Cubs vs. Brewers Preview, Friday 5/16, 1:20 CT

Jeff Curry/Getty Images

The Cubs open a five-game homestand today. That isn't necessarily good news.

I commend you again, as usual on the first day of a series, to Russ La Croix' series preview, posted earlier this morning, if you have not yet seen it.

Since the beginning of 2012, the Cubs are 5-12 against the Brewers at Wrigley Field. That means this series is likely to go to Milwaukee. We can hope for better, but I'm trying to be realistic here.

ICYMI in yesterday's Cub Tracks, Jeff Samardzija is the unluckiest pitcher in major-league history through his first eight starts. Forget about the individual wins -- the Cubs are 1-7 in those eight games, primarily because they have scored a total 15 runs in those games. Compare that to the 17 they scored Monday night in St. Louis. Shark's run support is the lowest among 137 qualified starters in the major leagues.

Maybe they can just pretend they're playing the Cardinals again. Or Shark will throw a shutout and hit a home run himself.

Or something. This is getting really weird.

This afternoon's weather forecast would be acceptable. For November.

Showers likely, mainly before 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 48. Northeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Cubs lineup:

Bonifacio CF, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Schierholtz RF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

The Brewers lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Brewers lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


Cubs

vs. Kyle Lohse

Kyle Lohse


Brewers

vs. Mil

--

vs. Cubs

More on Shark: He's allowed one run -- unearned -- in his last two starts, covering 15 innings. I mean, what else does a starting pitcher have to do? He's done his job well. Now it's up to his teammates. He has not faced the Brewers this year.

Kyle Lohse has been Kyle Lohse this year -- which is to say, good but not great, quite consistent, has seven of eight quality starts (for whatever that flawed stat is worth). He posted a 5.09 ERA in four starts against the Cubs last year. Current Cubs are hitting .275 (38-for-138) against him with five home runs, two by Nate Schierholtz, of all people. Maybe this can get Nate out of his slump.

Today's game is on WGN.

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 Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. The usual caution is advised.

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.

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