Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Preview, Wednesday 5/9, 1:20 CT

What is Dale telling Dan? Manager Dale Sveum of the Chicago Cubs argues a call with home plate umpire Dan Bellino during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

On August 24, 1983, I looked forward to a Cubs/Reds game at Wrigley Field a bit more than usual. Why? Because I knew it would be the last time future Hall of Famer Johnny Bench would play at Wrigley; he had announced he would retire at the end of the season. Truth be told, Bench wasn't the player he had been as an All-Star catcher when the Reds were winning pennants and World Series in the 1970s, and the Reds were embarrassing him to some extent by asking him to play third base, since he really couldn't catch any more.

But I wanted to see Bench's farewell to Wrigley.

Someone else stole the spotlight that day. Chuck Rainey, a journeyman righthander, had a no-hitter broken up with two out in the ninth inning by Eddie Milner, a modestly-talented outfielder. The Cubs won the game 3-0, one of the highlights of a dismal season.

Today, Chipper Jones, another future Hall of Famer, will make his final Wrigley Field appearance. Who knows what we'll see? Jones, FWIW, is off to a fine start, hitting .311/.358/.554 with five home runs, and proved in this series that he can still play a good third base.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Campana CF, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Stewart 3B, Soto C, Cardenas LF, Barney 2B, Maholm P

Interesting. Adrian Cardenas in left field.

Braves lineup:

Bourn cf, Prado lf, Freeman 1b, Uggla 2b, Jones 3b, Heyward rf, Ross c, Wilson ss, Hudson p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Paul Maholm
Paul Maholm
Cubs
vs. Tim Hudson
Tim Hudson
Braves
3-2 W-L 1-0
5.13 ERA 6.55
14 SO 12
6 BB 5
5 HR 1
vs. Atl -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Paul Maholm 3-2 5 5 0 0 0 0 26.1 24 15 15 5 6 14 5.13 1.14


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Tim Hudson 1-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.0 12 9 8 1 5 12 6.55 1.55

Paul Maholm has three good-to-excellent starts in a row, and his last start vs. the Braves, July 27, 2011 in Atlanta, was also very good. Current Braves are hitting .277 (31-for-112) against him with five home runs. Here's hoping for the wind blowing in today.

Tim Hudson has not faced the Cubs since June 12, 2008 at Wrigley Field. That's the game that Jim Edmonds tied with a two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth and the Cubs won on a bases-loaded HBP to Reed Johnson in the 12th. Seems like a very long time ago, doesn't it? No current Cub has more than nine AB vs. Hudson, except Alfonso Soriano (9-for-35).

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 Braves site Talking Chop.

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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