Darwin Barney of the Chicago Cubs follows through on a solo home run during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
50 years ago today -- April 10, 1962 -- the Cubs opened their season in Houston. That was a first, as it was the first game for the franchise originally known as the Houston Colt 45s, now the Astros.
The Cubs lost that game 11-2. Somebody named Roman Mejias drove in six runs. (Three Houston players in that game -- starting pitcher Bobby Shantz, center fielder Al Spangler, and second baseman Joey Amalfitano -- would later become Cubs.) Not only did the Cubs lose that one, they lost the next one and the one after that, both by 2-0 scores.
That's right. They got outscored by an expansion team 15-2 in their first series of 1962.
And the Colt .45s were 3-0! In first place! On their way to a pennant, right?
Of course not. They lost 96 games, but still finished six games ahead of the Cubs, who had a 100-loss season (103) for the first time in team history, something they repeated four years later.
Just a little cautionary tale -- don't put too much stock in the first handful of games of a season.
DeJesus rf, Barney 2b, Castro ss, Soriano lf, Stewart 3b, Baker 1b, Soto c, Byrd cf, Maholm p
Weeks 2b, Gomez cf, Braun lf, Ramirez 3b, Hart rf, Gonzalez ss, Gamel 1b, Lucroy c, Narveson p
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
Stats are 2011 season final numbers
Chris Narveson faced the Cubs four times in 2011, winning three of them and posting a 3.38 ERA in 21 innings. Many current Cubs, particularly right-handed hitters, have good marks against him: Jeff Baker (5-for-15, a HR), Marlon Byrd (5-for-14, five doubles), and especially Geovany Soto (7-for-18, a double, a HR, three walks). Maybe this will be the night the offense finally figures it out. (Or not, the way things are going.)
Paul Maholm made two starts vs. the Brewers last year; both wound up as no-decisions, though he had a decent 3.75 ERA in them (five ER in 12 IP, no HR allowed). Both Ryan Braun (11-for-33, one HR) and Corey Hart (14-for-44, four doubles, a triple, three HR) have hit him pretty well. Hope the wind is blowing in tonight.
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 post at 7:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 8:05, 9:05 and 9:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.