Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers Preview, Monday 8/20, 7:10 CT

Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano hits a single against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Hey, look! Someone called Justin Germano "crafty", a term usually limited to lefthanders. Who said that?

"He's a crafty righty, and you have to give credit to him," Astros catcher Jason Castro said. "He did a great job hitting his spots and keeping guys off-balance and playing the front-to-back game. You've got to give credit to him."

Those were the Astros. These are the Brewers. It won't be as easy.

Dale Sveum on the Cubs' awful road record:

"One thing that is very difficult to do in baseball for some reason is nowadays to win on the road," Sveum said. "Even some of the teams that are good are still under .500 on the road. It's a weird thing."

Let's look at that, shall we? There are currently 16 teams within five games of a playoff spot; I think you'd agree that gives all of those teams a reasonable shot at making it to the postseason. Of those 16, six of them have losing records on the road (Tigers 30-32, Athletics 28-29, Angels 29-31, Pirates 30-31, Cardinals 28-30 and Diamondbacks 31-33).

So while Dale is technically correct, none of those teams is more than two games under .500 on the road. That's quite different from the Cubs' 17-45, second in road badness only to the Astros. Conversely, the Cubs have the best home record (30-28) of any sub-.500 team this year; just two other teams with losing records have winning records at home (Indians 30-29 and Blue Jays 31-30). That happened also to the Cubs team that had the worst road record since the 162-game schedule came into being in 1962, the 1997 team; they went 26-55 on the road, but 42-39 at home.

If you can explain this, post in the comments. I can't figure it out.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Vitters 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Germano P

Hey, look! A Josh Vitters sighting!

Brewers lineup:

Aoki RF, Weeks 2B, Braun LF, Ramirez 3B, Hart 1B, Lucroy C, Gomez CF, Segura SS, Rogers P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Justin Germano
Justin Germano
Cubs
vs. Mark Rogers
Mark Rogers
Brewers
2-2 W-L 0-1
3.91 ERA 4.94
15 SO 24
5 BB 6
2 HR 3
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Justin Germano 2-2 5 4 0 0 0 0 25.1 24 13 11 2 5 15 3.91 1.14


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Mark Rogers 0-1 5 4 0 0 0 0 23.2 23 13 13 3 6 24 4.94 1.23

Justin Germano last started a game against the Brewers May 26, 2007 in San Diego (boxscore for amusement value only). Current Brewers are 4-for-11 with one home run off him (Ryan Braun). This tells us almost nothing.

Mark Rogers will be making his ninth career appearance and seventh start tonight. He made his major-league debut against the Cubs September 10, 2010 at Miller Park, his only career appearance against them. He threw a 1-2-3 inning and the only current Cub he faced was Starlin Castro. This also tells us almost nothing. His 2012 game logs look a lot like Chris Volstad's. But you know what those kind of pitchers usually do against the Cubs.

Today's game is on WCIU, the seventh of eight games this year on that hard-to-watch channel. The Cubs, oddly enough, are 4-2 in WCIU games so far this year.

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 Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. The usual caution is advised.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 7:10 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 8:10, 9:10 and 9:55 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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