There's not a lot I can tell you in this preview that you're probably not already discussing in the recap thread for Game 1.
I will note that coming into today's games, pitchers born in Japan of Japanese descent have made 1,444 MLB starts. (I say "of Japanese descent" because Stephen Randolph, an American born in Japan, started six games in his career). Hideo Nomo is the leader with 318 such starts; Hiroki Kuroda ranks second with 197. I'd expect that someday, either Yu Darvish or Masahiro Tanaka will lead that list.
But this will be a first, today, when Tsuyoshi Wada becomes the first Japanese-born pitcher to start a game for the Cubs. Kyuji Fujikawa , the first Japanese pitcher to wear a Cubs uniform, made 12 relief appearances last year before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He's now rehabbing and might still make it back before this year is over.
Good luck to Wada. It would be nice to not get swept again.
Lake CF, Ruggiano RF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Castillo C, Olt 3B, Coghlan LF, Barney 2B, Wada P
Hamilton CF, Frazier 3B, Phillips 2B, Bruce 1B, Ludwick LF, Schumaker RF, Cozart SS, Barnhart C, Holmberg P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Tsuyoshi Wada is making his major-league debut. In his last year in Japan he posted outstanding numbers (16-5, 1.51 ERA, 1.002 WHIP) which got the Orioles to sign him to a two-year deal, upon which he almost immediately needed Tommy John surgery. His recovery has taken quite some time, but he's pitched quite well at Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.66 ERA and 1.161 WHIP in 101⅔ innings.
Wada will wear uniform no. 67. He will become the first Cub ever -- player or coach -- to wear that number in a regular-season game (he also wore it in spring training this year).
David Holmberg went to the Reds as part of the three-way deal that sent catcher Ryan Hanigan from the Reds and Heath Bell from the Diamondbacks to the Rays last winter (other minor leaguers were also included in this trade). Holmberg made one major-league start for Arizona last year and will turn 23 in about two weeks. Originally drafted by the White Sox in the second round in 2009, he was traded to the D'backs in 2010 (along with Daniel Hudson)... for Edwin Jackson.
Today's second 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.