In all of Cubs history, just five teams in a non-labor-dispute season have gotten off to worse 23-game starts than the 2014 Cubs (7-16). They are:
1944, 1962, 1997: 5-18 1966, 1983: 6-17
You will recognize the two 103-loss squads that hold the franchise record for defeats in a season (1962, 1966). The 1997 Cubs lost 94 games; the 1983 Cubs lost 91. The 1944 team had a hot September and finished just four games under .500. This year's team isn't going to do that.
I wish I had better news, but I don't. Onward to today's particulars.
Kalish LF, Lake CF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Schierholtz RF, Olt 3B, Baker C, Barney 2B, Hammel P
Gomez CF, Gennett 2B, Lucroy C, Ramirez 3B, Davis LF, Overbay 1B, Bianchi SS, Herrera RF, Peralta P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Hammel has never lost to the Brewers in four career starts, with a 2.88 ERA and 1.36 WHIP covering 25 innings. Current Brewers are hitting .246 (16-for-65) against him. Ryan Braun is 5-for-11. Hammel has made four good starts for the Cubs this year; keep this up and he'll wind up on a contender around July 31.
Wily Peralta has a career 3.07 ERA and 1.330 WHIP in five starts (29⅓ innings) against the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo has homered twice off him in 13 at-bats and Starlin Castro is 6-for-17 (.438) off Peralta with a home run. That's good, right? Here's hoping.
Today's game is on WGN.
For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.
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.