Does winning a game in the way the Cubs won Friday have any predictive value? I haven't done any systematic research into this, but my sense is, "Not really."
Perhaps you remember this game, a comeback from a 5-0 first-inning deficit capped by a walkoff home run against the Brewers. Did it mean anything for the next day? Nope. The Cubs got crushed 13-4 the day after that dramatic win.
On the other hand, following that blowout loss, that Cubs team went on a 12-4 run, and eventually made the playoffs. Note, I am in no way suggesting that the 2013 Cubs can do anything remotely resembling that.
It will be interesting to see how they do over the rest of this homestand, against two good teams. With just 10 games gone in this season, there's still time to set a tone for the rest of the year. I have no illusions about this year's Cubs, but as I have repeatedly said, I believe this is a better team than last year's.
Also today, the Cubs are giving away replica Darwin Barney gold gloves, one of the cooler promotional items of the year. Barney was supposed to get his award today, but did so yesterday, then headed to Iowa for a rehab assignment. He didn't play in Friday night's game, but is expected to play today and tomorrow before being activated Tuesday.
Finally, it's snowing in Chicago this morning. They should get the game in, but it's probably going to be even colder than it was Friday.
Sappelt cf, Castro ss, Rizzo 1b, Soriano lf, Hairston rf, Castillo c, Lillibridge 3b, Gonzalez 2b, Samardzija p
The Giants lineup was in at the time I wrote this post. I'll try to send out the lineup later via the BCB Twitter feed.
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Jeff Samardzija||1-1||2||2||0||0||0||0||13.2||6||4||4||0||5||22||2.63||.80|
|2013 - Madison Bumgarner||2-0||2||2||0||0||0||0||13.2||7||2||2||1||5||11||1.32||.88|
Jeff Samardzija has 22 strikeouts in 13⅔ innings; that sounds great, but too many K's (along with some other issues) got him in trouble in his last start with a high pitch count. I'd rather just see him get outs, which he can clearly do without simply having to K everyone. He got in trouble with walks in his one start against the Giants in 2012, June 4 in San Francisco, which was during a time he was struggling. He has almost no record vs. current Giants -- they are 6-for-23 total. That might work to his advantage.
Madison Bumgarner has one good start this year (against the Dodgers) and one mediocre one (against the Rockies). That seems backwards, but there you have it. Last year he had one good start against the Cubs (in San Francisco) and one mediocre one (at Wrigley Field). Hopefully, that will be a good sign for today. The Cub who hits Bumgarner best is Alfonso Soriano (6-for-13, three doubles, a home run). It's about time for Soriano to get out of his early-season funk.
Plus, doesn't Bumgarner look kind of sad in that photo?
Today's game is on Fox. Here's the coverage map; if you're in the Midwest and most of the West (except Washington state), you'll see this game. Otherwise, you're out of luck.
Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.
As has been the case during spring training, you will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.