Cubs vs. Rockies Preview, Friday 7/19, 7:40 CT: Welcome To The Second Half

USA TODAY Sports

The "second half" is only 69 games this year due to the late date of the All-Star Game. Still, the Cubs have a better record entering the second half than any time since 2009. That's good. Things are improving. Right?

Feel free to use this as a Matt Garza Trade Rumor Overflow Thread, until either the game starts or he's actually traded. Usually, trades wind up interrupting my dinner, so expect it sometime between 7 and 7:30 CT. (Joke! Not serious!)

Now then. Some actual baseball numbers.

Cubs' record at the All-Star Break, 2010-2013:

2010: 39-50 (after: 36-37)
2011: 37-55 (after: 34-36)
2012: 33-52 (after: 28-49)
2013: 42-51 (after: ?????)

The poor record from last year after the break reflects the selloff that was completed just before the trading deadline. Will this year's team be able to better that .364 winning percentage? If they match it, they'd go 25-44 for a final 2013 record of 67-95, which, though an improvement over last year, would still be pretty bad. I'd like to think this team has enough talent, that even after a selloff, they could win between 70-75 games, setting the stage for a better 2014.

This, however, does not bode well for this series:

This post from our SB Nation Rockies site Purple Row seems to indicate Cubs fans aren't viewed very well at Coors Field, though they did have nice things to say about BCB. Go check them out.

Cubs lineup:

Barney 2B, Ransom 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Lake CF, Sappelt RF, Castillo C, Samardzija P

Junior Lake, headed right into the starting lineup vs. a LHP, batting sixth, playing center field. He'll be wearing Sammy Sosa's Jason Marquis' Tyler Colvin's Joe Mather's Scott Hairston's No. 21. (Yes, I left someone out. On purpose.)

Rockies lineup:

Fowler CF, LeMahieu 2B, Gonzalez LF, Tulowitzki SS, Cuddyer RF, Helton 1B, Rosario C, Arenado 3B, De La Rosa P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


Cubs

vs. Jorge De La Rosa

Jorge De La Rosa


Rockies

vs. Col

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jeff Samardzija 5-9 19 19 1 1 0 0 124.0 117 61 56 14 44 128 4.06 1.30


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jorge De La Rosa 9-5 19 19 0 0 0 0 109.1 102 40 39 6 38 74 3.21 1.28

Jeff Samardzija got pounded in his last start against the Angels, but that was nine days ago. So let's forget about that and hope Shark starts the second half strong. He has faced the Rockies this year, May 15 at Wrigley Field, and had one of his better outings (eight innings, two earned runs, seven strikeouts.

Jorge De La Rosa is having the best year of his career, and has been quite consistent for the Rockies all season. He has not faced the Cubs yet this season; current Cubs are hitting a small-sample-size .278 (15-for-54) against him, with four home runs (Dave Sappelt, Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro and Nate Schierholtz). Perhaps we're not doomed tonight.

Today's game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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.

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