If only the Cubs could play everyone in baseball except the teams in their own division, they'd be much closer to marginal contention this year.
Why is this? I really couldn't tell you. What I can tell you is that it's been worse against the Reds than against the other teams in the division; the Cubs are 2-7 against the Reds this year (although three of the seven defeats are by one run), and since 2010 -- the year the Reds came back as a contending team -- the Cubs are just 17-42 against them, and 9-20 at Wrigley Field.
Try to enjoy this series anyway. Oh, and one more razzberry to MLB's schedulers; after Thursday's game, 13 of the Cubs' first 64 games will have been against the Reds (who the Cubs then don't see again until August).
DeJesus CF, Valbuena 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Schierholtz RF, Navarro C, Castro SS, Barney 2B, Feldman P
Nope. If you were wondering, nope, Starlin Castro does not get a day off. I don't get it either.
Choo CF, Cozart SS, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Paul LF, Hannahan 3B, Hanigan C, Bailey P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Scott Feldman||5-4||11||11||1||0||0||0||66.2||58||28||21||7||20||52||2.83||1.17|
|2013 - Homer Bailey||3-4||12||12||1||0||0||0||75.0||68||32||32||4||20||75||3.84||1.17|
Of Scott Feldman's last eight starts, the only one that wasn't at least decent was his outing against the Reds, May 24 in Cincinnati. Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan homered off him in a five-run inning that accounted for all the runs Feldman gave up that night. He hasn't allowed a homer in two starts since then. That's about the only positive I can think of.
Homer Bailey threw six solid innings against the Cubs May 25 in Cincinnati. Naturally, the Reds won the game. Current Cubs are hitting .253 (40-for-158) against him with five home runs. Still, Bailey hasn't lost to the Cubs since 2010, a streak of seven starts. Somehow, I'm thinking that's not going to end tonight.
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.