It would be nice if the Cubs could win a few games before the season ends, but I don't think many of us hold out much hope for that. So here are some of the individual milestones that could be hit before season's end, beginning tonight:
- Jeff Samardzija needs 5⅓ innings for 200, and five strikeouts for 200.
- Kevin Gregg needs three more saves to move into seventh place on the all-time Cubs single-season list. If he can somehow save six more wins, that would be a career high for him.
- If Travis Wood wins his two remaining starts, he'll be 11-11; not that individual wins mean that much, but that looks better than a losing record.
- Only nine pitchers in Cubs history have appeared in 80 or more games in a season (latest: Shawn Camp, last year). James Russell needs to appear in seven more games to do that. Russell is currently tied for the MLB lead in appearances.
I told you there wasn't much. But at least there's something.
Castro SS, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Schierholtz RF, Sweeney CF, Castillo C, Murphy 3B, Barney 2B, Samardzija P
Aoki RF, Segura SS, Lucroy C, Ramirez 3B, Gomez CF, Gennett 2B, Gindl LF, Halton 1B, Estrada P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Jeff Samardzija||8-12||30||30||2||1||0||0||194.2||192||102||96||23||72||195||4.44||1.36|
|2013 - Marco Estrada||6-4||18||18||0||0||0||0||107.0||101||52||51||18||25||97||4.29||1.18|
Remember what I wrote yesterday about Edwin Jackson? Pretty much the same thing can be said about Jeff Samardzija, who is maddening. At times he looks dominant, as when he threw this complete-game shutout against the White Sox back in May. At other times he looks like he's completely clueless -- as in his last three starts, during which he's posted an 8.35 ERA and given up five home runs in 18⅓ innings. Is he out of gas? The minute I say that, he'll probably throw another shutout.
Marco Estrada made two starts against the Cubs in April, both good ones. The Brewers won both games. Later this season, he spent significant time on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Since he returned he's been pretty good: 2.39 ERA in seven starts, including holding down the potent Reds and Cardinals offenses. We are probably doomed.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check your cable/satellite system for the channel).
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.