Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Friday 8/17, 6:10 CT

Write your own caption: Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs collides with Marwin Gonzalez of the Houston Astros after Gonzales turned a double play at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Cubs split two games in Cincinnati in their only previous 2012 visit back in May, and truth be told, they should have won both of them; this game on May 3 was the one where Ryan Dempster threw eight outstanding innings, only to see one of Carlos Marmol's most memorable meltdowns in the ninth.

That was then, and a whole bunch of Cubs who played in that game, including, of course, Dempster, are gone. Since May 3 the Cubs are 12-34 in road games. No, that is not a misprint: twelve wins, thirty-four losses, including the last seven games played away from Wrigley Field.

This is a four-game series; the split doubleheader tomorrow includes an afternoon makeup game before the regularly scheduled night game. Since the All-Star break the Reds are 15-5 in home games. I, frankly, will be astonished if the Cubs win even one of these four games.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Jackson CF, Clevenger C, Wood P

Josh Vitters: good enough to play vs. Astros, but not Reds, apparently.

Reds lineup:

Cozart SS, Stubbs CF, Phillips 2B, Ludwick LF, Bruce RF, Frazier 1B, Rolen 3B, Hanigan C, Arroyo P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Travis Wood
Travis Wood
Cubs
vs. Bronson Arroyo
Bronson Arroyo
Reds
4-8 W-L 8-7
4.52 ERA 3.95
71 SO 95
37 BB 24
18 HR 20
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Travis Wood 4-8 16 16 0 0 0 0 95.2 83 50 48 18 37 71 4.52 1.25


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Bronson Arroyo 8-7 23 23 1 1 0 0 143.2 153 65 63 20 24 95 3.95 1.23

You might be saying to yourself, "This seems familiar." It should be; it's a rematch of the pitching matchup from August 11 at Wrigley Field. Travis Wood threw a really nice game, one of his best of the season, allowing just one run and striking out eight. But James Russell blew the game for him in the eighth.

Bronson Arroyo threw eight solid innings that day and then, of course, there's Aroldis Chapman. We are definitely doomed.

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. The usual caution is advised.

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. Also please note: due to some under-the-hood changes, the sidebar box with the game thread links is no longer available. It seems you've found them with no problems, but if you haven't been able to find the overflow threads, click the "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" link under "Sections" on the left sidebar. They're all in there.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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