Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Preview, Saturday 9/29, 7:10 CT

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo reacts on the field with shortstop Starlin Castro during Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Ninety-nine. Do I hear 99? That could be the number of losses the Cubs have after Saturday's game.

Under the category of "it could always be worse", I thought I'd tell you the story of the Cubs game 50 years ago today, September 29, 1962. The Mets beat the Cubs 2-1 at Wrigley Field in front of 2,870 people (actual turnstile count in those days). The winning pitcher, Bob Miller, had been 0-12 before that game (note; if you click on that link, you'll see a photo of Miller in a Cubs cap; the Cubs were one of 10 teams he played for). Miller hadn't won since April 1961 and threw his first complete game in more than three years.

The winning run was driven in on a double by Marv Throneberry, who was in an 0-for-18 slump. Ernie Banks' 37th home run of the season provided the only Cubs run; Dick Ellsworth suffered his 20th loss. (Just two Cubs pitchers have lost 20 in a season since then: Ellsworth again in 1966, and Bill Bonham in 1974.)

The Cubs fell to 58-103 with that loss, 45 games under .500. That's the most games under .500 in franchise history. They have been 40 or more games under .500 in just one other season -- 1966.

That will change if the Cubs lose tonight; a loss would put them at 59-99, 40 games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 1966 season.

Embrace it, I guess. We don't have much else. Oh, except this: how about writing a caption for what Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro are saying to each other in the photo above.

Cubs lineup:

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

Darwin Barney is getting the day off. One error and.... seriously, Barney has played in all but five games this year. He's earned a day off.

Diamondbacks lineup:

Eaton CF, Parra LF, Hill 2B, Upton RF, Montero C, Wheeler 3B, Jacobs 1B, McDonald SS, Cahill P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Justin Germano
Justin Germano
Cubs
vs. Trevor Cahill
Trevor Cahill
Diamondbacks
2-9 W-L 12-12
6.18 ERA 3.86
40 SO 147
18 BB 71
6 HR 15
vs. Ari -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Justin Germano 2-9 12 11 0 0 0 0 59.2 71 45 41 6 18 40 6.18 1.49


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Trevor Cahill 12-12 31 31 1 1 0 0 191.0 180 91 82 15 71 147 3.86 1.31

Justin Germano has made five career appearances (four starts) against the Diamondbacks with a 5.24 ERA. Current members of the D'backs roster are 6-for-30 against him and... aw, does any of that really matter? In his last seven starts Germano has a 7.86 ERA and 1.747 WHIP. Those are... not good. Are you expecting anything different tonight? (Hint: don't.)

Trevor Cahill started against the Cubs July 15 at Wrigley Field and gave up three earned runs in 5⅓ innings, including a home run to Darwin Barney. He has been remarkably consistent this year; since June 20 his ERA has not been any higher than 4.02 or lower than 3.47. The Cubs are likely going to score some runs off him, but probably not enough to avoid doom.

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 Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit.

Based on some feedback from all of you, I'm going to adjust the way I'm doing game threads -- hopefully, this method will work, starting tonight and for the rest of this season.

You'll see the game preview -- like this one -- as usual, two hours before game time (this one's up a little earlier due to the somewhat-late start, the last late start of the year).

Then, the other discussion threads will post on time schedules as they always have, first pitch thread at game time, overflows at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time. I will create a StoryStream™ for each game where you can find all the discussion threads. For today's game go to this GameStream (as I'm calling them); you'll find the First Pitch Thread there at 7:10 p.m. CDT and the others will post in that stream at 8:10, 9:10 and 9:55 p.m. CDT.

Once the game is over and I write a recap, it will post as a separate story on the front page; I'll have the preview and recap up there as individual stories, but they will also reside in the stream. Hope that makes more sense and makes things easier to find. The game threads can all also be found in the section titled Chicago Cubs Game Threads, which you can find at that link or in the drop-down menu under "Sections" in the middle of the site.

Let me know if this works, or if you have other suggestions.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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