Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Saturday 4/21, 12:05 CT

Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro hits a RBI double during the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Here is a comprehensive list of all the teams in Cubs history that have started off worse than this year's team after 14 games, since 1900:

1997: 0-14
1981: 1-13
1944: 1-13

That's it. Three other teams matched the current 3-11: 1983, 1966 and 1957. All six of those were bad seasons in team history; 1966 tied the team record for losses set in 1962. 1997 was a 94-loss year; 1981 would have probably broken the team record had the strike not intervened, and 1957's record of 62-92 is equivalent to a 97-loss year in a 162-game season.

Of those six seasons, the "best" were 1944 (75-79) and 1983 (71-91). Both of those years were followed by unexpected postseason play. Note, I am not suggesting 2013 will follow that pattern. What I am saying is that after 14 games, we already know we're looking at a possibly historically bad season.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Stewart 3B, Clevenger C, DeWitt LF, Mather CF, Maholm P

The other split-squad is playing in... oh, wait.

Reds lineup:

Cozart ss, Stubbs cf, Votto 1b, Phillips 3b, Ludwick lf, Rolen 3b, Heisey rf, Mesoraco c, Leake p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Paul Maholm
Paul Maholm
Cubs
vs. Mike Leake
Mike Leake
Reds
0-2 W-L 0-1
13.50 ERA 5.84
4 SO 5
3 BB 4
3 HR 2
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Paul Maholm 0-2 2 2 0 0 0 0 8.0 12 12 12 3 3 4 13.50 1.88


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Mike Leake 0-1 2 2 0 0 0 0 12.1 12 8 8 2 4 5 5.84 1.30

Hey, look! A Cubs pitcher who might actually be able to get Joey Votto out. Against Paul Maholm, Votto is just 3-for-20. Oddly for a NL Central pitcher, Maholm did not face the Reds at all in 2011. Overall, current Reds are 48-for-179 (.279) with six home runs against Maholm -- four of them by Brandon Phillips, who is back in the Cincinnati lineup this afternoon. Clearly, we are doomed.

Mike Leake is off to a rough start this season. Last year, he made four starts against the Cubs, and the Reds won three of them; the most memorable for Cubs fans is probably the one on September 6 at Wrigley Field, where Bryan LaHair hit a colossal two-run home run off him with two out in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. Naturally, the Cubs lost it anyway in 13. The only other home run hit by a Cub off Leake last year was Tony Campana's inside-the-park job.

Today's game is on WGN. 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 12:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 1:05, 2:05 and 2:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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