October 3, 1976.
That's probably not a day that you remember well, even if you're old enough to do so. It was a Sunday, the final day of baseball's regular season that year. The 1976 Cubs were not a very good team; it would be the final game of Jim Marshall's Cubs managing career.
Why am I mentioning this today? Because before today, that was the last time the Cubs hosted a team at Wrigley Field that came into the day with 100 or more losses. On that 1976 date, the Cubs came in at 74-87; the Montreal Expos were 55-106. The Cubs finished a three-game sweep by defeating the Expos 8-2.
There's one more possibly significant thing that could happen today. On July 30, the Cubs lost their fifth game in a row to reach a season-low 23 games under .500 (42-65). The Pirates were 54-51, 13 games ahead of the Cubs when that day's action was completed.
Since then the Cubs are 25-20 and the Pirates 14-33. If the Cubs win today and the Pirates lose, the two teams will be tied for fourth place in the NL Central. The Cubs haven't been in fourth place since May 16. It's a small thing. I, for one, will take it.
Castro SS, Campana RF, LaHair LF, Pena 1B, Byrd CF, DeWitt 2B, LeMahieu 3B, Hill C, Dempster P
Astros lineup was not available at posting time. Brett Myers is the starting pitcher.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2011 - Ryan Dempster||10-12||32||31||0||0||0||0||183.2||192||98||95||21||70||177||4.66||1.43|
|2011 - Brett Myers||5-13||31||30||2||0||0||0||197.1||205||106||99||31||54||146||4.52||1.31|
Ryan Dempster has had a rough year, no doubt about it. He and Brett Myers matched up on August 16 in Houston and Dempster actually outpitched Myers that day, giving up just two runs in seven innings, and just four hits. It would be nice to see Dempster finish the home season strong; he comes in with a home ERA (3.83) two runs lower than his road mark (5.83).
Brett Myers has always been tough on the Cubs. In three starts this year he has a 2.70 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. The Cubs finally got to him in that August 16 game, scoring four runs in seven innings. The Cubs should have won that game, and would have if not for Carlos Marmol. Anyway, I digress: perhaps this will be the day that the Cubs can finally defeat him.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago; no Houston TV (except online via MLB.TV). Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:20 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.