Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox Preview, Saturday 6/16, 6:15 CT

Write your own caption: Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carlos Marmol reacts after recording the final out against the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won 3-0. Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Doug Glanville, always thoughtful, has written an article about no-hitters and perfect games. In it, he describes one no-hitter in progress, in which he was involved:

I remember a game when I was playing center field for the Phillies and our pitcher had a no-hitter going in the ninth inning. A ball was hit my way, I got a bad read on it and was unable to recover in time to make the catch. The no-hitter was gone.

I thought I remembered that game, and did a little research. Here's an article that lists all no-hitters broken up in the ninth inning since 1961. During the years Glanville played, there was just one such game by a Phillies pitcher -- Eric Milton took a no-hitter into the ninth against the Cubs July 25, 2004. Checking the boxscore, sure enough, Glanville was playing center field that day.

But Glanville's memory isn't quite right. The no-hitter was broken up by a popup that fell near shortstop. There was another hit, and then Corey Patterson hit the ball that Glanville misplayed -- the Cubs actually tied the game before losing it in the bottom of the ninth.

That article listing all the no-hitters broken up in the ninth is worth perusing, too; since Sandy Koufax threw his perfect game in 1965, the last time the Cubs were no-hit, a pitcher has taken a no-hitter into the ninth inning against them five times, the most recent being Milton.

In between Milt Pappas' Cubs no-hitter in 1972 and Carlos Zambrano's in 2008, Cubs pitchers took a no-hitter into the ninth inning four times, and one other since: Ted Lilly against the White Sox June 13, 2010. Among the other four was a game thrown by Jamie Moyer April 13, 1987; Moyer gave up two hits leading off the ninth and was taken out.

This really has nothing to do with tonight's game; just thought it was an interesting bit of baseball history. We've seen five no-hitters in baseball already this year; the record for one season is seven (in 1990). You can't predict when a no-hitter is going to be thrown, but it seems likely that record will fall.

Cubs lineup:

Johnson RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Baker 1B, Mather CF, Castillo C, Valbuena 3B, Samardzija P

Red Sox lineup was not in at the time I wrote this post. Check the BCB Twitter feed for the lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Jeff Samardzija
Jeff Samardzija
Cubs
vs. Jon Lester
Jon Lester
Red Sox
5-4 W-L 3-4
3.96 ERA 4.57
72 SO 62
25 BB 25
5 HR 7
vs. Bos -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jeff Samardzija 5-4 14 12 0 0 0 0 72.2 73 34 32 5 25 72 3.96 1.35


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jon Lester 3-4 14 13 2 0 0 0 80.2 85 46 41 7 25 62 4.57 1.36

Jeff Samardzija threw one inning in relief against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 20, 2011. Perhaps it's best that you don't look. Current Red Sox are 5-for-14 against Shark, a pretty small sample size.

The same game that Samardzija appeared in last year was started for the Red Sox by Jon Lester, who allowed 12 hits and five runs to the Cubs. I don't think you need to guess who won that game. Current Cubs are 11-for-43 against Lester, another fairly small sample size. In short, the result of today's matchup is anyone's guess.

Today's game is on Fox. Here's the coverage map; the game will appear in New England, most of the Midwest north of St. Louis and Kansas City and west of Indiana, and most of the West Coast and Pacific Northwest, a total of 39% of the country. This game is the main Fox game -- meaning Joe Buck & Tim McCarver. Get your mute button ready.

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 Red Sox site Over The Monster.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 6:15 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:15, 8:15 and 9 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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