Cubs vs. Marlins Preview, Wednesday 9/4, 1:20 CT

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins go for the series sweep.

ICYMI, the Cubs have a new reliever as of today.

Meanwhile, the Marlins have swept just one series of three games or more at Wrigley Field in their 21-season history. That was, oddly enough, in 2007; the Marlins swept a three-game set from May 28-30, which was just before Lou Piniella's tirade a couple of days later in a game against the Braves that is partly credited with setting the team on its hot streak that resulted in the N.L. Central title that year.

If the Marlins win today and sweep this series, nothing of that sort will follow, although the Cubs do host the Braves again later this month. The Cubs must go 5-5 in their remaining 10 home games to avoid the first 50-loss home season in franchise history.

I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. Try to enjoy today's game anyway. Sorry, no clever headline for this post.

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Rizzo 1B, Navarro C, Murphy 3B, Lake CF, McDonald LF, Gillespie RF, Samardzija P

Seriously, what is the point of Darnell McDonald starting this game? Yes, Brian Flynn is a lefthander. Shouldn't we be finding out if Ryan Sweeney can hit lefthanders? McDonald isn't going to be on this team next year and Sweeney very likely is.

Marlins lineup:

Coghlan 3B, Solano 2B, Yelich LF, Stanton RF, Ruggiano CF, Morrison 1B, Hechavarria SS, Hill C, Flynn P

Koyie Hill makes his triumphant return to Wrigley Field. Do you think there will be a video tribute?

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


Cubs

vs. Brian Flynn

Brian Flynn


Marlins

vs. Mia

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jeff Samardzija 8-11 28 28 2 1 0 0 183.0 175 90 84 19 67 181 4.13 1.32

Jeff Samardzija has not faced the Marlins this year. He had a bad month of August, his worst of 2013 (5.54 ERA in six starts). He's already set a career high for innings; this is his 29th start of 2013, which will also be a career high. It would be nice to see him have a strong finish to this year. Current Marlins are a small-sample-size 6-for-26 against Shark.

Brian Flynn is 23 years old and making his major-league debut this afternoon. He was acquired by the Marlins as part of the Anibal Sanchez trade in 2012, and has had a pretty good year (2.80 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) in 23 starts for Triple-A New Orleans this year. I think you know what that all means.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Marlins site Fish Stripes.

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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