If the Texas Rangers win or the Houston Astros lose today, the Astros will be mathematically eliminated from the American League West race. (Of course, they were effectively out of it months ago.) They'll still have to lose a few more games for mathematical elimination from the wild-card race.
So where do the Cubs stand? Their "tragic number" for mathematical elimination from the N.L. Central race is 10, and from the wild card 13. They probably won't be eliminated before Labor Day, but it won't be too long after that.
Some of you have already expressed the thought that the Cubs will be no-hit tonight by Clayton Kershaw. The Cubs' no-no-hit streak is documented every day on this Twitter feed; through last night's game the streak stands at 7,632 games, since a Dodger lefthander, Sandy Koufax, threw a perfect game at Dodger Stadium September 9, 1965. That's the lowest-hit game in major-league history, too; Bob Hendley of the Cubs threw a one-hitter in a 1-0 loss. What's little-remembered is that it was the second time the Cubs had been no-hit in three weeks -- the Reds' Jim Maloney had no-hit them at Wrigley in the first game of a doubleheader August 19, 1965, the last time a visiting pitcher threw a no-no at Wrigley.
Regarding Kershaw, yes, he's really, really good, and also a Dodger lefthander. He has thrown seven career shutouts in 176 starts. He's never thrown a one-hitter, much less a no-hitter. He threw a pair of two-hitters in 2011; his two shutouts this year are both four-hitters.
Kershaw is really, really good. But the Cubs aren't getting no-hit tonight. What do you think? Vote in the poll. (The poll will close at game time so that only pregame votes will be counted.)
Castro SS, Barney 2B, Navarro C, Murphy 3B, Lake CF, Ransom 1B, McDonald LF, Gillespie RF, Wood P
Anthony Rizzo sits against the tough lefthander Clayton Kershaw; the Cubs start an all-RH lineup (including Travis Wood).
Crawford LF, Puig RF, Gonzalez 1B, Ramirez SS, M Ellis 2B, Ethier CF, Uribe 3B, AJ Ellis C, Kershaw P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Travis Wood||7-10||31||26||0||0||0||0||165.0||129||62||59||15||54||116||3.22||1.11|
|2013 - Clayton Kershaw||13-7||29||27||3||2||0||0||198.1||127||43||38||9||43||188||1.72||.86|
Travis Wood had his worst start of 2013 against the Dodgers August 2 at Wrigley Field, allowing seven hits and five walks in 3⅓ innings. Since then he's been a little better, but still has a 4.10 ERA in his last four starts, with five home runs allowed in 26⅓ innings. That isn't good. Current Dodgers are hitting .340 (18-for-53) against him. That isn't good either.
Clayton Kershaw last faced the Cubs August 4, 2012 in Los Angeles. He gave up three hits and one run. Some of the players in that game are even still on the Cubs roster! Current members of the Cubs roster are 7-for-50 (.140) against Kershaw, and in seven starts since this year's All-Star break, Kershaw has posted a 1.02 ERA and 0.717 WHIP. Yet another nominee for the Doom Hall of Fame.
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.