Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies Preview, Tuesday 9/25, 7:40 CT

David Banks - Getty Images

The Cubs and Rockies will open the titanic battle for the No. 2 draft pick in 2013, Tuesday night in Denver. It's a series where if you lose, you win -- that is, win the higher pick (and more draft pool money) for next season.

The Cubs are 59-94.

The Rockies are 59-94.

Each team, thus, has nine games remaining. The Astros, by losing to the Cardinals Monday, clinched the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft. The Cubs and Rockies stand 3½ games "ahead" of the Indians, 4½ games "ahead" of the Twins, seven games "ahead" of the Marlins and eight games "ahead" of the Blue Jays in this year's reverse standings.

A tie, from what I understand, would give the better pick to the team that had the worse record in 2011 -- that would be the Cubs, who were two games worse than the Rockies last year (71-91 to 73-89).

What a titanic clash! What a battle! What a... well, there likely won't be too many people at Coors Field tonight, nor watching on TV. The Cubs took two of three from the Rox last month at Wrigley Field. Colorado is 6-17 this month; the Cubs are 8-14. The Rockies have the worst home record in the National League (32-46); the Cubs have the second-worst road record (22-53, and must win four of the six games on this trip to avoid having the worst road record in team history in the time of the 162-game schedule).

The Cubs also are 35 games under .500, matching the season low. They haven't been more than 35 games under .500 since the final day of the 1966 season, when they finished 44 games under.

After this series, the Cubs have three with the Diamondbacks in Phoenix and three with the Astros at home. This is Colorado's final home series; they go on to Los Angeles for three against the Dodgers and then finish in Phoenix against the D'backs.

Now you're all caught up with this Tournament of Suck. On to the pitching matchup!

Cubs lineup:

Sappelt RF, Barney 2B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, Vitters 3B, Mather CF, Rusin P

Rockies lineup:

Rutledge SS, Colvin CF, Pacheco 1B, Rosario C, Nelson 3B, Brown LF, McBride RF, LeMahieu 2B, DeLaRosa P

Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu, those names I recognize. The rest of 'em? Who are they?


Today's Starting Pitchers
Chris Rusin
Chris Rusin
Cubs
vs. Jorge De La Rosa
Jorge De La Rosa
Rockies
1-2 W-L 0-1
6.00 ERA 12.27
17 SO 1
8 BB 1
3 HR 1
vs. Col -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Chris Rusin 1-2 5 5 0 0 0 0 21.0 28 14 14 3 8 17 6.00 1.71


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jorge De La Rosa 0-1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3.2 7 6 5 1 1 1 12.27 2.18

Chris Rusin has never faced the Rockies or anyone on their roster. Now, if this were the description of a pitcher facing the Cubs, I'd say that pitcher would be about ready to throw a shutout. But a Cubs pitcher? In Coors Field? He's likely to get ripped; despite the Rox' awful record, they are third in the NL in runs scored (the Cubs, by comparison, rank 15th).

Jorge De La Rosa missed much of last year and all of this year up to last week after elbow surgery. He got hit hard by the Giants five days ago in San Francisco; his last start against the Cubs was April 26, 2011 at Wrigley Field. He threw seven good innings that day, but so many of those Cubs aren't Cubs any more. So, who knows? This could wind up being one of those 13-12 games Coors Field used to be famous for before the humidor.

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 Rockies site Purple Row.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 7:40 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 8:40, 9:40 and 10:25 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

With the changeover to the new site layout, the additional threads will be in a different place. The first pitch thread and the overflow threads will all be posted in the Chicago Cubs Game Threads section -- none of them will be on the front page of the site, so you'll have to go to the section itself either through that link or on the midbar of the site -- you should see it, clearly marked "Sections".

Once the game is over and I write a recap, all the threads for this game will be part of what we at SB Nation call a StoryStream™ -- one single post under which you'll see the preview, all the game threads (including overflows) and the recap. The StoryStream™ will replace the preview on the front page. Each thread will have its own link so you can still post jumps from one to the next; the time frame for posting remains the same, as noted above -- game time for the first pitch thread, one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time for the overflows. If you have any questions about this, or trouble finding any of the threads, drop me an email. With just nine games remaining in the season, this is a work in progress -- we'll get it worked out for sure by Opening Day 2013.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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