Storm clouds cover the sky above Wrigley Field before the start of the game on Sunday between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Do not be fooled, Cubs fans, by the performance of this team over the just-completed homestand.
Five wins in six games! A three-game series sweep! Apart from the 17-run pounding by the Mets in the only loss, allowing just six total runs in the other five games and posting two shutouts!
Consider the opposition (well, at least the Astros; the Mets are sort of good). Consider the fact that the Cubs are 19-20 at home, and 10-29 on the road. The Cubs have won exactly one road series this year -- at the Cell two weeks ago. In June road games they went 4-12, and that includes that series win over the White Sox.
I'm an optimist by nature, but it would not surprise me if the Cubs were swept on this entire seven-game road trip. Try to enjoy the games anyway.
Campana CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, LaHair RF, Clevenger C, Barney 2B, Valbuena 3B, Samardzija P
Bourn CF, Prado LF, Heyward RF, Jones 3B, Freeman 1B, Uggla 2B, McCann C, Simmons SS, Hanson P
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2012 - Jeff Samardzija||5-7||17||15||0||0||0||0||87.1||90||51||49||9||34||85||5.05||1.42|
|2012 - Tommy Hanson||9-4||16||16||0||0||0||0||92.2||89||40||37||15||36||79||3.59||1.35|
This pitching matchup is a rematch of the game May 7 at Wrigley Field. That night, Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair homered off Tommy Hanson and Jeff Samardzija threw seven solid innings, allowing just one run.
Seems like about 10 years ago, doesn't it? Since that day, Samardzija has posted a devilish 6.66 ERA in nine starts, with a 1.67 WHIP. Meanwhile, Hanson has a 3.57 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in nine outings since then, although he's allowed 11 home runs in 53 innings.
Somehow, I don't think the result of this matchup will be the same as the one on May 7 (a 5-1 Cubs win). Once again, this pitching matchup might feature the most hair of any in the major leagues this year.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
Today's first pitch thread will post at 6:10 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:10, 8:10 and 8:55 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.