Today's game begins the second third of the 2013 season -- the Cubs enter today having played 54 games. The 23-31 record projects to 69 wins -- not great, but even that would be an improvement over 2012. Even the way this team has played lately (well, except for Saturday night) is a distinct improvement. After 54 games in 2012 the Cubs were 18-36 and were in the middle of a stretch where they would eventually go 9-28 before finally starting to win a few games in late June.
This year's team has gotten solid-to-excellent starting pitching. Lately, the offense has been improved. It's been almost exclusively the horrific bullpen work -- Saturday night's game being one of the worst such examples -- that has prevented this year's Cubs from being at least a .500 club. Cubs starters enter today's game with the sixth-best ERA of any team (3.56)... but rank 26th in relief ERA (4.29).
Also, ICYMI: the Cubs have flip-flopped a couple of starters in the upcoming rotation: Travis Wood, whose regular turn would have come up Wednesday in Anaheim, will be pushed back to Friday at home against the Pirates. Matt Garza will throw Wednesday on his normal four days' rest. For those of you who like seeing pitchers hit, this means the Cubs can use the DH for Garza, who isn't a very good hitter, and let Wood bat in Friday's game.
Speaking of Friday, buried in this media notes column is some information about Friday's WGN-TV telecast:
On June 7th, fans will see something a bit different when they tune in to WGN-TV to see the Chicago Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:2O pm. Cubs TV announcers Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will not be in the broadcast booth for the game. Instead, they will be calling the game from the right field bleachers, in the area now known as the Budweiser Patio. While calling the game from the Wrigley Field bleachers is nothing new -- Vince Lloyd, Lou Boudreau and Harry Caray have all done this in the past, as have Kasper and his former partner Bob Brenly -- this will be the first time for newcomer Deshaies.
I hope it doesn't rain Friday.
Borbon cf, Castro ss, Rizzo 1b, Soriano lf, Hairston rf, Navarro c, Ransom 3b, Barney 2b, Jackson p
As you can imagine after Saturday's late night, the Diamondbacks lineup was not available early, at the time I wrote this post. Check the BCB Twitter feed for the D'backs lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Edwin Jackson||1-7||10||10||0||0||0||0||53.0||61||41||36||5||22||52||6.11||1.57|
|2013 - Patrick Corbin||8-0||10||10||1||0||0||0||68.1||50||14||13||3||20||56||1.71||1.02|
One of these days Edwin Jackson has to get himself straightened out. Right? Right? He'll be facing another one of his former teams Sunday -- that seems to happen a lot, but then, there are eight of those. His last start against the Diamondbacks was May 2, 2012 in Washington, where he allowed eight hits and four earned runs in six innings. That sounds depressingly familiar, doesn't it? Current D'backs are hitting .248 (31-for-125) against him.
Patrick Corbin threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning against the Cubs July 13, 2012 at Wrigley Field, one of five relief appearances he made last year before being moved permanently to the rotation. The only current Cubs he's faced are David DeJesus and Starlin Castro, and his season ERA in 2013 hasn't been over 2 since his first start of the year. Two weeks ago he threw a three-hit complete game in Colorado with 10 strikeouts. I think you can see where I'm going with this -- doom.
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.