Cubs vs. Brewers Preview, Monday 4/8, 1:20 CT

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs open their 98th season at Wrigley Field Monday afternoon with a visit from their rivals up I-94.

For the 98th consecutive season, the Chicago Cubs will begin play for another baseball season at the corner of Clark and Addison streets in Chicago. Hopefully, a deal for the renovation of Wrigley Field will be announced soon, so that Wrigley Field will host baseball for many decades to come.

From Tom Skilling's weather page in the dead-tree edition of the Tribune Monday (can't find an online link to these), here are a few weather facts about Cubs home openers, on a day when the game might get interrupted by rain:

In the 137 home openers since 1876, five have had temperatures in the 30s, 33 in the 40s, 42 in the 50s, 32 in the 60s, 17 in the 70s and eight in the 80s.

Warmest opener: April 22, 1960, 86 degrees (boxscore says 80 at game time)

Coldest opener: Skilling says it was April 8, 2003, 32 degrees, but six years earlier, April 8, 1997, the recorded boxscore temperature (and I recall that as accurate) says 29 degrees. The wind-chill that day was 1 degree -- I believe that's the coldest-ever game-time temperature for a baseball game in Chicago. There was no way to get warm that day.

That was also the last home opener that didn't sell out, drawing an announced crowd of 35,393. Today's might not be much larger than that, especially with rain in the forecast.

Finally, as I've mentioned, later this year the 50th anniversary of my first Wrigley Field game will occur. For BCB's resident cartoonist, Mike Bojanowski, it's his 50th season (he went for the first time in 1964). Here are his memories of that earlier time (click on the image to open a larger version in a new browser window or tab):

Lineups were not available at the time I wrote this post. Check the BCB Twitter feed for the lineups.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Edwin Jackson

Edwin Jackson


Cubs

vs. Marco Estrada

Marco Estrada


Brewers

vs. Mil

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Edwin Jackson 0-1 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 3 2 2 0 1 5 3.60 .80


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Marco Estrada 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 9 4 4 2 0 8 7.20 1.80

Edwin Jackson made two starts against the Brewers last year while with the Nats and dominated them -- 15 innings, one earned run, 10 strikeouts. However, current Brewers are hitting .296 against him (34-for-115) with six home runs. Fortunately, four of those homers are by players who are out (Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez). So maybe we're not doomed in this game.

Marco Estrada got hit pretty hard in his first 2013 start, though he struck out eight with no walks. Against the Cubs in 2012, he made three starts and a relief appearance with a 1.00 ERA and 1.056 WHIP. Current Cubs are hitting .204 (11-for-54) against him, and the only HR off him by a sort-of-current Cub is by Ian Stewart, who's out. So, clearly, we are doomed.

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

Here's the scoop on game threads. 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 game time, then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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