Take a look at that weather forecast... by the end of the game tonight it may be in the upper 50's, very cool for this time of year. It strikes me -- and I have no specific research available to support this claim, and if anyone can dig up the info, please do -- that in all five of the Cubs' playoff seasons since divisional play began, the summer weather has been cooler than usual, and in unusually hot summers (1977, 1988 come to mind) the Cubs 2nd-half play has been poor (34-56 in 1977 and 38-50 in 1988 from July 1 to season's end).
Just sayin'. Cooler summer weather may be more conducive to Cub success than a hotter summer.
Today's column in the Daily Herald from Barry Rozner quotes that noted authority, Mark Grace, on the Cubs:
"The Cubs are by far the best team in the National League,'' said former Cub Mark Grace, who partnered with Thom Brennaman on the Fox broadcast Saturday. "Obviously, they can hit. If (Carlos) Zambrano's healthy, they'll be fine. That's the key. They need Zambrano healthy."Hope he's right. Now let's win this one tonight.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Sean Marshall||0-1||14||1||0||0||1||0||13.1||15||8||8||2||8||12||5.40||1.73|
|2008 - Mark Buehrle||5-6||16||16||1||0||0||0||104.2||110||53||47||9||27||57||4.04||1.31|
The good news is, Sean Marshall threw six-plus shutout innings against the White Sox, at the Cell, just over a year ago on June 24, 2007. The bad news is, most of the Sox players in that game won't be playing tonight (likely only Jim Thome and A. J. Pierzynski from that lineup will be in tonight's).
The last time the Cubs faced Buehrle he limited them to two runs in seven innings, but the Cubs won anyway, 5-1, on June 22, 2007. Buehrle's been very good his last four starts, going eight innings in each one, and is 3-0, 1.41 in those starts. One thing's nearly certain -- tonight's game should be faster than the ones the last two days. Buehrle is one of the fastest-working pitchers in the game. He throws strikes. Cub hitters should be ready to pounce. Derrek Lee is 5-for-9 vs. Buehrle (two doubles, a HR).
You know very well what channel tonight's game is on. Go now and locate the mute button on your remote. For remaining games today see MLB.com Mediacenter.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)
Today's first pitch thread posts at 7 pm CT. The overflow comment threads will post at 8:15 pm and 9:15 pm CT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.