursday 9/15, 6:10 CT: Jet Lag

Write your own caption. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I've written about this before, but the Cubs -- for the second straight month -- have a night game on the road, then a day game in Chicago the next day. This is simply unfair to the Cubs, even though a flight from Cincinnati to Chicago is less than an hour. What if tonight's game goes into long extra innings?

There are two solutions to this problem. One would be for MLB to have required the Reds to play a day game today. That wouldn't have been too onerous -- if the Reds had been in contention this year, they'd have drawn a decent crowd; since they're not, attendance wouldn't be that much different for a day game. (Plus, it would have been warmer; it's only going to be in the 40s tonight.)

The second is for the Chicago City Council to allow the Cubs, two or three times a year when necessary, to play a Friday night home game, if the game on Thursday is a night road game. I don't think this is too much to ask, either. On the tentative 2012 schedule, the Cubs have just one Thursday road game before a Friday home game: May 3 -- again in Cincinnati -- and May 4 at home against the Dodgers. In the future, I believe the Cubs will be allowed to increase their home night game schedule to around 40 dates -- and they should be permitted Friday night home games under a circumstance like that.

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, LaHair LF, Byrd CF, Colvin RF, Hill C, Wells P

Reds lineup:

Phillips 2B, Stubbs CF, Votto 1B, Alonso LF, Heisey RF, Frazier 3B, Hanigan C, Janish SS, Bailey P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
vs. Homer Bailey
Homer Bailey
7-4 W-L 8-7
4.73 ERA 4.34
74 SO 85
40 BB 27
19 HR 15
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

2011 - Randy Wells 7-4 20 20 1 1 0 0 118.0 122 63 62 19 40 74 4.73 1.37

2011 - Homer Bailey 8-7 20 19 0 0 0 0 114.0 115 58 55 15 27 85 4.34 1.25

Randy Wells went seven innings in his only start against the Reds this year on August 7 at Wrigley Field. That's good. The six earned runs he gave up -- not so much. (Still, he and the Cubs were in line to win the game until Sean Marshall had one of his rare bad outings.) However, in his six starts since that one, Wells has been outstanding -- the Cubs have won all six and his ERA is just 2.21, with a 0.959 WHIP. If he can keep this up and finish the year strong, it will be an excellent sign for next year.

Homer Bailey has also made just one start against the Cubs this year, on May 16 in Cincinnati. Carlos Pena homered off him that day. Other current Cubs who have homered off Homer: Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and Starlin Castro. Perhaps it can be "Homer Off Homer Night" at GABP.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Ohio. Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 6:10 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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