Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Friday 4/20, 1:20 CT

A typical 2012 Cub scene... Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart reacts after being tagged out at second base in the fifth inning by Miami Marlins second baseman Donnie Murphy (not pictured) at Marlins Park. Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Today is the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox will have a ceremony, and then play the Yankees, the same team they played on April 20, 1912.

The 100th anniversary of the ballpark now known as Wrigley Field will come up on April 23, 2014. On that day, the Federal League's Chicago Whales, for whom the park then known as Weeghman Park was built, defeated the Kansas City Packers 9-1.

Obviously, the Cubs can't play that team (though, with year-round interleague play coming, I suppose they could play the Kansas City Royals) on that day. The 100th anniversary of the first Cubs game at Wrigley, then still known by its original name, will be on April 20, 2016, four years from today. The Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds (the team they're playing today) on that day, 7-6.

Why am I writing about these things now? Because maybe by 2014, or 2016, the Cubs will be good again, and we'll have something worth celebrating.

And because today's weather forecast is nasty:

Today: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 1pm, then a slight chance of showers between 1pm and 4pm. Cloudy, with a temperature falling to around 42 by 11am. Breezy, with a north northwest wind between 10 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Stewart 3B, Soto C, Byrd CF, Volstad P

Reds lineup:

Cozart ss, Stubbs cf, Votto 1b, Bruce rf, Rolen 3b, Heisey lf, Harris 2b, Mesoraco c, Bailey p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Chris Volstad
Chris Volstad
Cubs
vs. Homer Bailey
Homer Bailey
Reds
0-1 W-L 0-2
4.91 ERA 5.40
10 SO 8
2 BB 7
1 HR 3
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Chris Volstad 0-1 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.0 11 7 6 1 2 10 4.91 1.18


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Homer Bailey 0-2 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.2 13 7 7 3 7 8 5.40 1.71

Chris Volstad faced the Reds just once last year as a member of the Marlins, on August 24 at the old Sun Life Stadium. He got a "quality start" in the minimum possible way -- three earned runs in six innings. One of those runs was a solo homer by Joey Votto, who has made a career out of being a Cub-killer. Overall, current Reds are hitting .273 (18-for-66) against Volstad with two homers (the other was hit by Paul Janish, who is spending April 2012 in lovely Louisville).

Homer Bailey started twice against the Cubs in 2011, posting a 5.25 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, giving up three home runs. Could this be the day that Marlon Byrd comes out of his slump? Small sample size, but Byrd has hit Bailey well: 3-for-8, two home runs.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. 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 Reds site Red Reporter. Careful over there -- they don't seem to like us much.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 1:20 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 2:20, 3:20 and 4:05 p.m. 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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