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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Thursday 4/17, 1:20 CT

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Today is the 32nd anniversary of one of the most memorable games in Wrigley Field history (I wasn't there, being away at college at the time). The Cubs took a 13-2 lead over the Phillies, only to blow it and to send the game into extra innings, where Mike Schmidt hit his fourth HR of the day to give the Phillies an 18-16 win. The game was also memorable for the Cubs blowing Hall of Famer Steve Carlton out of the game in the second inning and nine home runs being hit. And get a load of some of the names in the boxscore.

Just sayin'. That day was as windy as last night was. It won't be that windy this afternoon as the Cubs go for the sweep.

Ex-Cub note: Yankee fans are... well, a little obsessive. Despite the fact that the Yankees have never retired #21, which Paul O'Neill wore there for nine seasons, pressure from NY fans forced LaTroy Hawkins to switch from #21 to #22:

Hawkins signed with the Yankees during the offseason and wore No. 22 -- which Roger Clemens had last year -- during spring training. Morgan Ensberg wore No. 21 during spring training and switched to No. 11 when the season began. Hawkins then took over No. 21, wanting to honor Roberto Clemente -- Hawkins has a yellow "Retire 21" sticker from retire21.org on the side of his locker.

Hawkins didn't want to discuss the change Thursday, saying the focus on the number was "unbelievable." On Tuesday, he told CBSSports.com he made the decision after speaking with Yankees captain Derek Jeter and reliever Mariano Rivera, who played alongside O'Neill.

"I figure if it's important enough for Jeter and Mariano and some other veterans to ask me about it, it's not worth it to keep wearing the number," Hawkins was quoted as saying.

"Unbelievable" is right. Onward.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. Edinson Volquez
E. Volquez
Reds
0-2 W-L 1-0
9.95 ERA 0.87
8 SO 9
4 BB 5
3 HR 1
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

Ted Lilly really has to get his game back on track. Of players who will play for the Reds today, only Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Dunn have ever homered off Lilly (once each). He's handled Brandon Phillips well (0-for-13, 3 strikeouts). Time for Lilly to step up.

This is Volquez' first career start against the Cubs. He's pitched well in his first two Reds starts, after being acquired in the offseason for Josh Hamilton. Nice hair, buddy.

Today's game is on WGN -- no Cincinnati TV coverage. For more see today's MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Discuss amongst yourselves.