Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a turning point in World War II.
What you might not have known about this is that all major-league baseball games scheduled for that day were cancelled. There were just two games scheduled: Phillies at Dodgers and Pirates at Reds, but both were called off. It's a measure of how different American society was in those days.
The Cubs had been scheduled to play an exhibition game against an Army baseball team at Camp Shanks, N.Y. That game did go on as scheduled and the Cubs won 5-2.
This day is certainly far less important than D-Day. Nevertheless, the Cubs will be trying to win four in a row for the first time since May 26-31, 2013, when they put together five consecutive victories. They'll be facing a Marlins team that's on a four-game winning streak of its own and is, surprisingly, tied for first place in the N.L. East with the Atlanta Braves. Don't expect this one to be easy: after a horrific start away from Miami, the Marlins have won six of their last seven road games and seven of their last nine.
For more on this entire weekend series, check out Russ La Croix' series preview.
Bonifacio 2B, Lake CF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Schierholtz RF, Coghlan LF, Baker C, Hammel P
Yelich LF, Lucas 2B, Stanton RF, McGehee 3B, Jones 1B, Ozuna CF, Hechavarria SS, Mathis C, Eovaldi P
An interesting mix of kids and retreads, including ex-Cub Casey McGehee (who would have been a nice fit on the 2014 Cubs, I think).
Today's Starting Pitchers
Keep up the good work, Jason Hammel. The better you pitch, the more likely it is that you will be on a contending team soon. We have people here at BCB who would volunteer to drive you to the airport. The only current member of the Marlins he's faced more than 10 times is Rafael Furcal (5-for-15).
It's apparently "never faced the Cubs" week for starting pitchers, because yet again, here's a starter who has never faced the Cubs. The only Cub Nathan Eovaldi has faced before is Nate Schierholtz (1-for-3). He's pitched well this year and walked just 14 in 75 innings, 1.7 walks per nine. Clearly, we are doomed.
As you might have guessed, Eovaldi is the first player in major-league history whose name begins with "Eo."
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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.