I don't have a whole lot before tonight's game... only to say that if the Cubs win this one, that's two straight series wins, following a split with the Cardinals. That'd be steps in the right direction.
If you missed it yesterday, here's Anthony Rizzo's appearance on "Intentional Talk" on MLB Network:
DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Schierholtz RF, Valbuena 3B, Navarro C, Barney 2B, Samardzija P
Luis Valbuena returns to the lineup for the first time since jamming his finger on a slide last Saturday.
Young RF, Fowler CF, Gonzalez LF, Tulowitzki SS, Helton 1B, Arenado 3B, Rutledge 2B, Torrealba C, Garland P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Jeff Samardzija||1-5||8||8||0||0||0||0||48.2||42||24||20||5||19||57||3.70||1.25|
|2013 - Jon Garland||3-3||7||7||0||0||0||0||41.0||48||23||22||5||13||22||4.83||1.49|
Jeff Samardzija's numbers so far this year aren't that different from his full-season stats last year. He needs to take a step up to start being considered where he thinks he belongs, in the elite of MLB starters. Tonight would be a good time. Last year he had a nice outing against the Rockies August 24 at Wrigley Field, giving up six hits and two earned runs in seven innings. I think we'd take that tonight.
Jon Garland. Wow, a blast from the past. He hasn't faced the Cubs in the regular season since August 17, 2010, a boxscore I pass along mostly for amusement value. These two pitchers faced each other this year in spring training, March 21 in Peoria, Arizona, when Garland was still with the Mariners. Garland allowed two runs to the Cubs, both solo homers: one by Alfonso Soriano and the other... by Samardzija. Well, that would be interesting, if repeated tonight.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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.
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.