The Cubs and Mariners are teams that have not seen much of each other since interleague play began -- three series, nine games. Two of the three series have been in Seattle (2002, 2010). The 2010 series wasn't that long ago, but the Cubs' starters in that series were Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells and Ted Lilly, all gone from the team. In fact, even though the last game between these teams went 13 innings on June 24, 2010, there are just two Cubs who played in that game who are still on the team -- Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro. Same for the Mariners -- just two Seattle players from that game are still on their 25-man roster (Felix Hernandez, who won't pitch in this series, and Michael Saunders).
The Cubs won that game, the only one they won in that series, and lead the all-time series between these teams 5-4. In the first game of that 2010 series, June 22, Dempster threw a complete game, even though the Cubs lost. That was the only CG thrown by a Cubs pitcher that year. Both teams are two managers removed from that 2010 series.
Things are better now. Right?
Oh, and I was quoted by Seattle Times writer Larry Stone in his series preview article.
Valbuena 3B, Castro SS, Schierholtz RF, Soriano DH, Rizzo 1B, Sweeney CF, Navarro C, Bogusevic LF, Barney 2B
Chavez RF, Franklin 2B, Seager 3B, Morales 1B, Ibanez DH, Bay LF, Ackley CF, Zunino C, Miller SS
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Travis Wood||5-6||18||15||0||0||0||0||98.0||69||33||31||7||29||69||2.85||1.00|
|2013 - Hisashi Iwakuma||7-3||16||16||0||0||0||0||107.1||78||30||27||13||17||96||2.26||.89|
Travis Wood has never faced the Mariners, and current Mariners who have faced him (Brendan Ryan, Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez) are 2-for-9. Hopefully, that works to Wood's advantage; he's had a fine year and could be headed to an All-Star selection.
Hisashi Iwakuma has never faced the Cubs or anyone on their roster in a regular-season game. However! The Cubs did face him in the final game of spring training this year, March 28 at Mesa. Alfonso Soriano launched a long home run off him, and most of the everyday starters played that day, so at least they've seen him before. Iwakuma has been a pleasant surprise for Seattle, though he's been hit hard in his last two starts.
Both pitchers have excellent WHIPs. Expect a low-scoring game tonight. (Now that I've said that, it probably won't be.)
Today's game is on WGN.
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.