ICYMI, make sure you have a look at the Cubs' tentative 2014 schedule; perhaps they'll do better against the Reds next year than they have this year (4-13 coming into tonight's action).
The Reds begin today's action two games behind the Cardinals and a game behind the Pirates. As noted elsewhere, all three teams are likely headed to the postseason, but the division champion gets to avoid the wild-card play-in game.
If there's a three-way tie? Go watch the steam come out of Bud Selig's head.
Castro SS, Barney 2B, Rizzo 1B, Murphy 3B, Lake LF, McDonald RF, Castillo C, Sweeney CF, Jackson P
Insert your choice of "other split-squad" joke here.
Choo CF, Phillips 2B, Votto 1B, Ludwick LF, Bruce RF, Frazier 3B, Cozart SS, Hanigan C, Cingrani P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Edwin Jackson||7-15||27||27||0||0||0||0||155.2||170||98||85||13||53||121||4.91||1.43|
|2013 - Tony Cingrani||7-3||23||17||0||0||0||0||103.0||69||35||32||13||42||119||2.80||1.08|
Edwin Jackson has faced the Reds just once this year, May 5 at Wrigley Field. If you were to be asked what a typical Jackson start looks like, you could point at that game. Three good innings, then a blowup in the fourth, and a struggle to even finish five. At this point, I expect nothing good from Jackson, so anything positive would be an improvement. He should have three more starts; if he loses all of them, he would become just the second Cubs pitcher to lose 18 games since 1974 (Steve Trachsel in 1999).
Tony Cingrani, who went to high school at Lincoln-Way (New Lenox), has been really good this year at age 23 for the Reds. Since the All-Star break he has a 2.08 ERA in seven starts, and current Cubs are just 3-for-34 against him. Clearly, we are doomed.
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.