Cubs vs. White Sox Preview, Thursday 5/8, 7:10 CT

Jonathan Daniel

The Cubs will try to salvage one game of the four-game set against the White Sox this evening.

Russ La Croix posted some of these in a comment in this morning's thread, so it gave me the idea to post a few more Cubs ranks in various offensive categories among the 30 teams, through Wednesday's game:

Runs: 27th
HR: 22nd
Hits: 30th
Walks: 19th
Strikeouts: 7th
BA: 27th
OBP: 28th
SLG: 28th
OPS: 28th
OPS+: 29th

I could go on, but you get the idea. Now let's do the same thing for pitching categories.

ERA: 15th
ERA+: 18th
Runs allowed: 11th
Earned runs allowed: 14th
Walks allowed: 15th
Strikeouts: 11th
Saves: 30th
HR allowed: 6th

So what we have is a really bad offensive team supported by a middle-of-the-pack pitching staff. Among other things I learned while going through these numbers is that no Cubs pitcher has balked yet this year. There have been 25 balks in the major leagues this year; the most any team has is three. The Cubs have thrown two shutouts and been shut out four times.

I have written all that to provide a bit of perspective on where we are at this just-about-20-percent-through-the-2014-season point, and also to avoid mentioning that the Cubs are trying to avoid their fifth straight loss tonight, which would tie a season high.

Whoops. Mentioned it. Oh, well.

Cubs lineup:

Kalish CF, Valbuena 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Schierholtz RF, Castillo C, Coghlan DH, Olt 3B, Lake LF

White Sox lineup:

Beckham 2B, Gillaspie 3B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Viciedo LF, Ramirez SS, De Aza CF, Sierra RF, Flowers C

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta


Cubs

vs. Scott Carroll

Scott Carroll


White Sox

vs. Sox

--

vs. Cubs

Jake Arrieta had a good outing in his first 2014 start last Saturday; it would be nice to build on that. He hasn't faced the White Sox since April 16, 2012, when he also had a reasonably good outing. (For grins, take a look at who pinch-hit for the Sox that day. And what he did.) Current Sox are 9-for-37 against Arrieta with no home runs.

Scott Carroll has spent almost all of the last seven years toiling in the Reds and White Sox farm systems. He is making his third major-league start, and has allowed just one run in 13⅓ innings in the previous two.

You know what happens when the Cubs face pitchers like this. Doom.

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 White Sox site South Side Sox. Be careful over there, though.

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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