Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Preview, Sunday 9/30, 3:10 CT

Ralph Freso - Getty Images

Today is the day... that a Cubs team could register its 100th loss, for the first time in 46 years.

46 years and two days ago was the last time a Chicago Cubs team lost its 100th game of the season (that year, onward to 103). It happened in the second game of a doubleheader at Shea Stadium in New York, to a Mets team that came into the game 64-93 (the Cubs had won the first game), in front of an "crowd" of 2,415 that likely looked even smaller at Shea than it would have at Wrigley.

Here's the boxscore of that 1-0 loss; two Hall of Famers played in that game (Billy Williams and Ron Santo). The Cubs starter that day, Rich Nye, pitched well enough, but gave up six walks. The only run scored on a single, a sacrifice, a groundout, a walk and an infield hit.

Here's the eerily scary part: the 1966 Cubs came into that game with the exact record the 2012 Cubs have this morning: 59-99. After playing reasonably well for much of September -- they were 13-13 that month until the 100th loss, including a four-game winning streak (is this sounding familiar?) -- they lost their last four games to finish at 59-103.

That probably won't happen this year; the '66 Cubs played their last three games in St. Louis, against a decent Cardinals team. This year's team is finishing at home playing the worst team in baseball.

So 103 losses... that would seem unlikely. But No. 100 today? Most probable. Try to enjoy the game anyway.

Cubs lineup:

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

Diamondbacks lineup:

Pollock CF, Elmore SS, Hill 2B, Upton RF, Kubel LF, Ransom 3B, Jacobs 1B, Nieves C, Collmenter P

Take a look at those lineups, both of them. They might as well play this game at one of the back fields at Talking Stick.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Chris Rusin
Chris Rusin
Cubs
vs. Josh Collmenter
Josh Collmenter
Diamondbacks
1-3 W-L 5-3
7.30 ERA 3.80
17 SO 78
9 BB 22
4 HR 13
vs. Ari -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Chris Rusin 1-3 6 6 0 0 0 0 24.2 35 20 20 4 9 17 7.30 1.78


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Josh Collmenter 5-3 27 10 0 0 0 0 85.1 86 38 36 13 22 78 3.80 1.27

Chris Rusin. He's had a couple good starts and a couple bad ones. He's never faced the Diamondbacks or anyone on their roster. This fact has almost no predictive value, because there has been just one team he's faced twice -- the Pirates -- and those were a couple of the good starts. Almost every other outing has been bad. (So maybe there's the predictive value.)

Josh Collmenter started against the Cubs June 22 at Chase Field; it was, at the time, the first start he had made since April. He threw four innings and gave up three hits and one run, with six strikeouts. Yeah, that sounds about right, except he'll probably go farther into the game. Current Cubs have just one hit in 15 AB against him, a single by David DeJesus.

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 3:10 p.m. CDT and the others will post in that stream at 4:10, 5:10 and 5:55 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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