Summer is here -- temperatures finally will reach the mid-80's today, and the Cubs are facing the White Sox, and the next week will be filled with crosstown hype, as the two clubs face each other six of their next nine games. The series has even gotten national hype -- two consecutive appearances on ESPN's Sunday night game, and for the game at the Cell next Saturday the 28th, Fox-TV let its affiliates choose Cubs/Sox or Mets/Yankees. 60% of them chose Cubs/Sox.
After eleven years of interleague play, this series, always hard-fought no matter where each club is in the standings, is tied at thirty wins each -- and the Cubs had to win five of six last year to accomplish that tie. It's even between ballparks, too -- each team is 16-14 at home.
For some national analysis and fun see this Jeff Passan column at Yahoo.
Enough hype. On to the numbers:
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Ted Lilly||7-5||15||15||0||0||0||0||85.0||82||48||45||14||31||83||4.76||1.33|
|2008 - John Danks||4-4||14||14||0||0||0||0||80.2||77||27||26||6||24||61||2.90||1.25|
Ted Lilly threw the first game of the Cub/Sox series at Wrigley Field last year, throwing seven good innings in a 6-3 Cubs win. Paul Konerko has hit three HR off him, but Konerko's on the DL. Expect to see Toby Hall catching today, as Hall is .409/.480/.591 (9-for-22) against Lilly. Nick Swisher is 5-for-15, a double and 2 HR, in his AL days vs. Lilly.
John Danks has thrown well this year; he has never faced the Cubs. It'd be useful if Reed Johnson could play today, because then the Cubs could send an all-RH hitting lineup (except for Kosuke Fukudome) against Danks.
OK, listen carefully. All six Cub/Sox games will be nationally televised. Today's game is on WGN -- with the Sox announcers, so you can watch, but you'll have to turn the sound off. Len & Bob will be on CSN today. For more see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)
Today's overflow comment threads will post at 2:15 pm and 3:15 pm CT.
And, for the Sox fan point of view, check out the SBN Sox site, South Side Sox.
Discuss amongst yourselves.