Hey, had enough Carlos Marmol talk yet? Well, even if you haven't, there's a game tonight, and there's lineup news, but first, tell me if this makes any sense to you. Since the beginning of 2011:
Cubs vs. Brewers at Wrigley Field: 8-9 Cubs vs. Brewers at Miller Park: 3-18
How does this make sense? These are the same two teams, with the same personnel, playing in two different parks; they pretty much play evenly in one of them, but one team dominates in the other. Granted that the Brewers have been a better team in general than the Cubs since the start of 2011 (though they enter tonight with identical records), and granted that the Brewers are 124-77 at home overall in that time frame (though they have a losing record at home this year, 18-21) -- still, 3-18?
The Cubs have lost six straight in Milwaukee; the last game they won there was this 10-0 win, June 5, 2012, so long ago that Starlin Castro was going 3-for-5. (Note: only five of the 13 players in the Cubs' lineup that day, just over a year ago, are on the 25-man roster today. See below for another similar note regarding the Brewers.)
Time to end this streak, starting tonight. Now, the buried lede!
Valbuena 3B, Barney 2B, Schierholtz RF, Soriano LF, Rizzo 1B, Sweeney CF, Castillo C, Ransom SS, Jackson P
Wow, this is a big day in 2013 Cubs history. After 74 days, Starlin Castro is released from the starting lineup. He has played in 269 consecutive games, the longest current streak among National League players. That could continue if he gets into the game as a pinch-hitter, pinch-runner or defensive replacement. In case you are wondering, the longest current consecutive-game streak by anyone is 416 games, by Prince Fielder.
Thank you, Dale. It only took what, about three weeks of mulling it over? Also, check out this lineup tweeted by Bruce Miles, from a whiteboard in the press box at Miller Park, that has Cubs hitters at all kinds of weird positions.
Weeks 2B, Aoki RF, Segura SS, Ramirez 3B, Francisco 1B, Maldonado C, Schafer CF, Gindl LF, Lohse P
If you think the Cubs have had a lot of roster turnover, consider this: of the nine players starting for the Brewers tonight, only one of them was on Milwaukee's 2011 NL Central championship team -- Rickie Weeks.
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Edwin Jackson||3-9||14||14||0||0||0||0||77.0||88||54||47||6||31||72||5.49||1.55|
|2013 - Kyle Lohse||2-6||15||14||0||0||0||0||85.2||90||37||35||13||15||54||3.68||1.23|
Hey, look! A team that Edwin Jackson did NOT used to play for. Jackson had his best April start against the Brewers April 20, allowing one run six innings. The game was at Miller Park, so of course the Cubs lost. Maybe EJax can change that luck tonight.
Kyle Lohse has had a Kyle Lohse-like year this year... not great, not awful. He has not faced the Cubs; last year, when he was having a really good year for the Cardinals, he faced the Cubs three times, threw 19⅔ innings with a 4.12 ERA, but walked just two and struck out 14. He's posted a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts with a 0.95 WHIP. This being Miller Park, we must be headed to 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.