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Open Thread: Cubs vs. White Sox, Saturday 5/19, 2:55 CT

Here we go again, on the Fox Sports Merry-Go-Round. First of all, I'm not convinced that "2:55" starting time is for real. Last Saturday, the first pitch in Philadelphia, another Fox game, occurred closer to 2:45. So tune in early.

If you are in a city where you can watch today's game, you will be "treated" to the announcing team of Kenny Albert and Joe Girardi. No further comment necessary.

Finally, I have helpfully eliminated for you all the markets in the above link that will NOT be carrying the Cub game -- that's 76% of the country. Markets carrying the Cub game (23%, according to that link; no explanation as to what happens to the missing 1%) are, in alphabetical order:

Bowling Green KY, Cedar Rapids IA, Champaign IL, Chicago IL, Cincinnati OH, Cleveland OH, Columbia MO, Columbus OH, Davenport IA, Dayton OH, Des Moines IA, Duluth MN, Evansville IN, Fargo ND, Fort Wayne IN, Grand Rapids MI, Green Bay WI, Indianapolis IN, Joplin MO, Kansas City MO, La Crosse WI, Lansing MI, Lexington KY, Lima OH, Lincoln NE, Louisville KY, Madison WI, Meridian MS, Milwaukee WI, Minneapolis MN, Minot ND, Mobile AL, Monroe LA, New Orleans LA, North Platte NE, Omaha NE, Ottumwa IA, Paducah KY, Peoria IL, Quincy IL, Rapid City SD, Rochester MN, Rockford IL, Sioux City IA, Sioux Falls SD, South Bend IN, Springfield IL, Springfield MO, St. Louis MO, Terre Haute IN, Topeka KS, Traverse City MI, Tucson AZ, Wausau WI, Wichita KS
That's it. If you are not in those TV market areas, you're out of luck. (The one that really puzzles me is: Tucson, but not Phoenix?)

The potential good news for you, though, is this New York-area weather forecast:

Today: Showers likely, mainly after 3pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 62. North wind between 11 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Any extended rain delay or rainout for the Yankees/Mets game, and the entire country would get the Cub game. The Chicago-area forecast is terrific:
Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Breezy, with a southwest wind between 15 and 20 mph.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Marquis
J. Marquis
vs. Javier Vazquez
J. Vazquez
White Sox
5-1 W-L 2-2
2.22 ERA 3.86
25 SO 36
16 BB 14
3 HR 4
vs. Sox -- vs. Cubs
Please completely ignore the following statistic: Jason Marquis is 0-1 in two career starts vs. the White Sox with an 11.45 ERA. That, obviously, is skewed by this horrendous game last year in which Tony LaRussa left him in to take a 13-run pounding. This is a new year and a new Marquis.


Vazquez has made 12 career starts against the Cubs, going 3-3 with a 5.04 ERA. Last July 1, the Cubs hit him pretty good -- 11 hits and 5 runs in 6 IP -- only to lose that game on that 2-strike, 2-out 9th inning HR by you-know-who off Ryan Dempster.

But this is a new year and a new Dempster.


Finally, we are apparently supposed to hold our breaths until Monday, when Lou Piniella has a surprise for us. Could it be something like this?

The last two times in his managerial career Piniella had bullpens as unpredictable as this one and blowing early-season games at the rate his 2007 Cubs are, he started talking about using his relievers in the first few innings of games and having the scheduled starters come in to finish the final six or seven.
He never actually did that -- but who knows?

Here's today's Mediacenter, although I don't think that'll help any of you see the Cub game. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.